An Experimental Approach to Identifying Prominent Factors in Video Game Difficulty
This paper explores a full factorial analysis methodology to identify game factors with practical significance on the level of difficulty of a game. To evaluate this methodology, we designed an experimental testbed game, based on the classic game Pac-Man. Our experiment decomposes the evaluation of the level of difficulty of the game into a set of response variables, such as the score. Our offline experiment simulates the behaviour of Pac-Man and the ghosts to evaluate each game factor’s impact on a set of response variables. Our analysis highlights factors that significantly contribute to the game play of individual players as well as to general player strategies. This offline evaluation provides a benefit to commercial games as a useful tool for performing tasks such as game balancing, level tuning and identifying playability and usability issues.
KeywordsDynamic Difficulty Game Balancing Adaptive Game System
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