Interactive Narrative


Interactive Storytelling combines the pleasures of crafted story experiences, such as novels, cinema, TV shows, and plays, with the pleasures of interactivity, most evident in the contemporary scene in the popularity of video games. On the face of it, stories and interactive experiences seem at odds with each other; stories are commonly taken to require highly crafted, fixed sequences of events, while interaction is commonly taken to require allowing the player to do what they want, when they want. In this course we'll examine theoretical perspectives on both story and interactivity, with an eye towards developing a framework for integrating the two. We'll explore how story is incorporated into contemporary game designs. Students will have the opportunity to create their own interactive story using the Inform interactive fiction engine. Finally, we will examine AI systems that can generate and dynamically manage stories, with an eye towards how such systems can be used to create more richly interactive story experiences.

Office Hours

Michael Mateas
T Th 4:00 - 5:00pm, E2 392

Eric Kaltman
F 12:00 - 2:00pm, E2 393



  • 5 assignments: 30%
  • Inform storyworld: 20%
  • Midterm: 25%
  • Final: 25%


  • 5 assignments: 30%
  • Inform storyworld: 15%
  • Midterm: 20%
  • Final: 20%
  • Paper: 15%
Late assignments will be penalized 15% for every day late. 


Readings will consist of research papers, book excerpts, and readings from Expressive Processing by Noah Wardrip-Fruin. Copies of the book are available in the bookstore.

Instructors and Assistants