This is the presentation of the article "Complexity at the cost of control in game design", presented at the CGAT 2012 conference Bali, Indonesia
- 1. Complexity at the cost of control in game design? Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences Stockholm University, Sweden email@example.com Mirjam P. Eladhari Department of Game Design, Technology and Learning Gotland University GOTLAND, SWEDEN firstname.lastname@example.org Harko Verhagen Department of Computer and Systems Sciences Stockholm University, Sweden email@example.com
2. Outline Introduction Background (the Model Social Game Agent) Surveys Interviews Discussion/ Conclusion 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden 3. Introduction 4. Most current video games do not, in fact contain much real AI. The point of video games is to entertain, not to simulate intelligence in depth, so they usually contain just enough AI to make the player feel as if the software is reasonably smart [Adams, p. 18, 2010] 6/27/13 Complexity at the cost of control in game design? 5. Simulating human beings is the most difficult and also the most important problem in game design [Adams, p. 18, 2010] 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden 6. Background 7. Preliminary definitions Systemic Artificial Intelligence = A system that dynamically adjusts the actions of the agent. Black Hole of AI: is always a black hole of AI, where you are programming an incredibly thoughtful, clever, brilliant AI behind the scenes. And the player still reads it as a scripted interaction [Respondent 5] 6/27/13 Complexity at the cost of control in game design? 8. The Model Social Game Agent 9. Carley and Newell 10. Focus for interviews and surveys Navigation/pathfinding Strategy/Tactical choices Behavior adapted to context Decision making Memory of previous interactions Cooperation among NPCs Emotions 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden 11. Surveys 12. Current NPC Intelligence 9 respondents stated both decision-making and cooperation between NPCs to be existing in current games, while 5 claimed decision-making missing. 5 respondents found memory existing in current games. 4 respondents found emotions to exist in current games. 10 respondents had implemented behavior adapted to context and 2 of them reported the implementation to be successful. 6/27/13 Complexity at the cost of control in game design? 13. What do you think these aspects could add? Immersion, believability, realism and a more emergent game experience. Richer realizations of characters, due to less static authoring associated with NPCs. Memory a focus for many respondents, based on the assumption that memory could add much realism to interactions with NPCs. More context aware NPC behavior. 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden 14. How could the MSGA affect the play- experience? Some respondents repeated their answers from the previous question. Concerns raised about the black hole of AI, that players simply do not recognize added complexity. The behavior of dynamic NPCs not easily understood by players. Increased interest through more complex experiences. Added re-playability. Cohesion between events in games. 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden 15. How could the MSGA affect game design? The Msga could open up new unexplored design spaces. Alleviate some of the workload of game designers. Potentially make game design much more difficult. Would affect quest flow and story arch in ways that need to be considered. 6/27/13 Complexity at the cost of control in game design? 16. Interviews 17. Relations between AI and game design Game design and AI programming are both highly specialized areas of expertise and game designers rarely have the ambition to also become skilled programmers. Designers often have new ideas or invent new concepts that are difficult or impossible to implement. Communication and knowledge between AI programmers and Designers are sometimes problematic for development teams. 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden 18. Current NPC Intelligence Systemic modeling vs Scripting. Path-finding a problem that all current games have solved in a satisfying way. Interaction with NPCs stated as one of the problems. Scripting limits possible interaction with NPCs but mostly not seen as a problem. Conversation/dialogue trees a main strategy for interaction with NPCs, but limited since the same NPC will say the same phrase without contextual awareness. 6/27/13 Complexity at the cost of control in game design? 19. Existing strategies Emotional states (faceGen) Limited memory in terms of saved emotional states. Scripted behavior. Behavior trees. Scripted dialogues/conversation. Cooperation through faction systems (Oblivion) only modestly successful. Systemic modeling of memory, cooperation and emotions in games rare. 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden 20. How could the MSGA contribute? Add cooperative aspects to NPCs. Add a more durable memory for NPCs. Add emotions. Emotions and memory central contributions that would be most beneficial for the interaction with NPCs. 6/27/13 Complexity at the cost of control in game design? 21. Drawbacks with the MSGA? Only add a small marketable value. The black hole of AI. Would need obtrusive feedback to the user. No difference to the player if the AI is scripted or systemic. Loosing control over the interaction in games. Possible threats to story structure. Testing/debugging becomes even more complex. 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden 22. Discussion/Conclusions Emotions and memory the most important aspects of the MSGA Systemic AI difficult to control Social behavior/ Learning Games are complex systems, they should not be chaotic systems. Existing genres not dependent on smart AI Consistency Limited scope of earlier attempts 6/27/13 Complexity at the cost of control in game design? 23. Discussion/Conclusions The MSGA not a solution to all situations The combination of traits of the MSGA not implemented New game genres probably needed 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden 24. Future work Finish implementation of the MSGA. Evaluate players response of the MSGA. Find suitable game genres for the MSGA or even create new ones. Identify what types of NPCs that would benefit from being implemented as a MSGAs. 6/27/13 Complexity at the cost of control in game design? 25. Questions? 26. References  Adams, E. Fundamentals of Game Design. Second Edition. 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