The story of their lives: Massive procedural generation of heroes’ journeys using evolved agent-based models and logical reasoning

5 Apr

Paper presented as talk at EvoGAMES 2016 in Porto (Portugal).

BY:
Ruben H. García-Ortega, Pablo García-Sánchez, Juan J. Merelo, Aranzazu San-Ginés, Angel Fernández-Cabezas

ABSTRACT:

The procedural generation of massive subplots and backstories in secondary characters that inhabit Open World videogames usually lead to stereotyped characters that act as a mere backdrop for the virtual world; however, many game designers claim that the stories can be very relevant for the player’s experience. For this reason we are looking for a methodology that improves the variability of the characters’ personality while enhancing the quality of their backstories following artistic or literary guidelines. In previous works, we used multi agent systems in order to obtain stochastic, but regulated, inter-relations that became backstories; later, we have used genetic algorithms to promote the appearance of high level behaviors inside them.
Our current work continues the previous research line and propose a three layered system (Evolutionary computation – Agent-Based Model – Logical Reasoner) that is applied to the promotion of the monomyth, commonly known as the hero’s journey, a social pattern that constantly appears in literature, films, and videogames. As far as we know, there is no previous attempt to model the monomyth as a logical theory, and no attempt to use the sub-solutions for narrating purposes. Moreover, this paper shows for the first time this multi-paradigm three-layered methodology to generate massive backstories. Different metrics have been tested in the experimental phase, from those that sum all the monomyth-related tropes to those that promote distribution of archetypes in the characters. Results confirm that the system can make the monomyth emerge and that the metric has to take into account facilitator predicates in order to guide the evolutionary process.

PRESENTATION:

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