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Isaga2013 johansson et al

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Presentation held at the ISAGA 2013 conference in Stockholm

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Isaga2013 johansson et al

  1. 1. Analyzing the social dynamics of non-player characters Magnus Johansson, Björn Strååt, Henrik Warpefelt and Harko Verhagen ISAGA 2013 Stockholm magnus@dsv.su.se, bjor-str@fc.dsv.su.se, hw@dsv.su.se, verhagen@dsv.su.se
  2. 2. Aim “[w]e like to address the behavioral properties of Non Player Characters (NPCs) and the social awareness of and amongst NPCs aiming for humanlike behavior in NPCs. ” 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  3. 3. Disclaimer “[..]with existing game genres there is no real need for truly smart NPCs, but that it would be interesting if indeed one such genre would appear. ” (Johansson, Eladhari and Verhagen 2012) 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences Do we need smart, believable and social NPCs?
  4. 4. Immersion ”[d]eep but effortless involvement, reduced concern for self and sense of time” (Sweetser et al 2012, p.2) 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  5. 5. 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences Challenges and immersion “Part of the struggle lies in the opposition posed by monsters and NPCs; part of it in exploration of the world and the story; part of it in traps or puzzles posed in the game’s physical world, or in social difficulties posed in the game’s social realm” (Costykian 2002, p.15)
  6. 6. Immersion (Ermi and Mäyre, 2007) •  Challenge based Immersion •  Sensory based Immersion •  Imaginative immersion 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  7. 7. The Gap 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences Lankoski (2004); Björk and Lankoski (2007) Loyall (1997); Mateas (1999) ?
  8. 8. Method •  In-game observations in 3 AAA-games •  From a black-box perspective •  2-hour recordings from each game analyzed using the Game Agent Matrix. 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  9. 9. Example https://www.youtube.com/playlist? list=PLPmxvKzF6p8VGekfzjSEpOELlpfmnHc38
  10. 10. The Game Agent Matrix 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  11. 11. Acting agents Acting agents (simple reflex agents). The acting agent does not change its behavior according to changes in the context since it is static and executes the actions it is created to perform. Therefore the acting agent is unaware of other agents that appear in the columns: “multiple agents” situation, the “social structural” situations, situations marked by “social goals” and “cultural historical”. 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  12. 12. Reacting agents Reacting agents (model-based reflex agents). The reacting agent differs slightly from the acting agent in that it perceives changes in its environment and can react accordingly. When the reacting agent is socially aware, social knowledge and models of others is seen as a prerequisite. 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  13. 13. Interacting agents Interacting agents. The interacting agent has a continuation of actions that can have various levels of dynamics, depending on the information that is available in the agent’s environment. It also reacts dynamically in contrast to the reacting agent and the acting agent that does so in a less dynamic and changing way. 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  14. 14. Results 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  15. 15. Acting agent/ Single agent •  Most NPCs manage to display these behaviors successfully •  Uses language, uses tools, “pantomimed” behaviors that with few exceptions are successful. •  Pathfinding not a problem 6/27/13
  16. 16. Reacting agent •  Adaption, Crisis response, Rapid emotional response and Navigation showed non-trivial (i.e. occurring more than once) positive values. •  Adaption and crisis response successful in combat situations. •  Navigation successful •  Lack of awareness the most immersive breaking behavior, often in combination with failures to adapt. •  Models of self and models of others problematic •  Cultural historical situation often successful, but often in static manner 6/27/13
  17. 17. Interacting agent •  The values most often associated with reinforcing immersion was related to social interaction and face to face interaction. •  Turn taking in dialogues at times disastrous (Skyrim) •  Group conflict, team player and cooperation displayed rarely but with reinforcing effects on immersion when present. •  Sanctions rarely displayed but with reinforcing effects on immersion when present. 6/27/13
  18. 18. Conclusions •  Limited study •  3 games, 2 hour in-game data recorded for each game •  Enough data to evaluate the Game Agent Matrix and inform further tune-ups 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  19. 19. Conclusions regarding method •  The Game Agent Matrix (GAM) useful for both detecting negative and positive behaviors/traits in NPCs •  Some of the values in the matrix are just too similar and should be refined for added clarity •  Lack of awareness, often causing a double negative •  Path-finding and route following useful additions from previous version (Warpefelt and Strååt, 2012) •  More work remains with the Game Agent Matrix 6/27/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  20. 20. Conclusions regarding NPCs and Games AI 6/26/13 / Name name, Institution or similar
  21. 21. Future work •  Analyzing Sims online, façade and prom week (games more targeted at displaying social behaviour in NPCs) •  Explore the connection between some values in the matrix that seem to be connected (adaption, Interruptability) •  Analyze more games to see to what extent more demanding behaviors are lacking, and how they may influence immersion negatively. 6/26/13 Magnus Johansson Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
  22. 22. Questions
  23. 23. Thank you for listening! magnus@dsv.su.se www.magnus.blogs.dsv.su.se

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