Wednesday, January 25, 2006
The Automated Story Director project builds immersive leadership training simulations that combine the interactive and spontaneous properties of simulations with a directed and pre-planned storyline. The central component in this project, the automated story director, takes the role of an observer-controller in military training simulations. It monitors the simulation state with respect to the storyline and makes real-time adaptations to both the storyline and simulation so that each trainee has a unique experience, yet still follows the original training objectives. The automated story director works behind the scenes, providing real-time direction to autonomous Virtual Human (VH) agents who improvise within the bounds of the story structure to achieve a high level of interactivity and believability.
The project uses a narrative approach to training simulations where trainees experience a leadership-building scenario based on the life stories of an expert. The leadership story becomes an interactive simulation where the trainee is in the role of the decision-maker. Unlike linear narratives with predetermined events and outcomes, the narrative-based simulation is relatively unrestricted, enabling trainees to apply their knowledge and problem-solving judgments in potentially different ways from the original outcome, while still achieving the desired training objectives.
The goals for the Automated Story Director project are as follows:
Build an immersive training simulator that can take a story, either a first-person account or a fictional scenario, and use it to shape the experience of a trainee during a simulation
Develop an automated story director that integrates with autonomous agents to add interactivity, believability, and dialogue to the simulation
Differences Between This Project and Others in the Field
This project differs from others in the following ways:
It develops simulations where autonomous agents and story directors share responsibility for the user’s experience (other research uses either strong autonomy solutions or strong story solutions)
It uses narrative-based interactive storytelling in the context of training (storytelling has been used almost exclusively in entertainment contexts)