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Games Technology

Infinite Mario With Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment 103 103

bgweber writes "There's been a lot of discussion about whether games should adapt to the skills of players. However, most current techniques limit adaptation to parameter adjustment. But if the parameter adaptation is applied to procedural content generation, then new levels can be generated on-line in response to a player's skill. In this adaptation of Infinite Mario (with source [.JAR]), new levels are generated based on the performance of the player. What other gameplay mechanics are open for adaptation when games adapt to the skills of specific players?"
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Infinite Mario With Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @03:40AM (#33506092)

    One of the fun part of video games is playing the same level as someone else then talking about it, sharing frustrations and strategies. Once every level is different, this becomes much less easily done.

    Thus, if infinitely adaptable levels *do* exist, they should exist as an extended option or potentially an expansion pack to existing games rather than having an entire game based on that.

    Whether the level itself needs to change, or if just spawn points, etc, should cause different things/amount of enemies to spawn is another option. I'm reminded of Left 4 Dead and its sequel with the Director system that alters the spawning of zombies and types of zombies based on difficulty and the apparent skill of the players.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @03:55AM (#33506164)

    Ender's Game...but applied it to a simple Platform Jumper instead of a complicated psycho-analytic roleplaying scenario.

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @04:08AM (#33506228)

    If you adapt too much, then the player won't feel challenges anymore. And in games challenges are the things that will demand players to push forward the efforts.

    Adapting for the level of the player or adapting against it: can work both ways. A careful [] approach can actually maintain the level of interest (frustrate the player, but not too much... rather tease) as well as driving up the level of skills

  • by lxs (131946) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @04:25AM (#33506324)

    Or they simply use a mac but are indifferent to it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @05:37AM (#33506604)

    I think that's a bit simplistic.
    Nethack and the like are the most obvious examples of games that rely on randomly generated levels to keep players playing, and there are many more.
    The levels in this game aren't that great, but that doesn't mean an enjoyable randomly generated platformer is impossible

  • challenge (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @05:54AM (#33506658) Homepage Journal

    Adaptive monster levels is one of the reasons games are becoming boring excercises in flat-out grinding.

    Where is the challenge? Challenges consist of you having to adapt - to learn a new skill, to become quicker, smarter, better. That is one part of the equation. The other is drama. Drama consists of changes in suspense. If everything is equally easy or equally hard, there is no drama in the story, it all becomes flat.

    So a game that is always "at your level" or even always "just ahead of you" is neither challenging, nor interesting. This is doubly true for free-exploration games like Oblivion (one of the earliest mods available was to remove the auto-levelling).

    In a railroaded game like most sidescrollers or FPS, a certain level of adaptation might save the player from the frustration of having to try the same sequence for the 100th time. But most current auto-adaptation fails in picking out when the player needs some help and would enjoy a reduced difficulty and when he is enjoying the challenge and doesn't want the game to be dumbed down.

    So, until the time we get true AI, an explicit difficulty setting (bonus points if it can be changed mid-game) is still much preferable.

  • by zwei2stein (782480) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @06:53AM (#33506862) Homepage

    On contrary, your experience is still easily shared, frustrations voiced and strategies discused.

    Few examples:

      * Ever talked to someone about your Diablo session? How you like to use skill X against oponent Y, how that Z item dropped?

      * YASD - Yet Another Stupied Death (in ADOM or your roguelike of choice) stories. Thats about as much frustration sharing as it can get.

      * Dwarf Fortress - no two "levels" are alike, hell, everyone gets their personalised game world so one can easily play on dead planet where only few titan colosi and demons roam looking for sentiend beign to kill while someone else might be playing in populated and developed world. Yet people talk about their strategies, share tip and tricks.

    Given that there is actually more to talk about (two people talking experienced game differently) and it is more personal (when someone tells you about their experience, you will hear his unique story), i'd welcome that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @08:49AM (#33507354)

    Jesus Christ, dude.

  • by gorzek (647352) <gorzek&gmail,com> on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @09:26AM (#33507612) Homepage Journal

    Anyone here play Warning Forever? It's a shoot-'em-up consisting entirely of boss battles, but it has an interesting twist: the next boss adapts based on how you defeated previous bosses in terms of its body configuration, weapon placements, and weapon types. So, you're forced to change up your tactics or you'll be wiped out. I love it.

    Link for anyone interested: [] (Yes, in Japanese, but the game is in English and not hard to download from the page.)

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