SMILEI: Five steps to design emotional game mechanics

SMILEI: Five steps to design emotional game mechanics

Genuine Empathic technology is getting under your skin. The success of games like “Keep talking, nobody explodes” or "The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow“ lies in the excitement of the emotional response from the players. However, the game does not adapt to it. Current technology promises that it can. Several software packages are quite advance in recognizing a single indicator of an emotional response, for example facial expression, voice-pitch and/or heartbeat. In our latest research we combined, integrate and applied these technologies in a game context.

FHICT-Game Design explored the opportunities from three different angles: Information display, in entertainment games and in an applied game for first responders.

1. Displaying emotional information in real-time has it’s challenges when applied in a live context. It should be presented unobtrusive and it should be clear enough for immediate interpretation. How do you design an emotional feedback loop?

2. Many games elicit excitement, some demand to hide it (such as poker), some thrive by the expression of it as in party games. There are not so many games that demand to control and manipulate emotions per sé. What if we could?

3. First responders need to rely on each-other’s emotional stability in crisis-situations. This is an aspect that is difficult to train with current training materials. It was technically difficult to train and test emotional stability in real-time. Therefore we designed a real-time Emotional Game Response in a VR-Narrative.
In this presentation we will present each case and share the lessons learned.

Tags: EMO