Agent Stories

Kevin Brooks
Writer / Designer

Glorianna Davenport
Research Supervisor

It is possible to create non-linear stories which allow many different variations of the tale to be interactively played out. Agent Stories is a thinking tool useful for building and ultimately displaying these computationally-based audio/visual narratives.

The writer builds a web of small story "chunks" which are tied together via predefined relationship links. Once this webbed story world or "storybase" is created, the user is able to request a story as constructed by any one of a number of "story agents."

Story agents are software agents with behavioral traits that describe the type of stories they are prone to construct. Although this research is not tied to a particular delivery system, this techinique of story definition and construction suggests a model for interactive TV.

The limitation of the program is that story agents can only be as distinct and "interesting" as the complexity of the storybase allows.

Crossing the Street is an evolving and expanding collection of first-person short stories about the effects of taking journeys, large and small.

Davenport G; Bradley B; Agamanolis S; Barry B; Brooks KM (2000).
Synergistic storyscapes and constructionist cinematic sharing
IBM Systems Journal, vol.39, no.3-4, 2000, pp.456-69.
Brooks KM (1999).
Metalinear Cinematic Narrative: Theory, Process, and Tool
MIT Ph.D. Thesis.
Brooks KM (1997).
Programming Narrative
Proceedings. 1997 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages (Cat. No.97TB100180).
IEEE Comput. Soc. 1997, pp.380-6. Los Alamitos, CA, USA.

Brooks KM (1996).
Do Story Agents Use Rocking Chairs? The Theory and Implementation of One Model for Computational Narrative
Proceedings ACM Multimedia 96. ACM. 1996, pp.317-28. New York, NY, USA.
Brooks KM (1995).
Agent Stories
AAAI Spring Symposium Series - Interactive Story Systems, Plot and Character.
Stanford University: American Association for Artificial Intelligence.