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Bali presentation2012mj

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This is the presentation of the article "Complexity at the cost of control in game design", presented at the CGAT 2012 conference Bali, Indonesia

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Bali presentation2012mj

  1. 1. Complexity at the cost of control in game design? Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences Stockholm University, Sweden magnus@dsv.su.se Mirjam P. Eladhari Department of Game Design, Technology and Learning Gotland University GOTLAND, SWEDEN mirjam.eladhari@hgo.se Harko Verhagen Department of Computer and Systems Sciences Stockholm University, Sweden verhagen@dsv.su.se
  2. 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. 3. Introduction
  4. 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. 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. 6. Background
  7. 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. 8. The Model Social Game Agent
  9. 9. Carley and Newell
  10. 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. 11. Surveys
  12. 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. 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. 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. 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. 16. Interviews
  17. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 25. Questions?
  26. 26. References [1] Adams, E. Fundamentals of Game Design. Second Edition. New Riders. 2010 [2] Bartle, R. Designing virtual worlds. New Riders, 2003. [3] Carley, K. M. and Newell, A. The nature of the social agent. Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 19 (4): 221—262, 1994. [4] Eladhari, M. P. (2010, September). Characterising Action Potential in Virtual Game Worlds applied with the Mind Module. Retrieved from http://urn.kb.se/resolve? urn=urn:nbn:se:hgo:diva-368. [5] Janssen, M.A. and Jager, W. An integrated approach to simulating behavioural processes: A case study of the lock-in of consumption patterns, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 2 (2). 2000 [6] Johansson, M. Verhagen, H. Modelling the social fabric for normative NPCs in MMOGs. The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (p. 79-84). 2010.
  27. 27. [7] Johansson, M. Verhagen, H. Eladhari, P, M. Model of social believable NPCs for teacher training.CGames USA, Kentucky. 2011 [8] Johansson, M. Verhagen, H.“WHERE IS MY MIND”- THE EVOLUTION OF NPCS IN ONLINE WORLDS. International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence. Rome. 2011 [9] Pinchbeck, D. An analysis of Persistent Non-Player Characters in the First-Person Gaming genre 1998-2007: a case for the fusion of mechanics and diegetics. Eludamos. Journal for Game Culture. 2009; 3 (2), p. 261-279 [10] Rabin, S. AI Game Programming Wisdom. Charles River Media. 2002. [11] Salen, K. Zimmerman, E. Rules of Play ‐ Game Design Fundamentals. MIT Press, 2004. [12] Tupes, E. C. and Christal, R. E. (1992). Recurrent personality factors based on trait ratings. Journal of Personality, 60(2):225-251.
  28. 28. Games Ubisoft Montreal. Assassins Creed (PC). Ubisoft. Eu-release date March 18th 2011. Ion Storm Inc. Deus Ex (PC). Eidos Interactive, Eu-release date June 26th 2000. 3D Realms. Duke Nuke’em 3D (PC). GT Interactive. Eu-release date January 1996. Mateas, M. Stern, A. Façade (PC). Release date July 2005 Rockstar North. Grand Theft Auto 4 (PC). Rockstar games. Eu-release date 3rd December 2008 Quantic Dream. Heavy rain (PS3). Sony Computer Entertainment. Eu-release date 24th February 2010. Team Bondi Rockstar Leeds. L.A Noir (PC). Rockstar Games. Eu-release date 11th November 2011 Riot Games. League of Legends (PC). Riot games. Release date October 27th 2009. Illusion Softworks. Mafia: City of lost heaven (PC). Gathering of Developers. Eu- release date August 28th 2002.
  29. 29. Maxis. The Sims (PC). Electronic Arts. Release date February 2000. KCEJ. Metal gear Solid (PC). Microsoft game studios. Release date September 3rd 1998. Bethesda Game Studios. Oblivion The elder scrolls (PC). 2K Games, Bethesda Softworks. Eu-release date March 24th 2006. Id Software. Quake (PC). Activision/ Valve Corporation (Steam). Release date June 22nd 1996. Bethesda Game Studios. Skyrim (PC). Bethesda Softworks. Release date November 11th 2011 Ubisoft Montreal. Splinter cell (PC). Ubisoft. Release date Noveber 17th 2002. Blizzard Entertainment. World of Warcraft (PC). Blizzard Entertainment. Eu-release date February 11th 2005. Blizzard Entertainment. World of Warcraft, Wraith of the Lich King (PC). Blizzard Entertainment. Eu-release date November 13th 2008.
  30. 30. Thank you for listening! magnus@dsv.su.se

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