Conversational Designer | Walt Disney Imagineering

From January 2021 to May 2022, I had the incredible opportunity to work on D3-O9, an interactive character that is (at the time of writing) currently installed on board the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. As the logistics droid of Chandrila Starline’s Halcyon, she always has her hands full with everything from food shipments to securing safe passageways, but she never neglects to have warm and welcoming conversations with passengers via their in-cabin droid link panels.

As a Conversational Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering’s Research and Development Division, I assisted in the development of the personality, backstory, and narrative threads that shaped D3-O9 into the quirky yet sincere droid she is today. On a team of around five people, we fleshed out her character via an internally-developed markup language that allowed her to utilize bespoke responses for a variety of guest-driven scenarios. As a character powered by artificial intelligence, D3-O9 is able to make her own decisions in conversations as to what lines of dialogue should trigger in response to auditory input.

In other words, a small team of creative writers and interactive designers gave birth to an AI character that, when paired with the internal technological developments at R&D, has been able to come alive more than any other public-facing AI character to date. It was more than writing lines—it was shaping a character into existence.

As my work was all about the dialogue and overall narrative experience, it’s a bit hard to do it justice without showing you snippets of the writing itself. Fortunately, while I cannot post any writing samples from this project publicly (but can show them privately upon request), I can provide a reel of guest-posted footage of their conversations with their loveable droid companion. I highly encourage you to watch it to really understand exactly the impact that this project has.