Many genres of interactive story are fundamentally limited by current authoring approaches: in particular, the amount of character dialogue that must be hand-authored. This project will use what is known about the creative work of human authors together with advanced techniques from the field of "natural language generation" to explore a new approach to addressing this problem. In particular, it will integrate a new model of dialogue generation into an advanced tool for interactive story authoring, then evaluate the results when both expert and beginning authors work with the tool, giving us our first understanding of the promise of such techniques for enhancing the creativity of authors. The need for a new approach to dialogue is pressing. For example, the forthcoming commercial game LA Noire has a script of 2,200 pages (roughly equivalent to 12 feature films). Producing this amount of dialogue is simply impossible for educational game producers, and is nearing the limit of what commercial producers can manage, yet games can only continue to grow in sophistication by having more dialogue. This research works toward a solution for this dilemma, opening the door to further educational development and economic growth, by enhancing author creativity through cutting edge computer science.
National Science Foundation Creative IT Program
Grace Lin, Jennifer Sawyer, Ricky Grant, Gabrielle Halberg, John Murray, April Grow
Marilyn Walker, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
Natural Language and Dialogue Systems, Expressive Intelligence Studio