Socially Present Board Game Opponents

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The real challenge of creating believable and enjoyable board game artificial opponents lies no longer in analysing millions of moves per minute. Instead, it lies in creating opponents that are socially aware of their surroundings and that can interact socially with other players. In traditional board games, where face-to-face interactions, social actions and strategic reasoning are important components of the game, artificial opponents are still difficult to design. In this paper, we present an initial effort towards the design of board game opponents that are perceived as socially present and can socially interact with several human players. To accomplish this, we begin by an overview of board game artificial opponents. Then we describe design guidelines for developing empirically inspired social opponents for board games. These guidelines will be illustrated by concrete examples in a scenario where a digital table is used as a user interface, and an intelligent social robot plays Risk against three human opponents.