Smart terrain causality chains for adventure-game puzzle generation

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“Smart terrain causality chains for adventure-game puzzle generation” by Isaac Dart and Mark J. Nelson. In Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games, 2012, pp. 328-334.

Abstract

Adventure videogames have the player assume the role of protagonist in an interactive story, which is primarily driven by exploration and puzzle-solving. A major drawback with this genre is minimal replayability, since the player has already seen what there is to explore, and knows how to solve the puzzles. We propose a technique to generate variations on puzzles that fit in the same location in the original story, and therefore don't require fully procedural story generation. We keep a database of smart terrain items, which can have effects on other items. Puzzles are generated by taking advantage of a duality between puzzle-solving and generation. Once we build smart terrain causality chains (STCCs) of puzzle solutions, a puzzle known to be solvable can be generated by simply inserting the items contained in a causality chain into the environment. We demonstrate this technique in an experimental videogame, Space Dust, which shows that even a very short adventure game can produce multiple interesting playthroughs when STCC-based puzzle generation is added.

BibTeX entry:

@inproceedings{Puzzle:CIG12,
   author = {Isaac Dart and Mark J. Nelson},
   title = {Smart terrain causality chains for adventure-game puzzle
	generation},
   booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE Conference on Computational
	Intelligence and Games},
   pages = {328--334},
   year = {2012}
}

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