Drama managed environment, Intelligent Tutoring System, interactive narrative, User interest
The use of three-dimensional virtual environments in training applications supports the simulation of complex scenarios and realistic object behaviour. While these environments have the potential to provide an advanced training experience to students, it is difficult to design and manage a training session in real time due to the number of parameters to pay attention to: timing of events, difficulty, user’s actions and their consequences or eventualities are some examples. For that purpose, we have extended our virtual Bio-safety Laboratory application used for training biohazard procedures with a Narrative Manager. The Narrative Manager controls the simulation deciding which events will take place in the simulation, and when, by controlling the narrative balance of the session. Our hypothesis is that the Narrative Manager allows us to increase the number of tasks for the user to solve and, due to balancing difficulty and intensity, it keeps the user interested in training. When evaluating our system we observed that the Narrative Manager effectively introduces more tasks for the user to solve, and despite that, is accepted by the users as more interesting and not harder than an identical system without a Narrative Manager. Also, a knowledge test demonstrated better results in users’ interest and learning output in the narrative condition.