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Mood Detection

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I was wondering, and thinking about how you could use a players input from any input device, keyboard, joystick etc to determine what kind of mood the player is in. Depending on how they use the keys, button bashing, slow simple movements etc could determine how the person feels at that moment in time.

A-> If the player is bashing away at the keys franticly, they are most likley excited or in fear of somthing in the game.

B-> If they are being cautious pressing little keys and moving a joypad/mouse slowly they are most likley quite nervous about the situation.

This lead me on to think how a game could be programmed to respond to the players mood, making it more exciting for them. Like if the player is in mood A (shown above) some hardcore rock music could kick in or even triggering more enemies to fly at them, the game could respond in any way which makes the player more button bashing crazy.

With B it could kick in some eerie music to make it more suspense.

The problem with the above is that you cant stage a game very well, if a player is just running around firing at random boxes and going crazy and yet there are no enemies, it doesnt make sense to kick in some hardcore rock music (althou it would be cool). Plus you would lose a sense of control to the game, it wouldnt allow you to make the player tense, when you wanted them to feel tense.

Im not sure if this has been done or even used in any games before, it was just an idea i came up with today... Any comments?

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I actually posted about this in my journal not too long ago here.

It's a cool idea, I just don't see how it could reliably be done to get the effect you want.

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That is a cool idea, and I think you might be able to achieve it using a neural net.

You'd take a number of metrics about the input - rate of button presses, button 'mashes' (multiple buttons pressed simultaneously), rate of repeat presses, etc - and feed that to a net. It would then emit a set of numbers representing the player's mood.

You'd then train it up by getting a load of people to play the game, watching them and setting the output that the net should be generating (and it has the inputs to go with that). The more people you use and the more variation you have in moods, the more accurate the net becomes.

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Yeah superpig thats a good idea, if you get the input from 100 or 1000 players your more likley to have a wider variety of input so you can give some accurate outputs.

groovy :)

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I guess you could have trigger points that could "hint" the mood. For example, if you've designed an enemy ambush, you'll know that it'll likely get the player's adrenaline pumping. So a hint trigger beforehand could help with accuracy.


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If you've ever been to a club with a good DJ, you'll find that while they have a more or less fixed set (i.e. they won't take requests), they will always be watching the floor to see if perhaps they should deviate from what they were planning on doing. If people are arriving slower than was expected, then there's no point getting into the core of the set. If everyone's off getting drinks or in the chillout room, you don't want to waste your anthems - or maybe you do want to drop one in to call people back to the floor. It's that reaction to feedback which makes that DJ a joy to dance under.

Exactly the same thing can apply to gameplay. For example, take one of my favourite games like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - the fights in that could really be of any length, and while sometimes you enjoy them, often they go on too long and get boring. If the game were able to detect when you'd gotten bored, it could stop spawning new enemies; conversely, if it detects that you're still enjoying the fight, it'll keep it going. Mix yer gameplay elements like a pro DJ.

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