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Planning for Dynamic Narratives

We propose an event-centric planning framework for directing interactive narratives in complex 3D environments populated by virtual humans. Events facilitate precise authorial control over complex interactions involving groups of actors and objects, while planning allows the simulation of causally consistent character actions that conform to an overarching global narrative. Events are defined by preconditions, postconditions, costs, and a centralized behavior structure that simultaneously manages multiple participating actors and objects. By planning in the space of events rather than in the space of individual character capabilities, we allow virtual actors to exhibit a rich repertoire of individual actions without causing combinatorial growth in the planning branching factor. Our system produces long, cohesive narratives at interactive rates, allowing a user to take part in a dynamic story that, despite intervention, conforms to an authored structure and accomplishes a predetermined goal.