A Virtual Agent Toolkit for Serious Games Developers

Samuel Mascarenhas, Manuel Guimarães, Rui Prada, Pedro A. Santos, Kam Star, Ben Hirsh, Ellis Spice, Rob Kommeren, João Dias

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review

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The design of serious games requires developers to tackle pedagogical challenges calling for advanced solutions that the entertainment industry might deem too risky to pursue. One such challenge is the creation of autonomous socially intelligent characters with whom players can practice different social skills.
Although there are several architectures in the field of virtual agents that are designed specifically to enable more human-like interactions, they are still not widely adopted by game studios that develop serious games, in particular for learning. In this paper, we present a virtual agent toolkit that was specifically
developed with the intent of making agent-based solutions more accessible and reliable to game developers. To this end, a collaborative effort was established with a game studio that has used the toolkit to develop two different serious games. Among other advantages, the toolkit facilitated the inclusion of a dynamic model of emotions that affects not just how the character looks and acts but also how the player’s performance is determined.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG’18)
Subtitle of host publicationDepartment of Data Science & Knowledge Engineering, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 14–17 August, 2018
EditorsCameron Browne, Mark Winands, Jialin Liu, Mike Preuss
Place of PublicationDanvers, MA
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781538643594
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 Conference on computational intelligence and Games - Maastricht, Netherlands
Duration: 14 Aug 201817 Aug 2018


Conference2018 Conference on computational intelligence and Games
Internet address


  • Affective Computing
  • Authoring Tools
  • Interactive Storytelling
  • Serious Games
  • Virtual Agents


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