Interactive Story Writing in the Classroom: Using Computer Games

Carbonaro Mike Cutumisu Maria McNaughton Matthew Onuczko Curtis Roy Thomas Schaeffer Jonathan Szafron Duane Gillis Stephanie Kratchmer Sabrina
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Interactive story writing is a new medium for creative expression. The story “writer” uses a computer game (such as BioWare’s Neverwinter Nights) to create an interactive story where the “reader” is an active participant. The state of the art is that the story (plot, character behaviors, character interactions, conversations, etc.) is specified by writing scripts. Unfortunately, scripting is too low level for non-programmers. ScriptEase is a tool for writing interactive stories in role-playing games that frees the author from doing explicit computer programming. Stories are created by selecting and customizing familiar patterns. From this specification, ScriptEase automatically generates Neverwinter Nights scripting code. To test the usability of ScriptEase, the tool has been used as an aid to help with the short story unit of a Grade 10 Alberta high school English curriculum. This paper describes ScriptEase and reports on our experience in using it in the classroom.