August 14, 2006

IF Thesis Writing Time

by Nick Montfort · , 5:00 pm

I just passed my thesis proposal defense here at Penn, which means I get to research and write “Generating Narrative Variation in Interactive Fiction.”

16 Responses to “IF Thesis Writing Time”

  1. josh g. Says:


  2. andrew Says:

    congrats on the milestone, and working on a very exciting research topic!

  3. Stephen Says:


  4. Jeff Says:

    Congratulations! I look forward to reading it.

  5. Laurie Taylor Says:

    Congratulations! I hope we all get to read excerpts as you write!

  6. Mark M. Says:

    Congratulations, Nick. We know it’s going to be excellent work. Anxiously awating!

  7. scott Says:

    Congrats, Nick. I’m glad you found a topic you’ll enjoy writing about, and that your committee also found it relevant to your course of study.

  8. Fox Harrell Says:

    Congratulations on reaching this milestone. Your presentation at the AAAI workshop was great and I cannot wait to see how your work develops. I wonder to what degree the work that you do will be “interactive fiction” specific and to what other application areas, and in what ways, it generalizes. I also wonder to what degree generalizability is/should be considered a desirable goal for you, since you have a great passion for interactive fiction as a genre.

    Best wishes, I look forward to exciting developments.

  9. Kim Says:

    Congrats on the confirmation… should be a hoot… I’m ont he same journey, just got started a few months before you… look forward to seeing snippets of your work as it evolves.

  10. Ian Bogost Says:

    You start to congratulate Nick Montfort. You apply force to Nick Montfort. You congratulate Nick Montfort.

  11. nick Says:

    Thanks, everyone! I’m looking forward to the rest of the work on this dissertation project, and to where it will lead in terms of future IF projects. I have more system-building work ahead of me, some IF writing to do, some evaluation of the system’s abilities, and at least some additional theorizing on the connections between IF and narratology – all of which should be enjoyable and rewarding.

    Fox, I do hope that the specific question I’m investigating in an IF framework is one of more general interest. That question – how can a computer automatically narrate underlying events in different ways? – seems quite relevant to all sorts of other systems: mobile robots that model what they’ve done and seen (and that need to relate these things to people), training exercises done in simulation, sports commentary, customized and contextualized news stories, reporting on network activity, and so on. I am particularly interested in IF, but also in other literary and aesthetic systems: story generators, narrative poetry generators, virtual environments and interactive dramas in which non-player characters might want to tell stories. Generalizing the Narrator module of my system won’t be part of my dissertation work, but I’m certainly hoping that it tells us something general to narrative and is useful in other contexts.

  12. Jason Scott Says:

    (Fist pumping in air)

  13. mary Says:

    i read that post by jason as “fist pimping in air” and thought of our blog name and well, all kinds of weird stuff. Anyway, Congrats nick!! i’m glad you’ve hulahooped this far, its a short spin to the finish. (I’m lying). looking forward to seeing you in person in oct!

  14. Jeremy Says:

    Congratulations Nick!

    Good luck, onward and upward, etc. etc… and don’t forget when the nights get long that you have future readers excited to see it when it is done.

  15. Matt K. Says:


  16. Ivo Swartjes Says:

    Very interesting research subject! This distinction between content and representation, the modeling of content and generation of fluent textual descriptions based on the content is also one I am considering in my PhD research at the University of Twente. I feel less alone now :-) Very much looking forward to your ideas and results.

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