Modular Computational Critics for Games
Keywords:Computational Critics, Game Analysis, Aesthetics, Game Mechanics, Player Models
Formal game modeling tools could support the automated analysis of game rules and rapid automated play-testing, but are not widely used. Furthermore, existing game design support tools are often limited to very specific classes of game, require significant programming expertise to use or customize, or are fully-automatic tools with limited affordances for human designers. We therefore propose a framework for authoring computational game design critics and a new game definition language (Gamelan) grounded in the conventions of board game rules. We show how a set of these critics could have detected specific, attested design problems in the development of Donald X. Vaccarino's influential card game Dominion. We also illustrate an extension of this approach to other collectible card games, turn-taking games, and games in general.