By Samuel Mascarenhas (INESC-ID, Portugal)

As the project completes its first year, I would like to use this blog post to summarize some of the RAGE assets that are now available for any interested game developer. To start off, three assets were delivered as part the new FAtiMA Toolkit for the purpose of creating intelligent NPCs with emotions and social skills: Emotional Appraisal, Emotional Decision Making and Social Importance Dynamics. All of them work as client-side libraries that are fully compatible with the Unity engine and any other game engine that can import C# libraries. Another asset that is closely integrated in Unity is the Virtual Human Controller, which is responsible for creating 3D models for characters with facial expressions, gestures and lip-synchronized speech. The Role-play Character integrates the four previous assets in a single one, making it simpler to create an embodied NPC. Moreover, we released the Integrated Authoring Tool, which is an asset that aggregates the authoring tools of the previous assets in a package that is designed to create interactive storytelling scenarios. It offers a user-friendly interface to manage the general aspects of a scenario and the behaviour profiles of the non-player characters in it while providing a dialogue editor.

For addressing the challenge of employing natural language, four assets were delivered that provide textual analysis, based on the ReaderBench framework. They are available as web services through a REST API and support both English and French. The Speech I/O asset was also released, which offers a set of components for natural language processing, including speech synthesis and speech act recognition. Finally, the asset Communication Scenario Editor was delivered, which is a web-based tool for authoring dialogues in a user-friendly manner and has the ability to define learning goals.

With the goal of providing a customized experience for each player, based on their profile and their progression, a total of six different assets were released. The Adaptation and Assessment (TwoA) Asset enables a real-time adaption of game difficulty according to the player’s expertise. The Competence-based Adaptation Asset selects game situations according to the competencies of the player and the Motivation-based Adaptation Asset displays encouraging messages based on the player’s motivational state. The Player Profiling Asset gives the player pre-game questionnaires to analyse personality traits that can be used to change the contents of the game automatically by the game developer. The Cognitive Intervention Asset provides informative feedback at key moments to promote reflection so learners do not get stuck or get off the desired learning path. Finally, the Player-Centric Rule-and-Pattern-Based Adaptation Asset uses real-metrics of player’s performance and emotional state to dynamically adapt features of the game.

At last but not least, for the purpose of promoting continuous engagement through social gamification, the SUGAR asset was also released. This is an asset that delivers features related to gamification, matchmaking and team formation. It consists of a flexible client-server solution which can run either as a cloud-based service, serving many games or have specific instances for individual games as necessary.

We are excited to see how game developers, both internal and external to RAGE, will apply these assets in the development of their games and we are looking forward to their feedback.

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