Bachelor's Thesis

Authoring for Dialogue in Video Games


Katja Neuwald

Processing Period:

17.06.2010 - 30.09.2010


In recent years, the focus of game developers has shifted from graphics and gameplay to narrative elements in games, specifically dialogue. Since the content creation process for video game dialogue has been neglected for many years before and has hardly been focused on in scientific research either, a lack of commercial authoring software to support game writers ensued. This thesis examines the role of narrative in video games, differentiating basic dialogue systems and their application in state‐of‐the‐art titles before analyzing available authoring solutions for related fields of work like screenwriting. Based on this groundwork as well as stakeholder and task analyses, a well‐rounded conceptual approach towards the creation of a comprehensive authoring solution for video game dialogue, designed to bridge the gap between writing and programming, is presented. The proposed solution combines the advantages of both graphical and textual authoring approaches to form a hybrid that allows an intuitive writing process, requiring no technical understanding on the writer’s part, as well as easy and fast changes to the dialogue structure. A rich number of features enable the authoring task to be well embedded in the game development process as a whole.

Keywords: video games, dialogue systems, authoring tools, narrative elements