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Analyzing the believability of game character behavior using the Game Agent Matrix
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of DiGRA 2013: DeFragging Game Studies, Digital Games Research Association , 2014, 1-11 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years there has been significant improvement in the simpler actions performed by characters in computer games – such as navigating the world and attacking enemies and similar actions. In previous work, the ability of NPCs to adapt to changing circumstances was found to be inadequate in many circumstances. In order to validate these findings we have studied a total of 20 games, observing NPC behavior in each of the games in many different situations, ranging from everyday town life to combat. Using the Game Agent Matrix, we found a number of different behavior categories related to the social context of the agent and its behavior within that context indicating a gap between the most convincing behavior was focused around navigating the world, using tools and using language, as well as more complex behavior such as social sanctions and ranking, connected to the narrative of the game. The middle ground, containing behaviors such as dynamic group formation and the ability to perceive the actions of others were generally seen as unconvincing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Digital Games Research Association , 2014. 1-11 p.
Keyword [en]
believable behaviour, believable NPCs, evaluation, immersion
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97198OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-97198DiVA: diva2:676242
Conference
The 6th Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) Conference, August 26-29, 2013, Atlanta, GA, USA
Available from: 2013-12-05 Created: 2013-12-05 Last updated: 2016-03-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Non-Player Character: Exploring the believability of NPC presentation and behavior
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Non-Player Character: Exploring the believability of NPC presentation and behavior
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Over the last few decades there has been immense growth in the video game industry, and we have seen great improvements in both graphics and audio. Unfortunately, the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and non-player characters (NPCs) has not proceeded at the same pace. Although there have undoubtedly been improvements, the field as a whole has lagged behind its siblings.

Many of the problems with NPCs stem from the fact that they do not achieve a sufficient level of believability, particularly in the social arena. This is primarily related to the fact that the NPCs do not behave in ways that align with the expectations of the player. This can lead to the player misunderstanding the role and purpose of the NPC, which damages the believability of the game. By extension, this lessens the enjoyment the player can derive from the game. Hence, it is imperative that the design of the NPC be in line with player expectations.

This thesis takes a holistic view of NPCs, encompassing their design, evaluation, and player perceptions. It uses a design science methodology, and primarily uses qualitative and interpretative methods. It will provide a description of the various types of NPCs found in games, what their design elements are, and how they are interpreted by players.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2016. 118 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 16-003
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128079 (URN)978-91-7649-379-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-05-20, Aula NOD, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

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

 

Available from: 2016-04-27 Created: 2016-03-17 Last updated: 2017-02-24Bibliographically approved

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