SIAT Faculty Publications

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Looking at the Interactive Narrative Experience through the Eyes of the Participants.

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

The topic of interactive narrative has been under research for many years. While there has been much research exploring the development of new algorithms that enable and enhance interactive narratives, there has been little research focusing on the question of how players understand and internalize their interactive narrative experiences. This paper addresses this problem through conducting a phenomenological study on participants playing Façade; we specifically chose a phenomenological methodology due to its emphasis on the participants‟ lived experience from the participants‟ viewpoint. We chose Façade, because it is the only accessible example of an experience that revolves around social relationships, conflict, and drama as its core mechanics. In this paper, we discuss sixteen themes that resulted from the analysis of the data gathered through the study. In addition, we reflect on these themes discussing their relationship to participants‟ backgrounds, and project implications on the design of future interactive narratives.

Document type: 
Article

System for Automated Interactive Lighting (SAIL).

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Successful lighting in video games is more than a physically accurate illumination model. Aesthetics and function are of equal or greater importance. Lighting designers may deviate from physical accuracy to help a player identify an important object or to more powerfully evoke a desired emotion. Under the assumption that fulfilling the pipeline needs of interactive lighting design requires more than solving the computer rendering equation, we set out to develop a System for Automated Interactive Lighting (SAIL). The goal for SAIL was to develop an adaptive system that maintains lighting design goals (aesthetic and functional) in the context of unpredictable, interactive experiences. This paper presents SAIL and the results of a qualitative evaluation of SAIL’s contributions. We describe the algorithms of SAIL, where it succeeds, and where it fails. We conclude with a plan for future work.

Document type: 
Article

Gestural Turing Test. A Motion-Capture Experiment for Exploring Believability In Artificial Nonverbal Communication.

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010-05-10
Abstract: 

One of the open problems in creating believable characters in computer games and collaborative virtual environments is simulating adaptive human-like motion. Classical artificial intelligence (AI) research places an emphasis on verbal language. In response to the limitations of classical AI, many researchers have turned their attention to embodied communication and situated intelligence. Inspired by Gestural Theory, which claims that speech emerged from visual, bodily gestures in primates, we implemented a variation of the Turing Test, using motion instead of text for messaging between agents. In doing this, we attempt to understand the qualities of motion that seem human-like to people. We designed two gestural AI algorithms that simulate or mimic communicative human motion using the positions of the head and the hands to determine three moving points as the signal. To run experiments, we implemented a networked-based architecture for a Vicon motion capture studio. Subjects were shown both artificial and human gestures, and were told to declare whether it was real or fake. Techniques such as simple gesture imitation were found to increase believability. While we require many such experiments to understand the perception of humanness in movement, we believe this research is essential to developing a truly believable character.

Document type: 
Article

Auditory Self-Motion Simulation is Facilitated by Haptic and Vibrational Cues Suggesting the Possibility of Actual Motion

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Sound fields rotating around stationary blindfolded listeners sometimes elicit auditory circular vection, the illusion that the listener is physically rotating. Experiment 1 investigated whether auditory circular vection depends on participants' situational awareness of "movability", i.e., whether they sense/know that actual motion is possible or not. While previous studies often seated participants on movable chairs to suspend the disbelief of self-motion, it has never been investigated whether this does, in fact, facilitate auditory vection. To this end, 23 blindfolded participants were seated on a hammock chair with their feet either on solid ground ("movement impossible") or suspended ("movement possible") while listening to individualized binaural recordings of two sound sources rotating synchronously at 60 degrees. Although participants never physically moved, situational awareness of movability facilitated auditory vection. Moreover, adding slight vibrations like the ones resulting from actual chair rotation increased the frequency and intensity of vection. Experiment 2 extended these findings and showed that nonindividualized binaural recordings were as effective in inducing auditory circular vection as individualized recordings. These results have important implications both for our theoretical understanding of self-motion perception and for the applied field of self-motion simulations, where vibrations, non-individualized binaural sound, and the cognitive/perceptual framework of movability can typically be provided at minimal cost and effort.

Dynamic Lighting for Tension in Games

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Video and computer games are among the most complex forms of interactive media. Games simulate many elements of traditional media, such as plot, characters, sound and music, lighting and mise-en-scene. However, games are digital artifacts played through graphic interfaces and controllers. As interactive experiences, games are a host of player challenges ranging from more deliberate decision-making and problem solving strategies, to the immediate charge of reflex action. Games, thus, draw upon a unique mix of player resources, contributing to what Lindley refers to as the "game-play gestalt", "a particular way of thinking about the game state from the perspective of a player, together with a pattern of repetitive perceptual, cognitive, and motor operations" (Lindley, 2003).