Representation and Frequency of Player Choice in Player-Oriented Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment Systems

Dennis Ang, Alex Mitchell,
National University of Singapore

Alberto Mora
Oct 2 · 1 min read

Dynamic difficulty adjustment (DDA) systems can improve the player experience (PX). Allowing the player to make difficulty adjustment decisions can lead to an improved sense of control. However, we hypothesize that shifting the responsibility for making difficulty adjustment decisions from the
computational system to the player may be detrimental to the overall PX. We conducted a controlled experiment, analyzing data from 84 participants, to investigate how (1) the way difficulty choices are presented (integrated into game mechanics or direct control) and (2) the frequency of presenting these choices to the player (once, periodically, or constantly) affects the PX. Our findings show that integrated choices lead to an improved PX along some PX dimensions. Presenting choices once or constantly yields poorer PX compared to presenting choices periodically. The results also demonstrate interaction effects between the two experiment factors, suggesting the need for more deliberate design decisions when designing for difficulty adjustment.


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