Analyzing the believability of game character behavior using the Game Agent Matrix

Warpefelt Henrik Johansson Magnus Verhagen Harko
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

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.


Fundamental Components of the Gameplay Experience: Analysing Immersion

Ermi Laura Mäyrä Frans
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

This paper presents a gameplay experience model, assesses its potential as a tool for research and presents some directions for future work. The presented model was born from observations among game-playing children and their non-player parents, which directed us to have a closer look at the complex nature of gameplay experience. Our research led into a heuristic gameplay experience model that identifies some of the key components and processes that are relevant in the experience of gameplay, with a particular focus on immersion. The model includes three components: sensory, challenge-based and imaginative immersion (SCI-model). The classification was assessed with self-evaluation questionnaires filled in by informants who played different popular games. It was found that the gameplay experiences related to these games did indeed differ as expected in terms of the identified three immersion components.


The Design of Narrative as an Immersive Simulation

Gomes Renata
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

This paper proposes a concept of narrative as the design of an immersive simulation to be experienced by the interactor in a video game. We face this narrative status as the ongoing shift of a process faced with the nature of the video game format: in one side, the immersive nature of character-oriented games, and on the other, the simulative nature of god games and such. We believe the combination of these two features allows for the emergence of a new and promising narrative game format.


Gamescapes: exploration and virtual presence in game-worlds

King Geoff Krzywinska Tanya
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

An analysis of the scope for exploration and the extent to which impressions of presence are created in domestic videogames. This paper argues that exploration is an important dimension of play in many games, whether employed in relation to other objectives or as a source of pleasure in its own right. The first part of the paper examines the relationship between freedom to explore and spatial constraint, arguing that many games offer a balance between the two, the precise nature of which varies from one type of game to another. The second part of the paper considers the extent to which different types of game offer illusions of presence in the game-world, from the distanced perspective of management and strategy games to the greater impression of sensory immersion created in games rendered in the first person.


Through the Looking Glass: Weavings between the Magic Circle and Immersive Processes in Video Games

Ferreira Emmanoel Falcão Thiago
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

This paper proposes a critical discussion about the magic circle concept, through a debate with prior works on the issue, as those elaborated by Johan Huizinga and Katie Salen & Eric Zimmerman, as well as with cognitive psychology studies regarding attention. We shall argue that the magic circle, instead of separating fiction and reality, would work as a cognitive mediation structure with graded “boundaries”, which existence occurs in diverse forms, depending on variables like player immersion and attention. Thus, these boundaries get defined and “solid” as the immersive process is developed and one reality seems to change into another: as the player “gets into the looking glass”.


Making Sense in Ludic Worlds. The Idealization of Immersive Postures in Movies and Video Games

Therrien Carl
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

In the ongoing efforts to theorize the interactive experience proposed by video games, it is common to make a distinction between fictional elements and the gameplay in itself. E. Adams distinguished between tactical, strategic and fictional immersions. In Half-Real, J. Juul has notoriously declared that video games encompass two things: fictional worlds and real rules. Many approaches stress the distinct nature of the immersive experience in games on account of their participatory nature. By contrast, M. Csikszentmihalyi’s model of flow – a common foundation to discuss immersion in sports and games – has been applied without any modifications to art appreciation, an “activity” that many would argue doesn’t propose clear goals and retroactions. Is there any common ground between games and fictional forms that can help us understand the cultural magnitude achieved by their synthesis through the video game medium? Building on current doctoral research and on Jean-Marie Schaeffer’s effort to theorize our involvement with digital worlds as a continuation of the fictional immersion experienced in other media, this contribution seeks to evaluate the relevance of a general framework to discuss immersion. The optimization of experience in both video games and fiction films, and the various strategies that seek to shape an ideal immersive posture for us


Revising Immersion: A Conceptual Model for the Analysis of Digital Game Involvement

Calleja Gordon
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

Game studies literature has recently seen a renewed interest in game experience with the recent publication of a number of edited collections, dissertations and conferences focusing on the subject. This paper aims to contribute to that growing body of literature by presenting a summary of my doctoral research in digital game involvement and immersion. It outlines a segment of a conceptual model that describes and analyzes the moment by moment involvement with digital games on a variety of experiential dimensions corresponding to six broad categories of game features. The paper ends with a proposal to replace the metaphor of immersion with one of incorporation. Incorporation aims to avoid the binary notion of the player’s plunge into the virtual environment characteristic of “immersion” while dispelling the vagueness of application that all too often surrounds the term.


Levels of Sound: On the Principles of Interactivity in Music Video Games

Pichlmair Martin Kayali Fares
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

This paper gives an introduction into the principles of interactivity in music video games. Music video games are an old but small genre of games. The earliest direct ancestors emerged in the 1970ies. Some recent music video games were hugely successful. Until today, there are only a few different approaches to their design. The purpose of this article is to shed light on what these design principles are, and how the player is immersed. By analysing several games qualitatively, we extracted certain typical features of games of this genre: active scores, rhythm action, quantisation, synaesthesia, play as performance, free-form play, and sound agents. All these aspects of music video games are discussed in this paper with the aim of describing how they affect the interactivity of the games. The result is a grammar of the language of music video games. Linked to adequate metaphors, this grammar can build a veritable repository for rhythm based, melodically interactive games and digital electronic instruments.