University of Oulu

Improving video game designer workflow in procedural content generation-based game design : a design science approach

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Author: Bomström, Henri1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, )
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201812063237
Language: English
Published: Oulu : H. Bomström, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-12-10
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Lappalainen, Jouni
Reviewer: Rajanen, Mikko
Lappalainen, Jouni
Description:
The time and money spent on video games are rapidly increasing, as the annual U.S game industry consumer spending has reached 23.5 billion dollars. The cost of producing video game content has grown in accordance with the consumer demand. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been suggested as a way to scale production costs with the demand. In addition to lowering content production costs, AI enables the creation of new forms of gameplay that are not possible with the current toolbox of the industry. The utilization of AI in game design is currently difficult, as it requires both theoretical knowledge and practical expertise. This thesis improved game designer workflow in PCG-based game design by explicating the necessary theoretical frameworks and practical steps needed to adopt AI-based practices in game design. Game designer workflow in PCG-based game design was improved by utilizing the design science research method (DSR). The constructed artefact was determined to be a method in accordance with the DSR knowledge contribution framework, and it was evaluated by using the Quick & Simple strategy from the FEDS framework. The risks related to artefact construction were assessed in accordance with the RMF4DSR framework. The metrics used to measure the performance of the artefact were determined by employing the GQM framework. Finally, the proposed method was evaluated by following it in constructing a simple PCG-based game with an accompanying AI system. The evaluation was performed by utilizing the FEDS framework in an artificial setting. After gathering and analysing the data from the artefact construction and evaluation, the method was modified to address its shortcomings. The produced design method is the main contribution of this thesis. The proposed method lowers the threshold for adopting PCG-based game design practices, and it helps designers, developers, and researchers by creating concrete and actionable steps to follow. The necessary theoretical frameworks and decision points are presented in a single method that demystifies the process of designing PCG-based games. Additional theoretical knowledge has been contributed by studying the topic from a practical perspective and extracting requirements from an actual design process. The method can be used as a practical cookbook for PCG-based projects and as a theoretical base for further studies on PCG-based game design. Future research tasks include evaluating the proposed method in an organizational context with real users. An organizational context also warrants means to managing risks in PCG-based game design projects. Finally, generator evaluation and explicit guidance on generator control are important future research topics.
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Copyright information: © Henri Bomström, 2018. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.