Emotional Appraisal Engines for Games

  • Joost Broekens
  • Eva Hudlicka
  • Rafael Bidarra
Part of the Socio-Affective Computing book series (SAC, volume 4)


Affective game engines could support game development by providing specialized emotion sensing (detection), emotion modeling, emotion expression and affective behavior generation explicitly tailored towards games. In this chapter we discuss the rationale for specialized emotional appraisal engines for games, analogous to having specialized physics engines. Such engines provide basic emotion modeling capabilities to generate emotions for Non Player Characters (NPCs), just like the Havok engine provides physics-related special purpose processing. In particular, such engines provide NPCs with an emotional state by simulating the emotional meaning of an event to an NPC in the context of the game’s storyline, the NPC’s personality, and relationships with other NPCs. We discuss why such engines are needed, present an example approach based on cognitive appraisal, and show how this appraisal engine has been integrated in a wide variety of architectures for controlling NPCs. We conclude with a discussion of novel gameplays possible by the more sophisticated emotion modeling enabled by an emotion appraisal engine.


Non-player character – NPC Behaviour Appraisal engine GAMYGDALA Gameplay 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Intelligent Systems DepartmentDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.College of Computer ScienceUniversity of Massachusetts-Amherst & Psychometrix AssociatesAmherstUSA

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