BunCho – A Scenario Creation Support AI to Assist in Game and Novel Creation (Part 2)

Evolving an AI to be Encompass All Tenets of Writing
Interviewer & Japanese Writer: Yamamoto Takaya; Translation & Editing: Matthew Cherry

Oosone Hiroyuki was hard at work developing BunCho, a scenario creation support AI that generates titles, synopses, bodies of text, phrases, and more just by entering a few keywords. To upgrade this technology to the next level, he decided to apply for the 2020 INNO-vation Program’s Disruptive Challenge, where he was selected to be a challenger.

(Click here to read Part 1)

BunCho still lacked a few features at this point, mainly one that could generate plot lines. By creating a function that could generate synopses and work hard on creating unique and contained plot lines, the AI could be used as a guide to make the writing process smoother overall. Through the support of the INNO-vation Program, Oosone was able to collaborate with a crowd-sourcing firm to aid with the creation of detailed plot lines using synopses as a base.

The feature works by plugging in an existing synopsis. The AI then starts working on generating key parts of a plot line, particularly, who appears, where it takes place, and what events the characters will encounter. As an example, consider the synopsis: “A hero has a dream that his friend is killed by an evil king and he sets off to slay the king to change the future.” The AI can then generate a plotline using those keywords, with a flow looking like “A hero awakens in an unfamiliar room,” “He finds himself in a completely new world,” “He quickly realizes he doesn’t know anyone there,” and “He thinks to himself, ‘Where is this place?’”. In this way, the technology constantly refers back to previously generated plot lines in order to smoothly write the basics of a novel.

Oosone wasn’t just working on supporting the writing process during his time in the INNO-vation Program. BunCho’s database can be inserted into the game engine Unity to create visual novels. By feeding a simple story into BunCho, it can generate the setting, as well as drawings of the characters and backgrounds. It also includes a self-analyzing feature, allowing it to increase and decrease the parameters surrounding player affinity and stamina based on the events in the game. For example, if a character lays down to rest on a tree stump, the technology can recognize this as a recovery spot and heal the character.

An AI relay novel function suggests continuations in the storyline.

An AI relay novel function suggests continuations in the storyline.

“I think I’ve reached about 70 percent of what I envisioned before starting my time in the INNO-vation Program. That being said, there’s still an issue remaining where the sentences generated by the AI can sometimes contradict earlier parts of the plot,” Oosone said, reflecting on his development period during the program.

In Part 3, we’ll inquire about Oosone’s work after his time in the INNO-vation Program.

Continued in Part 3 (Coming February 7th, 2023)

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