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A model of non-player character believability
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this study we aim to describe in what ways non-player characters (NPCs) affect believability. To this end, we have conducted an online survey, where respondents were asked to classify and describe NPCs. Furthermore, we also examined recordings of NPCs in games. These data sources were examined using a model for NPC believability in order to describe the effect on believability by different types of NPCs. Based on this, we were able to construct a model of NPC believability, based on the NPC’s level of complexity and ability to handle a mutable social context. As described by the model, NPCs are currently less capable of handling changing social contexts. They do, however, show promise, and given current emerging technologies it is feasible that new types of more socially capable NPCs will arise within the near future.

National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128078OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-128078DiVA: diva2:912615
Available from: 2016-03-17 Created: 2016-03-17 Last updated: 2016-03-21Bibliographically 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: 2016-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Warpefelt, HenrikVerhagen, Harko
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