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Title: Platformer level design for player believability
Authors: Camilleri, Elizabeth
Yannakakis, Georgios N.
Dingli, Alexiei
Keywords: Level design (Computer science)
Computer games -- Design
Super Mario Bros. (Game)
Video game characters
Issue Date: 2016-09
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Citation: Camilleri, E., Yannakakis, G. N., & Dingli, A. (2016). Platformer level design for player believability. IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG), 2016, Santorini.
Abstract: Player believability is often defined as the ability of a game playing character to convince an observer that it is being controlled by a human. The agent's behavior is often assumed to be the main contributor to the character's believability. In this paper we reframe this core assumption and instead focus on the impact of the game environment and aspects of game design (such as level design) on the believability of the game character. To investigate the relationship between game content and believability we crowdsource rank-based annotations from subjects that view playthrough videos of various AI and human controlled agents in platformer levels of dissimilar characteristics. For this initial study we use a variant of the well-known Super Mario Bros game. We build support vector machine models of reported believability based on gameplay and level features which are extracted from the videos. The highest performing model predicts perceived player believability of a character with an accuracy of 73.31%, on average, and implies a direct relationship between level features and player believability.
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