The development of embodied conversational agents (ECA) as companions brings several challenges for both affective and conversational dialogue. These include challenges in generating appropriate affective responses, selecting the overall shape of the dialogue, providing prompt system response times, and handling interruptions. We present an implementation of such a companion showing the development of individual modules that attempt to address these challenges. Further, to resolve resulting conflicts, we present encompassing interaction strategies that attempt to balance the competing requirements along with dialogues from our working prototype to illustrate these interaction strategies in operation. Finally, we provide the results of an evaluation of the companion using an evaluation methodology created for conversational dialogue and including analysis using appropriateness annotation.

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