A Framework for Multi-participant Narratives Based on Multiplayer Game Interactions

  • Callum SpawforthEmail author
  • David E. Millard
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10690)


Multi-participant Interactive Narratives have the potential for novel types of story and experiences, but there is no framework to show what is possible, and therefore no description of what types of multi-participant narrative could exist. In this paper, we attempt to build such a framework by first considering the core characteristics of interactions in multiplayer games, and then considering how those might be used to define different types of multi-participant narrative. Our framework is based on a systematic analysis of 56 interactions across 17 multiplayer games, resulting in 9 distinguishing characteristics. We then validate this framework by applying it to 3 novel multiplayer games, showing that it successfully captures the player interactions, although some higher level design decisions are missed. Finally, we demonstrate that novel premises for multi-participant narratives can be constructed from these characteristics. Our work provides a foundation for considering the types of multi-participant narrative that are possible.


Multi-participant narrative Multiplayer games Interactions 


  1. 1.
    Cavazza, M., Charles, F., Mead, S.J.: Character-based interactive storytelling. IEEE Intell. Syst. 17(4), 17–24 (2002)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ciarlini, A.E.M., Pozzer, C.T., Furtado, A.L., Feijó, B.: A logic-based tool for interactive generation and dramatization of stories. In: ACE 2005, pp. 133–140. ACM, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mateas, M., Stern, A.: Facade: an experiment in building a fully-realized interactive drama. In: Game Developers Conference, vol. 2 (2003)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Riedl, M.O., Young, R.M.: An intent-driven planner for multi-agent story generation. In: AAMAS 2004, pp. 186–193. IEEE Computer Society, Washington D.C. (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fairclough, C., Cunningham, P.: A multiplayer case based story engine. Technical report, Department of Computer Science, Trinity College Dublin (2003)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Peinado, F., Gervás, P.: Transferring game mastering laws to interactive digital storytelling. In: Göbel, S., Spierling, U., Hoffmann, A., Iurgel, I., Schneider, O., Dechau, J., Feix, A. (eds.) TIDSE 2004. LNCS, vol. 3105, pp. 48–54. Springer, Heidelberg (2004). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bernstein, M.: Card shark and thespis: exotic tools for hypertext narrative. In: ACM HYPERTEXT 2001, pp. 41–50. ACM, New York (2001)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Spawforth, C., Millard, D.E.: Multiplayer games as a template for multiplayer narratives: a case study with dark souls. In: ACM Hypertext (2017)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rocha, J.B., Mascarenhas, S., Prada, R.: Game mechanics for cooperative games. ZON Digital Games 2008, pp. 72–80 (2008)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Reuter, C., Wendel, V., Göbel, S., Steinmetz, R.: Game design patterns for collaborative player interactions. In: Proceedings of DiGRA (2014)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
    Zagal, J.P., Nussbaum, M., Rosas, R.: A model to support the design of multiplayer games. Presence Teleoper. Virtual Environ. 9(5), 448–462 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Seif El-Nasr, M., Aghabeigi, B., Milam, D., Erfani, M., Lameman, B., Maygoli, H., Mah, S.: Understanding and evaluating cooperative games. In: CHI 2010, pp. 253–262. ACM, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Manninen, T.: Interaction forms in multiplayer desktop virtual reality games. In: VRIC 2002 Conference, vol. 223, p. 232 (2002)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Manninen, T.: Rich interaction in the context of networked virtual environments – experiences gained from the multi-player games domain. In: Blandford, A., Vanderdonckt, J., Gray, P. (eds.) People and Computers XV – Interaction without Frontiers, pp. 383–398. Springer, London (2001). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Genette, G.: Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Cornell University Press, Ithaca (1983)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Fendt, M.W., Harrison, B., Ware, S.G., Cardona-Rivera, R.E., Roberts, D.L.: Achieving the illusion of agency. In: Oyarzun, D., Peinado, F., Young, R.M., Elizalde, A., Méndez, G. (eds.) ICIDS 2012. LNCS, vol. 7648, pp. 114–125. Springer, Heidelberg (2012). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Millard, D.E., Hargood, C., Jewell, M.O., Weal, M.J.: Canyons, deltas and plains. In: ACM Hypertext 2013, pp. 109–118 (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

Personalised recommendations