The recent International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) 2023 in Kobe, Japan, featured groundbreaking research from LoGaCulture project researchers, highlighting their prowess in digital storytelling. Here’s a snapshot of the notable contributions of LoGaCulture’s researchers David Millard, Jessica L. Bitter, Ulrike Spierling, Mads Haahr, Valentina Nisi and Nuno Jardim Nunes. 

Awash: Prospective Story Sifting for Emergent Narrative, by Benjamin Clothier and David Millard.  
Addressing the challenge of balancing agency and narrative in Emergent Narrative (EN) gaming, Clothier and Millard proposed a prospective story-sifting intervention embedded in the pirate-themed EN game Awash. The innovative approach enhances narrative completeness without compromising emergent narrative aesthetics. 

As If They Were Here: Impact of Volumetric Video in AR Storytelling, by Jessica L. Bitter, Noura Kräuter and Ulrike Spierling
Bitter, Kräuter and Spierling, alongside Noura Kräuter, explored the effects of volumetrically filmed 3D characters on audience presence in immersive AR narratives. Their study provided nuanced insights into spatial and social presence, comparing 3D characters to 2D video holograms. 

Towards Procedural Generation of Narrative Puzzles for Open World Games, by Sam Davern and Mads Haahr 
Haahr, from Trinity College Dublin, collaborated with Davern to examine the interaction between narrative puzzles and navigation aids in open-world games. The study’s framework sheds light on how information provided by navigation aids impacts puzzle complexity, influencing game design considerations. 

Lovecraftian Horror in Story-Driven Games: Design Challenges and Solutions, by Mads Haahr 
Haahr delved into the challenges of infusing Lovecraftian horror into narrative-driven games. The paper explored the intricate balance needed to authentically capture the genre’s essence in games by identifying six narrative design challenges and proposing solutions. 

Inclusive Digital Storytelling: AI and AR for Marginalized Communities, by Valentina Nisi, Stuart James, Paulo Bala, Alessio Del Bue, and Nuno Jardim Nunes 
Nisi and Nunes, from the Interactive Technologies Institute in Portugal, presented on the MEMEX tool, integrating AI and AR; their work aims to bridge the digital divide by including marginalised communities in the evolving landscape of digital storytelling. 

What Really Happened Here?, by Jonathan Barbara and Mads Haahr
In their paper, Barbara and Haahr tackled the complex narrative representation of uncertain cultural heritage. They delved into critical historiography, focusing on the VR Interactive Narrative, “The Book of Distance.” The paper provides a meticulous analysis of how uncertainty can be effectively portrayed through re-enactment, offering suggestions for enhancing similar experiences in the future. 

On the Interactions Between Narrative Puzzles and Navigation Aids in Open World Games, by Sam Davern & Mads Haahr
Building on the theme of narrative puzzles in open-world video games, Davern and Haahr explored the intricate relationship between narrative puzzles and navigation aids. Through case studies of three different games, they dissected how the level of information provided by navigation aids influences puzzle intricacy and expansiveness. The paper concludes with discussions on design implications and potential future analytical applications. 

Alice Dali MR: A Mixed Reality Interactive Narrative Experience, by Svetlana Rudenko, Xiangpeng Fu, and Mads Haahr 
This late-breaking work introduced the cutting-edge concept of Alice Dali Mixed Reality (MR), a unique blend of music, art, and narrative in an interactive format. The project, resembling a surrealist painting, positions the audience in a liminal space between the real and the unreal. The authors detailed three interactive scenes performed for the Meta Quest Pro headset, demonstrating the potential for family entertainment, intergenerational play, the music industry, and music art therapy in rehabilitation programs. 

In summary, LoGaCulture researchers showcased various topics at ICIDS 2023, emphasising their commitment to excellence in digital storytelling. From enhancing emergent narratives to exploring volumetric video, procedural generation of puzzles, Lovecraftian horror, and inclusive storytelling, their work contributes significantly to the evolving landscape of interactive digital narratives.