Automatic Critical Mechanic Discovery Using Playtraces in Video Games

Michael Cerny Green, Ahmed Khalifa, Gabriella A.B. Barros, Tiago MacHado, Julian Togelius

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    We present a new method of automatic critical mechanic discovery for video games using a combination of game description parsing and playtrace information. This method is applied to several games within the General Video Game Artificial Intelligence (GVG-AI) framework. In a user study, human-identified mechanics are compared against system-identified critical mechanics to verify alignment between humans and the system. The results of the study demonstrate that the new method is able to match humans with higher consistency than baseline. Our system is further validated by comparing MCTS agents augmented with critical mechanics and vanilla MCTS agents on 4 games from GVG-AI. Our new playtrace method shows a significant performance improvement over the baseline for all 4 tested games. The proposed method also shows either matched or improved performance over the old method, demonstrating that playtrace information is responsible for more complete critical mechanic discovery.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2020
    EditorsGeorgios N. Yannakakis, Antonios Liapis, Kyburz Penny, Vanessa Volz, Foaad Khosmood, Phil Lopes
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450388078
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 15 2020
    Event15th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2020 - Bugibba, Malta
    Duration: Sep 15 2020Sep 18 2020

    Publication series

    NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

    Conference

    Conference15th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2020
    CountryMalta
    CityBugibba
    Period9/15/209/18/20

    Keywords

    • game playing
    • monte carlo tree search
    • planning
    • tutorial generation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Computer Networks and Communications
    • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
    • Software

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