2009 AIIDE Behavior Architecture N. Desai and D. Szafron, Descriptions - a viable choice for video game authors, Proceedings of the Sixth international Conference on Digital Games (FDG), Bordeau, France, June, 2011, 268-270. abstract or pdf.

Modern video game development activities have become as specialized as movie-making activites. Gifted story-writers, artists, and animators have replaced programmers in most content creation activities. However, there is still one area where computer programmers play a big role. Stories, characters, and events are still controlled by scripts that are written in C-like languages. Therefore, scripting the video game content usually requires a high level of programming knowledge. Some scripting is simple, such as specifying specific game objects. However, in order to take advantage of knowledge learned during game play, authors need to be able to specify dynamic game objects. This often requires authors to create complex definitions, which are composed of a series of variable assignments in programming languages. In this paper, we show how these definitions can be replaced by a more natural mechanism, which we call descriptions. We also present the results of a user study that shows that authors with no programming skills can use descriptions more effectively than definitions and that the authors prefer descriptions.