Prom Week is a next-generation social simulation game driven by a novel artificial intelligence engine. The goal of Prom Week is to make social interactions truly playable. While games have increasingly gotten better at physical simulation, social interactions in games still tend to be scripted, using dialogue trees or other static structures to represent in-game choice. As a result, games are more often about combat or physics-based behaviors (which are easier to make playable) since these simulations are the only part of the system dynamic enough for interesting gameplay.
Prom Week uses the AI system Comme il Faut (CiF) to enable rich, emergent storylines by letting players use "social physics." Just as games like Angry Birds support emergent solutions to physical challenges, Prom Week's underlying simulation of social considerations (containing over 5,000 rules of social norms and behaviors) allow for emergent solutions to social challenges, like getting geeky Simon a prom date or convincing Buzz to give Monica a second chance. And unlike games like The Sims which use abstractions such as nonsense words or icons to represent language, Prom Week features actual English dialogue, and characters with detailed histories, likes, dislikes, permanent traits, and temporary statuses---all of which can be leveraged by the player to produce just the right prom night story.
Funding for Prom Week was in part provided by the National Science Foundation award IIS-0747522.
Visit http://promweek.soe.ucsc.edu/ for more information and recent news about Prom Week.
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Prom Week IGF Submission Video from Josh McCoy on Vimeo.
Josh McCoy, Mike Treanor, Ben Samuel, Aaron A. Reed, Kathleen Kralowec, Ellen Otsuka, Ryan Andonian, Travis Brown, Jacob Pernell, Evan Mertz, Corey DiMiceli, Christian Ress, Melissa Bernetsky, Devon Wyland, Alexander Schneider, Brandon Tearse, Zane Mariano, Duncan Bowsman, Garin Kessler, Alexander Baker, Daniel Cetina, Lauren Scott and Alexei Othenin-Girard
Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
Expressive Intelligence Studio