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Complexity at the cost of control in game design?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2012 (English)In:  , Global Science and Technology Forum (GSTF) , 2012Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper describes the Model Social Game Agent (MSGA) and presents a comparison to existing strategies to create NPC behavior in video games. We present the results of a survey and an interview-study ofprofessional game developers, designers and scholars with a focus onthe social behavior of NPCs in existing gamesand the potential advantages and disadvantages of the MSGA. The results indicate that there are concerns regarding choosing to implement games AI as systemic AI (such as the MSGA) over an implementation based on scripting and behavior trees.Another question raised is the actual benefits of systemic AI and in what sense it would change the player experience. One of the potential gains of introducing theMSGA in game design would be to open upopportunitiesfor new modes of play and also open up for unexplored design spaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Global Science and Technology Forum (GSTF) , 2012.
Keyword [en]
NPCs, Believable NPCs, Game Design, MSGA, Game AI, Believability, Intelligent Agents
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82220DOI: 10.5176/2251-1679_CGAT15OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-82220DiVA: diva2:567197
Conference
5th Annual International Conference on Computer Games, Multimedia and Allied Technology (CGAT 2012), 7th - 8th May 2012, Bali, Indonesia
Available from: 2012-11-12 Created: 2012-11-12 Last updated: 2013-10-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Do Non Player Characters dream of electric sheep?: A thesis about Players, NPCs, Immersion and Believability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do Non Player Characters dream of electric sheep?: A thesis about Players, NPCs, Immersion and Believability
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This is a thesis that deals with the norms and rules of players playing online games together. It is also a thesis about believability, the current capabilities of non-player characters (NPCs) and the attitudes amongst game developers towards dynamic and systemic games AI.

The primary theme of this thesis considers which means of communication and coordination in terms of norms and rules are present in groups of players and particularly in guilds and clans playing Massively Multi Online Games (MMOGs) and First Person Shooters (FPSs) respectively. The presence of norms in these types of groups has been overlooked in previous research even though guilds have been addressed to some extent. When rules have been discussed in games research, the actual use, meaning and interpretation behind these rules from a player perspective has been omitted. In this thesis rules and norms are interpreted from a guild and clan perspective as important means for coordination, used in order to keep the group together. The implicit rules are further seen as implicit rules made explicit through guild and clan forums where these groups of players express how to preserve the shared game experience. The absence of rituals, norms and rules has also been studied in temporary groups of one MMOG, with the explanation that existing relations with other players are maintained in these game sessions, but new relations are usually seen as too costly to invest in.

The second theme is directed at believability and the state of current NPCs, how immersion is influenced by NPCs that do not act in believable ways. The second theme is also influenced by the first theme, whereby rules and norms are seen as valuable tools for creating believability in NPCs, directly targeting the social layer, a slightly overlooked area of research.

The last section is directed at applying the results from the first section, how players play by the rules and norms of the group, and how this could foster believability in NPCs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kista: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2013. 102 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 13-004
Keyword
Social norms, MMOGs, MORPGs, FPS, Clans, Guilds, Rules, NPCs, Games AI, Game Design, Game evaluation tools, Immersion, Believability
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89293 (URN)978-91-7447-708-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-06-07, Sal C, Forum 100, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: In press. Paper 5: In press. Paper 6: In press.

Available from: 2013-05-16 Created: 2013-04-19 Last updated: 2013-06-14Bibliographically approved

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