Posted on May 3, 2016 | Rating

Communication Scenario Editor

A communication scenario editor is useful for applied games that contain discussions between a player and a virtual character, in which the player can choose between several options. Using this asset makes it easy to create and adapt such a scenario, and hence makes it easier to adapt a game to the needs of a particular user.

A communication scenario editor is useful in games in which students practice soft skills such as selling products in a shop, handing out drugs in a pharmacy, diagnosing a patient by a doctor, interview techniques, etc. At each choice, a teacher can specify both the contribution to the learning goals, as well as the emotional effect on the client. Such scenarios are a lot of work to create, and need to be adapted regularly, so it is important a teacher has access to an editor in which she can adapt the scenario.

With the latest release (v4) of the asset, an instance of this editor can be configured catering to the specific needs of a game developer. A game developer can specify virtual character(s), properties (e.g. name of a character) and parameters (e.g. score) specific to their game needs. • Scores and emotions can be configured as parameters of scenarios, which can be modified at a statement. • Properties of a scenario can be configured. For example, you can specify the name of a character.

Conversations can be structured at a higher level of abstractions in subjects. A subject on the horizontal level is interleaving with another subject(s) on the same level. During the simulation a player is presented with statement choices from within these interleaving subjects without a predetermined order. This is useful when a player should communicate with a virtual character on multiple subjects, but the order in which statements within these subjects are followed is not important. A subject may be marked as optional, which means that the subject may be skipped in simulation.

Subject variability is augmented with statement variability. In addition to conditionality in nodes, three features that a scenario author may specify on a computer statement are ‘Jump to another subject’, ‘Early end of scenario’ and ‘End of scenario’.

A ‘jump’ indicates whether it is allowed to jump from this node to another node in a subject in this interleave level. An ‘early end of subject’ indicates that it is allowed to go from this node to a node in one of subjects at the same interleave level and if there are no other subjects in the same interleave, that it is possible to jump to a node in a subject in the next interleave. An ‘end of scenario’ indicates that the scenario is terminated after this statement.

A combination of these features allows for variability and expressiveness in a communication scenario. We compared to Dialoguer {}, Dialogue System {}, Dialogue {}, Simple Dialogue Engine {}, Articy {}, Chatmapper {}. These authoring tools concentrate mostly on the dialogue aspect of a scenario used in entertainment games. They range in functionality from simple tools offering basic dialogue sequences to advanced tools (Articy, Chatmapper) offering virtual characters, locations and a game development environment. These later (advanced) tool however require a programmer to code, for instance score.

Our tool is easily configurable for a developers needs; offers advanced authoring features to a communication domain expert without knowledge of programming and it's output follows a XML schema {} that can be validated.

Date: Feb 29, 2016

communication skill

communication scenario

scenario editor

scenario based simulation

virtual character

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