Simulation meets Hollywood: Integrating Graphics, Sound, Story and Character for Immersive Simulation

TitleSimulation meets Hollywood: Integrating Graphics, Sound, Story and Character for Immersive Simulation
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsSwartout, W., J. Gratch, R. Hill, E. Hovy, R. Lindheim, S. Marsella, J. Rickel, and D. R. Traum
Book TitleMultimodal Intelligent Information Presentation
Series TitleText, Speech and Language Technology
VolumeVol. 27

The Institute for Creative Technologies was created at the University of Southern California with the goal of bringing together researchers in simulation technology to collaborate with people from the entertainment industry. The idea was that much more compelling simulations could be developed if researchers who understood state-of-the-art simulation technology worked together with writers and directors who knew how to create compelling stories and characters.
This paper presents our first major effort to realize that vision, the Mission Rehearsal Exercise Project, which confronts a soldier trainee with the kinds of dilemmas he might reasonably encounter in a peacekeeping operation. The trainee is immersed in a synthetic world and interacts with virtual humans: artificially intelligent and graphically embodied conversational agents that understand and generate natural language, reason about world events and respond appropriately to the trainee's actions or
commands. This project is an ambitious exercise in integration, both in the sense of integrating technology with entertainment industry content, but also in that we have also joined a number of component technologies that have not been integrated before. This integration has not only raised new research issues, but it has also suggested some new approaches to difficult problems. In this paper we describe the Mission Rehearsal Exercise system and the insights gained through this large-scale integration.