AAAI Publications, Eleventh Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference

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Sarah and Sally: Creating a Likeable and Competent AI Sidekick for a Videogame
Martin Cerny

Last modified: 2015-09-23


Creating reasonable AI for sidekicks in games has proven to be a difficult challenge synthetizing player modelling and cooperative planning, both being problems hard by themselves. In this paper, we experiment with designing around these problems: we propose a cooperative puzzle-platformer game that was designed to look similarly to the mainstream of the genre, but to allow for an easy implementation of a quality sidekick AI, letting us test player reactions to the AI. The game was designed so that it is easy for the AI to find optimal solutions while the problem is relatively hard for a human player. We gathered survey responses from players who played the game online (N=28). While the AI sidekick was reported as likeable and helpful, players still reported greater enjoyment of the game when they were allowed to control the sidekick themselves. These findings indicate that the AI itself is not the only obstacle to truly enjoyable gameplay with an AI sidekick.


cooperative planning;computer games;sidekick;puzzle;heuristic search

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