What Makes Characters Seem Life-Like
What are the qualities that make characters seem life-like to the people who interact with them? Based on experience creating and evaluating dozens of interactive characters during the past decade, I suggest that characters seem more life-like when they are made to seem: conversational, intelligent, individual, social, empathic, variable, and coherent. In this chapter, I briefly describe five illustrative characters to ground the discussion of life-like qualities: Improv Puppets, Erin the Bartender, Jack the Canine Web Site Host, Katherine the Interactive Newscaster, and STAR Workshops featuring Coach Harmony and Role-Play Partners Nina and Ed. I then describe each of the life-like qualities in terms of behavioral features, attempt to rationalize them intuitively with reference to human behavior, and illustrate them with reference to the behavior of the illustrative characters. I conclude by proposing a variation on the Turing Test to evaluate the degree to which a character seems life-like.
KeywordsBody Language Interactive Character Personal Question Target Skill Conversation Topic
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 2.Hayes-Roth, B.: Improvisational puppets, actors, and avatars. In: Proceedings of the Computer Game Developers’ Conference (1996)Google Scholar
- 3.Hayes-Roth, B.: Mask and cyber mask. In: Proceedings of the Computer Game Developers’ Conference (1997)Google Scholar
- 4.Hayes-Roth, B.: What is a virtual person Not just a pretty face! In: Proceedings of the SIGGRAPH Conference, Los Angeles (2001)Google Scholar
- 6.Hayes-Roth, B., Maldonado, H., Moraes, M.: Multi-cultural agents for a multicultural world. In: Proceedings of the Imagina Conference on Media and Technology, Monte Carlo (2002)Google Scholar
- 7.Hayes-Roth, B., van Gent, R.: Story-making with improvisational puppets. In: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Autonomous Agents, Los Angeles (1997)Google Scholar
- 8.Hayes-Roth, B., van Gent, R., Huber, D.: Acting in character. In: Creating Personalities for Synthetic Actors, ed Trappl, R., Petta, P. ( Springer, Berlin New York 1998 )Google Scholar
- 9.Huard, R., Hayes-Roth, B.: Character mastery with improvisational puppets. In: Proceedings of the IJCAI Workshop on Animated Interface Agents, Nagoya, Japan (1997)Google Scholar
- 10.Isbister, K., Hayes-Roth, B.: Social implications of interactive characters. In: AAAI Workshop on Intelligent Agents, Seattle, WA (1998). White Paper available on request.Google Scholar
- 11.Johnstone, K.: IMPRO: Improvisation and the theater ( Routledge, New York 1992 )Google Scholar
- 12.Thomas, F., Johnston, O.: Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life ( Abbeville Press, New York 1981 )Google Scholar