Towards an updated typology of non-player character roles
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference Computer Graphics, Visualization, Computer Vision and Image Processing / [ed] Piet Kommers, Pedro Isaías, Heredina Fernandez Betancort, International Association for Development of the Information Society , 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
In video games, non-player characters (NPCs) provide important services in that they facilitate the player's interaction with the game in a way that is in accordance with the expectations set by the narrative. It is, however, still unclear in what ways these NPCs must act, look, and feel in order to fulfill these expectations. In this study we aim to establish a typology of the roles NPCs play in games, building on a previous typology by Bartle (2004) aimed at providing a framework for describing the requirements put on NPCs by these expectations. This was done via an online survey, where respondents were asked to classify NPCs in images from 4 games, and to provide a description of why they classified it as belonging to a certain role. The results of the survey were the analyzed for instances where players expressed confusion about which role an NPC belonged to. These findings were used to update the previous typology. The results from this were later verified by applying the new typology to 10 other games. In the end we identified a number of new roles, as well as modifications to existing roles, which when combined with Bartle’s original typology created a typology applicable to a larger number of genres.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Association for Development of the Information Society , 2015.
Non-player characters, roles, affordance, interaction, games, evaluation
Research subject Computer and Systems Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122893ISBN: 978-989-8533-38-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-122893DiVA: diva2:868679
IADIS International Conference Computer Graphics, Visualization, Computer Vision and Image Processing, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain 22 - 24 July 2015