This paper describes the creation of an authoring system for an interactive kiosk. They are dealing with having to script animated characters that interact with the user. Part of the paper is occupied with describing the behaviors of the characters and the philosophy around how the story works and how to draw users into the experience. the other part of the paper talks about a design for the authoring system.
The authoring system is divided into two sections, a script and scene flow tool and a content management tool for populating scenes with content.
User interaction in the system limited to feedback to the acting agents on their performance (applause, boo), asking for help, and absence and presence detection. Because of this, elapsed time of user interactions is not a difficult issue.
Acting agents are able to take on different "personalities" and are influenced by their roles in the scenario and the issues that they are talking about.
The scene flow section of the system is a series of cascaded finite state machines that are linked in a graph structure. What is interesting about this is the way the "exit" from nodes or "edges" between nodes can be defined. Three types of edges or exits are possible: interrupt, conditional, and probabilistic. This is something that could be applied to a cue list or timeline. Another thing that is interesting about this is that it represents a graphical way to define sequence on a more course level than a timeline, and in a more visual way than a cue list. There should be a way to translate from cue list to timeline to graph structure.
Another interesting abstraction is the categorization of events into four types based on the timing of the event: concurrent, blocking, time-out, and interruption.