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Feature: 'Constructing Artificial Emotions: A Design Experiment'

Veteran game designer Daniel Cook has followed up up his much-discussed 'Chemistry Of Game Design' essay with a new in-depth Gamasutra game design article discu
Veteran game designer Daniel Cook has followed up up his much-discussed 'Chemistry Of Game Design' essay with a new in-depth Gamasutra game design article discussing how to create emotions through games, from stimulus to biofeedback. Cook, who his noted for his design notes on his own Lost Garden weblog, explains in the introduction to the piece: "The game designer’s palette of emotion has traditionally been limited to boredom, frustration, and triumphant mastery. There is very little published research on how to evoke a broader range of emotions and designers have very few practical or theoretical tools at their disposal in the quest to create meaningful, emotional experiences for their players." Continuing this line of thought, is there a proven set of stimuli that provoke emotional responses? This is what Cook then looks into in his detailed article, explaining: "To expand beyond the present constraints, I set forth a personal challenge. What if you wanted to create a game that pushes the player through a sequence of emotions, from joy to sorrow, to perhaps even religious ecstasy? What current or future techniques would you use? Is it even possible for a game to evoke a rich palette of emotions? In order to build a game that induces such a complex emotional spectrum, we need to dig into the fundamentals of evoking emotions in games. It turns out that many folks in the scientific community have been studying tangentially related problems for quite some time." The full Gamasutra article on the subject is now available to view, including many detailed diagrams and explanations of how the problem is being solved from external perspectives.

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