Playing Portal 2 With Your Eyes?
Posted on Friday, March 4 @ 17:04:15 PST by Nicholas Tan
That's what I think when Valve admits that they are strapping heartrate monitors and brain diodes on their test subjects. But there is a method to the madness, or so they say. Gathering input data of human physiological effects is not just for scientific study, though, but also for actual input in the game. Using your eyes to play Portal 2? More on that later.
Valve utilized multiple methods to gather data, measuring heartrates, electrical resistance on the skin, facial expressions, electrical potentials on the head, eye movements, pupil dilations, and various body language positions. Each method has pros and cons: some are better at measuring arousal, other at valence (positive/negative emotion); some are inexpensive, and some cost thousands upon thousands of dollars in equipment and labor.
Nonetheless, Valve has the money and resources, and has developed three experiments that enhance their games. The first is the AI Director in Left 4 Dead 2 which, all on its own, actually estimates player arousal and spreads out enemies to form a thorough player experience that has peaks and valleys of excitement. By measuring arousal in real time, though, the AI Director does not need to guess. The effect is tremendous, with players saying that their experience was improved as much as 50%.
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