Pace of game and adaptations

If we want a game to adapt to the player's emotional states, how important is the pace of the game?

I'd say it's very important. Some games may be so slow that it's not appropriate to introduce affective adaptations to begin with, Mah Jong for instance. I suspect most people don't get very emotionally involved playing this game; with the possible exception of the exact moment in time when they realise they have won (or lost). On the opposing side, if the game is very fast (think of the last few levels you ever managed in Tetris) the player is automatically emotionally involved, generally with stress. So if we want to adapt to a wide range of emotions, the game needs to induce a wide range of emotions to be detected, right? So, does that mean that the designers have to specifically aim to induce certain emotions at certain times? What if the player reacts totally differently then, to what the designers wished for?

I think all storylines attempt to induce emotions in the player, but I also suspect that the designers, in general, don't much care if you're feeling happy, sad or angry as long as you're feeling, and enjoying yourself (somewhere below the anger). We can then use this same tactic in adaptive games, attempt to induce emotions, not caring what is being felt, but adapting to the reaction, whatever it may be. How do you induce emotions? Oh, in a variety of ways; music, lighting, textures, ambient noises, character animation, voice acting.. the list goes on and on. But all these methods surely rely on a 'sensible' pacing? You can have peaks and troughs in pace of course, but do they not all rely on time used to induce? But if they are, is the 'sensible' pace the same for everybody, or is this another component which the game needs to adapt for the specific player? What is the 'sensible' pace, what games currently, do you think, are set at a good pace for adaptations to player emotions?

Wow, that is a lot of questions, and I don't think I have the answers to any of them! Just thoughts....

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Posted by Phewsie

If we want a game to adapt to the player's emotional states, how important is the pace of the game?

I'd say it's very important. Some games may be so slow that it's not appropriate to introduce affective adaptations to begin with, Mah Jong for instance. I suspect most people don't get very emotionally involved playing this game; with the possible exception of the exact moment in time when they realise they have won (or lost). On the opposing side, if the game is very fast (think of the last few levels you ever managed in Tetris) the player is automatically emotionally involved, generally with stress. So if we want to adapt to a wide range of emotions, the game needs to induce a wide range of emotions to be detected, right? So, does that mean that the designers have to specifically aim to induce certain emotions at certain times? What if the player reacts totally differently then, to what the designers wished for?

I think all storylines attempt to induce emotions in the player, but I also suspect that the designers, in general, don't much care if you're feeling happy, sad or angry as long as you're feeling, and enjoying yourself (somewhere below the anger). We can then use this same tactic in adaptive games, attempt to induce emotions, not caring what is being felt, but adapting to the reaction, whatever it may be. How do you induce emotions? Oh, in a variety of ways; music, lighting, textures, ambient noises, character animation, voice acting.. the list goes on and on. But all these methods surely rely on a 'sensible' pacing? You can have peaks and troughs in pace of course, but do they not all rely on time used to induce? But if they are, is the 'sensible' pace the same for everybody, or is this another component which the game needs to adapt for the specific player? What is the 'sensible' pace, what games currently, do you think, are set at a good pace for adaptations to player emotions?

Wow, that is a lot of questions, and I don't think I have the answers to any of them! Just thoughts....