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Summer 2010 | First-Person RPG | Windows | OS X

Improviso is a game about ACTING! Players are paired online as the Lead Actor and Director of a low-budget science fiction movie. The Lead Actor plays the role of Ted, a reporter trying to get his big break with a cover story about the government's alien cover-up. The Director selects scenes, chooses the soundtrack, summons special effects, and controls the supporting cast: the Scientist, the Alien, the Government Agent, and the Little Girl. Players work together to dramatize three short scenes taking place in Area 51, a crashed spaceship, and a wilderness camp site. The chat log encourages performances with Oscar-worthy dialogue, and a point-and-click interface enables actors to interact with numerous props, change costumes, and even play dead!

Research Statement

Improviso is a multiplayer game which pairs players anonymously online to dramatize a story together -- a story about an encounter with an alien. Our research question is two-fold, with a short- and long-term goal. In the short term, Improviso explores how the user interface and framing of a game can lead ordinary players to engage in dramatic improv, even if they have no prior experience acting or storytelling. The longer term goal is to train an AI system with data collected from thousands of people telling stories together with the same characters, sets, and props. Once trained, this AI system will be able to play the role of one or more characters that can converse and interact with other AI- or human-controlled characters. This project builds on AI research developed for The Restaurant Game project, and will demonstrate that the system generalizes to new scenarios. Improviso is a collaboration between GAMBIT and the MIT Media Lab.

Go to Websitefor Windows

Go to Websitefor Macintosh OS X

Minimum System Requirements

Macintosh OS X (10.1 or greater) or Windows 7/Vista/2000/XP

  • OpenGL or DirectX Compatible 3D Graphics Accelerator
  • Screenshots
    MIT Tech TV
    Gameplay Trailer
    MIT Tech TV
    Game Trailer

    Research Video (from Game of the Week Podcast, 2011)

    Jeff Orkin
    Product Owner

    Andrew Grant
    Game Director

    Lee Xuanyun Calista

    Alexis Brownell
    QA Lead

    Elson Soh

    David Kenyon

    Glenn Marcel

    Muhammad Firman (fireman)

    Haw Shijun

    Muhammad Khadafi

    Sharon Kho Chia Wen
    Audio Designer

    Tynan Smith

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