Ensemble Engine



The Ensemble Engine is a framework and tool for incorporating social physics into playable experiences. The design of the system is directly informed by the experience of more than five years of building the CiF system, and using CiF to create multiple games such as Prom Week. Put simply, a social physics system looks at all of the social factors impacting a character, or group of characters, and determines how the characters might best react to the current social state to suit their desires, as well as directly changing the social state itself.

To use the Ensemble Engine in a project of your own, download the "EnsembleEngine--GettingStartedBuild.zip" file. Once unzipped, you'll find a javascript file you'll be able to include in your game, along with documentation of the engine's API, a sample working game to give you a feel of Ensemble in action, and tutorials that show how social physics can be integrated into a game. The authoring tool files contain an application that allows for the easy authoring of influence rules: the social considerations that determine what characters will want to do with each other.

Both the authoring tool and Ensemble itself are actively being developed. If you have any questions, or run into any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact the creators. 

While the primary motivation for creating the Ensemble Engine is to aid the spread of social physics, a secondary motivation is to make a family of artificial intelligence techniques more broadly available to both independent game creators and game researchers. The Ensemble Engine approach to enabling socially based gameplay has the potential to make a variety of innovative game projects easier to create, and the creators look forward to helping explore them as widely as possible.


Ben Samuel (bsamuel@ucsc.edu), Aaron A. Reed, Paul Maddaloni, Josh McCoy, Mike Treanor


Michael MateasNoah Wardrip-Fruin

Research Labs

Expressive Intelligence Studio

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Posted: Apr.17.2015
Category: EIS