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Emotional reward

Scientists have developed a video game that adjusts difficulty based on player emotions, with applications for visitor attractions, as Tom Walker reports


Korean scientists have developed a dynamic way of adjusting the difficulty of video games – by estimating the players’ emotions based on in-game data. The new technology has important applications for the visitor attractions sector.

A team at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) have created a model in which the difficulty level is tweaked to maximise player satisfaction.

Until now, most developers have relied on dynamic difficulty adjustment (DDA) to crack the tough nut of appropriately balancing a videogame’s difficulty – something deemed essential to provide players with a pleasant experience.

Using DDA, the difficulty of a game adjusts in real-time according to player performance. If a player’s performance exceeds the developer’s expectations for a given difficulty level, the game’s DDA agent automatically raises the difficulty to increase the challenge presented to the player.

While DDA is useful, it’s limited, as the level of difficulty is adjusted simply on player performance – not on how much fun they are having.

Therefore, the team at GIST decided to put a twist on the DDA approach.

A different focus
Instead of focusing on the player’s performance, they developed DDA agents that adjusted the game’s difficulty to maximise one of four different aspects related to a player’s satisfaction: challenge, competence, flow, and valence (positivity or negativity).

The DDA agents were trained via machine learning using data gathered from actual human players, who played a fighting game against various artificial intelligence (AI) systems and then answered a questionnaire about their experience.

Using an algorithm called Monte-Carlo tree search, each DDA agent employed actual game data and simulated data to tune the opposing AI’s fighting style in a way that maximised a specific emotion, or ‘affective state.’

The team verified – through an experiment with 20 volunteers – that the proposed DDA agents could produce AIs that improved the players’ overall experience, no matter their preference.

This marks the first time that affective states have been incorporated directly into DDA agents, which could be useful for commercial games.

Major impact
The new technique to adjust difficulty levels could have a major impact on tech-based entertainment and simulation-type rides at visitor attractions.

It also has potential for other fields that can be ‘gamified’ – including physical activity and exercise.

Professor Kyung-Joong Kim, who led the study at GIST, said: “One advantage of our approach over other emotion-centred methods is that it doesn’t rely on external sensors, such as electroencephalography.

“Once trained, our model can estimate player states using in-game features only.

“Commercial game companies already have huge amounts of player data. They can exploit these data to model the players and solve various issues related to game balancing using our approach,” he said.

COMPANY PROFILES
FORREC Ltd

We create guest experiences others don’t, masterplan like no one else can, and give the world’s bi [more...]
Antonio Zamperla Spa

Founded in 1966, the Antonio Zamperla SPA is privately owned by Mr Alberto Zamperla. Located in Vi [more...]
Sally Corporation

Our services include: Dark ride design & build; Redevelopment of existing attractions; High-quality [more...]
Simworx Ltd

The company was initially established in 1997. Terry Monkton and Andrew Roberts are the key stakeh [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Attractions industry to reunite this September at IAAPA Expo Europe in London
For the first time in more than a decade, industry leaders from across the global attractions industry will once again gather in London as part of the annual IAAPA Expo Europe, the sector’s premier international event. [more...]
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Red Raion - Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue!
It’s extremely important for us to show you the process behind every content we produce. Each of our titles stems from deep research, focused on giving you the kinds of content that best fit your venues and target audience. Find out more...
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Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
Tech
Emotional reward

Scientists have developed a video game that adjusts difficulty based on player emotions, with applications for visitor attractions, as Tom Walker reports


Korean scientists have developed a dynamic way of adjusting the difficulty of video games – by estimating the players’ emotions based on in-game data. The new technology has important applications for the visitor attractions sector.

A team at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) have created a model in which the difficulty level is tweaked to maximise player satisfaction.

Until now, most developers have relied on dynamic difficulty adjustment (DDA) to crack the tough nut of appropriately balancing a videogame’s difficulty – something deemed essential to provide players with a pleasant experience.

Using DDA, the difficulty of a game adjusts in real-time according to player performance. If a player’s performance exceeds the developer’s expectations for a given difficulty level, the game’s DDA agent automatically raises the difficulty to increase the challenge presented to the player.

While DDA is useful, it’s limited, as the level of difficulty is adjusted simply on player performance – not on how much fun they are having.

Therefore, the team at GIST decided to put a twist on the DDA approach.

A different focus
Instead of focusing on the player’s performance, they developed DDA agents that adjusted the game’s difficulty to maximise one of four different aspects related to a player’s satisfaction: challenge, competence, flow, and valence (positivity or negativity).

The DDA agents were trained via machine learning using data gathered from actual human players, who played a fighting game against various artificial intelligence (AI) systems and then answered a questionnaire about their experience.

Using an algorithm called Monte-Carlo tree search, each DDA agent employed actual game data and simulated data to tune the opposing AI’s fighting style in a way that maximised a specific emotion, or ‘affective state.’

The team verified – through an experiment with 20 volunteers – that the proposed DDA agents could produce AIs that improved the players’ overall experience, no matter their preference.

This marks the first time that affective states have been incorporated directly into DDA agents, which could be useful for commercial games.

Major impact
The new technique to adjust difficulty levels could have a major impact on tech-based entertainment and simulation-type rides at visitor attractions.

It also has potential for other fields that can be ‘gamified’ – including physical activity and exercise.

Professor Kyung-Joong Kim, who led the study at GIST, said: “One advantage of our approach over other emotion-centred methods is that it doesn’t rely on external sensors, such as electroencephalography.

“Once trained, our model can estimate player states using in-game features only.

“Commercial game companies already have huge amounts of player data. They can exploit these data to model the players and solve various issues related to game balancing using our approach,” he said.

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COMPANY PROFILES
FORREC Ltd

We create guest experiences others don’t, masterplan like no one else can, and give the world’s bi [more...]
Antonio Zamperla Spa

Founded in 1966, the Antonio Zamperla SPA is privately owned by Mr Alberto Zamperla. Located in Vi [more...]
Sally Corporation

Our services include: Dark ride design & build; Redevelopment of existing attractions; High-quality [more...]
Simworx Ltd

The company was initially established in 1997. Terry Monkton and Andrew Roberts are the key stakeh [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Attractions industry to reunite this September at IAAPA Expo Europe in London
For the first time in more than a decade, industry leaders from across the global attractions industry will once again gather in London as part of the annual IAAPA Expo Europe, the sector’s premier international event. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Red Raion - Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue!
It’s extremely important for us to show you the process behind every content we produce. Each of our titles stems from deep research, focused on giving you the kinds of content that best fit your venues and target audience. Find out more...
More videos:
Red Raion Showreel 2021 – Red Raion
Red Raion TV - Opening Event: FICO Eataly World – Red Raion
Red Raion TV - Testimonial: Leolandia – Red Raion
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

01-07 Dec 2022

World Leisure Congress 2022

tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
05-07 Dec 2022

East Cape Futures

Hotel Palmas de Cortez, Los Barriles, Mexico
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
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