Emily Short

Creative Director, Failbetter Games

Emily Short works in interactive fiction, narrative design, and conversation modeling, and is currently a Creative Director at Failbetter Games. She has released over two dozen solo games, as well as contributing to indie games such as Sunless Sea, Sunless Skies, Orwell's Animal Farm, Zombies, Run, and Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, and also frequently consults with studios of all sizes. Her AI-related experience includes three years as a product manager and then CPO at Spirit AI, where she worked with natural language processing and generation, character moods and social behavior, and conversation modelling. Her blog can be found at http://emshort.blog.

Sessions by Emily Short

What should narrative designers ask of AI?

In-Person Day 2 - 14:30 - 15:30
Language: English (accompanied with Mandarin/Chinese subtitles.)

The huge leaps in AI in the past few years appear to offer solutions for things that have long been intractable in game development – including highly responsive stories, and non-player characters who seem to remember and respond to what the player has done. But the problems solved by this technology off the shelf are not always the same problems that designers actually have, and the introduction of AI tools can exacerbate design challenges that already exist in joining story with systems design.

Drawing on lessons learned from a range of experimental and conventional games, from Versu to Mask of the Rose, this talk discusses challenges in this space and design-focused strategies for getting AI to serve our creative goals.

Designers and engineers interested in using AI to build more dynamic narrative and character behaviour will learn about design challenges in this space, with specific examples and techniques for approaching those challenges. The lessons of the session are useful with both traditional game AI and machine learning techniques, because they provide guidance about what designers might ask of their AI systems in the first place.

Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1IQjxRgYabNaDeugjCxaqp76NIuHcpGGC/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=109882812069794545565&rtpof=true&sd=true