Publication: Time Balancing with Adaptive Time-Variant Minigames

Balancing timing of tasks and abilities in multiplayer games is an important design element, but two time balancing issues are currently difficult to deal with: individual differences in experience or skill, and real-world elements that impose fixed temporal constraints on the game (as in mixed-reality games). We introduce adaptive time-variant minigames as a way of addressing the problems of time balancing. These minigames are parameterized to allow both a guaranteed minimum play time (to address fixed temporal constraints), and dynamic adaptability (to address temporal variances caused by individual differences). We developed three adaptive time-variant minigames and carried out two studies with them. The studies showed that the adaptation mechanisms allow accurate prediction of play time, that the minigames were valuable in helping to balance temporal asymmetries in a real mixed-reality game, and that they did not detract from the overall play experience.




Amin Tavassolian
University of Saskatchewan
Kevin Stanley
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Aryan Zohoorian


Tavassolian, A., Stanley, K., Gutwin, C., Zohoorian, A. 2011. Time Balancing with Adaptive Time-Variant Minigames. In Proc. IFIP International Conference on Entertainment Computing, 59-70. DOI=10.1007/978-3-642-24500-8_19.


@inbook {454-time-balancing-with-adaptive,
author= {Amin Tavassolian and Kevin Stanley and Carl Gutwin and Aryan Zohoorian},
title= {Time Balancing with Adaptive Time-Variant Minigames},
booktitle= {Proc. IFIP International Conference on Entertainment Computing},
year= {2011},
pages= {59-70}