Façade is an artificial intelligence-based art/research experiment in electronic narrative – an attempt to move beyond traditional branching or hyper-linked narrative to create a fully-realized, one-act interactive drama. Integrating an interdisciplinary set of artistic practices and artificial intelligence technologies, it includes a novel architecture for supporting emotional, interactive character behavior and drama-managed plot. Within this architecture resides a dramatically interesting, real-time 3D virtual world inhabited by computer-controlled characters, in which the player experiences a story from a first-person perspective.


  • Seamless real-time interaction
  • Natural language conversation and gesturing
  • Emotional facial expressions, spoken voice and full-body animation

Artificial Intelligence Techniques

The AI intelligently chooses the next story “beat” based on your moment-by-moment interaction, what story beats have happened so far, and the need to satisfy an overall dramatic arc.  An innovative text parser allows the system to avoid the “I don’t understand” response all too common in text-adventure interactive fiction.  A reactive planner controls the moment-by-moment physical performance of the characters, dynamically combining multiple simultaneous behaviors.

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Façade: An Experiment in Building a Fully-Realized Interactive Drama
Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern
Game Developers Conference, Game Design track, March 2003

Procedural Authorship: A Case-Study Of the Interactive Drama Façade
Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern
Digital Arts and Culture (DAC), Copenhagen, November 2005