IDP2011 - Program


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

9:00am - 9:10amWelcome
9:10am - 9:35amTalk: Nelson / metrics
9:35am - 10:00amTalk: Dormans / mechanics
10:00am - 10:30amBreak
10:30am - 10:55amTalk: Tan / playtesting
10:55am - 11:20amTalk: Llanso / development
11:20am - 11:45amTalk: Smith / caricatures
11:45am - 1:00pmLunch
1:00pm - 2:30pmPanel
2:30pm - 3:30pmWorking Session, Part 1
3:30pm - 4:00pmBreak
4:00pm - 5:30pmWorking Session, Part 2
5:30pmClosing Remarks / Adjourn

Panel: How can machines and humans complement each other during the design process?

Moderator Chaim Gingold, UCSC (formerly EA/Maxis)
Panelists Kate Compton, UCSC (formerly EA/Maxis)
  Dan Kline, Electronic Arts
  Brian Schwab, Blizzard Entertainment
  Jim Whitehead, UCSC

Accepted Papers

Towards a Non-disruptive, Practical and Objective Automated Playtesting Process
Chek Tien Tan
Playtesting is the primary process that allows a game designer to access game quality. Current playtesting methods are often intrusive to play, involves much manual labor, and might not even portray the player's true feedback. This paper aims to alleviate these shortcomings by presenting the position that state of the art artificial intelligence techniques can construct automated playtesting systems that supplement or even substitute this process to a certain extent. Several potential research directions are proposed in this theme. A work-in-progress report is also included to demonstrate the conceptual feasibility of the potentials of this research area.

Simulating Mechanics to Study Emergence in Games
Joris Dormans
This paper presents the latest version of the Machinations framework. This framework uses diagrams to represent the flow of tangible and abstract resources through a game. This flow represents the mechanics that make up a game’s interbal economy and has a large impact on the emergent gameplay of most simulation games, strategy games and board games. This paper shows how Machinations diagrams can be used simulate and balance games before they are built.

Knowledge Guided Development of Videogames
David Llanso, Marco A. Gómez-Martín, Pedro Pablo Gomez-Martin and Pedro Antonio Gonzalez-Calero
Due to the changing nature of videogames, the component-based architecture is the design of choice for managing game entities instead of the traditional static class hierarchies. A component-based architecture lets programmers edit entities as collections of components, which provide the entity with new functionalities. Such architecture promotes flexibility but makes the code more difficult to understand because entities are built at runtime by linking components. In this paper we present a semi-automatic process for moving from a class hierarchy to a component-based architecture. Through the application of Formal Concept Analysis we propose a novel technique for automatically identifying candidate distributions of responsibilities among components.

Computational Caricatures: Probing the Game Design Process with AI
Adam M. Smith and Michael Mateas
We propose the creation of computational caricatures as a design research practice that aims to advance understanding of the game design process and to develop the reusable technology for design automation. Computational caricatures capture and exaggerate statements about the game design process in the form of running systems. In comparison with empirical interviews of game designers, arguments from established design theory, and the creation of neutral simulations of the design process, computational caricatures provide more direct access to inquiry and insight about design. Further, they tangibly demonstrate architectures and subsystems for a new generation of human-assisting design support systems and adaptive games that embed aspects of automated design in their runtime processes. In this paper, we frame the idea of computational caricature, review several existing design automation prototypes through the the lens of caricature, and call for more design research to be done following this practice.

Game Metrics Without Players: Strategies for Understanding Game Artifacts
Mark J. Nelson
Game metrics are an approach to understanding games and gameplay by collecting, analyzing, and displaying information collected from players in playtests. This paper proposes that the game itself is also a potential source of metrics, however, and they need not always be collected through empirical playtests. I discuss seven strategies for extracting information from games, and discuss how the information retrieved in this manner relates to the empirical playtest metrics---which it can often complement.