games as cybernetic systems ch 18 l.
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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

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cybernetics
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

feedback

output

adjustment

Elements of a Cybernetic System“The feedback Loop”

Environment

Sensor

Comparator

Activator

  • AC-unit-in-a-room example
kinds of feedback
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
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
Example of “this stuff” in games?
  • Positive/negative feedback in games?
feedback lops in games marc leblanc

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

example of negative feedback downforce
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

ai lets itself catch up if you are loosing
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)
example positive feedback
Example Positive Feedback

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

homework next class
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
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?
mortal combat combo
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
difficulty levels brigette swan
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)
dynamic difficulty adjustment dda the oblivion controversy
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
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!
test 2
Test # 2
  • Chapter 11 to Chapter 18
    • Class + Book
  • 6 student presentations
    • Instructional Games + S.L.V