What Your Archmage Build Says About You

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

What Your Archmage Build Says About You

An information-gathering Neverwinter Nights mod could someday lead to games that change to suit your personality.

Read Full Article

This is actually really fascinating - one of the best articles on the Escapist for a while, thank you.

Hmm... now that I think about it, I do talk mostly with friendly NPCs, not rude ones... :O

Where can I find his research paper? It sounds fascinating.

Not sure I've ever wanted to read a published article as much as I do now. This sounds surprisingly interesting (and I'm curious to see where it would "type" me as compared to how I play).

Someone really needs to make a personality quiz based on this research.
I think it would be really funny to see.

I wonder how people's personalities correlate to the personalities people RP as in games. This would have to be taken into account for RPGs, and would be quite interesting.

A somewhat simpler approach might be to analyze which kinds of people tended to favor which kinds of character builds (sneaky, weak-caster, hack&slasher, ranged, mixed, etc.) and then design slightly different experiences for each class (alternate layouts for areas, different enemy group compositions, as well as different NPC interactions and quests). That is something that you could do a lot easier than on-the-fly reprogramming of the game. Plus you can generalize pretty easily and with fairly accurate results that a person who initially prefers the mage character has a slightly different approach to things than the person who initially prefers the barbarian.

Very nice. My only worry is that I often like to play games against my style consciously - I'm always light side the first time, but then I like to be dark, I play mate, then fighter, etc. Figuring out what stays the same (I read e dry single conversation branch, for instance ) would be handy.

Hell, I'd be willing to do a personality test a.d then let him watch all my games. ;)

I just pack all the strongest AoE spells I get plus few curses.

...whoops.

Maybe it's because you can be blocked off from Miranda's mission, but not Grunt's, and PC gamers can quicksave and restore on the fly, making it easier to avoid being closed off?

Maybe someone needs to ship the guy to Australia to do a lecture titled

'How to do proper research'

jericu:
Where can I find his research paper? It sounds fascinating.

This is the one; I believe.
http://ticc.uvt.nl/~pspronck/pubs/CIG2011Lankveld.pdf

EDIT: It helps if I actually post the link >.<

Interesting, I would like to see this research continued. It would be interesting to see if they could develop a series of games which would do far better in typing people than a questionaire which can be gamed.

It always annoyed me to see a job which required a personality test. Any reasonably intelligent person is going to realize that a company that uses this method is looking for people with certain results and will try to tailor their answers to what they think the desired outcome is. A well written game would be harder to guess especially if it were entertaining enough that the player forgot it was a test

Absolutely fascinating! I always like to tell people that gaming's real strength as a medium is its interaction with human choices. Research like this should be one of the new directions game developers should explore for improving their games. After all, who wouldn't like a game that was specifically tailored to his or her own tastes?

Thanks for an interesting article. As and when any becomes available, actual correlated data would make for a fascinating read. It's an interesting subject just for the psychological perspective. Coming at it from the idea that it holds potential for the changes described to occur in our future games on the fly is quite exciting; though I will reserve judgement on that!

Actually, there was already such game that already tried to shape the content and the story, to a varying degree, depending on your actions, even going as far as asking you a series of questions with a psychiatrist and it was a game made for the Wii (eventually released for the PS2 and PSP), it was Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

I know, first hand, that the game doesn't feature many combat sequences (like any at all) and even the scares aren't that scary when you discover that you only need to shit your pants when the environment starts to freeze (literally), but I still liked this game for other reasons.

The game was supposed to shape the story, it's characters personallity and some subtle details in the environment to be your own experience, at the beginning, the game opens up with a doctor asking you a series of questions and even after that initial questionaire, the game keeps showing you the doctor now and then, asking you more details about your personality, many people would think that the questionaire would be only limited to the doctor, but the game keeps analyzing your actions ingame.

How much do you search the environment for clues or items?, did you look at that girl's breast when she was talking to you?, do you turn around quickly when you hear strange noises?, those and other details are being analized by the game in real time, without you knowing.

Sadly, the game has it's limits, but it's certainly interesting to see how much the game changes when different people plays it, I know I tried, I invited my cousin to play the game and a lot of different things happened to him, compared to my playthrough.

Bethesda must be all over this guy.

"PC gamers were more likely to finish the optional quest for Miranda, one of the non-player characters, a quest described by BioWare themselves as having "a touchy-feely plot"."

Oh please, don't make out that the PC players cared more about Miranda's "touchy-feely plot", I think we all know the real reasons she was favoured. The two very large and prominently displayed reasons that pretty much define her entire character.

Other than that part (which just made me laugh), this was a pretty interesting article though. I don't think I'll be reading this guy's paper, but if his ideas are ever properly implemented into a game I would be very interested in playing it.

Michael Cook:
What Your Archmage Build Says About You

An information-gathering Neverwinter Nights mod could someday lead to games that change to suit your personality.

Read Full Article

To me, this made a great deal of sense when you consider how often role play is used in therapy, or when trying to learn about psychological issues in children. Watching kids play has always told us a lot, so it's no surprise that watching adults play would do the same.

Play allows us to influence and/or construct our reality. We are given tools, and allowed to use them to act. How we act reveals what some of our natural tendencies are. When the subject of play has so many real-life analogs (like an RPG, with conversations and such), we get some more applicable information.

It's not really breaking any new ground here, we're just broadening our definition of "imagination" and "play" and "role-play" to include video games, I think.

Duh Bioware, because .. PC players tend to be older than twelve.

Also, smart games aren't a new thing.

The most obvious are stuff like some really old Super Robot Taisen games adjusting difficulty levels between missions depending on how well you were doing.

Less obvious are the really obtuse formulae in games such as Romancing SaGa series, where the learning of new tech moves proc'ed less frequently if you're relatively high level compared to your enemies.
Meaning, if you're the type of player that likes to do quests while the fights are balls to the wall hard, you'll end up having more complicated moves and combos at your disposal, whilst people who grinds so that their characters are overpowered can win with their basic attacks anyway.

I think this is kind of meaningless. The study determined very little because from the way it sounds the people involved knew they were paticipating in a personality test and gaming experiment. When people know this kind of thing they tend to act based on the kind of person they want other people to see them as, rather than how they actually are. Knowing that the questions and games were connected your going to see people trying to remain consistant even if they don't consciously realize it.

Most meaningful psychological tests of this sort need to be conducted blind, with people not knowing they are being tested, the nature of the experiment, or the connections between what they are doing. This can raise all kinds of legal questions, but typically when this kind of thing is done they collect volunteers without any indication of the experiment or nature of the data, or have them told that the experiment is about something else entirely, perhaps with other things that are irrelevent to the test thrown in. Say for example having the people do push ups, sit ups, block puzzles, play asteroids, and then somewhere in this work in the game that actually matters. Likewise the personality test might be disguised as something else like an academic or aptitude test.

That said I'll also say that I'm less than enthusiastic about the nature of this experiment overall. Why you might ask? Well I think that by creating games that adapt to the player in this sense, rather than forcing the player to adapt to the gme, the medium is being cheapened and the games are not increasing the abillities of the player. A game that say becomes easier for an unskilled player is not causing that player to continously improve and develop skills. Gaming might be an entertainment medium, but it has the potential for so much more, and by thinking the way the industry is in using this research I think it's actually a bad thing for the medium as a whole, even if it's good for their bottom line, at least in the short term.

I'll also admit that I have mixed opinions about games that form personality profiles on the people playing them for other reasons as well. I think right now private industry has gotten way too intrusive. Once games start doing this, your going to start seeing the gaming industry collecting that data to use it to advertise and sell better games, and we already have enough problems with the ad industry as it is. Simply put I'm already irked with the gaming industry getting into your system and the goverment(s) not acting to regulate intrusive DRM, the last thing we need is for the gaming industry to start getting into our heads that way too... very little good can come from that. I don't mind the idea of VR/Neutral Interface technology, but not with private industry making products that psychologically profile their users, that kind of thing has already gone too far.

ccdohl:
Maybe it's because you can be blocked off from Miranda's mission, but not Grunt's, and PC gamers can quicksave and restore on the fly, making it easier to avoid being closed off?

Well Miranda was kind of a bitch. I did all the side missions because the game kept hinting that there would be consequences if i didn't. But if enjoyed Miranda's and Jacobs the least, and would not have done them otherwise. Tali's was my favorite, i actually decided to make her my love interest after doing it (sorry liara).

I'm definitely going over the time i spent playing NWN in my mind after reading this.

walrusaurus:

Well Miranda was kind of a bitch.

Yea, that's another creeping variable. Very interesting study though.

Therumancer:
snipp snippy

Yeah, pretty much there. As far as research goes, you don't tell the mouse he's in a maze, because it will have a effect on the outcome of the research. It could be the authors of this article decided not to bore us with the distractions and control groups etc that were used, however.

I dunno. I talk to everyone for the same reason I look up every nook and crane (I'm insane). Then again his research probably includes that as well.

I did Miranda's loyalty mission because that's how you're supposed to play the damn game. If there was an option to kick that unlikable skank out the airlock, I would have taken it. But there wasn't. That seems to be a flaw of this study, gamers know its a game, and it won't necessarily be accurate.

There's people that didn't do all the loyalty missions?

Jeez...

First I did was... Jack I think, I just knocked them all off as soon as I got them so I could do Legion's straight away.

Oh and the average age of PC gamers and console gamers is a huge myth, for anyone not participating in the sarcastic elitism of the "mature" gamers.

walrusaurus:

ccdohl:
Maybe it's because you can be blocked off from Miranda's mission, but not Grunt's, and PC gamers can quicksave and restore on the fly, making it easier to avoid being closed off?

Well Miranda was kind of a bitch. I did all the side missions because the game kept hinting that there would be consequences if i didn't. But if enjoyed Miranda's and Jacobs the least, and would not have done them otherwise. Tali's was my favorite, i actually decided to make her my love interest after doing it (sorry liara).

I thought Grunt's was actually the worst, followed by Thane. Jacobs was in the lower half, Miranda's was actually in the top half, but not above Tali and Kasumi's was my favorite.

This, combined with someone mastering procedurally generated content and graphics, could make for a pretty amazing game that changes according to how it is played. Would I want all games to be made like that? Probably not, but it would still be an iteresting diversion from the typical AAA game format.

vxicepickxv:

walrusaurus:

ccdohl:
Maybe it's because you can be blocked off from Miranda's mission, but not Grunt's, and PC gamers can quicksave and restore on the fly, making it easier to avoid being closed off?

Well Miranda was kind of a bitch. I did all the side missions because the game kept hinting that there would be consequences if i didn't. But if enjoyed Miranda's and Jacobs the least, and would not have done them otherwise. Tali's was my favorite, i actually decided to make her my love interest after doing it (sorry liara).

I thought Grunt's was actually the worst, followed by Thane. Jacobs was in the lower half, Miranda's was actually in the top half, but not above Tali and Kasumi's was my favorite.

Ya grunts was pretty lame, but it gets a pass for giving us some first hand experience of Krogan culture. And, whats his face, the solarian scientist's mission was on tuchanka too, and his was awesome. I don't remember a character named Kasumi at all... who is that.

That's actually pretty damn interesting.

It reminds me of back when Mass Effect 2 was released. We were a couple of guys in my class who were pretty big Bioware fans, and every once in a while when we were hanging out the conversation would steer in on either Mass Effect or Dragon Age. Nobody really said anything out loud about it, but I always noticed there was a clear difference in how we perceived the morality system. Some of us thought that the paragon options were the sensible ones and that renegade was over the top evil, while others thought that the renegade options were the natural way to go, while the paragon were good guy caricatures. I had this half-joking theory that you could tell what type of a person you were speaking with depending on if they went paragon or renegade Shepard on their first play through.

This is one of the most interesting articles I've read to date. This is, to me, the future of gaming as more than just an entertainment tool. There is a lot to learn about ourselves and the people around us through how we play games. Although some games, such as the GTA or Saints Row series, should probably be left out of metric data acquisitions because they may not accurately reflect people's personality traits. Remember escapism is just that, a way to become something we're not for a time and experience a world by different rules we set. Even if those worlds have strict rules we still form our own way of trudging through them.
I wonder though if this can lead to negative blowback from sources against gaming if the metric were applied the wrong way. If there's anything I've learned from the social sciences (or any science for that matter) is that people can skew data to support their hypothesis and that does happen on a regular (if perhaps minor) basis.

Michael Cook:
Picture this: You're playing the next Deus Ex game. You're taking the stealth approach a lot, and the game notices this. In fact, over the first hour or two of the game, it's built up a profile of what kind of gamer you are. Now it's got enough information to confidently redesign the game to be better for you - it invents new upgrades for you to purchase that are specifically catered to stealth players. It rewrites later missions to have more hidden entrances. Not only that, but it makes the game more interesting - increasing the frequency of alarm panels and making guards more alert. You and every other gamer on the planet play the same game at heart, but the finer details are tweaked to better suit you.

I believe this could be a Good Thing(TM). However, it'll only work if the devs/publishers have the will/resources/whatever to actually implement player choice, which is something literally absent these days.

Some of these choices could already be done today - imagine an action/adventure RPG - some action, some mistery solving, some stealth... a little bit of everything, actually.

Wanna play Realistic? Fine, no quest tracking on map, you've got to hunt down good ole Erik Questgiver when you need to talk with him, and he may be anywhere (in his action area) during the day, and you better not go waking him up at 3 am. Yes, you can actually ask other NPCs if they've seen Erik, and they might give you indications. You better have lots of spare time, because you're going to need it.

Wanna play Adventure, and not too keen on combat? No dynamic combat for you, then. Generally speaking, combat will be easy. After all, you're playing for the story. The game will warn you when you're about to embark on a combat-heavy quest with little story relevance. Some game objectives will have to be reached by problem-solving quests, rather than combat quests.

Wanna play Action? Not only will you have dynamic combat (activate powerups or QTEs), but you'll also have these helpful little arrows on the map telling you where to go, and NPCs will stay put in one place for you to talk to them, at any hour. Let's get the story out of your way, because you just want to kick some derriere.

As interesting as this research may be, it's not lack of knowledge/tech that's holding back more diverse player choice.

llyrnion:

As interesting as this research may be, it's not lack of knowledge/tech that's holding back more diverse player choice.

Indeed. Why can't they just put the "tailored" stuff in the game in the first place and then let you choose how you want to play it? What if you want to change halfway through? Are you going to wind up railroaded because the AI decided you're a "stealth player"--even though you were primarily stealthing because your initial weapon selection for the class you chose was crap, and once you get the good weapons you want to blaze everything down in a marvelous spree of death?

And think of how BUGGY this would be. It's quite likely that an AI programmed to be "concerned" with making the game harder would ruin the game for people who like to master challenges instead of being constantly overwhelmed with ever-more-finicky gameplay.

This has all the earmarks of being a bad gimmick and not a worthwhile growth area.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here