TIME BALANCING OF COMPUTER GAMES USING ADAPTIVE TIME-VARIANT MINIGAMES
Game designers spend a great deal of time developing balanced game experiences. However, differences in player ability, hardware capacity (e.g. network connections) or real-world elements (as in mixed-reality games), make it difficult to balance games for different players in different conditions. In this research, adaptive time-variant minigames have been introduced as a method of addressing the challenges in time balancing as a part of balancing players of games. These minigames were parameterized to allow both a guaranteed minimum play time (the minimum time to complete a minigames to address the fixed temporal constraints) and dynamic adaptability (the ability of adapting the game during the game play to address temporal variations caused by individual differences). Three time adaptation algorithms have been introduced in this research and the interaction between adaptive algorithm, game mechanic, and game difficulty were analyzed in controlled experiments. The studies showed that there are significant effects and interactions for all three factors, confirming the initial hypothesis that these processes were important and linked to each other. Furthermore, the studies revealed that finer temporal granularity leads to less-perceptible adaptation and smaller deviations in game completion times. The results also provided evidence that adaptation mechanisms allow accurate prediction of play time. The designed minigames were valuable in helping to balance temporal asymmetries in a real mixed-reality game. It was also found that these adaptation algorithms did not interrupt the overall play experience.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorStanley, Kevin G.; Gutwin, Carl
CommitteeMakaroff, Dwight; Horsch, Michael C.; Vanderby, Sonia
Copyright DateMarch 2014
adaptive time-variant minigames