Call for Participation

The 17th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE-21) is the latest in an annual series of international conferences on intelligent systems in entertainment. AIIDE-21 is a meeting place for AI researchers and practitioners from all backgrounds to discuss the latest advances and contemporary issues in AI for games, training simulations, tutoring systems, and related areas. We invite researchers, developers, and digital artists to participate by submitting papers, posters, artifacts, and playable experiences. AIIDE-21 will also feature invited speakers, panels, workshops, and a doctoral consortium. The conference is sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

Due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, AIIDE-21 will be a virtual conference this year. We look forward to meeting in-person in 2022.

Important Dates

All deadlines are 11:59 PM anywhere in the world (UTC-12) in the year 2021.

Workshop Proposals April 2

Workshop Notifications April 30

Research Paper Abstract Deadline June 7

All Papers, Demos, and Playable Experiences Deadline June 14

Doctoral Consortium Deadline July 5

Initial Reviews Released July 5

Author Response Due July 12

Acceptance Notifications July 19

Camera-Ready Deadline August 2

Artifact Evaluation Deadline August 13

Artifact Evaluation Notifications August 30

AIIDE 2021 Workshops October 11 - 12

AIIDE 2021 Main Conference October 13 - 15

Please submit all papers, demonstrations, and playable experiences on EasyChair.

Topics of Interest

This is a non-comprehensive list of topics of interest to AIIDE:

  • AI in Games for Entertainment

  • AI for Education and Educational Games

  • Serious Games/Games for Change

  • Intelligent Training and Intelligent Tutoring Systems

  • AI-Enabled Authoring Tools

  • AI for Design and Production

  • Mixed Initiative Tools

  • Procedural Content Generation

  • Believable Virtual Agents

  • AI for Interactive Narratives/Experience Management

  • Computational Models of Narrative

  • AI for Level Design

  • Player Modeling and Analytics

  • Procedural Animation and Expressive Motion

  • Intelligent Cinematography

  • Computational Creativity

  • AI in Artistic Performance

  • Evaluation Methodologies and User Studies

  • Culturally-Situated Entertainment AI

  • Ethics of AI and Entertainment

  • Heuristic Search and Planning

  • Pathfinding and Path Planning

  • Machine Learning and Reinforcement Learning in Games

  • Multi-Agent Systems in Games

  • Natural Language Processing in Games

  • Robots in Entertainment

  • Interactive Installations

  • Crowd-Sourcing and Citizen Science

  • AI in Virtual and Mixed Realities

Call for Papers

Work presented at AIIDE-21 crosses disciplinary boundaries, so submissions will be evaluated based on their contribution type. We have two tracks for papers in the main program: Research and Practitioner. All paper should be submitted via EasyChair.

Matthew Guzdial has written a unofficial but helpful guide on how to write an AIIDE paper that many authors, especially new authors, may find helpful.

Research Track

Research track papers describe AI research results that establish new entertainment AI challenges, make advances on existing problems, enable new forms of interactive digital entertainment, or use AI to improve the game design and development process.

Research track papers are held to the highest standards of academic rigor. Please follow these guidelines:

  • Results should be validated in a prototype or test-bed system (e.g., game, robot, generative algorithm), but need not be tested in a commercial environment.

  • The contribution of the paper should be clearly articulated, usually in the introduction.

  • The title and claims made in the paper should match the evaluation carried out and the results obtained. Overly broad titles are discouraged.

  • The paper should demonstrate knowledge of related systems and other approaches to solving similar problems, usually in a Related Work section.

Abstract submission precedes paper submission. Research papers must be preceded by an abstract. The abstract must be submitted in time for the Abstract Deadline on EasyChair. This helps ensure that appropriate reviewers are assigned to each paper.

Use AAAI format. Submissions must be in PDF format and no longer than 7 pages, where page 7 must contain only references. Papers should be formatted in AAAI two-column, camera-ready style. The AAAI Press Author Kit provides instructions for writing papers using both LaTeX and Microsoft Word.

Anonymize papers for double blind peer review. Author names, institutions, and contact information must be removed from the front page and throughout the paper. Authors should not remove their names from citations. When citing their own work, authors should refer to themselves in third person. Instead of saying “In our previous work (Smith et al. 2020) we showed…” the authors should write “Previously, Smith et al. (2020) showed…” First person voice and phrases that explicitly identify the authors may be added back to the camera ready paper after it is accepted.

Authors may respond to reviews. After initial reviews are received, authors will be allowed a short response to correct any misunderstandings. This response will be shown to reviewers, and the Program Chair will consider it when making final decisions.

Papers may be accepted as full oral presentations or as posters. Some papers will be accepted for full oral presentation, while others will be accepted as posters. Full papers will be allocated time for a presentation followed by questions during the main conference. Papers accepted as posters will still be allocated the full 7 pages in the proceedings, but will be presented simultaneously during the poster session.

Practitioner Track

AIIDE-21 also solicits submissions from practitioners--including game developers, roboticists, and artists--on the use of artificial intelligence in games, training, education, art, and other artifacts. While these practitioners are also invited to submit to the research track, we recognize that many will have neither the time nor the inclination to prepare full-length papers for academic publication. These authors may instead submit a 500-word article in PDF format to the practitioner track. Practitioner track papers need not describe new technology, but they must describe relevant results to the AIIDE audience and they must be based on experience creating entertainment AI that has been publicly disseminated (such as AI in published commercial games, AI-based design tools, etc.). For example, we encourage submissions describing the use of previously published academic research in commercial games and simulations. Such games do not need to be released by the time of submission, but should be slated for release by or close to the dates of the conference.

Authors should also include short bios describing their professional experience (not counted toward the document length). Papers should preferably be formatted in AAAI two-column, camera-ready style as above; however, Practitioner Track authors may submit their content in any reasonable format for review, and the AIIDE organizers will assign an editor to help meet publication formatting requirements for accepted work. Accepted practitioner track articles will be published as extended abstracts in the AIIDE-21 proceedings.

Policy on Submission to Other Conferences and Journals

AIIDE-21 will not consider papers that are under review for or have already been accepted for publication in a journal or other conference. Once submitted to AIIDE-21, authors may not submit the paper elsewhere during AIIDE’s review period. These restrictions apply only to refereed journals and conferences, not to unrefereed forums (e.g. or workshops with a limited audience and without archival proceedings. Authors must confirm that their submissions conform to these requirements at the time of submission.

Doctoral Consortium

AIIDE-21 invites graduate students to submit a paper to the Doctoral Consortium. The ideal candidate has settled on a general direction for their research, but has not advanced so far that feedback from senior researchers and the community cannot impact their dissertation. Submissions should provide an overview of the author’s research to date, as well as outline directions for future research. Submissions will be reviewed for their relevance to AIIDE, technical quality, research promise, and prospective benefits yielded by the student’s participation in the consortium (both to the student and conference). The doctoral consortium will pair students with senior members of the AIIDE community to provide mentorship and feedback on research and related topics. Doctoral Consortium participants will also have the opportunity to present their work orally to the broader AIIDE community.

Submissions to the doctoral consortium should consist of a 3-page abstract describing the student’s proposed doctoral research (plus 1 page of references) in PDF format using AAAI two-column, camera-ready style (see the AAAI Press Author Kit) and should be submitted via EasyChair. Authors should also provide an academic CV, which will help the program committee assess the candidate’s prior research activity and facilitate matching with a senior mentor. Accepted abstracts will be published alongside the conference proceedings, and they will be archived in the AAAI digital library. CVs will only be used for reviewing purposes and will not be published.

Demonstrations and Playable Experiences

Many aspects of AI and entertainment are fundamentally interactive. We encourage researchers, practitioners, developers, and artists to submit demonstrations and playable experiences that showcase their work. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Research systems being used in the context of commercial games.

  • Indie games and prototypes showcasing AI in their design or gameplay.

  • AI-composed music or visual art.

  • Improvisational theater using AI or robots.

Submissions to this track need not adhere to a traditional definition of game, but should be centered around human interaction, such as play, training, therapy, etc. All submissions should be made via EasyChair.

AAAI format is preferred, but not required. Authors should submit an abstract or artist’s statement of up to 2 pages (plus 1 additional page of references). Published papers must eventually be in AAAI two-column format (see the AAAI Press Author Kit), but authors who find this format difficult to work with my submit in any reasonable format, and AIIDE will assign an editor to assist with formatting accepted abstracts.

Abstracts review is single blind. Authors should include their names, affiliations, and contact information on the abstracts. Abstracts and other submitted material should not be anonymized. Single blind means that reviewers will know the identities of the authors, but authors will not know the identities of reviewers.

A link to evaluation materials should also be submitted. When submitting their abstract, authors will also be asked to provide a link to the demonstration or playable experience. This material can take many forms, including:

  • An executable of a game or other program with instruction on how to play.

  • A video of the experience being played.

  • A heavily illustrated document explaining the experience.

Submissions will be peer reviewed. Abstracts and other submitted materials will be judged on technical merit, accessibility to developers and researchers, originality, presentation, impact, and significance. Submissions do not need to score well in all of these categories.

Accepted experiences will be published and demonstrated at AIIDE. Abstracts for accepted submissions will be published in the AIIDE-21 proceedings by AAAI Press. Authors will be asked to demonstrate their work either during a dedicated session at the main conference or during the poster session, as appropriate. Authors may also be invited to participate in a playable experience panel at the main conference.

Artifact Evaluation

AIIDE-21 will again include an Artifact Evaluation, a chance for authors of accepted papers and posters to submit a companion software or data artifact with their paper. Example types of artifacts include stand-alone software, web applications, datasets, plug-ins/extensions for existing tools, social media bots, and others. The purposes of the artifact evaluation are:

  • to promote reproducibility of our research results by reviewing the claims made in the paper and how well they are supported by the corresponding software;

  • to promote reuse by encouraging authors to release software that is well-documented and easy to use by peers; and

  • to recognize software artifacts as important scholarly contributions in their own right.

All submitted artifacts will be peer reviewed through a separate review process from the main conference. Artifact evaluation is an optional round of additional reviewing available to authors of accepted papers and posters; the quality of artifacts will not affect acceptance decisions for main conference papers. Artifacts may only be submitted if they are associated with an accepted paper or poster in the main conference.


AIIDE-21 invites proposals for half-day, one-day, and two-day workshops. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with a selected focus, providing an informal setting for exchanging ideas. Each workshop’s format will be determined by its organizers. Organizers are encouraged to propose alternative formats beyond paper/poster presentations--such as working groups, game jams, proposal jams, and AI competitions are encouraged.

Workshop proposals should contain: 1) a brief description of the workshop, including the workshop’s goals and focus, 2) whether the proposed workshop is new or a continuation of a previous series of meetings, 3) a preliminary description of the workshop’s format and rough schedule, including desired length, 4) whether the workshop intends to have peer-reviewed papers published in the AIIDE-21 Workshop Proceedings, 5) the names, affiliation, and contact information of the workshop’s organizing committee, specifying the primary contact person and (optional) a preliminary program committee. Proposals for workshops should be about 2 or 3 pages in length.

AAAI Press no longer publishes workshop proceedings as technical reports, so AIIDE-21 will publish and archive its workshops’ proceedings as a single volume on CEUR Workshop Proceedings ( Workshop organizers are expected to work with their authors to ensure their camera-ready versions follow AAAI style formatting for the proceedings.

Workshop proposals should be submitted directly to the Workshops and Tutorials Chair via email (Brent Harrison,


AIIDE-21 invites proposals for tutorials about current methods, tools, and/or technologies relevant to AI and interactive digital entertainment. A tutorial should be quarter, half, or full day in length and will take place in the two days before the main conference. We strongly encourage tutorial presenters to provide opportunities for significant hands-on experience using current or emerging AI techniques. Members of all segments of the AIIDE community including industry researchers are encouraged to submit proposals. The format of tutorials will be determined by their organizers. Proposals for tutorials should be about one (1) to two (2) pages in length, describing 1) the goals of the tutorial, 2) what format the tutorial will take place, 3) who is the target audience, and 4) the anticipated outcome of the tutorial. Please also specify any technical support requirement necessary for the tutorial.

Tutorial proposals should be submitted directly to the Workshops and Tutorials Chair via email (Brent Harrison,

Starcraft AI Competition

AIIDE-21 will host the Twelfth Annual Starcraft AI Competition. Participants are given the task of building the best performing AI system for the popular real-time strategy game StarCraft Brood War (Blizzard Entertainment). The goals of the competition are to provide a testbed for real-time AI systems and to promote game AI research by exhibiting AI techniques such as scripting, planning, optimization, spatial reasoning, and opponent modeling in a fast-paced popular video game. The competition will be held prior to the conference. Results will be announced at AIIDE-21. For additional information, please click here.

Announcing the AIIDE 2022 Theme: Mis-Spun Tales

Rather than announcing a special theme for this year, AIIDE will begin announcing themes a year in advance to give authors more time to engage with it.

The seminal paper on Tale-Spin, a program for writing stories, lists several of its mis-spun tales. These strange and problematic stories revealed design decisions and assumptions that needed to be improved in later systems (and many of them were entertaining to read). AIIDE 2022 invites authors to submit their negative results. Besides simply helping others avoid them later, negative results help us to consider critically the underlying assumptions of our work or the evaluation methods we use. Authors are strongly encouraged to include a discussion of what we can learn from negative results and what future work they inspire.