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FlowShooter was my first attempt at taking the “Director” aspect from Valve Software’s Left 4 Dead to the next level. I gave a presentation based on my research in my Artificial Intelligence class while doing a research paper with my partner Stanley Thai.

In this current age, video game players have never varied larger in terms of their skill when it comes to completing objectives. It is a designer’s job to carefully balance and tweak gameplay to work for all sorts of people, but it would be easier to have the game assess how the player is doing and adjust the game on the fly. Valve’s Left 4 Dead series took the first step with its Director system where it decides how many zombies to spawn at one time. Our project takes that concept to the next level by changing the enemies to fit the level of the player to hopefully create the psychological state of “Flow” in the player. (For more information on “Flow” please go here.)

In this project, we will use the familiar multi-directional shooter in the vein of Bizzare Creation’s Geometry Wars and will modify it by shaping the enemies as the game continues. Using the traditional story arch in terms of the amount of base stress the game will create we will adjust aspect of the enemies the player will face with a director of our own. With both of these aspects in place it is our goal to simulate the idea of “Flow” in games.

An example of a possible progression in gameplay.

The full research paper written by myself and my good friend Stanley Thai is available to read here:

Creating Flow by Dynamically Changing Enemies