Generating Dynamic Interactive Stories

Marko Divéky

Master thesis project supervised by prof. Mária Bieliková


Interactive storytelling is a field of research in artificial intelligence that focuses on combining conventional stories with interactivity, resulting in immersing the reader inside stories by letting him shape the storyline in any desired direction through committing narrative actions. Despite the large amount of work that has already been done in this field, there have been only a few working solutions that found practical use other than being a proof-of-concept demonstrations. Today’s popular computer role-playing games are an ideal medium for interactive storytelling, given their practically unlimited degree of interactivity and visual attractiveness.

Interactive Storytelling in Computer Role-playing Games

We describe a new approach that aims to reduce the border between the field of interactive storytelling and modern computer games by making it possible to programmatically generate interactive stories with visually appealing computer role-playing games as the storytelling medium. The proposed concept can be broken down into the following three logical layers:

  • Character Behavior Layer generates goals of all in-game characters, including the player, according to interpersonal relationships and behavioral patterns.
  • Action Planning Layer utilizes the Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planning formalism and transforms all characters’ goals into plans consisting of actions visualizable and executable by the Visualization Layer.
  • Visualization Layer uses the concept of computer role-playing games as the visualization and storytelling medium, formalized into a set of actions that each in-game character (including the player) is able to commit inside the game world.

These layers are cyclically used to generate interactive stories, as depicted in the following figure:


Based on the proposed concept, we have implemented a software prototype that generates interactive stories according to domain-specific rules read from an input file, and presents them to the player through a computer role-playing game. The generated stories progress dynamically by reacting to narrative actions committed in-game by the player. The following screenshots show a game with an example generated interactive story related to teaching the history of computing and basics of programming languages:

The resulting prototype was evaluated formally by analyzing the correlation between the number of input rules and the number of generated interactive stories, and empirically by test players who rated their experience from playing through the example educational game by filling out questionnaires with questions covering various aspects of the generated stories.


Divéky, M.
Generating Dynamic Interactive Stories. Master thesis, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava 2009. pdf

Divéky, M.
Generating Interactive Stories in Computer Role-playing Games. In Proc. of IIT.SRC 2009 – 5th Student Research Conference in Informatics and Information Technologies, Bratislava, Slovakia, pp. 243-250.

Divéky, M., Bieliková M.
An Approach to Interactive Storytelling and its Application to Computer Role-playing Games. In Proc. of Znalosti 2009, Brno, Czech Republic, pp. 59-70.

Divéky, M., Bieliková M.
Generating Educational Interactive Stories in Computer Role-playing Games. In Proc. of EC-TEL 2009 – 4th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, Nice, France: Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science.

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