Overview

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. 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.

Features

  • ”Social Physics” enables emergent solutions — you decide how it plays out.
  • Social Artificial Intelligence that keeps track of every decision you make, letting the characters respond dynamically to everything you do.
  • Characters with histories, personalities, likes and dislikes that all impact how they interact with each other.
  • Story mode lets you shoot for social goals and solve puzzles, like finding a new friend for Doug or a date for Chloe.
  • In Free Play mode, manipulate the hapless high schoolers to your heart’s content!

Artificial Intelligence Techniques

The novel Comme il Faut AI system in in Prom Week balances the fun of player-driven narratives with the open-endedness of sandbox games.  Developed over 2.5 years, it enables simulation-based gameplay involving specific characters, their histories, language, and narrative conclusions.

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Publications

McCoy, J., M. Treanor, B. Samuel, A. Reed, M. Mateas, and N. Wardrip-Fruin, “Prom Week: Designing past the game/story dilemma“, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games: ACM, 2013.

McCoy, J., M. Treanor, B. Samuel, B. Tearse, M. Mateas, and N. Wardrip-Fruin, “Authoring Game-based Interactive Narrative using Social Games and Comme il Faut“, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference & Festival of the Electronic Literature Organization: Archive & Innovate (ELO 2010), Providence, Rhode Island, USA, June, 2010.