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Default The AI director/Continuation on the evolution of gaming

April 26th, 2014, 11:11
Previously, in this thread (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22893), it was established that video gaming is at a turning point and being changed deeply because of monetization of play time through broadcasting of gaming sessions.

Up to that point, video gaming was a process to be involved actively in. With the monetization of broadcast, it is growing into a process to be involved passively in.

This creates a new relationship between the director (the player who broadcasts his play sessions) and the auditors (people who watch the broadcast). This relationship orients the design of games as the demand by players who monetize their playtime weights more on the selling side (video games makers) than the demand by players who do not.

Players who monetize their play time come in different stripes.

For example, professional players. Their design demand is that the game must work as a proper platform to showcase their skills, since the audience of their broadcasts want an exhibition of (game) skills.

Professional players affect a small minority of games.

Other broadcasters use games as platforms to run something like a one man show. Their primary demand on game design is that it supports the acting side.
Some games require focus it is not possible to set up an actor show (as the games used by professional players)

These players are much more numerous than professional players and their impact go on a larger number of games.

These were the points made in the other thread.

Things are already in motion as design now includes the notion of AI director.

Several constraints are put on video makers (directors)

-the constraint of content: the director must think of a narrative to hook the auditors up. It is not enought to play the game, the game must be used to tell a story to the auditors since the auditors want to be told a story.

-the constraint of time: content might take more or less time to produce in several ways. The ideal situation being the streaming situation, that is when a player sits down, launchs the stream and play. It is the minimal time, the content is broadcast as it is produced.
Streaming comes with no edition work but even streaming might require preparation work to get the content interesting. It might be grinding for ten hours to vaporize the obtained loot in the hour long streaming etc.
Some games might go with tedious sequences it is better to edit out etc


For all these reasons, players who monetize their play time strive to close to the conditions of streaming, including the majority of those who use outlets like Youtube. For this, they are called streamers (even though they do not litterally stream)

These constraints set a profile for game designing. And this has already given birth to the AI director.

The AI director takes in charge the task of providing an interesting content instead of it being the task of the stream.

The AI director elaborates an eventful material to fit a preset a narrative. This creates a special bound between the streamer and the watchers as watchers know what kind of content from the game they can expect.

For example, an AI director might provide material for a " bad days go like this" experiment, stacking up adverse events. This frees time and space for the streamer to put forward his one man show as he is no longer burdened by the task of setting up a narrative.

Already, the demand by players who monetize their play time is being met as the effort of imagining valuable content is being relieved.

So far, story in video games were told in two main ways:
-scripted ways. The story is written by a writer and later included in the game. Players follow the various branches to a pre determined end.
-free form. The game provides material for the players to elaborate a narrative.

For example, Skyrim provides both, a scripted storytelling and a freeform storytelling.
Skyrim has no director AI though.

While being close to the free form, an AI director is different in that it takes away the licence of imagining the narrative.
Scripted storytelling will probably endure but it is not sure that free form storytelling might go strong over time.

Free form is all up to the player and is only as rich as the imagination of the player to stage his avatar in various situations.

The AI director experience is as rich as the AI director can make it. And it is effortless, which serves so well players who monetize their play time.
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April 26th, 2014, 13:59
I'm unsure what the whole thing is about.
Is it about how to make housewives to giveup mexican soap operas and use TV to watch gameplay vids instead?

Video gaming definetly is at a turning point. But it's not passivization of the experience. It's worldwide ignoring powers of modern machines and selling stuff that can work on C-64 as top games. The lack of individual thought and criticism, the everlasting wish to be accepted by the society, denial that grinding is a job and not something you'd do to get fun resulted in phonegames and cow clickers.

The time when a reviewer analyzed a game passed, today the majority reviews a company behind a product instead of the product itself. Even most important, a rare reviewer will say "do not buy it" or "do not let them do it to you". It's a disgrace to see very different percentages games get from reviewers and audience on metacritic.

The emperor is naked. Every day you see the frontal nudity of the industry, yet your reaction is just to close eyes and keep silent like it's not there. Scared of what? Of getting banned on some developer's forum? Of getting ignored on facebook by your friends who still play cow clickers?
The industry won't change if you continue to let them scam you. Support proper games.
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April 27th, 2014, 21:51
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
I'm unsure what the whole thing is about.
Is it about how to make housewives to giveup mexican soap operas and use TV to watch gameplay vids instead?
No. It is about how meeting the demand by players who monetize their playtime will affect the game design in general.

Players who monetize their play time decide how they want to attract their viewers (see the article)

This noted, as they use video games as a tool to support their monetization effort, the tool must be designed with their demand in mind.

Providing an AI director is a way to meet their demand.

Since those players might gather millions of viewers, support through purchase is illusory.

In a sector of activity like video gaming, the monetizating segment demand is usually met over the non monetized demand.

Even better, players who monetize their play time might receive free Steam codes.

It sizes up how much more they matter over the player who do not monetize the play time (expected to actually buy the game to play it)
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April 27th, 2014, 22:17
I have friends that talk about watching others play video games on line and such, but it would never occur to me to do such a thing. Every time I think about it, I'm reminded of the 70's and standing in line to play games, and being forced to watch others play first. That's something I never care to re-experience. Easy enough to ask a friend, someone that you know and trust their opinion on, least for me. As far as making money off the process…….is anyone really that desperate?
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May 1st, 2014, 19:06
Interesting thought-model.
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May 2nd, 2014, 00:59
This is actually a very interesting topic.

For me and my experiences there has always been an element of 'happy to watch' involved in gaming.

Though I never stood in-line at arcade machines (though me and a friend did build up a crowd ourselves once, Final Fight I think it was) when consoles came out it was a case of one guy having one console at the party, with about 12 of us sitting round waiting for our turn, whether it was Street Fighter, Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog or some random keyboard game like Frak or Pinball.

There's a certain amount of fun to be had mocking, praising, and generally participating in someone else's trials and tribulations with the game. Normally your turn would come around, maybe four or five times, but, sometimes, it'd just be a case of watching, especially if you couldn't be bothered to play or there was time constraints or the owner was a hog.

I probably spent more time watching than playing in the early console days. When I did get a console in the late 90s, a Playstation 1, I played a few games but quickly got bored of each game quite quickly. It was always more fun doing the whole participation thing than just sitting there going through the motions.

PC games, on the other hand, are the opposite. I have no idea why, but the process of 'deep' gaming in PC games is much more suited to solo play. Civilisation, for example, I can't bare to watch someone else play. It's like, every single nano-choice you're just thinking "I'd have done that differently" until, quite quickly, you just scream "GAH! Gimme the controls" and then your glued for 10 hours.

So when it comes to watching other people play games on-line, yes, a similar 'requirement' is involved. Games like Civilisation make for very boring Let's Plays, but something as simple and straight forward as Sonic the Hedgehog make for very entertaining Let's Plays.

You don't mind watching people die and re-do levels (as long as it's not for too long) and you don't mind watching them fiddle around with stuff, trying to work stuff out, but when it get's to (original) Fallout or Planescape: Torment levels of Micro-management or deep reading, then, no, you're not going to last long watching it.

But what I want as a viewer is something 'real' but not something 'too real'. I want to feel like the player hasn't played the game before and that we will genuinely see where they go wrong and genuinely feel whether they are liking the experience or not. I don't want to feel like I'm watching a computer perform a perfect score. I don't want to watch someone who's so dumb they can't even open the Inventory window when they know it's there, but I don't mind if they miss a quest because the Inventory isn't explicit that an item is quest related.

I don't know if you've ever played a Nancy Drew game? Well, they're horrible. Practically every one of them. They are puzzle games invented by inhabitants of a lunatic asylum. Once you've tried one, you want to go on-line to see if the next guy had the same problems in the same place you did. You don't want to see someone doing a walkthrough (for this situation), you want to watch someone else 'genuinely feel the game'. This is a form of pleasure. The 'walkthroughs' provide a different service entirely (I think some gay guy covers that market currently). For something more manly, practically all the Sherlock Holmes games are the same.

So I'm quite happy for games to move into the combined requirements of viewer/player form of game design, it seems quite a natural process for me, if it's the right 'kind' of game.

But I would be disappointed if people stopped creating micro-management games and other, more personal, types of games, because, over the long-term, all watching and no playing will just lead to turning off the whole genre.

I tried to watch a recent Let's Play of Bioshock II, a game with great reviews and a lot of fans here. I enjoyed its visuals and plot potential, but the guy rushed the story (in order to make a Let's Play) and edited out a lot of stuff, so it just felt like one gunfight after another, wham-bam, game over - which actually put me off the game completely as it made it look like just another generic shooter but with a decent setting.

so, yeah, if it's approached incorrectly then it will fail and fail hard. The devil is in the detail - and I'm not too sure the game makers are going to let people make 'genuine' Let's Plays…
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