Andrew Stern, Michael Mateas: Facade: An Interactive Drama

  • ©, Andrew Stern and Michael Mateas, Facade: An Interactive Drama


    Facade: An Interactive Drama

Artist(s) and People Involved:


Artist Statement:

    Facade is an artificial intelligence-based art/research experiment in electronic narrative – an attempt to move beyond traditional branching or hyper-linked narrative to create a fully-realized, single-act interactive drama. During an evening get-together that quickly turns ugly, you become entangled in the high-conflict dissolution of a marriage.

    This work is unlike hypertext narrative or interactive fiction to date, in that the computer characters actively perform the story without waiting for you to click on a fink or enter a command. Interaction is seamless as you converse in natural language, move and gesture freely within the first-person 3D world of Grace and Trip’s apartment. Al controls Grace and Trip’s personality and behaviour, including emotive facial expressions, spoken voice and full-body animation. Furthermore, the Al intelligently chooses the next story “beat” based on your moment-by-moment interaction, what story beats have happened so far, and the need to satisfy an overall dramatic arc. An innovative text parser allows the system to avoid the “I don’t understand” response all too common in text-adventure interactive fiction.

    Facade is an attempt to create a real-time 3D animated experience akin to being on stage with two Live actors. By the end you have changed the course of Grace and Trip’s lives – providing motivations for you to re-play the drama and find out how your interaction could make things turn out differently.