The Game Innovation Lab hosts a wide range of faculty and student projects. Here are a few currently active projects—contact individual lab faculty for a complete list of their related research initiatives.

Exploring Game Space

Prof. Andy Nealen with Aaron Isaksen, Dan Gopstein, and Prof. Julian Togelius

exploring game space teaser

Game designers adjust game parameters to create an optimal experience for players. We call this high-dimensional set of unique game variants game space. To help designers explore game space and better understand the relationship between design and player experience, we present several methods to find games of varying difficulty. Focusing on a parameterized version of Flappy Bird, a popular minimal score-based action game, we predict each variant’s difficulty using automatic play testing, Monte-Carlo simulation, a player model based on human motor skills (precision, reaction time, and actions per second), and exponential survival analysis of score histograms. Our techniques include searching for a specific difficulty, game space visualization, and computational creativity to find interesting and unique variants using clustering and genetic algorithms. 



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