Combining Search-Based Procedural Content Generation and Social Gaming in the Petalz Video Game
Keywords:Procedural Content Generation, Social Games, Evolutionary Algorithms, Neuroevolution
Search-based procedural content generation methods allow video games to introduce new content continually, thereby engaging the player for a longer time while reducing the burden on developers. However, games so far have not explored the potential economic value of unique evolved artifacts. Building on this insight, this paper presents for the first time a Facebook game called Petalz in which players can share flowers they breed themselves with other players through a global marketplace. In particular, the market in this social game allows players to set the price of their evolved aesthetically-pleasing flowers in virtual currency. Furthermore, the transaction in which one player buys seeds from another creates a new social element that links the players in the transaction. The combination of unique user-generated content and social gaming in Petalz facilitates meaningful collaboration between users, positively influences the dynamics of the game, and opens new possibilities in digital entertainment.