References from a talk on AI and procedural narrative

Last night I spoke to the Oxford AI Meetup about a variety of work going around artificial intelligence and (especially) game narrative. We talked about simulation-based and narrative-model based approaches to plot generation, agent-driven stories, dialogue selection and generation, and natural language understanding, with an emphasis on relatively recent or ongoing research projects and released games. (So I didn’t do a deep dive into the history of narrative generators.)

At the end of the talk, several people asked for links to the things I’d mentioned, so here they are:

Games and projects:

Dwarf Fortress and other dwarflikes
Talk of the Town (James Ryan et al) (or if the paper is a bit dense, you might also like Games by Angelina’s writeup of the core concepts)
IDtension / Nothing for Dinner (Nicolas Szilas et al); I discussed it a bit
Scheherazade project (Mark Riedl et al, Entertainment Intelligence Lab, Georgia Tech) using crowd-sourced event descriptions to generate a graph of possible story developments
Restaurant Game (Jeff Orkin et al)
Dear Leader’s Happy Story Time (Ian Horswill, relatively new/early but I thought an interesting contrast)
Ice-Bound Concordance (Aaron Reed and Jacob Garbe)
Firewatch (see also my review)

My own work:

Galatea (and this article on translating Galatea to Versu)
Versu and Blood & Laurels
Annals of the Parrigues (and other discussion about procedural text generation)

Other talks, tools, and resources that were mentioned in the talk or in subsequent Q/A time:

Elan Ruskin’s GDC talk on salience mechanism
Kate Compton’s easy CFG tool Tracery
My Beyond branching narratives post
80 Days (came up in discussion about player agency and visible mechanics)

4 thoughts on “References from a talk on AI and procedural narrative”

  1. I’m curious about “other dwarflikes” – what else falls into that category? I usually group DF with Dungeon Keeper and Evil Genius, but I wonder if I’m overlooking others that have more narrative possibilities.

    1. That was a lead-in to talking about the Talk of the Town project (next link), which spends the first part of the game doing a dwarflike city-building simulation to establish the baseline history for the story.

  2. I always regret not being able to play blood and laurels. I could never get a hold of an ipad and now I can never play it.

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