Thursday, 24th
  08:45 Registration

  09:30 Opening
José L. Encarnação
Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics

  09:45 Keynote: Embodied Agents and Meaningful Motion
Norman I. Badler
Computer and Information Science Department, University of Pennsylvania

    We examine motion realism in terms of salient communicative features. We argue that motion is amenable to a parameterization based on Laban Movement Analysis that yields real-time control over motion qualities, and that these qualities carry discernable and useful non-verbal information about the characterās personality or emotional state.  
  11:00 Coffee Break

  11:30 Session I: Interactive Storytelling
Session Chair: Ulrike Spierling

    Natural Language Understanding in Faade: Surface-text Processing
Michael Mateas¹, Andrew Stern²
¹ College of Computing and LCC, Georgia Tech,

    Stepping into the interactive Drama
Nicolas Szilas
LINC, University of Paris 8, France

    Achieving a successful Interactive Drama, where the user can act as a character in the story, requires not only finding an algorithmic solution for combining interactivity and narrativity, but also interfacing those algorithms with the user. This paper focuses on the way the user can enter the actions of the character she controls. Three specific issues are discussed: the variety of choices proposed to the user, the need for the user to be able to anticipate her future possibilities for actions and the time necessary to enter the action. This allows us to propose a taxonomy of different user interfaces, and to evaluate the advantages and drawbacks of each category of interface. This should serve as a guideline to the design of user interfaces for Interactive Drama.  
    From Another Point of View: Art-E-Fact
Ido Iurgel
Digital Storytelling Department, ZGDV e.V. Darmstadt

    This paper presents the EU funded project Art-E-Fact and goes into details of the dialogue management module, showing that a directed graph approach is appropriate if certain measures are taken. In this project, a software environment with designated authoring tools is being developed for the creation of narrative, interactive discussion groups of virtual characters. Interaction comprises chatting with a keyboard and the use of specialized devices, e.g. gesture recognition. Target use groups are visitors of a museum who will get interpretations of works of art form different points of view.  
  13:00 Lunch

  14:00 Session II: Interactive Storytelling
Session Chair: Oliver Schneider

    1, 2, 3 ·. Action! Directing of Real Actors and Virtual Characters
Isabel Machado¹, Paul Brna², Ana Paiva³
¹ ISCTE, University of Leeds & INESC-ID,
² School of Informatics, Northumbria University,

    The new interactive ways of storytelling, which can be realised as interactive narratives, virtual storytelling, interactive fiction, interactive drama, are often regarded as a significant break from traditional storytelling methods. In this paper we focus on the role of a person in an interactive storytelling context who facilitates the story construction process, the Director. The term Director is often associated with roles such as theatre director, stage director, film director or even television director. The meaning usually assigned to this concept is of someone who: "oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a play by unifying various endeavours and aspects of production. The director's function is to ensure the quality and completeness of a theatrical product". In our research, the concept of a Director is extended and does not only have the role of supervising the acting in a play where every actor knows his/her role in a well-known plot, but to supervise the role being played by a set of autonomous virtual characters and to provide support to the users that engage in the story by controlling and commanding virtual actors. In our view, our concept of a Director is challenging because its role is vital in the sense that it does not only supervise a set of synthetic characters but has to accommodate the choices made by the users, within our context children, and at the same time guarantee that the coherence of the story is maintained.  
    Object Oriented Prompted Play (O2P2): A Pragmatic Approach to Interactive Narrative
Daniel Roberts¹, Mark Wright²
EdVEC (Edinburgh Virtual Environment Centre), The University of Edinburgh

    WWe describe an interactive narrative system that embodies Object Oriented Prompted Play (O2P2). This means that behaviours, attributes, and crucially stories are attached to objects in the story world. The approach is inspired by children's social play where narrative emerges from collaborative, improvised negotiation. The object oriented architecture is appropriate for improvisation, imposing little predeųned structure. Our goal is not the modelling, understanding and generation of narrative but the computer aided support for the improvisation pro- cess from which narrative emerges. Although based on play and chil- dren's material, we believe the system is applicable more widely. Ours is a pragmatic approach that strikes a balance between the culturally fundamental activities of "play" and "story telling".  
    Transferring Game Mastering Laws to Interactive Digital Storytelling
Federico Peinado¹, Pablo Gervás²
Dep. Sistemas Informáticos y Programación Universidad Complutense de Madrid,

    The Interactive Dilemma is the inevitable conflict between authorās determinism and interactorās freedom. There are some approaches that try to tackle it, using strategies and heuristic rules that can combine on the fly the previously designed author material with the run-time decisions of the interactor. Interactive Narrative is a relatively new field and it is di.cult to find formal studies that shows how to create this kind of art. Our proposal is based on the theoretical study of tabletop Role-Playing Games and it involves the practical implementation of those ideas for managing the interaction in a simple text adventure game. Game Masters are the best models we have found in real life for designing and directing interactive stories. In this paper we transfer their player modeling, their rules for interaction management and their improvising algorithms from the real a new Interactive Storytelling system.  
    Narrativity of User Experience
Shachindra Nath
Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design

    This paper discusses how the concept of narrativity can be applied to the nature of the performative experience in IVE based participative story systems. VR technology affords an experience that has a strong narrative potential provided the design and evaluation are done from a user centred perspective. The concept of presence is discussed in relation to literary, film and performance theoriesā explanation of transportation in a fictional world.  
    Integrated decision points for interactive movies
Gabriela Tully and Susan Turner
School of Computing, Napier University, Edinburgh
{g.tully, s.turner}

    We describe a study which explores alternative means of communicating decision points in an interactive movie. The two variants used novel, non-disruptive cues embedded in the movie itself: a fade to black and white and a zoom effect accompanied by subtle sound cues. Both the interactivity and its presentation were received very positively in trials and perceived to enhancing the experience of the movie greatly, despite the fact that not all viewers recognised interaction points easily.  
  14:00 Virtual Human Network of Excellence
(Closed Participant Group)

  16:00 Coffee Break

  16:30 Session III: Virtual Human
Session Chair: Stefan Gšbel

    Autonomous Virtual Actors
Stephane Sanchez¹ ², Oliver Balet², Yves Duthen¹, Herve Luga¹
¹ UniversitŽ Toulouse 1/IRIT, {Luga, Duthen}
² Virtual Reality Department, C-S, {Stephane.Sanchez, Olivier.Balet}

    This paper presents the VIBES (Virtual Behaviors) framework used to simulate a "virtual brain" capable of generat ing, in real time, behaviors for virtual characters. The main originality of VIBES is to combine usual behavioral animation techniques with a learning engine based on Learning Classifiers Systems in order to obtain actors that can learn how to adapt to their dynamic environment and how to efficiently combine known tasks in order to perform the userās tasks. VIBES is a module of the V-Man [1] character animation system developed in the frame of the V-Man project supported by the European Commission in the frame of the 5th framework program.  
    Interactive Storytelling and Computer Graphics for the Virtual Human Platform
Stefan Göbel¹, Oliver Schneider¹, Ido Iurgel¹, Christian Knöpfle², Alexander Rettig²,
¹ ZGDV Darmstadt e.V., Digital Storytelling Department,
{Stefan.Goebel, Oliver.Schneider, Axel.Feix, Ido.Iurgel}
² Fraunhofer IGD, Department Virtual & Augmented Reality, Darmstadt,
{Christian.Knoepfle, Alexander.Rettig}

    This paper describes the usage of Computer Graphics and Interactive, Digital Storytelling Concepts within the Virtual Human project and its technical platform. Based on a brief overview of the Virtual Human approach, global aims and first R&D results, the Virtual Human platform is introduced. Hereby, methods and concepts for the authoring environment, the narration engine and the avalon player as rendering platform are provided as well as an overview of the Direction and Player Markup Language used for interfaces purposes between these components. Finally, our current Virtual Human demonstrator recently presented at CeBIT 2004 in Hannover using these methods and concepts is described and further R&D activities are pointed out within a brief summary and outlook.  
    Evaluation of a Virtual Narratorās Expressiveness in Terms of Suspense Signaling
Norbert Braun, Thomas Rieger
GRIS, Informatik, TU-Darmstadt
{Nbraun, Rieger}

    In this paper, we describe the results of the evaluation of a Virtual Character, used as a human-like, automated narrator with focus on the signaling of suspenseful situations within stories to the Virtual Narratorās audience. Signaling is done via facial expression and gestures, driven by an underlying story examination mechanism. This mechanism uses an automatic generated story to get points of suspense progression, conflicts between story actors, and the relevance of story fragments. It indicates these points to an expressiveness module, which assigns expressiveness states to the Virtual Narrator.  
    Emotional Characters for Automatic Plot Creation
Marië Theune, Sander Rensen, Rieks op den Akker, Dirk Heylen, Aanton Nijholt
University of Twente,
{theune, rensen, infrieks, heylen, anijholt}

    The Virtual Storyteller is a multi-agent framework for automatic story generation. Its functionality includes plot creation, narration and presentation. In this paper we focus on plot creation by emotional character agents, who pursue their individual goals within general plot constraints. We show how the characters can spontaneously adopt new goals based on their emotions, which adds to their believability and allows for variation in the generated plots.  
  18:00 Social Event: Darmstadt Sightseeing

  20:00 Conference Dinner