alVRed - Non-Linear Dramaturgy in VR Environments
2001 - 2004, VR/AR Framework of the BMBF

alVRed Final Report (German)

The goal of the alVRed research project was to provide the tools and methods for the realisation of non-linear dramaturgic principles in VR environments. Hence the narrative, design and authoring principles which govern the creation of content for VR environments had to be explored. On the basis of this investigation tools and methods which support creative processes during the development of VR environments were developed.

The spectrum of immersive displays that had to be supported ranges from small desktop systems to large CAVE environments. To achieve this goal the we developed a rule type for VR specific non-linear dramaturgy and an easy-to-use authoring tool for the storyboarding and creation of non-linear scenarios and stories. To facilitate the communication process between author, computer scientist and customer a preview tool and an on-site VR tuning tool were developed within the project too.

Our work had two main focuses: On the one hand a VR Authoring Tool had to be developed as an interface between artists and the realm of computer science. On the other hand principles for the design of VR environments had to be identified and formalised. For this purpose firstly a prototypical VR Authoring Tool was conceived and developed which is based on parallel, hierarchical, directed graphs. Thus even authors without programming skills are enabled to model complex, non-linear scenarios. The XML output of the tool is suitable for the use for a range of target platforms (VR engines, game engines etc.). While the tool prototype developed during the project has a graph based (and hence a by the author mainly anticipated and predetermined) approach for the formal representation and description of non-linear stories, approaches for emergent story development were also investigated within the project.

Secondly knowledge on dramaturgical principles in VR environments for the construction of interactive stories and content design was investigated and newly generated. Existing productions and methods of various digital and non-digital of mainly interactive media were analysed. Further a 'rule type for dramaturgic principles in VR environments' was developed. Thus the results of the survey phase were translated into the formal methods of computer science. This was done exceptionally successful and completely for the domain VR camera which led to the development of an Autonomous Real-Time Camera Agent. To demonstrate the results the tools were used to create a demonstrator production 'Spielräume', which can be visited as a permanent installation in the VR theatre of the Technisches Museum Wien.

Spielräume 1 Spielräume 2