Emergent Story Generation: Lessons from Improvisational Theater

I.M.T. Swartjes, Joost Vromen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)
    46 Downloads (Pure)


    An emergent approach to story generation by computer is characterized by a lack of predetermined plot and a focus on character interaction forming the material for stories. A potential problem is that no interesting story emerges. However, improvisational theater shows that – at least for human actors – a predetermined plot is not necessary for creating a compelling story. There are some principles that make a successful piece of improvisational theater more than a random interaction, and these principles may inform the type of computational processes that an emergent narrative architecture draws from. We therefore discuss some of these principles, and show how these are explicitly or implicitly used in story generation and interactive storytelling research. Finally we draw lessons from these principles and ask attention for two techniques that have been little investigated: believably incorporating directives, and late commitment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIntelligent narrative technologies
    Subtitle of host publicationpapers from the AAAI Fall Symposium 2007
    Place of PublicationMenlo Park, CA
    PublisherAAAI Press
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Print)978-1-57735-350-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    Event2007 AAAI Fall Symposium on Intelligent Narrative Technologies - Arlington, United States
    Duration: 9 Nov 200711 Nov 2007

    Publication series

    NameAAAI Technical Report
    PublisherAAAI Press


    Other2007 AAAI Fall Symposium on Intelligent Narrative Technologies
    Country/TerritoryUnited States


    • EWI-11405
    • HMI-IA: Intelligent Agents
    • METIS-245778
    • IR-64461
    • HMI-HF: Human Factors

    Cite this