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[Theoretical] Games that evolve from player input

Second Generation

Posted by , in Development, Gaming Generation 26 December 2013 - - - - - - · 762 views
empirical cloud games and 5 more...
After the GM emulation system is built. For the second generation of empirical cloud games to begin, the first generation of empirical cloud games has unofficially ended. The system now understands all it needs to tell stories and follow loosely defined game logic. It is only guaranteed to communicate through text, but text can be very useful.

What comes next?


NEW EXPECTATIONS
This is a new twist. I have been writing about expectations for the system. Now I have expectations about what developers will do.

Someone will program a game that runs on human logic, but not by directly entering player's text to the system. This is very likely to happen even in the first generation, before it's grown much at all. It will talk to the system like a human, it will tell the system what the player is doing, although the player is on a mainstream graphical based game. Cool right?

This is flawed. The system talks back to the game, and the game would only have an inkling about what's happening after parsing what it understands. This would be an awkward conversation, although it may meet the needs for the game.

What developers need is for the system to begin running on specific phrases. The system will need to begin interpreting itself. The system may need an upgrade.

I base the following on the expectation that the system does need an upgrade. There is no way for it to be prepared until after the first generation, when it finally learned human language.



THE SECOND GENERATION, EXPLANATION

When planned empirical cloud games become more popular than player interpreted (imagined) text based games, I believe the second generation will have begun.

This is a developmental transition from text to graphics that already took place in game history. It is self-evident that this will repeat. The system had no way to interpret graphics before it could understand words.

_______
The true end of the first generation may occur when evolution trends become predictable, which means there is another step up in flexible game design ready to be made.
While writing this, the author doesn't have the vaguest idea what that step may be. Some new improved system, or a quantified use of all game metrics? There's always the next best thing.
_______

GROWING GRAPHICAL DEMAND
Games that use graphics instead of text, games the developers have greater control over, and games that need to be interpreted for the system's own benefit; all of these games are required to circumvent the system's inadequate understanding of all processes in the game to achieve the desired result. Developers will think of ways to make it work before its time.

This is likely to already have been happening during the first generation. The solution to end the need for any workarounds wouldn't be finished for some time.

THE SECOND GENERATION, START
The GM emulation system contains many stories, and understands all the logic required to recreate stories. Games would benefit heavily from translated human-readable text. In turn, the player actions would be communicated back to the system.
_______
From the end of the first generation, this would be blatantly obvious. I considered this for some time.
The system would benefit from graphical games more than the games benefitted the system, but there is an ideal solution for the benefit to be mutual again. Observe the seeded games.
_______

SEEDED GAMES REVISITED
"This concept is similar to drawing an animation. Game designers will be able to provide key elements and some related content. They may define rules and the importance of each rule. They may force specific events to occur in an exact order. They can specify an effect no matter how improbable will occur if something were to happen. Then the in-between can be filled.

"The system will be able to produce this with little effort on the designer's part because it is able to fill in all gaps with random content while the player is playing the highly flexible randomly seeded game/story."

Not only telling the story. The system has the ability to conversationally describe the logic behind every story. These are actions a person takes, an understanding of things that change behind the scene that the player isn't aware of, dialogue, character development, and available story content. This is the logic that all games run on without the per-pixel explanation of what things are, graphics.

This is the part where the text becomes graphics, and it will take a long time to get this right.


INNOVATIONS TO THE SYSTEM

Text can be interpreted as other languages. Info can be simplified as generalizations. The system understands human-readable text almost perfectly now. The system may be missing the ability to simplify its stories, or to translate itself exactly.

At this point there must be new innovations to translate the system differently from human readable text, such as scripting languages, or machine code. How is beyond my explanation.

The system is gaining player metrics that it probably never was programmed to reuse outside of the games that create them. It may not even have uses for this information if the developers don't want it reused in their game.

GAME LOGIC
Learning to talk to games, as well as the players in them, that is the easiest way for the system to be helpful.

The system could have its vocabulary reduced to fit into coded game logic, and the system would understand it's talking with a machine by this point for the interaction to be meaningful.

More importantly, these interactions will have meaning for the system, the metrics will be understood in a new way, and the other games that use them will be able to use the exact same vocabulary.



THE SECOND GENERATION - INTERMEDIATE

When a player simply acts out a new solution to a game, the new metric is recorded. The game developer's assistants, a special user, a programmer, an artist, one of the end users, whatever they may be referred to later can learn someone tried something completely new, and ludicrous, and wrong, and then they will create content to make it right.

Innovations to generate new content from player actions will be a common occurance. Example: if many players carve status, or scar their enemies a particular way, build up some storyline that they share, or have some effect that is worth lasting; that very same game or similar games will be able to reuse the player's actions in new stories. It is all logic stored as new content. The games continue to evolve from player input.



REVERSE GAMING
During the first generation you could revisit old sections of a story and continue from there, specialized users would be able to create a 'what if' scenario that may alter the rules and change the story completely. In a sense, every story told could be read backwards sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph.

Now that the system works with graphics in a very similar way, maybe even exactly the same way, you can see this all happening. It would be like you are traveling through time.

It is possible for a story to be told backwards word for word in graphics, and the rules could be altered so the player is out of sync. This would be utterly disorienting in text because the syntax would make no sense. In graphics, it may still be utterly disorienting, but we only need to understand what our eyes see.
____
There are games that depict similar but they only need to display an interpretation of time travel, reverse gaming would be more literal, any game's story told backwards.
____



END OF SECOND GENERATION?

I have not been able to predict the end of the second generation of empirical cloud games. No doubt there is one, but the requirements aren't all met, such as a concrete concept of a third generation. There is no definite logical continuation for me to even hypothesize. But I am sure I will.

GM EMULATION SYSTEM MATURED?

Perhaps this is the pinnacle of the first GM emulation system's growth. Which would mean it must begin to evolve into a more intelligent system, one that uses new technology, such as technology developed from itself. This is the cycle of life, afterall.



SELF REFLECTION - PAUSE

The reality of the system is a cold hard fact in my mind. I have explained the most immediate uses that the system would have for game development. I have satisfied my urge to unleash the concept on the world.

This is not a guaranteed final entry about games that evolve from player input, but I don't think I'll feel quite as driven to write about this one concept more. Everything that needed to be written to express a full understanding and allow someone else to understand already has been. That was my goal.



More Comparisons, and The Random Paradox

Posted by , in Comparison 22 December 2013 - - - - - - · 726 views
RNG, Randomization, Chatterbot and 5 more...
More Comparisons, and The Random Paradox.
GOOGLE AND... CHAT-BOTS CHATTERBOTS CLEVERBOT
This began with me deciding "It's been a few months now. I wonder how Cleverbot has improved."

For those who aren't aware, Cleverbot is a program that anyone can chat with. The program repeats only what it hears from internet users.

I asked Cleverbot "Why is this so repetitive?"

Several minutes passed.

I typed into Google "Cleverbot thinks too long"

It returned several matches. I clicked on the 4th one down because according to Google the link I found most interesting was only the 4th relevant. Not bad anyway, I have to say.

Then Cleverbot responded "Because you are." Ooh, such a burn, I remember that one from Kindergarten, it was all the rage. But a kid would have responded before they even had to think about it. A kid knows they're in an internet chatroom, Cleverbot doesn't.

This gets me thinking, never mind Cleverbot, does Google meet the standards of an empirical cloud game? It has all the player input any system could desire. Well, no. I concluded it doesn't because the content doesn't really change, it rates content by very helpful language algorithms and player metrics.

I would have to go out on a limb to say that if 100,000 people clicked on the fourth link down, the program can put it into first. But the system is so different from the one required to add content without being aware of it, there is no way to submit a relevant link as a response. Eh, whatever.

I typed into Google "Why is Cleverbot so slow?" with and without quotes more recently. Well that was fun, Google's fun, people have the silliest ideas about Cleverbot and how it works. Never mind that, I already know they're making things up because they wish it was smarter.

More about that original search, "Cleverbot thinks too long" without quotes, the fourth link down.

Here it is:
http://singularityhub.com/2010/01/13/Cleverbot-chat-engine-is-learning-from-the-internet-to-talk-like-a-human/ (Aaron Saenz, 01/13/10)

The article discussed chatterbots. Paraphrased: "People are fascinated by chatterbots." Ok, I have a confession, I never have been interested in talking with someone of the intelligence of a chatterbot for longer than a couple of minutes in English, so I do get it, because I even bothered chatting at all.

I thought at some point, I should go try out some other chatterbots. Sorry, I can't find any in a reasonable amount of time. Even the Sherlock Holmes one from 2010 is absent.

I have, still, some preconceptions that are hard to disprove. The bots are very limited in the sense there's no context, everyone interacting with them will do nothing but treat them like crummy Google engines, or a virtual pet who floats around on electric power lines. The bots observe and parrot the search behavior and appear to ask questions, but we can't be sure if they know they asked a question, and because of the context issue the responses won't necessarily be answers. The bots suffer from immaturity, that is not a dig meant for internet users. I mean the bots have very limited lifespan and they won't grow so they are stuck in childhood.

_______
These bots that exist as chatrooms are similar to the stand alone system I described. They lack content, and they don't seem to be able to follow rules because of immaturiy. Maybe they aren't sophisticated enough to appear human. There's just something wrong with them, they could be mistaken for a crazy person all the time, simply because they respond, more on that later.
_______




GOOGLE / VERY COMPLICATED LANGUAGE ALGORITHMS
When comparing Google to empirical cloud games, I see it's a very clever design, but it doesn't really change its content. The spiders that gather content don't qualify as players by any means. The feedback is used by Google's algorithms, but it generates no new content.




CHAT BOTS
When comparing chatterbots, it gets fuzzier. Really fuzzy. At least at first.

They appear irrelevant because they don't follow rules, they don't understand context, there is a huge missing chunk of intelligence required to GM a game. However, they meet one piece of the puzzle, they imitate the players, the chatterbots are therefore able to change from input gradually over thousands of transactions.

Someone programming a chatterbot may think they are making a game, but here's where the fuzzy logic becomes self-defeating. The game is: teach the bot. The content is: what the bot learned. The game is for players interested in chatting with someone who isn't human.

Is someone ever going to pay for this out of pocket? Maybe, but not everyone.
Can you stick advertisements on Cleverbot? sure. I even checked its url metrics, over 400-thousand monthly visits. Maybe this has allowed it to achieve sustainability.

It almost looks like a game that is nothing but one randomly clamoring person/chatterbot meets the requirements of an empirical cloud game. This has allowed me to discover that the standards I wrote earlier were missing a component. Randomness.

Chatterbots make sense, they respond, they'll surprise you, sometimes. This is only because they are following a very complicated algorithm. The algorithm itself may appear valid if every human response taught it. But in the end, when you sit down to chat with the chatterbots, you have no reason to do so. It becomes a meta game, not what you expect, your randomness vs its. Humans are all able to be a little insane, but computers are much better and can do it non-stop.




THE RANDOM PARADOX
Think about a random generator, or rather a random word generator.

A random word generator can be a game. A random word generator can store player input. A random word generator would therefore be a game that changes from player input. - No.

It's still a game, but it's using what it gets without context or rules. It's repeating what I said, or what someone else said, but it doesn't have a rhyme or reason. So it's a game that is not a game. It's a game paradox. It's a game that teaches us nothing, it only learns, nobody wins.



THINKING ABOUT IT
A chatterbot may be an incredible algorithm hooked up to a random word generator, or an incredible algorithm with incredibly logical responses. It's indistinguishable while playing, I know. But there's a clear difference, which means I can't conclude which is which.

Something that relies on fooling people is a magic trick, not a really a game at all. But it's an enjoyable experience for some.
I am considering that this means there are many shadow standards for empirical cloud games I hadn't even thought of. Many even require acknowledgement, so I might as well acknowledge their existence now.

Randomized content without reason does make a game, and yet it is meaningless to the extent it does not meet game standards, like screaming for no reason just because you thought it'd be fun. This is easily interpreted as insanity.

'A game can't be entirely random nonsense' probably exists already so I wish to avoid redundancy. I finally found something I hadn't considered ahead of time.

Unfortunately, the only chatterbot 'game' I can find is Cleverbot, which leads me to believe that the rest of them die out quickly.

Also, bots within a game are not games themselves, they are interacting with another medium, so a bot moderator is not really a game, although chatting with the bot moderator quickly becomes one.



CONCLUSION
There are many comparisons that can be made, and hidden standards worth mention. Hopefully I took care of the most important ones today.

I couldn't help but mention insanity. There's a problem, insanity is a matter of opinion. The definition may change from view to view. For this one case, I refer to insanity as actions taken without context. Everyone is capable of it, and it is not easily faked. Humans have limited randomness, limited insanity, their capacity to ignore context is limited.

A chatterbot that is able to follow rules seems to be the closest link to empirical cloud games, I am sure such a thing exists in limited context, without bugs. But it would have a very limited learning capacity even compared to the contextless bots. So a chatterbot that follows different rules based on the context is the next step. It sounds possible. I doubt this would be created lightly. It just means that eventually the bots would have to grow to the point they match or exceed my expectations a GM emulation system would meet. I'll have a hard time concluding otherwise right now.

______
For the first time while typing I discovered something, which I had to label a paradox. It's a non-qualifier, which may fool people into believing empirical cloud games already exist before reading this, that's all.


The First Generation

Posted by , in Development, Gaming Generation 20 December 2013 - - - - - - · 786 views
collaboration, human computation and 7 more...
Let's look ahead now to once the system has been developed up to the point a team must recognize they lack manpower. The system would exist, but what comes next?

It seems natural, someone would program the first empirical cloud game. Although this game may be a chat with the system. It may have the simplest imaginable rules. Maybe the system will manage to break the rules in a single move.

THE NEWLY FORMED SYSTEM

It is tabula rasa. It is a big incomplete system with an apparent human side, a preprogrammed understanding of communication, unconnected peripheral database nodes, and empty content database. This makes it similar to a new born human brain and many untapped senses.

From there it is possible to rapidly save stories, rules, and as much premade content data as you like to the content database. If the database were a human brain, uploaded data would be instantaneous observations lacking context. The purpose for all of this observation needs to be brought into every single applicable context, not just one.

As a rule, this is too much information for one person to account for, therefor the useful observations that may be uploaded to the system by a team of experts will be incredibly limited to specific views and context that are possible to gain through trial and error.

At this point it's time to let the system grow another way.
_________
What I am writing is an excellent example. I made an observation in 30 minutes that has taken over 14 hours to bring into context. I understand that one observation on too many levels to account for now, so I focus on relating it to one thing before putting it to bed, game development.
_________

Just a quick recount.

Once the human GM emulation system can be understood and built, it follows reason that it will reach the point in its development where a large group of experts is inadequate for rapid development. This point in development, lacking experts, is one of the bases of the system's creation. Collaboration with a community is the key to raising it in these stages.

For this system, regardless of who develops it, the first generation of games that evolve from player input will be a necessity. Or else the system will grow so slowly from just a team of experts that by the time it meets every expectation I considered, technology and humans would have advanced to the point the expectations changed; the system may have been surpassed in different unpredictable ways; or the funding and manpower behind its development became insufficient. This is a very long time indeed.
_________
I suggest not to entertain the idea it could be developed in secret.
_________



THE FIRST GENERATION - BEGINNING

It is my belief that the first generation of empirical cloud games are now just out of reach to stand alone programmers. Why? Because the system would need to be reproduced for every single stand alone game. The growth of the stand alone intelligence would be limited to just one game's rules, and the few people who used it. It would always reproduce the experience of that game and never show creativity.

The first generation of empirical cloud games are likely to be programmed by the system's developers, as a means to an end. As I mentioned; stories, rules, and premade content can be uploaded, but the purpose of so much content in every context imaginable would take too long to program.


CAUSE AND EFFECT

Of course, more and more can be told through mathematical representations, formulas, and endless specific examples from history and literature. One step outside of this bubble of useful information and it suddenly has no meaning, I bet this reminds some people of school, that would be right.

Along with many observations in the form of uploaded data, the new system will need to begin experimentation and grow from it. Or else it ends up in this meaningless contextless world every time it is allowed to try something new.

Empirical cloud games are likely to begin by practicing telling stories. Games described literally are the easiest examples open for experimentation because text is so easy to manipulate. Graphical games would have to be interpreted, which means more information reaches the player than the system is able to control, and the player is no longer conversing with the system.

If a player responded to the system, then the system would learn the effect its own actions caused. Observations alone would create more data, but the data should always have a place to be tested.

Players immersed in a story will take actions that seem relevant to them. It can be said the story caused their actions. The result is a chain of cause, cause, and cause. For every cause there is an effect, even if that effect is also another cause.

Before the system has matured from the first generation, while it is learning cause and effect, it will be able display an understanding of how to use words and reproduce and create stories as a response to players or commands given to it. To reproduce a story well without duplicating it directly, you'd need to understand every cause and effect, not only its contents.




THE FIRST GENERATION - INTERMEDIATE PROGRESS

The system understands some cause and effect and is full of text content. At this point in its development, I expect some of the following would be true:
it would emulate a GM properly in common situations
it has the ability to remain conversational at all times
it has the ability to explain why, when asked about some effects in cause and effect
it can recreate text games with rule restrictions from the null and void to absolute, depending on how restrictive the game environment requires
it recognizes some similarities between scenarios based on context
it frequently mistakes new scenarios as 'similar' based on repeated content
it recognizes all duplicates of its content
it understands exact copies
it is able to produce its own unique stories through amalgamation of content so it would be dissimilar to any one story
it cannot produce or properly use brand new content (eg. it won't make new words without understanding them, and it won't understand meaningless words), but it may store it for experimentation.

At this point the power of the system may be recognizable, but it still won't meet enough expectations. After a while though, 'some' becomes 'all but the rarest' and it will begin predicting all but the least common player actions to the extent it can emulate a GM and the many roles. ( See 'What is the Human GM Emulation System?' to understand this more. )




THE FIRST GENERATION - NEAR ITS END

When something happens while telling a story, people may become intrigued and make revisions. There is an understood flexibility in the rules of the story, and we'll make our own adaptations. After the first generation is matured there is a already a system that understands these things.

The system should be able to do it all, with only rare mistakes, almost as though it were a human.


STORYTELLING
A story would be definable with a few key elements, anyone who can define required content has this power, and then the story is randomly amalgamated.

REVISION
A story on file would be easily revised per individual taste. If someone stops reading and points out a part they want changed. This would be possible.

GM'ing
A set of rules is all that's necessary and the system will be able to monitor, guide, and display an entire game in text.

ALMOST TOTAL FLEXIBILITY
The players will play a game and their actions will allow the system to grow, in turn the games are altered and improve. Special users may log a 'what if' and see what impact it has on a game when the system is able to predict it. Developers will be able to think of completely new ways to use the GM system, and even begin designing games that interpret the system differently from just plain text.

This system fully supports the concept of empirical cloud games. Granted, at this point it learned primarily from text games (or so I predict), so its understanding of mainstream games (as we see them at the time of my writing this) is limited to tropes.

SEEDED GAMES

This is likely to be a single text game or an interactive story generator. But it will have multiple uses such as generating logic and dialogue in a human readable format.

This concept is similar to drawing an animation. Game designers will be able to provide key elements and some related content. They may define rules and the importance of each rule. They may force specific events to occur in an exact order. They can specify an effect no matter how improbable will occur if something were to happen. The in-between can be filled on the fly as a response to input.

The system will be able to produce this with little effort on the designer's part because it is able to fill in all gaps with logical yet random storytelling content. The content may be responses to something as simple as ad-hock queries, or a request for dice rolls, actions a person might take, or a GM decision while the player is playing the highly flexible seeded game.



END OF THE FIRST GENERATION - PLANNED GAMES

Enough obscurity between text games and graphical games remains that the system won't be able to directly translate between words and graphics. Clearly, there is an untapped market which no system is able to reproduce wink wink.

The least common puzzle games, tropes, phrases, etc. are likely to remain ambiguous namesakes in the system's content database. At least until someone makes the reference and someone else explains it (Now picture the emulated GM nodding his head. He won't forget.).

This is the opening scene for the second generation of games, which I won't go into detail about right now.

A game full of its own unique graphical content is still hard to produce. These games may take advantage of all the capabilities of the system and at the same time require restricting its control to the point it learns slower.

There are numerous things that developers will want to be paid for: Unique content the system isn't allowed to copy, hacks (such as highly irregular seeded games), unique GM controls per-game would be more difficult than simple text, and newly designed pipes between the system and player's content input to allow the system the sought for understanding.

More on this later in the second generation, when the system finally begins working with mainstream games.



What is the Human GM Emulation System?

Posted by , in Development, Introduction 18 December 2013 - - - - - - · 730 views
human emulation, theoretical and 3 more...
What is the human GM emulation system?

In short, it's a system like no other that procures ethereal cloud games.

Although it is only theoretical at the time of my writing this. Here's a high abstraction of the technical requirements of the system, followed by some of my own expectations for it.



TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
note: A complete documentation is beyond the scope of my current goal of explaining my idea.

THE HUMAN EMULATION PART
GM emulation is human emulation.

This is a very important component of the system. The system must learn. In order to grow and behave like a human, it will need human emulation.

Human emulation is not a new idea. According to NextITCorp [1] in their video which references customer service software, it can be defined by:
  • conversational interface
  • personal
  • provides a single, correct answer
  • goal-based
  • contextual awareness
I didn't see the exact meaning given for each term. All of these things are certainly important for a meaningful human interaction. It is a good starting point to understand what the system needs to work with to appear human, especially while emulating a GM "read about The GM below to understand why."

If you view the video you'll see it indicates that human emulation is very important and why.
During my brief search I found this passage referring to human intelligence emulation: "It makes decisions by itself. If you teach it your strategy and tell it what you have to achieve that strategy, then it will tell YOU first, what's wrong with your strategy and how to fix it, and then how to use the resources you identified to achieve what you desire; and tell you if the resources could be improved. It will accept your feedback while it learns. And it can change real-time as conditions change, just like a human." - Russell S. CEO at Scientific Human Emulation, represented at Johannesburg - RSA, New York - USA, and London - UK [2]

The above seems too good to be true (if he was referring to a perfectly functioning program) or maybe I took the claims slightly out of context. This is exactly the functionality that the system needs.

I cannot go deeper to determine if the requirements are already met, or this would be a very complicated document.



THE CONTENT MANAGEMENT PART
A database containing the accumulated content is necessary. Content can be considered 'ideas in the form of multimedia' for the purpose of my explanation. Metadata will allow connections such as who created the content and where it is being used.

The beginnings of metadata and content on this database will be from numerous sources. Content can be unintentional, generated by response. Content can be intentional, uploaded.

The players will eventually determine how and what content is used through their input. They will generate new metadata referring to every bit of content that appeared in any situation.



&
THE GM PART
GM emulation is human emulation in a game environment. So I think it's about time to define what a GM is.

The GM is considered the highest authority in any one game which requires a GM. They make the game happen for the rest of the players, and they can enjoy their role as well. This places the GM of such a game one rank lower than the original game developer in terms of defining it.

A GM often takes on multiple roles - GM, in-game characters, storyteller, planner
  • in-game char. - characters who behave and make GM-like decisions, other characters that allow the GM to take part in the game as a player so they may experience it, and npc-type characters that perform a specific task.
  • story teller - a narrator who talks about a scene as it unfolds to give it context
  • planner - Someone who provides additional rules, story, and objectives to create a unique player experience.
A GM is able to understand needs that different players have. They interact with multiple users on a personal basis.

They are a mediator and disseminator of information between players and how their actions affect a game. A GM understands the game in ways they may affect it, often they make decisions that dramatically affect the game for a single play session. Suggestions to the players to keep a game flowing, or bending and breaking rules are examples of influence the GM has.

Sometimes they are mistaken for god. If something clever or new is suggested, and the GM says it's good, then it will work. (There is nobody above god. The developer is above a GM. The GM is not god. The developer is human. I just thought someone might like me explaining that.)

They enforce rules and track a game's progress to prevent 'accidental' cheating.

A GM does not want an unpleasant player experience (for others or himself), so he can be persuaded with due effort.



EXPECTATIONS

CONNECTIVITY CHALLENGES

The system will need to perform according to the user's connection speed.

This almost went without being written. Anyone playing a game will need to connect to the system to take advantage of it. However, connections relying on a slow internet will have realtime limitations. There is no reason for the system not to understand this.



THE SYSTEM AS A HUMAN
Common sense is relative. A person must learn what is acceptable in as many situations possible in order to meet expectations.

Because of this need for common sense in order to meet expectations, it is not possible for the system to behave as desired until it has matured enough through extensive player interaction. At which point it will avoid very obvious mistakes, most of the time.

The system is defined by many players, and over time, many games. If the entire population interacting with it changed suddenly, it would require time to adjust to their changes.



THE SYSTEM AS A GM
The system itself may be considered a GM while it performs the duties of a GM. It must grow to understand every role it provides. Part of the learning process is practice and observation. It would be expected that the system itself is able to practice and observe.

For the same reason a GM does not want an unpleasant experience, it would allow 'exceptional' players a pass. Any undesired impact would be mitigated by a lack of exceptional players.
______
Exceptional players.
Such a player may complete a course in a racing game in 0 seconds.
Another may beg the GM for frivolous things.
Some players are simply being treated unfairly by the community.

In any case the GM would need to make an exception or avoid the player altogether. These examples would be hard to resolve fairly in a structured game environment. Usually these players are deleted, ignored, or they succeed in affecting everyone else.

Over time the system would recognize all three of these players and have suitable responses for them so everyone can enjoy it.
______


THE SYSTEM AS A CONTENT PROVIDER
The system is a knowledge bank (database and other software) able to emulate a GM with access to everything required to replicate and create content between connected games.

There are many games, and many ideas. Games are often independent from one-another, but game sessions are not always independent from other game sessions. Many ideas connect in unusual ways. The goal would be to connect as much of this content possible and grow from how players respond to it, progressively improving and predicting what content goes where.


THE SYSTEM when connected

The system is allowed to monitor non-GM games, and it also provides a GM session to a game that explicitly requires one. By extension, the system understands countless other games and has a level of direct content control, new ideas in, new ideas out.

The system won't necessarily communicate through words, but through the content. When a user responds to content, the response may be interpreted as a rating. If a user response is also creating new content, it is shared with other users. This will allow the system to grow outside the confines of a word of mouth game architecture.


By extension, players indirectly communicate their gameplay through content even when games aren't multiplayer, so any games allowing this would be asynchronous.

The system is not "always on" unless a game needs a GM's decisive contribution. Some games could run without being monitored, and may even be offline by player choice.


QUICKLY SUMMING UP THE PLAYER EXPERIENCE
With a GM session...
In a textual interface, the GM will use his words for communication. Both the story and the GM are expressed through words.

In a graphical interface, the GM 'may' also have a text interface, or a special content interface, but also access to spawning, difficulty, saving extra game states, and -if applicable- overall content management during that session. All the power which a real GM is expected to have is invested in the system.

Without a GM session...
The games would be very similar while running on this system, but the system would not attempt to interact with any player, and any influence would be delivered with subtlety. Possibly no change takes place until after a game session ends.



SUMMARY
The system itself has needs to be met before it will achieve proper functionality and mature, much like a human. At which point it will be able to perform GM tasks, silently observe, and deliver new content based on the context that the game provides.


CONCLUSIONS
Now it should be clearer what the system really is. Both as a GM that grows from interaction, and as an asynchronous content delivery system for players.

Developers who want to remain in control of their initial game may have the option to do so. Games will have to be programmed to explicitly take advantage of the system, with or without a GM dependency. Also for the first time games will have a nearly human level of intelligence in their design, allowing an emulated GM.

The system could appear to display creativity in the bounds of any connected game, depending somewhat on connection speed.

____________
What can we expect happens in ethereal cloud games? I would really like to talk about this more. There's a lot more to say about the system, and I can't think of a better name yet. I will write about whatever comes to my mind first.
_____________
References

1. http://youtu.be/c-lZe84Nb5E, NextITCorp, July 20, 2012
2. http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Human-Intelligence-Emulation-Call-discussion-127447.S.243756822, Russell S. CEO, June 2013



New standard and its impact

Posted by , in Comparison, Development 15 December 2013 - - - - - - · 854 views
crowdsourcing, human computation and 4 more...
An empirical cloud game will require and promote new potential standards. The standard addressed here is that in order for games to evolve from player input the games must be sustainable and change through player input, not a developer. Also, in concluding this, what impact such a standard has.

It's important to differentiate feedback and input among some other terms.
Here is a short glossary of some terms related to games, the meaning I have for them.
-------
  • input is anything that is entered into a game from a player
  • feedback is any communication with a developer from a player
  • metrics are a standard of measurement used to understand why players do something in the game
  • experience is feedback to the player from the game that teaches or improves their skills related to the game
  • player experience is the perceived feeling a player has from playing the game
  • special skills are skills that are uncommon to anyone who has not played the game yet, but may be obtained through experience (a big factor in difficulty)
  • other skills are skills that are common, and those that parallel a target demographic's lifestyle
-------

When games do not change without a developer the only impact a player has is given through feedback. Games are traditionally updated from feedback at any stage of their development to improve player experience. Some feedback is also received through player input while they play, in the form of metrics. Although not every game adheres to this philosophy strictly at all times.

Players with special skills, or developers, are required to improve current games (e.g. Happy Wheels, Transformice; custom maps / uploading / voting systems). A voting system is frequently employed in the game to rate content from specially skilled users in order to maintain overall content quality and improve the game.

Users who make custom maps, storylines, and other modifications including scripts, plugins, graphics, etc. can be regarded as skilled, although they often work for free for their own enjoyment they are doing the same work as a developer. Skilled players may also be developers, but their experience allows them to create content through modifications whether they are playing the game at the time they create it or not. The modifications therefor will not meet the required standard.

For games to evolve from player input, feedback and input cannot be confused.

Games of this nature should change over time without feedback, and without developers changing them. This substantially alters any one game's metrics, a more dynamic approach to game metrics will be required to understand the smallest changes.

__________________________________________________
What about a game with a target demographic of developers? They would have skills to change it while playing.
Rhetorically, if the target demographic of a game in the current market were game developers and the game was about development and maintenance of the game which you could actually see after it's been voted in, the net gain wouldn't sustain its original developers at market equilibrium.

Due to this, an educational game for developers fails meet the new standard's sustainability requirement. Although it may be possible to develop, it would be a case meant for charity.
__________________________________________________

By meeting the required standards the following will be true:

1. The type of game designed will be an empirical cloud game.

2. People will be impacted which changes their view of new and old games.

3. Regarding the developers...
  • The software development life cycle (SDL) for these games is not the usual. Their developers do not necessarily maintain or improve them. So from the developer's point of view the game development is: Planning, analysis, design, implementation [, maintenance] [, repeat].
  • Developers of empirical cloud games do not need to frequently update their games after one release to meet unexpected demands.
  • Developers of empirical cloud games will have more free time.
4. Regarding the players...
  • A new player requires no knowledge of the game to generate new content. The content generated will always be different, weighted by every player every day since the GM emulation system came online. The SDL from a player's point of view: play, experience [, repeat].
  • A new unexplored player experience for veteran gamers.
  • New content is created by players to replace content that may have broken or ruined the game for some reason.
  • New players will have a choice between games that evolve from their input and the current available market.
5. Regarding society...
Doesn't a new idea always scare someone?
6. Me...
I don't see a reason not to remain anonymous if someone else is going to do this. I reserve the right to decide if I claim credit and when.


As a rule of thumb, I can't predict exact consequences. Over time some standards that were expertly declared may be recognized / defined by the players and not the developers.

Players will define the games, literally.

I hope you liked this entry. It'll hopefully mark the beginning of my explanations of the system that emulates a human GM.


What is new, what is similar? Comparisons.

Posted by , in Development, Introduction 14 December 2013 - - - - - - · 713 views
crowdsourcing, empirical, concept and 3 more...
I'd like to coin "empirical cloud games," and "ethereal cloud games" as synonyms for "games that evolve from player input." The reason I choose these two phrases is self-evident, plain English.

The games are separate from the system required. In previous and future entries I will need to refer to them both quickly. I will refer to "concept" without specifying often in future and past entries and this may make it a little harder to read, I apologize. Please understand that empirical cloud games can't truly exist without the system, and the system won't function properly without the games, they are separate and reliant, there is a symbiotic relation forming this concept.

I sat down to start reading about human computation games for the time I usually would have typed earlier in the morning. I found a very interesting research paper.* I encourage you to read it if you have any interest in Human Computation games. I may have a cooling off period while I familiarize myself more, by playing them, and determining if any are actually fun (for me). I will be able to differentiate them much easier once I've played. After writing this entry, I will distinguish an important difference.

Here I shall define important differences between existing types of games or other programs and empirical cloud games, games that evolve from player input. I will also talk about the system that is required, and compare it with reality. I would attempt to compare the system with any other applied programs to establish a difference, but I'm lacking a reference, a robot comparison or any one collaborative knowledge database is not nearly close enough, other than as an example about how people interact with it and how complicated the algorithms would be.


Comparisons regarding an Empirical Cloud Game

GWAP
Games with a purpose (GWAP), human-based computation games are very similar to empirical cloud games. They also serve my purpose as a proof of concept why players will participate playing, and the importance of letting them.

Human based computation games require players to input very specific data, new content must be tailored for the purpose. This heightens the speed of research gained, but it denies freeform from the gameplay. The purpose and game content is limited to the researcher's needs.

Empirical cloud games take advantage of users creating content while playing. In turn, the games are unpredictable and allow human-level evaluation of both actions and storytelling. the content is flexible, allowing player creativity. The games themselves would not all be programmed with a purpose other than entertainment.


Comparisons Regarding the System that will allow Emulation of a Human GM (game master)

REAL WORLD
Real world game design is my comparison to the system. Both the system and spoken word require storytelling. Games teach the players to perform and improve skills required to be better at the game, and these skills may apply to reality. Concepts evolve over time and new innovations emerge which improves the enjoyability and the effectiveness of the original games.

Someone writing a story about cats that live on the moon would get a very limited opinion about whether it works realistically or as an amusing concept from reading it to different people one at a time, or even to a crowd of people. Either way, only one opinion is available at a time. On a forum, a slightly better range of responses and comments is expected as each individual has a chance to voice as much as they like.

If the system is submitted a story or paragraph about cats that live on the moon, it delivers an educated response based on any references it has. Over time the story is reviewed by every user who encounters it while they play games, reading cat/moon stories that the system connected, users make comments and revisions to any passages they encountered. The story is rewritten to an extent, the rewrites that do not match old content are in turn evaluated. The submitter reads and uses the new information to suit their own needs.

HUMAN OBJECTIVITY
In the real world opinions strongly depend on a greater range of senses other than logic, social standing easily holds as much influence as validity in an argument.
In either world, no one's guaranteed to recognize opinions objectively.
From the system's point of view everyone's submission is equal, and you don't necessarily need to know who you're reading from.

PROTECTION of GOOD and from the BAD
The outlying good (useful) and bad (confusing, enraging) elements are more likely to attract attention.

If a story about cats is representative of a good story many people like to hear, they are more likely to listen and give a response, which in turn may result in the story being retold to them again.
This allows the system to recognize the response as an indication of specific user interest in cats, and many different but similar stories are more likely to be suggested. The story will be rated higher and occur more often.

If a story about dog poo is representative of a bad story very few people like to hear, they are more likely to ignore it and anything very similar will not reach them. If a specific author is coercing the system somehow they'd quickly be blocked and unheard from by a majority, but they'll continue to be as creative as they like and other people who want to hear it will rate it highly.

If some content is not making sense, it will remain unrated, or it is rated low enough it is very rarely suggested or displayed until it gets revised.

In the real world, a person isn't guaranteed to go away and the legal and civil solution to disputes against human annoyances is blocking yourself in away from the source, a self-restricting policy.

* Frontiers of a Paradigm - Exploring Human Computation with Digital Games by Krause et al,
http://dm.tzi.de/fileadmin/user_upload/AG-DM/03_research/02_human_computation/OnToGalaxy.pdf


Issues to Consider

Posted by , in Development, Introduction 13 December 2013 - - - - - - · 660 views
crowdsourcing, games, flaws and 1 more...
There are some issues that arise from the concept of "an evolving game" and I'll attempt to address what I think of and any that people suggest. Mostly I think of this as the first go to so I can look back and see if there was anything I write about the concept now that may have changed.


In descending order by fun [concept first, sales last]:

Issue: The system, what's that again, it sounds like a conspiracy theory
The system is just a way to refer to the games, the database, the software bridge between the two, and what players who interact with any game on the system may be connected to. Ok, it sounds like a conspiracy theory about as much as any huge unstoppable force has.
Issue: Inevitable flaws
Every generation of gaming has flaws, players try to cheat. It will happen, and it will be hilarious and inventive. The system will let them. The best discoveries are accidental.
Issue: How this is going to work. A brief explanation.
It all begins by letting users enter text. All it takes for this to function is a program that understands one written language at a time, instead of key words. This continues indefinitely with people reading the text and reevaluating it until the accuracy of the program's output resembles flawless storytelling.

Issue: That last part was way too short, more...
Take a look at Captcha, the developers are geniuses as far as I'm concerned, I don't like to laud anyone on a personal level too often. They already have such a language system budding in Duolingo (but maybe nobody's pointed it out).

Issue: This will never replace existing games. It is an attempt to create a new kind of game.
The system will initially be inaccessible to new developers. There's no way for this to be produced and shipped like a band aid either. If developers wish to maintain a personal artistic license they will keep away, we stil have retro games, some sell, some are still developed, they are never replaced.

Issue: I know fun games will evolve, what about the other games that become abandonware?
Have you ever looked around Wikipedia for things to edit? Competition and the demand to share opinions and facts is integral to being human. Badly written stories and poor graphics are reused every day because they compel some meaning. Even incomplete games can be viewed as such, they are incomplete stories. Any incomplete story remaining in your mind becomes a part of it, the system is no different.

Issue: This idea may not seem new to a reader, it uses crowdsourcing, and some other ideas
Show me the game that already exists and does exactly what I described and not just one of the things at a time. I'll thank you.

Issue: Artificial Intelligence Doomsday Goodbye World
The games evolve, not the core program, no true AI is possible from my comparatively simple plan here. If the core program would actually change it'd quickly stop working, this is fundamental to understanding how programs work. Programs can't learn, programmers tell them what to do and the program repeats it, with variations in input processing time and output.

Issue: User input devices
This isn't integral to the concept, but it's a beginning. The end users input alphanumeric text, they'll upload sound, images, multimedia, anything that can be parsed and reused by the program.

What's important is users input more data in the form of evaluations. This is every day stuff on the internet. But now it has importance.

Issue: Who makes money from the games, the users? Developers? The system?
That's actually a very abstract problem at the moment.

Developers deserve payment for their game, and they need to know exactly how much they'll get.

The game system will need to be funded to maintain expenses.

There are current online applications that allow consenting users to participate and earn money.

Issue: If we make it right now, this instant, without looking ahead. How does this make money?

Obviously it wouldn't, this isn't a get rich quick idea. I wouldn't let someone who's seriously thinking this touch the concept. The initial development would be costly, the crowdsourcing would generate free research, databases would grow. Money is a failing here and there's no estimated time before completion.

Some of the things users have already contributed to crowd sourced games has saved research time, which is equal to money. They never even had to know about it, and they never got a dime back. Examples of crowdsourcing games: Foldit, Galaxy Zoo, cerberusgame.

Issue: Nobody's going to make this right now without validation

I'm not able to sell it to myself.
1. It can be made
2. Someone will pay for it


Issue: Monetization and Customers
Monetization of hard work. The ideas I have for the system produces games. The system itself improves by playing games. How can this be priced correctly? I'll have to break this into a new blog entry anyway.

Monetization of data is better. After it's completed, other companies will have uses for human data, and unless they're into games they won't reproduce it the same way. It will have uses I can't really understand, and I wouldn't need to.


From topic to blog

Posted by , in Introduction 12 December 2013 - - - - - - · 764 views

[Theoretical] Games that evolve from player input
See topic here:
http://www.gamedev.net/topic/650994-theoretical-games-that-evolve-from-player-input/
Original title "The most scientific game."

Prologue:
I will write journal entries instead of posting to the topic now. I'll be rewriting some of the content or elaborating. It's mostly for fun, I need something entertaining to write about and avoid repeatedly bumping my own topic at the same time. The entries I make are not based on any intentional research, so I'll be citing few hard facts. They are all creative writing. If someone asks I can only say straight out "It just came to me. An hour of typing later I explained the idea by making some references and started to eat breakfast."

I started the topic partly as an experiment since I was reading copyright law recently. The idea is realistic, it's just not something I see myself programming right now, or even in 20 years. Like writing a new Google search engine, or the Cleverbot that fools people into believing it's human, a Wikipedia sized pool of objective opinions, and memes with the survival rate of a Cheezburger... many levels of software complexity combined with human influence. Only this is once it's finally applied to game development, which will attract essentially the same user base. Heck no, I'm not programming this.

What's the experiment?
First of all I wanted to see if anyone would respond to the topic. Nada. I received zero external input other than observing the idea is plausible (all those things I said last paragraph), and as far as research goes, the reason I started on this is because I heard a lot about what games CAN'T DO.

I'm adamant about this, games CAN DO ANYTHING, it just hasn't been implemented, simulated, or conceptualized correctly, or fast enough yet. So, yeah, even subconsciously I formed an argument before I woke up in the morning.


Summary:
Some people talk about tabletop games, GM'ing role-play games like Dungeons and Dragons as the de facto limitation on our hard coded games. If you try to do something really clever the programs will not recognize this, it's just not possible and nothing happens. A human GM will think of an explanation why not, at the very least, they may kill you for it. But this limitation remains constant only as long as games are "hard coded". We have people in the game industry trying to reproduce predefined rules of old games, tabletop or retro arcade style, CONSTANTLY. They don't have enough time or experience to reproduce a human GM, nobody does.

Also I want to get this across now, this won't produce a true artificial intelligence. But it does fuel a paradigm, the software will be reprogrammable by non-programmers.

The premise was how games will emulate a GM (I never said that in the initial topic, but I felt this self-explanatory). It can accept just about any input and reuse it, evolving. Taking everyone's ideas and trying them at least once, it is the most scientific game. You begin by creating a database, games are programmed to interact with it and the user. The software that connects the games and software will parse input from the user and store it. As many people who interact with the system at any point in time will have the opportunity to input cause and effect by playing any connected game and disagreeing with what is or is not possible.


This is a system for games that emulates human creativity (the GM) by starting with preset rules and then crowd sourcing data until it appears to understand cause and effect, more than the average human would (it will emulate a GM afterall). The more users who have influenced the system the merrier, more interactions will make it more accurate.

More about what a game will be like, and less about how it does it. When someone who does not know rules to Dungeons and Dragons wants to play, they can load up Dungeons and Dragons from the database once it's programmed in, stay connected to the database that knows all the user input for a more human experience, and let the game system GM their game session. The player needs an input that translates to text at first, future input technology may change this ideal, any data suffices.

From the player's point of view: The game appears to be creative and organized (if desired it could be less organized and make a lot of assumptions and preset decisions to help new players), it accepts the player's information in any order and asks about info that's missing, it'll start the new player out in common situations to teach them the game, it will reuse situations anyone ever thought of if the opportunity arises, it'll know all the rules and then some, it will be able to answer like a human would to any OOC remarks, and it will punish and reward players for doing clever things that weren't even in the rules.

I wrote about the first and second generation of games that appear to logically progress from this concept so far. To develop the second generation you definitely have to have something similar to the first, and so on.

I could use a little help anyway:
Until I learn otherwise this idea's original and entirely mine. Please notify me if someone else thought of this before December 2013, or if you see anyone using this idea in the future.





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