Semi-Automated Level Design via Auto-Playtesting for Handheld Casual Game Creation


We provide a proof of principle that novel and engaging mobile casual games with new aesthetics, game mechanics and player interactions can be designed and tested directly on the device for which they are intended. We describe the Gamika iOS application which includes generative art assets; a design interface enabling the making of physics-based casual games containing multiple levels with aspects ranging from Frogger-like to Asteroids-like and beyond; a configurable automated playtester which can give feedback on the playability of levels; and an automated fine-tuning engine which searches for level parameterisations that enable the game to pass a battery of tests, as evaluated by the auto-playtester. Each aspect of the implementation represents a baseline with much room for improvement, and we present some experimental results and describe how these will guide the future directions for Gamika.

Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games 2016, 20-23 September 2016, Santorini, pages 372–379