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Quest Patterns for Story-Based Video Games Open Access


Other title
scripting language
pattern language
pattern catalog
generative design pattern
code generation
video games
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Trenton, Marcus
Supervisor and department
Szafron, Duane (Computing Science)
Examining committee member and department
Szafron, Duane (Computing Science)
Schaeffer, Jonathan (Computing Science)
Carbonaro, Mike (Faculty of Education)
Department of Computing Science

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
As video game designers focus on immersive interactive stories, the number of game object interactions grows exponentially. Most games use manually-programmed scripts to control object interactions, although automated techniques for generating scripts from high-level specifications are being introduced. For example, ScriptEase provides designers with generative patterns that inject commonly-occurring interactions into games. ScriptEase patterns generate scripts for the game Neverwinter Nights. A kind of generative pattern, the quest pattern, generates scripting code controlling the plot in story-based games. I present my additions to the quest pattern architecture (meta quest points and abandonable subquests), a catalogue of quest patterns, and the results of two studies measuring their effectiveness. These studies show that quest patterns are easy-to-use, substantially reduce plot scripting errors, and their catalogue is highly-reusable between games. These studies demonstrate ScriptEase generative quest patterns are a desirable alternative to manual plot scripting in commercial, story-based games.
License granted by Marcus Trenton ( on 2009-08-21T16:22:10Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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