Towards automated game design

Mark J. Nelson, Michael Mateas (2007). Towards automated game design. In AI*IA 2007: Artificial Intelligence and Human-Oriented Computing, pp. 626–637.


Game generation systems perform automated, intelligent design of games (i.e. videogames, boardgames), reasoning about both the abstract rule system of the game and the visual realization of these rules. Although, as an instance of the problem of creative design, game generation shares some common research themes with other creative AI systems such as story and art generators, game generation extends such work by having to reason about dynamic, playable artifacts. Like AI work on creativity in other domains, work on game generation sheds light on the human game design process, offering opportunities to make explicit the tacit knowledge involved in game design and test game design theories. Finally, game generation enables new game genres which are radically customized to specific players or situations; notable examples are cell phone games customized for particular users and newsgames providing commentary on current events. We describe an approach to formalizing game mechanics and generating games using those mechanics, using WordNet and ConceptNet to assist in performing common-sense reasoning about game verbs and nouns. Finally, we demonstrate and describe in detail a prototype that designs micro-games in the style of Nintendo's WarioWare series.

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