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An Interactive Narrative Architecture Based on Filmmaking Theory

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Designing and developing an interactive narrative experience includes development of story content as well as a visual composition plan for visually realizing the story content. Theatre directors, filmmakers, and animators have emphasized the importance of visual design. Choices of character placements, lighting configuration, and camera movements, have been documented by designers to have direct impact on communicating the narrative, evoking emotions and moods, and engaging viewers. Many research projects focused on adapting the narrative content to the interaction, yet little attention was given to adapting the visual presentation. In this paper, I present a new approach to interactive narrative – an approach based on filmmaking theory. I propose an interactive narrative architecture, that in addition to dynamically selecting narrative events that suit the continuously changing situation, it automatically, and in real-time, reconfigures the visual design integrating camera movements, lighting modulation, and character movements. The architecture utilizes rules extracted from filmmaking, cinematography, and visual arts theories. I argue that such adaptation will lead to increased engagement and enriched interactive narrative experience.
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