Conference paper Open Access

Validating the plot of interactive Narrative games

Carolina Veloso; Rui Prada

The authoring of interactive dialogues in video games is an overwhelming and complex task for game writers. Developing an Interactive Narrative that balances authorial intent and players’ agency requires frequent in-depth testing. The limited range of tools to assist authors in verifying their story can limit the creation of more complex narratives. In this paper, we discuss the challenges of Interactive Story design and provide a model consisting of a set of metrics for testing interactive dialogues. Using this model, we developed a prototype for the Story Validator tool. This debugging tool allows game writers to experiment with different hypotheses and narrative properties in order to identify inconsistencies in the authored narrative and predict the output of different playthroughs with visual representation support. We conducted a series of user tests, Using the Story Validator, to investigate whether the tool adequately helps users identify problems that appear in the game’s story. The results showed that the tool enables content creators to easily test their stories, setting our model as a good step towards automated verification for assistance of authoring interactive narratives. Index Terms—Interactive Narratives, Authoring Systems, Verification, Automated Playtesting

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