Thursday, July 14, 2011

Help us test new strategy game ideas

We have two new playtests/surveys going on, this time about strategy games. Those of us working on AI in the Center for Computer Games Research are interested in creating adaptive mechanisms for games, and automating the generation of various forms of game content. For strategy games, we are working on automatic map generation, automatic rule generation and AI techniques for competently playing strategy games with little domain information.

What we want from you is some help with evaluating the results of our recent endeavours.

The first survey is about automatically generated rulesets and general AI. If you take this survey, you will play a tutorial scenario and then two different (very short) scenarios in a strategy game you have never seen before. You will then be asked which one you prefer, which opponent AI was best, and a couple of other relevant questions. It will take you about 10 minutes. Click here to participate in the playtest survey.

You can also read the paper describing some of the previous research leading up to the system used in the current playtest. However, you are only allowed to read the paper after you've taken the survey. No cheating!

The second survey is about automatically generated maps for the classic real-time strategy game StarCraft. If you take this survey, you will be asked to look at ten different StarCraft maps and judge their relative qualities. It helps if you have played StarCraft, but it's not necessary. This survey will take you about 5 minutes to complete. Click here to take part in the StarCraft survey.

When you're finished, you could reward yourself with reading a paper on how the maps were created (though the current version of the system has evolved a bit). But only after you've taken the survey, or you'll bias the results...

Seriously though: thanks a lot for helping us with this!

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