Measuring player experience on runtime dynamic difficulty scaling in an RTS game

Document type: Conference Papers
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text:
Author(s): Johan Hagelbäck, Stefan J. Johansson
Title: Measuring player experience on runtime dynamic difficulty scaling in an RTS game
Conference name: CIG 2009 IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Games
Year: 2009
City: Milano
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Computing (Sektionen för datavetenskap och kommunikation)
School of Computing S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail:,
Language: English
Abstract: Do players find it more enjoyable to win, than to play even matches? We have made a study of what a number of players expressed after playing against computer opponents of different kinds in an RTS game. There were two static computer opponents, one that was easily beaten, and one that was hard to beat, and three dynamic ones that adapted their strength to that of the player. One of these three latter ones intentionally drops its performance in the end of the game to make it easy for the player to win. Our results indicate that the players found it more enjoyable to play an even game against an opponent that adapts to the performance of the player, than playing against an opponent with static difficulty. The results also show that when the computer player that dropped its performance to let the player win was the least enjoyable opponent of them all.
Subject: Computer Science\Artificial Intelligence
Digital Game Development\General
Keywords: potential fields, artificial potential fields, player satisfaction, player enjoyment, real-time strategy, rts, games