The Virtual Storyteller




Related documents


Authoring blog



Once upon a time there was a student...

This is how the story of the Virtual Storyteller begins. It all started with a student who wanted to create a system that could not just tell existing stories, but actually produce new stories all by itself. Increasingly advanced versions of the Virtual Storyteller have been developed over the years, with contributions from several HMI staff and students. The result is a sophisticated multi-agent story generation system in which intelligent agents carry out goal-oriented behaviour, thus creating the content for a story that is then narrated in natural language (or comics as an alternative presentation medium). There is also an interactive version of the system, in which the user(s) can control one or more characters through a graphical interface.

The story continues

Although the Virtual Storyteller is no longer actively maintained, it has been an inspiration for the research on storytelling by Alejandro Catala and others in the Cobotnity project, which involves moving robots for interactive storytelling with children.

We have also investigated storytelling in the context of serious games for social interaction training, as part of the COMMIT project Interaction for Universal Access.

YouTube icon Watch a video of our first serious game prototype on YouTube

About these web pages

On these pages you can find all scientific publications on the Virtual Storyteller, all technical reports and student papers, and all PhD and MSc theses. These include the PhD thesis by Ivo Swartjes (2010) offering an in-depth description of the system (non-interactive version), as well as insightful discussions of emergent narrative, improvisational theatre and other approaches that have inspired the work on the Virtual Storyteller. More information on authoring for the Virtual Storyteller can be found at the authoring blog, created for the authoring workshop at the ICIDS 2009.


Video of children playing with the Interactive Storyteller:

Watch a video explaining the architecture and concepts of the Virtual Storyteller here:

For more information, contact MariŽt Theune.


The Virtual Storyteller in the news (May-June 2010):