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Cues and insinuations: Indicating affordances of non-player characters using visual indicators
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of DiGRA 2015: Diversity of play: Games – Cultures – Identities, Digital Games Research Association , 2015, 1-12 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Non-player characters (NPCs) provide an important service in video games in that they provide an active connection to the narrative through their behavior, as if they were actors in a play. In this study, we aim to explore in what ways the visual appearance of an NPC affects how players perceive their role in the game, and what criteria players use to evaluate the role of NPCs based on visual information. This is done by performing a survey of players, where the respondents are asked to determine the role that a number of NPCs had given their visual appearance, and describe how they decided the roles of the NPCs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Digital Games Research Association , 2015. 1-12 p.
Keyword [en]
Non-player characters, affordances, visual indicators
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122803OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-122803DiVA: diva2:868646
Conference
DIGRA 2015, Lüneburg, Germany, May 14-17, 2015
Available from: 2015-11-11 Created: 2015-11-10 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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