Research group in emergent narratives

Design Rationale for Natural-Language Based Game Conversations (2015)


In-game conversations with non-playing characters have not changed much in the past 30 years, sticking to menu driven models and dialogue trees. This short paper presents the game design rationale behind LabLabLab’s research project to re-explore the potential of natural language interaction in the context of goal-driven conversations with NPCs. With the support of early evidence from the project’s first two prototypes: A Tough Sell and SimProphet, some unique affordances of natural language interaction in game conversations are highlighted in contrast to traditional approaches. Allowing players to formulate their own utterances affords them creative conversational play, role-playing at the discourse level, contributing original narrative content, and dialoguing non-linearly.

In Demo Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games. Pacific Grove: CA, 2015.

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Game design, Dialogue Systems, Conversation, Natural Language, Interaction design, Interactive Fiction, Non-Playing Character, Virtual Characters


Lessard, Jonathan.