Online multiplayer gaming has emerged as a popular form of entertainment.· During these games, the players’ main focus is usually placed on achieving the objectives that must be completed to win the game.· While these tasks may be of the primary interest to the players, over the course of the game their interactions may result in interesting narratives that go unnoticed.· This may be due to the imperfect information that a player has access to or it may be a result of a player’s focus on his or her achieving the goals of the game.· Afterthought is a system that allows players to view these emergent narratives after completing their gameplay session.· The tool accomplishes this using a pipeline approach involving:

  • logging the actions that occur during the play of the game
  • analyzing the log and retrieving interesting narratives
  • generating the cinematic discourse for visualization
  • rendering the videos of the narratives
  • uploading the videos to a video sharing site so that they are easily viewable by all participants

Team members

Afterthought publications

Dominguez, Michael, Automatic Identification and Generation of Highlight Cinematics in 3D Games, Masters’ thesis, Department of Computer Science, NC State University, February, 2010.  [pdf]

Afterthought video or image files

Videos below show a sample capture the flag game session where a user races from his home base to the other team’s base, grabs the flag and returns it successfully to his home base.  Along the way, he encounters a number of opposing team members and defeats them in combat.  The videos below show a) an overhead view of the game session as a whole, b) the raw first person view of the player’s activity as he saw it during game play and c) a highlight cinematic created by Afterthought.  The game play recorded was produced by a human user unaware of the processing that Afterthought would subsequently perform, and all camera control in the highlight video — edits, transitions, camera shot selection — was produced entirely by Afterthought.

Overhead video Overhead video
Raw video Raw video
Afterthought highlight Afterthought’s highlight video

Afterthought in the news

None available.

Afterthought software

Please contact R. Michael Young (young at

Afterthought sponsors

Afterthought was an unsponsored research project.