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In this page, I present some information about my dissertation on dynamic difficulty adaptivity in games for my Master of Science's degree in Computer Science. The whole text is available in Brazilian Portuguese in the proper section below. This research also produced a paper published in English in SBGames 2013.

The subject

This research started with the question: "Why players play games, what are they looking for?". This question lead to a research on player motivation, and to narrow our subject we decided to focus on hardcore and casual players, specifically in how can we measure player enjoyment and how to adapt the game to the different players that may come to play it. Casual and hardcore players differ in their motivation to play and to continue playing a game. There are games that suit best each type of player based on their intrinsic motivation for playing. One of these motivations is the challenge that the game proposes. Common sense says that the hardcore player seeks a higher challenge and involvement in the game and the casual player isn't keen on the challenge, just wants to kill some time.

Based on related work, we implemented a dynamic difficulty adaptive system to change the game difficulty towards the player's performance. We used the CEGE questionnaire to measure the effectiveness of the adaptivity in a shoot'em up game implemented for this project. Our methodology and results can be checked on the dissertation (in Brazilian Portuguese) and on the paper published (in English).

The dissertation & citing

My presentation and defense of the dissertation were held at PUC-Rio's Computer Science Department at September 6th, 2012. The slides are available in pdf format. The chapter files of the dissertation (in Brazilian Portuguese) can be officially accessed in PUC-Rio's Maxwell repository via this link. Alternatively, you can get the whole dissertation in one file in the downloads section below.

You can cite me in your work using this BibTex entry:

address = {Rio de Janeiro, Brasil},
type = {Disserta\c{c}\~{a}o de mestrado},
title = {Um estudo sobre adaptatividade din\^{a}mica de dificuldade em jogos},
abstract = {As \'{a}reas de modelagem de jogador e sistemas adaptativos s\~{a}o relevantes para jogos ao permitir que o jogo se adapte ao n\'{i}vel de habilidade do jogador, procurando oferecer um desafio cont\'{i}nuo e de acordo com sua evolu\c{c}\~{a}o de modo que o jogador se sinta motivado a continuar jogando pelo desafio proporcional ao seu desempenho. O presente trabalho realiza um estudo em modelagem de jogador e ajuste din\^{a}mico de dificuldade, levantando dados sobre jogos que utilizam tais conceitos. Um sistema adaptativo baseado em modelagem de jogador \'{e} implementado e testado com jogadores para analisar a efetividade e relev\^{a}ncia do uso de tais sistemas na manuten\c{c}\~{a}o do interesse do jogador, sob as \'{o}ticas da teoria de fluxo (flow theory) e do modelo de elementos centrais da experi\^{e}ncia de jogo ({CEGE).}},
language = {Portugu\^{e}s},
school = {Pontif\'{i}cia Universidade Cat\'{o}lica do Rio de Janeiro - {PUC-Rio}},
author = {de Araujo, Bruno Ba\`{e}re Pederassi Lomba de and Feij\'{o}, Bruno},
month = sep,
year = {2012}

SBGames 2013 paper & presentation

This work was presented as a full paper in SBGames 2013 (XII Brazilian Symposium on Computer Games and Digital Entertainment) held in São Paulo under the title: Evaluating dynamic difficulty adaptivity in shoot’em up games. The full paper can be accessed here. The presentation can be accessed here.

You can cite me in your work using this BibTex entry:

address = {São Paulo, Brazil},
title = {Evaluating dynamic difficulty adaptivity in shoot’em up games},
url = {},
abstract = {In shoot’em up games, the player engages in a solitary assault against a large number of enemies, which calls for a very fast adaptation of the player to a continuous evolution of the enemies attack patterns. This genre of video game is quite appropriate for studying and evaluating dynamic difficulty adaptivity in games that can adapt themselves to the player’s skill level while keeping him/her constantly motivated. In this paper, we evaluate the use of dynamic adaptivity for casual and hardcore players, from the perspectives of the flow theory and the model of core elements of the game experience. Also we present an adaptive model for shoot’em up games based on player modeling and online learning, which is both simple and effective},
language = {English},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the {XII} Brazilian Symposium on Games and Digital Entertainment - {SBGames} 2013},
author = {de Araujo, Bruno Ba\`{e}re Pederassi Lomba and Feij\'{o}, Bruno},
month = oct,
year = {2013},
pages = {229 -- 238}

Bruno Araujo,
20 de jun de 2013 16:49
Bruno Araujo,
1 de nov de 2013 00:53
Bruno Araujo,
1 de nov de 2013 00:51