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About GATE

GATE final publication 2012
Results from the GATE research project
a 75 page overview (pfd 4.7 Mb)

GATE Magazine 2010
a 36-page overview of the GATE project (pdf 5.3 Mb

Research themes:
Theme 1: Modeling the virtual World
Theme 2: Virtual characters
Theme 3: Interacting with the world
Theme 4: Learning with simulated worlds

Pilot Education Story Box
Pilot Education Carkit
Pilot Safety Crisis management
Pilot Healthcare Scottie
Pilot Healthcare Wiihabilitainment

Knowledge Transfer Projects:
Sound Design 
Motion Controller
Mobile Learning
Glengarry Glen Ross
Enriching Geo-Specific Terrain
Pedestrian and Vehicle Traffic Interactions
Semantic Building Blocks for Declarative Virtual World Creation 
Computer Animation for Social Signals and Interactive Behaviors


Center for Advanced Gaming and Simulation
Department of Information and Computing Sciences
Utrecht University
P.O. Box 80089
3508 TB Utrecht
The Netherlands
Tel +31 30 2537088


 ICTRegie is a compact, independent organisation consisting of a Supervisory Board, an Advisory Council, a director and a bureau. The Minister of Economic Affairs, and the Minister of Education, Culture and Science bear the political responsibility for ICTRegie. The organisation is supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and SenterNovem.

WP 4.1 Adapting the game to the world

Adapting the game to the world

Computer games are frustrating if they are too difficult, but boring if they are too easy. Researchers at Utrecht University are working on computer games that adjust to the skill level of the user on the fly. This way games are just challenging enough for that particular person. One of the most important factors in making computer games fun is making sure that they have the right difficulty level for the player. Most games can be played at different difficulty levels, which you can chose before you start the game. This way you need to know how good you are at the game before you start playing the game. Different people also increase their skill level at different rates. If the increase in skill level is different than the game designer expected then the game will still become too difficult or too easy for the user.

We created a framework for creating games that are able to keep track of the skill level of the player and adjust accordingly. We estimate the skill level of the player by dividing the game in small parts and measuring the performance of the player on every part that is finished. Really different tasks are chosen according to the skill level of the user. For example, a game level with lots of aiming tasks if the player needs to improve its aiming skill. Game designers usually create a nice story that the player experiences while he is playing the game. But if different players get different tasks according to their skill level then the ordering of the storyline might change and possibly ruin the experience for the player. The developed system allows games to adjust to the user while making sure that the storyline, created by the game designer, is preserved. For example a character  with a broken leg cannot suddenly walk again to make the game easier. They also makes sure that parts of the game that should be more challenging remain more challenging for the player. Beschrijf hier de resultaten. Geef ook eventuele samenwerking met bedrijven aan (voor zover niet binnen een KTP).

At the moment we created a proof of concept of the model and are developing a custom environment in which we can experiment with the theoretical framework developed so far. We plan to submit the progress and gained knowledge from this face to the Agents for Games and Simulations workshop and to AAMAS or a more gaming oriented conference. Journal submissions will also be considered.

4.1 Adapting the game to the world

Utrecht University

Key Publications
Joost Westra,et al (2010). Guiding User Adaptation in Serious Games, Agents for Games and Simulations Joost Westra,et al (2010). Keeping the Trainee on Track, IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games
Joost Westra,et al (2009). Adaptive Serious Games Using Agent Organizations, Agents for Games and Simulations (pp. 206-220).
More publications.

Contact details
Dr. Frank Dignum, Utrecht University