Claypool, Mark L.
In interactive narratives, there is a trade-off between authorial control and player agency. To address this issue, our team developed Halberd, a game engine which uses planning techniques to produce branching narratives while keeping author workload manageable. Rather than writing story paths, the author writes a world, a set of characters, and an end goal, and the engine dynamically generates the story path based on player actions. Additionally, the engine handles procedural creation of scenes using individual art or text components. To evaluate the engine, we created and playtested a horror game, titled The Worm of Everhill. This report describes the design of the Halberd system, and discusses techniques of authorship for narrative planning engines.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Interactive Media and Game Development
Major Qualifying Project
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