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.


Developing a hybrid of MMORPG and LARP using usability methods: the case of Takkar

Christensen Laust Juul Jørgensen Thomas Tae-Yang Jørgensen Anker Helms
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

This paper examines the idea of combining Live Action Role-Playing (LARP) and MMORPG into a hybrid game named Takkar. We developed three versions of Takkar in an iterative fashion. In each iteration we constructed and tested game play and features using principles and ideas drawn from game development theory and usability/Participatory Design such as user interviews and expert reviews. Between iterations we made use of LARP-theory and theories of virtual environments to further develop the concept. Considerations of embodiment, concurrency in actions and rich communication emerge as central factors for the successful transfer between the two parts of the hybrid. Usability methods proved effective during game development giving a better and faster understanding of the needs of the players.