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2013/02/06, MC103, 12 - 12:30

Adaptivity in computer games
Jonathan Tremblay , McGill SOCS

Area: Design of Computer Games

Abstract:

Non-player characters that act as companions for players are a common feature of modern games. Designing a companion that reacts appropriately to the player's experience, however, is not a trivial task, and even current, triple-A titles tend to provide companions that are either static in behaviour or evince only superficial connection to player activity. To address this issue I am going to present an adaptive companion that analyses the player's in-game experience and behaves accordingly. We evaluate our adaptive companion in different, non-trivial scenarios, as well as compare our proposed model to a straightforward approach to adaptivity based on Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment. The data collected demonstrates that the adaptive companion has more influence over the player's experience and that there exists an orthogonality between our companion adaptivity and the more traditional combat/health scaling approaches to difficulty adjustment. Using adaptive companions is a step forward in offering meaningful and engaging games to players.