Generating Narative Variation in Interactive Fiction

Alex J. Champandard on August 9, 2007

Nick Montfort of Grand Text Auto has just posted his dissertation online. It’s entitled “Generating Narrative Variation in Interactive Fiction”, and you can download it here (PDF, 3.9 Mb).

Diagram of the Narrator Module

Figure: One module of the IF system.

It’s particularly interesting for game AI since the system uses Natural Language Generation. Here’s part of the abstract:

The current project contributes new techniques for automatic narration by building on work done in computational linguistics, specifically natural language generation, and in narratology.

First, types of narrative variation that are possible in IF are identified and formalized in a way that is suitable for a natural language generation system. An architecture for an IF system is then described and implemented; the result allows multiple works of interactive fiction to be realized and, using a general plan for narrating, allows them to be narrated in different ways during interaction.

It might take a while to get through the 228 pages, but it certainly seems worth it!

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