Julius Krüger
Supervisor:Prof. Gudrun Klinker, Ph.D.
Advisor:Daniel Dyrda, M.Sc.
Submission Date:15.05.2020


Humans have been telling each other stories for a long time and one important aspect of storytelling has always been emotion. With modern technology we are now able to tell interactive stories in which the recipient becomes an active participant of the story. Video games are one application for interactive storytelling. We will review their storytelling capabilities and explore why emotions are an important aspect of video games and their narratives.

We propose an emotion engine that allows game components to react to events in an emotionally believable way and allows the author to convey the desired emotional meaning of the story to the player through the game's representation. The emotion engine uses an emotion model that is based on the emotion theories by different researchers as well as on computational models of emotion.

Project Description

This thesis aims to lay the theoretical foundation for an emotion engine and an emotion model for use in the interactive storytelling components in video games.

The thesis:

  • explains the importance of emotions for video games as well as interactive storytelling.
  • examines the storytelling devices used by video games.
  • examines different theories on human emotion (Discrete Emotion Theory, Dimensional Emotion Theory, Appraisal Theory of Emotion).
  • examines how emotion theories have been implemented as computational models of emotion.
  • proposes an emotion model for video games.
  • proposes an emotion engine that helps emphasize the emotional content of a narrative and keep the narrative emotionally coherent.


The theoretical groundwork for a model of emotion for use in interactive storytelling in video games was proposed. The model is based on the appraisal theory of emotion as well as several computational emotion models. It features ten emotions and can be used by different actors/components we find in video games to elicit an emotional response.

Further, the theoretical foundation for an emotion engine that allows for emotionally coherent and believable characters and can further emphasize the emotional content of the narrative was proposed.


Kickoff Presentation:

Final Presentation: