Emotional Appraisal Engines for Games

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific


Affective game engines could support game development by providing specialized emotion sensing (detection), emotion modeling, emotion expression and affective behavior generation explicitly tailored towards games. In this chapter we discuss the rationale for specialized emotional appraisal engines for games, analogous to having specialized physics engines. Such engines provide basic emotion modeling capabilities to generate emotions for Non Player Characters (NPCs), just like the Havok engine provides physics-related special purpose processing. In particular, such engines provide NPCs with an emotional state by simulating the emotional meaning of an event to an NPC in the context of the game’s storyline, the NPC’s personality, and relationships with other NPCs. We discuss why such engines are needed, present an example approach based on cognitive appraisal, and show how this appraisal engine has been integrated in a wide variety of architectures for controlling NPCs. We conclude with a discussion of novel gameplays possible by the more sophisticated emotion modeling enabled by an emotion appraisal engine.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmotion in Games
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Praxis
EditorsKostas Karpouzis, Georgios N. Yannakakis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-41316-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-41314-3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameSocio-Affective Computing
ISSN (Print)2509-5706


  • Non-player character
  • NPC
  • Behaviour
  • Appraisal engine
  • Gameplay


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