1, 2, 3 .... Action! Directing Real Actors and Virtual Characters
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.
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