Barber, Heather, and Daniel Kudenko. “Dynamic Generation of Dilemma-based Interactive Narratives.” AIIDE 7 (2007): 2-7.


Read this paper which talks about mechanisms for Interactive Stories. And how we might use the decision making aspect that we design for the user to drive  and shape how we tell the stories.

They presented in the paper many avenues to consider and I will share some of the more interesting points.

In speaking about types of dilemmas, they categorized it into 5 distinct types: Betrayal, Sacrifice, Greater Good, Take Down, Favour. And all these I found really closely related to the sort of moral standards and systems prevalent in society. For example in the Betrayal Dilemma, it is about the moral virtue of loyalty and should the player then go against his faction or team in order to save himself? And for the Greater Good, it is about utilitarianism and maybe the player will decide that he has to leave people behind or avoid a fight in order to preserve and protect the majority.

The other thing that the paper brought up was this diagram to help structure these dilemmas into a scene or a story component in the interactive narrative:

So it is quite a good read and really gets you thinking about what we want the player to feel and think about when interacting with the story. And I find that thinking about it this way accomplishes two things, both the story plot (situation leading towards the dilemma) and the interactive story mechanism (choice and scenarios presented to the player).