Guy Gadney from to deliver interactive storytelling masterclass at SAE Oxford

09 Jan 2020

On Tuesday 28 January, SAE Oxford will welcome CEO, Guy Gadney for an SAE Extra masterclass titled 'It's alive! When interactive characters talk back'.

The masterclass will take place from 1.30 - 3.30 pm, and in it Guy will explore the ways in which has been adopted by various games and television producers to create new forms of storytelling. 

If you’ve seen the Black Mirror episode, Bandersnatch, then you’ll understand the principles of interactive storytelling that underpin the ethos. gives audiences the ability to talk to characters and build relationships with them, and has the potential for users to create stories which adapt and react to audiences. 

Guy said: “AI is already impacting productions across film, television, games and audio. From reducing the age of Pacino, De Niro and Pesci in The Irishman, through to automatically generating symphonies to deepfake actors and voices online - all of these would not be possible without recent advances in artificial intelligence. But how can this new technology be used to create new forms of media? is a platform that generates interactive stories - alongside writers - which puts audiences inside the story to create immersive interactive stories. Our view is that everything starts with a good story and builds from there.” combines natural language processing techniques with storytelling structures from the entertainment industries, and game theory to give its users a real sense of immersion into every experience built on the platform.

SAE Oxford Animation lecturer Aidan Coughlan said: “Typically, Game AI had been using the same core principles for decades, path finding and finite state machine. This is a simplistic model for creating behaviours for "non-playable characters" (NPC's) in games. The reason for using such a primitive construct for NPC's is because in most story based games, it is important for developers to know what players will experience. The really exciting thing about what offers is a more natural / expansive and less clunky interaction with NPC's due to their work in this field. Having played with the core functionality of their system, I can confidently say that interactive experiences with non-playable content will improve exponentially through the use of AI systems such as's."

Guy’s masterclass will discuss when characters come to life using AI, as well as new production methods for interactive TV and how he anticipates AI will disrupt games and TV storytelling. During the talk, Guy will also offer up some of his top tips for designing interactive stories, and explain why storytellers should be listening to Alexa. 

Guy said: “This presentation will give insights into what we’ve discovered along the way, from working on soap operas to Sherlock, and romance to serial killers. I'll talk about our focus on television, and on graphic novels, and why we see these two mediums as best suited for adaptation into interactive formats.” 

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Register to attend the event at SAE Oxford on 28 January here.