Anne M. Sullivan

UC Santa Cruz

School of Engineering

Expressive Intelligence Studio




anne (at)






About Me

cv (pdf)





Research Topics

I am a PhD student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, working in the Expressive Intelligence Studio with Michael Mateas and Noah Wardrip-Fruin.


The Grail Framework - Quest Generation

Computer role-playing games (CRPGs) are known for their strong narrative structure. Over time, quests have become one of the main mechanics for leading a player through the story. Quests are given to the player in the form of a set of tasks to complete with few, if any, options. The options given to the player instead often revolve around combat-oriented actions – requiring the player to engage in combat to progress through the storyline, despite player preference or game story that hints otherwise. We address this issue with the Grail Framework, a system incorporating design-time and run-time components which enables quests and multiple actions for the player based on their history and the current world state.

Grail Framework Publications


Drama/Experience Management

My masters work focused on a game world entitled EMPath. The project involved integrating a drama management system into a top-down adventure style game similar to the original Zelda. In the past, most drama management work has been focused on theoretical worlds, with some work showing Drama Management functionality within an Interactive Fiction game. Our work showed that Drama Management is useful in a more mainstream style of game. We ran user studies with 50 people (20 pilot tests) which resulted in very promising data.

DM Publications