Agent-Based Technology as an Architectural Component in Serious Games Mark Phillips MASA Group
Overview <ul><li>Simulation and Serious Games are Converging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges to merging cultures </li></u...
Converging Worlds <ul><li>Simulation Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High fidelity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training value <...
Lessons Learned from Simulation <ul><li>High Fidelity = High Complexity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joint Simulation System (JSI...
Lessons Learned from Gaming <ul><li>Make it engaging </li></ul><ul><li>Find ways to streamline the development process </l...
Task-worthy Simulation <ul><li>The right amount/type of simulation for the job – select the best complement of components ...
The Future:  Virtual Worlds <ul><li>Persistent:  available all the time </li></ul><ul><li>Social:  by nature virtual world...
Non-Player Characters <ul><li>Can enrich virtual worlds and provide social interaction at any time </li></ul><ul><li>They ...
Human Behavior Representation <ul><li>Traditional Simulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Academia and industry join forces </li>...
Typical HBR Components <ul><li>The “AI Loop” </li></ul><ul><li>These components are in any type of HBR, even the most rudi...
HBR Decomposition <ul><li>The decision engine can be decomposed into many potential components </li></ul><ul><li>The task-...
Heterogeneous Representation <ul><li>The HBR building blocks may naturally lend themselves to different representations </...
Conclusion <ul><li>Traditional simulation and game worlds are converging </li></ul><ul><li>The two disciplines should lear...
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MASA Group at MODSIM World 2009 - Agent-Based Technology as an Architectural Component in Serious Games

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The evolution of games as an alternative to traditional simulations in the military context has been gathering momentum over the past five years, even though the exploration of their use in the serious sense has been ongoing since the mid-nineties. The component-based middleware architecture that game engines provide promises a great deal in terms of options for the integration of agent solutions to support the development of non-player characters that engage the human player without the deterministic nature of scripted behaviors.

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MASA Group at MODSIM World 2009 - Agent-Based Technology as an Architectural Component in Serious Games

  1. 1. Agent-Based Technology as an Architectural Component in Serious Games Mark Phillips MASA Group
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Simulation and Serious Games are Converging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges to merging cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lessons learned from each industry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Finding the Right Amount of Simulation for the Job </li></ul><ul><li>Interoperability </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on AI and NPCs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Again, each industry has experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Approach AI the same way as other simulation components </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Converging Worlds <ul><li>Simulation Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High fidelity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training value </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Immersive experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short development cycle </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All games are simulations but not all simulations are games </li></ul>
  4. 4. Lessons Learned from Simulation <ul><li>High Fidelity = High Complexity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joint Simulation System (JSIMS) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Validate </li></ul><ul><li>Interoperability Standards </li></ul><ul><li>GOTS Approach </li></ul>
  5. 5. Lessons Learned from Gaming <ul><li>Make it engaging </li></ul><ul><li>Find ways to streamline the development process </li></ul><ul><li>Provide just enough capability (e.g. path engines) </li></ul><ul><li>Tools must work with multiple game engines </li></ul>
  6. 6. Task-worthy Simulation <ul><li>The right amount/type of simulation for the job – select the best complement of components for the job </li></ul><ul><li>Simulation components to be considered: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Terrain size </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entity aggregation level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physics or Effects Based Models (kinematic, sensor, combat) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Level of 3D modeling and animation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Level of AI automation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of Units </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Future: Virtual Worlds <ul><li>Persistent: available all the time </li></ul><ul><li>Social: by nature virtual worlds are social spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Problem: how to ensure social contact in persistent worlds </li></ul>
  8. 8. Non-Player Characters <ul><li>Can enrich virtual worlds and provide social interaction at any time </li></ul><ul><li>They can provide: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Presence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vigilance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role-Playing </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Human Behavior Representation <ul><li>Traditional Simulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Academia and industry join forces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on full cognitive architectures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aim is high fidelity HBR </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looser definition of “AI” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Much development of sub-cognition, e.g pathfinding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on streamlined process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visuals more important than behavior </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Typical HBR Components <ul><li>The “AI Loop” </li></ul><ul><li>These components are in any type of HBR, even the most rudimentary </li></ul>
  11. 11. HBR Decomposition <ul><li>The decision engine can be decomposed into many potential components </li></ul><ul><li>The task-worthiness concept can be applied here </li></ul>
  12. 12. Heterogeneous Representation <ul><li>The HBR building blocks may naturally lend themselves to different representations </li></ul><ul><li>Further emphasizes aptness of “building block” approach </li></ul><ul><li>HBR developers should think about working within a common tool chain </li></ul>
  13. 13. Conclusion <ul><li>Traditional simulation and game worlds are converging </li></ul><ul><li>The two disciplines should learn from one another </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual worlds are the platform of the future </li></ul><ul><li>The need for persistent social contact emphasizes the need for NPCs </li></ul><ul><li>Again, simulation and gaming should apply lessons learned in HBR to build NPCs </li></ul>

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