Wonderful design: applying appraisal theory to procedural level generation

R.A.S. Corstjens, A.J. Bouwer, Joris Dormans, R.A. van Rozen

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


Procedural level generation for games is an active field of research with successful applications. However, how to generate content that embodies design intent is still an open research question. Level designers lack abstractions and tools for authoring generated artifacts for affecting emotion. We propose a novel pattern language for generative level design inspired by Appraisal Theory. Its patterns enable designers to add meaning, depth, and cohesiveness to the resulting content, and modify artifacts to make the content more engaging. We illustrate how these patterns can be implemented in a generative grammar for level generation for an adventure game. Formative evaluation of generated level content demonstrates the feasibility of the approach and suggests points for further improvements. Future work could focus on other elements which seem important for affecting emotions, including pacing, perception, and expectation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJoint proceedings of the AIIDE 2018 Workshops
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 5th Workshop on Experimental AI in Games, EXAG 2018
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2018
EventWorkshop on Experimental AI in Games - University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Duration: 13 Nov 201814 Nov 2018
Conference number: 2018


WorkshopWorkshop on Experimental AI in Games
Abbreviated titleEXAG
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