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Games as Cybernetic Systems (Ch. 18) PowerPoint Presentation
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Games as Cybernetic Systems (Ch. 18)

Games as Cybernetic Systems (Ch. 18)

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Games as Cybernetic Systems (Ch. 18)

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  1. Games as Cybernetic Systems (Ch. 18)

  2. Cybernetics • Resulted from Information Theory (Ch. 16) and Information Systems Theory (Ch. 17) • Focus on how dynamic systems change over time • Cybernetics is used to study organizations • Large companies • Governments • Basic principle: output-feedback-adjustment

  3. feedback output adjustment Elements of a Cybernetic System“The feedback Loop” Environment Sensor Comparator Activator • AC-unit-in-a-room example

  4. Kinds of Feedback • Example of each for the AC-unit-in-a-room example • Negative: temperature(room) > 75 then activate cooler • Positive: temperature(room) < 75 then activate cooler

  5. Simple Cybernetic Design • Lets combine two feedback loops that maintains the temperature in a room stays between 65 and 75 • We have a cool air maker and • We have a heat air maker • Lets do one that that maintains the temperature in a room at 70. Same conditions as before

  6. Example of “this stuff” in games? • Positive/negative feedback in games?

  7. Game state feedback Scoring function output adjustment Controller Game mechanical bias • Information known to all players • Information known to only one player • Information known to the game only • Randomly generated information Game state Feedback Lops in Games(Marc LeBlanc) Environment Sensor Comparator Activator

  8. Example of negative Feedback: Downforce • Negative: • Simulated gravity vs. player • AI lets itself catch-up if you are loosing • AI catches up if you are winning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-OQzqUdbs4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37g5uNwmqz4

  9. AI lets itself catch-up if you are loosing • Position of autos • Configuration of track • … feedback Game state Scoring function • Player position, leadingCar position • Formally: Distance(player,finish), Distance(leadingCar,finish) adjustment output Game mechanical bias Controller • Slow down leading-car • Formally: • speed(leadingCar) • speed(player)  f(Distance(player, leadingCar) • Player loosing? Formally: • Distance(player, finish) > Distance(leadingCar, finish)

  10. Example Positive Feedback http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEGTX1cLeMo

  11. Homework: Next Class • Construct feedback loops (see Slide 9) for: • Simulated gravity vs player control (Slide 8) • Mortal combat (Slide 10) • Make sure to clearly identify four elements in detail

  12. Simulated gravity vs player control • Position of autos • Configuration of track • speed… feedback Game state Scoring function • Player direction • Road direction adjustment output Game mechanical bias Controller • Steer car towards road • Player going out of road?

  13. Mortal Combat: combo • Health Points player • Health points opponent • Disabled (Yes, No) • Opponent situation (chance for next combo, no chance) Game state feedback Scoring function • Disabled, • Opponent situation adjustment output Controller Game mechanical bias • Disabled = Yes • Opponent situation = chance for next combo • Disabling attack

  14. Difficulty LevelsBrigette Swan • Adaptation to the quirks and habits of a particular player over time. • Many games implement difficulty sliders. • Common: • start early levels easy • More difficult as game progresses • Difficulty can be: amount of information available! • Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DDA)

  15. Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DDA)-- The Oblivion Controversy • Idea: adjust game so that it remains challenging (negative feedback) • It is an RPG game like say Diablo but… • As your avatar levels so do all mobs in the game • So for example you “clean” a dungeon at level 1 killing some rats, at level 10 those rats will be armored and will hit much harder • Does it still have meaningful play as a result?

  16. Use of Feedback in Games (Marc LeBlanc) Examples? • Stability: • Negative feedback stabilizes a game • Positive feedback destabilizes a game • Game duration • Negative feedback can prolong a game • Positive feedback can end it • Success: • Positive feedback magnifies early success • Negative feedback magnifies late ones • Control: • Feedback systems can emerge from games • Feedback systems can take control away from gamers • … and result in lost of meaningful play!

  17. Test # 2 • Chapter 11 to Chapter 18 • Class + Book • 6 student presentations • Instructional Games + S.L.V