Authoring Activities in Interactive Digital Storytelling

Tutorial: Introduction to Interactive Story Creation

October 31st, 2010 (Sunday)
Half-day Tutorial (morning)
Workshop day of the ICIDS 2010 conference
Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh

Organisers: Ulrike Spierling, Nicolas Szilas, Steve Hoffmann, Urs Richle

Target groups: We mainly address fellow colleagues and conference newcomers with an intermediate and advanced level of creative experience in any storytelling discipline (such as film, video games, RPG etc.) or in interactive story creation. The tutorial will be of interest to people who want to gain insights into the state of the art in story creation principles with generative mechanims to achieve highly-interactive storytelling. It is also interesting for story engineering colleagues who want to discuss with us creative principles implied by story engines' affordances.

Participation: For participation, registration is required.

The additional attendance of the afternoon workshop would be an interesting follow-up for people interested in discussing other educational approaches to Interactive Storytelling, but it is not mandatory for participation in this tutorial.

Content: In the IRIS network of excellence, we research accessibility issues of highly-interactive and generative IS systems for story creators. While one problem is the lack of well-designed tools, the other side of the medal is that we propose that prospective interactive story creators need some basic knowledge in the current available approaches. With the vision in mind that in the future, complex IS projects will be accomplished by an interdisciplinary team, future authors do not need to program a story engine, but they would indeed need to know about the characteristics of content conceptualisation, knowledge modeling and forms of abstraction, which then are used in a collaborative production process with engineers.

The tutorial covers basics of conception and processing of interactive stories (that way, it can also serve as a general introduction to Interactive Storytelling), further some specific approaches of selected story engines with short insights into practical examples. This material has been compiled during the year 2010 by the IRIS project, in an attempt to produce educational material for authors of Interactive Storytelling, in particular in genres using highly-interactive and generative story engines. We use story engines with example content from the IRIS project as practical showcases. In the concluding discussion, we also want to evaluate the scope and presentation of the material concerning quality and understandability.

Tutorial Agenda "Introduction to Interactive Story Creation"

31st October, 2010
  • 08:45: Check-In
  • 09:15: Begin, Introduction
  • 09:45: Design Principle: Abstraction of Stories
  • 10:45: Coffee Break
  • 11:15: Design Principle: Conditional Events
  • 12:45: Discussion / Feedback
  • 13:00 - 14:00: Lunch
In the beginning, we discuss the motivation for using generative technologies in Interactive Storytelling, and give an overview of creative principles that we found important for the goal of increasing the variability and flexibility of interactive story content.
Two of these design principles will then be analysed in more detail: The necessary abstraction of stories, and the design of possibilities for action including conditional events. Concluding, we jointly simulate a drama engine by means of a card game and discuss its design process including abstraction and conditional actions.

Tutorial Slides

Registration (closed)

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Registration to this tutorial is free of charge, but the participant number is limited. We will accept participants on a first-come-first-served base.

The registration costs (including lunch) of this tutorial are sponsored by IRIS.