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A Virtual Agent Toolkit for Serious Games Developers


Abstract The design of serious games requires developers to tackle pedagogical challenges calling for advanced solutions that the entertainment industry might deem too risky to pursue. One such challenge is the creation of autonomous socially intelligent characters with whom players can practice different social skills. Although there are several architectures in the field of virtual agents that are designed specifically to enable more human-like interactions, they are still not widely adopted by game studios that develop serious games, in particular for learning. In this paper, we present a virtual agent toolkit that was specifically developed with the intent of making agent-based solutions more accessible and reliable to game developers. To this end, a collaborative effort was established with a game studio that has used the toolkit to develop two different serious games. Among other advantages, the toolkit facilitated the inclusion of a dynamic model of emotions that affects not just how the character looks and acts but also how the player’s performance is determined. Index Terms—serious games, virtual agents, authoring tools, interactive storytelling, affective computing
Year 2018
Keywords Intelligent Virtual Agents;
Authors Samuel Mascarenhas, Manuel Guimarães, Rui Prada, João Dias, Pedro A Santos, Kam Star, Ben Hirsh, Ellis Spice, Rob Kommeren
Journal 2018 IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG)
Pages 1--7
Month August
Publisher IEEE
Pdf File
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@article { mascarenhas18, abstract = {The design of serious games requires developers to tackle pedagogical challenges calling for advanced solutions that the entertainment industry might deem too risky to pursue. One such challenge is the creation of autonomous socially intelligent characters with whom players can practice different social skills. Although there are several architectures in the field of virtual agents that are designed specifically to enable more human-like interactions, they are still not widely adopted by game studios that develop serious games, in particular for learning. In this paper, we present a virtual agent toolkit that was specifically developed with the intent of making agent-based solutions more accessible and reliable to game developers. To this end, a collaborative effort was established with a game studio that has used the toolkit to develop two different serious games. Among other advantages, the toolkit facilitated the inclusion of a dynamic model of emotions that affects not just how the character looks and acts but also how the player’s performance is determined. Index Terms—serious games, virtual agents, authoring tools, interactive storytelling, affective computing}, journal = {2018 IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG)}, keywords = {Intelligent Virtual Agents;}, month = {August}, pages = {1--7}, publisher = {IEEE}, title = {A Virtual Agent Toolkit for Serious Games Developers}, year = {2018}, author = {Samuel Mascarenhas and Manuel Guimarães and Rui Prada and João Dias and Pedro A Santos and Kam Star and Ben Hirsh and Ellis Spice and Rob Kommeren} }

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