Considering Authorial Liberty in Adaptive Interactive Narratives

Thomas Anthony Pedersen*, Tilde Højgård Jensen, Vladislav Zenkevic, Henrik Schoenau-Fog, Luis Emilio Bruni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


This article addresses the question of how much freedom an author (or a system) could be given to adapt a narrative in real-time to a potential recipient (i.e. the degrees of freedom of the author/system). While one focus in current research on adaptive storytelling is automation using artificial intelligence, we argue that the core concept of adaptive storytelling needs further development before it can be suitably implemented in an automated system. As such, we present the idea of the Authorial Liberty Continuum, as an authoring tool to help specify the degrees, and form, of adaptability to be provided to an Author (be it a person or a system) of a given adaptive narrative. The continuum ranges from a very limited freedom (e.g. very deterministic possibilities of change – resembling the capabilities of a drama manager), to full freedom (e.g. full control to adapt everything – resembling the power of a game master). To explore the capabilities of this model as a framework for designing adaptive real-time interactive narratives, an exemplary system of such has been implemented, which allows a human agent (aka the Author) to insert elements into the experience in real-time, and thus execute small changes to the narrative. This working novel prototype showed that the perception of the events in an adaptive real-time interactive narrative varies from the real-time Author to the Recipient. This makes it difficult to foresee which elements an Author should be able to adapt, to attain a specific position on the continuum. We believe that these results warrant further exploration of the Authorial Liberty Continuum, in order to determine how varying points on this continuum might be classified.

Translated title of the contributionOvervejelse af Forfatterfrihed i Adapterende Interaktive Narrativer
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtsIT, Interactivity and Game Creation : Creative Heritage. New Perspectives from Media Arts and Artificial Intelligence. 10th EAI International Conference, ArtsIT 2021, Virtual Event, December 2-3, 2021, Proceedings
EditorsMatthias Wölfel, Johannes Bernhardt, Sonja Thiel
Number of pages8
Publication date10 Feb 2022
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-95530-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-95531-1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2022
Event10th EAI International Conference: ArtsIT, Interactivity and Game Creation: Creative Heritage. New Perspectives from Media Arts and Artificial Intelligence - Virtual Event
Duration: 2 Dec 20213 Dec 2021
Conference number: 10


Conference10th EAI International Conference: ArtsIT, Interactivity and Game Creation
LocationVirtual Event
Internet address
SeriesLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering (LNICST)


  • Adaptive
  • Adaptive storytelling
  • Adaptive storyworlds
  • Authorial liberty continuum
  • Digital narrative
  • Drama manager
  • Events
  • Game master
  • Interactive
  • Narrative
  • Narrative theory
  • Narratology
  • Real-time


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