story was designed specifically for an
interactive space using perceptual input. This
page lists some of our design decisions and some
of the observations we made about writing
interactive stories for children as we
implemented the system.
- The primary mode of
perceptual feedback is rich sound and
- Graphics and animations
are limited to simple, 2-D storybook
- The KidsRoom enhances a
real physical space instead of creating a
- The room only responds to
large body actions.
- Characters stay consistent
throughout the story.
- The children are
encouraged to work collaboratively.
- Sensor constraints are
built into the story in a natural way.
- The only object is a
- The perceptual systems
should fail gracefully.
- A working exploratory
space is difficult to achieve by a system
that must rely on computational
algorithms for processing perceptual
input. The KidsRoom story was forced to
be primarily linear.
- Children must always be
clear of the current task.
- Group activity is very
different than individual activity.
- The story must take into
account the childrens behavioral
- Sensor lag makes
exploratory spaces difficult.
- Children require
- Whispered hints provide a
natural (and required) method of
- People are very sensitive
to timing, which is tricky to tune well
when multiple scenerios must be
- Narrative segments should
be short, permitting better system
- Every story decision point
must have several backup narrations in
addition to a final narration for
"move-on anyway" situations.
- The story should not
violate reasonable expectations or set up
expectations the perceptual system
- With multiple people in
the space, determining causality is
- When the system does
understand something about the
rooms environment, it should be
certain to convey that to the rooms
participants through the story.
Dont waste information.
- A short design cycle is
required between narrative programming
and narrative writing/recording/editing.
- The segment most like a
video game was one of the most popular.
- Methods for incorporating
non-repetitive narration and hints should
be designed into the story.
Note: For more detail on each
point, see the KidsRoom paper cited in the Info section.