Intelligent Agent Controlled NPCs in 3D Virtual Learning Environment

This research uses intelligent agent to control non-player character (that is NPC) to make the virtual world more real for users. Such NPC can be aware of the user’s presence, walk and turn to the user, interact with the user, talk to user and keep the communications and interactions in its memory.


Incorporating intelligence and social behaviours into virtual worlds for learning is becoming more desirable in making them smart, adaptive, personalized, and therefore, more effective and engaging. Realistic non-player controlled characters (NPCs) are essential of a game world and are making the virtual world more real for players. This is true in video games where more interactive NPCs support the story narrative of a game, making the game more immersive, more convincing, but it is also true in other areas where virtual worlds are used such as business and education, increasing the effectiveness of those environments. Research that has been done with virtual agents and multi-agent systems can be leveraged to create more realistic NPCs through purposeful communication channels, inter-agent interactions and environment-agent interactions for game-based learning applications. This research proposes an approach to controlling avatars with intelligent agents through the creation of an interface between a multi-agent system to a virtual world engine. Basic NPC behaviours controlled by agents using Jason AgentSpeak are used to test the feasibility of the approach. A QuizMASter scenario is described as a proof of concept of the use of such agent controlled avatars in educational context.

Full Video Clip:

1. NPC in 3D Virtual Learning Environment –

2. QuizMASter –

3. Keeping the communications and interactions in agent’s memory can benefit from Automarking Web Service –

References:

Steve Leung, Sandeep Virwaney, Fuhua Lin, AJ Armstrong, and Adien Dubbelboer. (2013). TSI-enhanced Pedagogical Agents to Engage Learners in Virtual Worlds. International Journal of Distance Education Technologies, 11(1), 1-13.

Martin M. Weng, Ireti Fakinlede, Fuhua Lin, Timothy K. Shih, and Maiga Chang. (2011). A Conceptual Design of Multi-Agent based Personalized Quiz Game. In the Proceedings of the 11th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technology, (ICALT 2011), Athens, GA, USA, July 6-8, 2011, 19-21.

Jeanne Blair and Fuhua Lin. (2011). An Approach for Integrating 3D Virtual Worlds with Multiagent Systems. In the Proceedings of IEEE Workshops of International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications, (WAINA 2011), Biopolis, Singapore, March 22-25, 2011, 580-585.

Mark Dutchuk, Khalid Aziz Muhammadi, and Fuhua Lin. (2009). QuizMASter – A Multi-Agent Game-Style Learning Activity. In the Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on E-learning and Games, (Edutainment 2009), Banff, Canada, August 9-11, 2009, 263-272.