Live by the Sword: Adjusting gameplay levels using AI

Project partners: Labrador Studios and University of York

York-based gaming and app development company Labrador Studio, worked with the University of York to explore how gameplay could be adjusted dynamically using artificial intelligence, to meet the individual skill levels of different players.

Together with academics from the University of York, Labrador Studio worked on an R&D project that was centred around an AI-based video game prototype called Live by the Sword. The narrative for this game was based on a fictitious country that is recovering from a great war.

During the R&D project, the team built and tested a working prototype of the game powered by Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DDA), an artificial intelligence system that incorporated specific actions from the gameplay narrative. The DDA feature enabled the game to remain at the right level of difficulty throughout, tailored to the individual, to ensure that the player was never bored by the game being too easy, or frustrated by it being too hard.

The project has provided an early indication that AI-based gaming levels could be well received by players. Further work is now required to develop this concept for market testing. 

Matthew Hamilton, director, and industry partner on this project, says:

“AI has been used in gaming for some time to generate responsive, adaptive or intelligent behaviours – similar to human-like intelligence. The Live by the Sword XR funded R&D project explored how AI could help adapt the gameplay narrative without impacting the levels that are too easy or difficult for the player.

We would like to further explore this concept and demonstrate its full potential to the gaming community. Our aim is to eventually offer this AI option to other gaming developers to enhance the experience for gamers of all levels.”

Categories: Games