Generative Agents for Player Decision Modeling in Games

Christoffer Holmgård, Antonios Liapis, Julian Togelius, Georgios Yannakakis

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This paper presents a method for modeling player decision making through the use of agents as AI-driven personas. The paper argues that artificial agents, as generative player models, have properties that allow them to be used as psyhometrically valid, abstract simulations of a human player’s internal decision making processes. Such agents can then be used to interpret human decision making, as personas and playtesting tools in the game design process, as baselines for adapting agents to mimic classes of human players, or as believable, human-like opponents. This argument is explored in a crowdsourced decision making experiment, in which the decisions of human players are recorded in a small-scale dungeon themed puzzle game. Human decisions are compared to the decisions of a number of a priori defined “archetypical” agent-personas, and the humans are characterized by their likeness to or divergence from these. Essentially, at each step the action of the human is compared to what actions a number of reinforcement-learned agents would have taken in the same situation, where each agent is trained using a different reward scheme. Finally, extensions are outlined for adapting the agents to represent sub-classes found in the human decision making traces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication9th International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games
PublisherSociety for the Advancement of Digital Games
Publication date2014
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9913982-2-5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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