Improvisational Puppets, Actors, and Avatars

Reference: Hayes-Roth, B. & Gent, R. v. Improvisational Puppets, Actors, and Avatars. Knowledge Systems Laboratory, February, 1996.

Abstract: We are investigating three kinds of advanced capabilities for computer game characters. First, we want characters to exhibit life-like qualities. They should show distinctive personalities, context-dependent moods, and normal variability in their behavior. Second, we want characters to follow directions. They should accept directions from various external sources, including game designers, game players, and other game components. They should follow both individual directions that are delivered interactively during a game and sets of directions organized into scenarios that are provided in advance. They should be able to follow directions that vary in specificity, ranging from those that prescribe specific behaviors to those that permit alternative interpretations. Finally, we want characters to improvise many different courses of behavior. Their improvisational choices should reflect their individual personalities, their current moods, their current directions, and the situation in their virtual world. Characters should surprise game players by improvising different courses of behavior in similar situations on different occasions.

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