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Assistive design and production in computer games: Parametric systems, data mining, visual analytics

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4 Author(s)
Aghabeigi, B. ; Sch. of Interactive Art & Technol., Simon Fraser Univ., Surrey, BC, Canada ; Calvert, T. ; El-Nasr, M.S. ; Riedewald, M.

Real Time Strategy (RTS) games are complex, often requiring modeling of economic behaviors to develop a successful game. The design process for developing such an RTS game usually involves designers developing rules and mechanics based on their intuition and then revising these rules over several successive iterations to ensure that the model works for the target market. For the past year, we have been collaborating with a game company (BlackBird Interactive Inc.) to create an economy model to assist in designing a game. BlackBird is developing a social multiplayer RTS game called HARDWARE. Our goal is to develop assistive technologies to allow designers to make informed decisions regarding their game mechanics. In this paper we discuss the approach we took and our method to validate it in future. In particular, we developed an innovative technique using simulation and behavior modeling to allow designers to better adjust and understand the game variables. In this paper we discuss the model and preliminary interactions with the design team to show the success of this model. Our model describes how the game economy should unfold in different dimensions. We considered several parameters for user behavior, including propensity factors (such as their tendency towards certain game activities). We then developed a simulation system using Matlab and Simulink which considers the developed parameterized mathematical model as input, and uses a stochastic Monte Carlo approach for running probability based equations. The system extracts an empirical distribution for each model output variable over time. These output variables can represent how the economy resources change for a specific class of users.

Published in:

Games Innovation Conference (IGIC), 2012 IEEE International

Date of Conference:

7-9 Sept. 2012