Games as Cybernetic Systems

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30 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

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Games as Cybernetic Systems
(Ch. 18)

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

Elements of a Cybernetic System

“The feedback Loop”

Environment

Comparator

Sensor

Activator



AC
-
unit
-
in
-
a
-
room example

feedback

adjustment

output

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

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

Example of “this stuff” in games?


Positive/negative feedback in games?

Feedback Lops in Games

(
Marc LeBlanc)

Environment

Comparator

Sensor

Activator

feedback

adjustment

output

Game state

Game mechanical bias

Scoring function

Controller

Game state


Information known to all players


Information known to only one player


Information known to the game only


Randomly generated information

Example of negative Feedback:
Downforce

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37g5uNwmqz4


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z
-
OQzqUdbs4



Negative:


Simulated
gravity vs.
player


AI lets itself
catch
-
up if you
are loosing


AI catches
up if you are
winning



AI lets itself catch
-
up if you are loosing

feedback

adjustment

output

Game state

Game mechanical bias

Scoring function

Controller


Position of autos


Configuration of
track





Player loosing?
Formally:

Distance(player, finish)
> Distance(leadingCar,
finish)


Player position, leadingCar
position


Formally:
Distance(player,finish),
Distance(leadingCar,finish)


Slow down leading
-
car



Formally:

speed(leadingCar)



speed(player)



f(
Distance(player, leadingCar)

Example Positive Feedback

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEGTX1cLeMo


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

Simulated gravity vs player control

feedback

adjustment

output

Game state

Game mechanical bias

Scoring function

Controller


Position of autos


Configuration of
track


speed…


Player going out of
road?



Player direction


Road direction


Steer car towards road


Mortal Combat: combo

feedback

adjustment

output

Game state

Game mechanical bias

Scoring function

Controller


Health Points
player


Health points
opponent


Disabled (Yes,
No)


Opponent
situation (chance
for next combo,
no chance)



Disabled = Yes


Opponent situation =
chance for next combo


Disabled,


Opponent situation


Disabling attack


Difficulty Levels


Brigette 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)

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?


Use of Feedback in Games


(
Marc LeBlanc)


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!

Examples?

Test # 2


Chapter 11 to Chapter 18


Class + Book



6 student presentations


Instructional Games + S.L.V