Scaling the Level of Difficulty in Single Player Video Games

  • Maria-Virginia Aponte
  • Guillaume Levieux
  • Stéphane Natkin
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5709)


In this this paper, we discuss the interest and the need to evaluate the difficulty of single player video games. We first show the importance of difficulty, drawing from semiotics to explain the link between tension-resolution cycles, and challenge with the player’s enjoyment. Then, we report related work on automatic gameplay analysis. We show through a simple experimentation that automatic video game analysis is both practicable and can lead to interesting results. We argue that automatic analysis tools are limited if they do not consider difficulty from the player point of view. The last section provides a player and Game Design oriented definition of the challenge and difficulty notions in games. As a consequence we derive the property that must fulfill a measurable definition of difficulty.


video games challenge difficulty learning evaluation 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria-Virginia Aponte
    • 1
  • Guillaume Levieux
    • 1
  • Stéphane Natkin
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches en Informatique du CNAM, Conservatoire National des Arts et MétiersParisFrance

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