Abstract

A long-term goal of game design research is to achieve end-to-end automation of much of the design process, one aspect of which is creating effective level progressions. A key difficulty is getting the player to practice with interesting combinations of learned skills while maintaining their engagement. Although recent work in task generation and sequencing has reduced this effort, we still lack end-to-end automation of the entire content design process. We approach this goal by incorporating ideas from intelligent tutoring systems and proposing progression strategies that seek to achieve mastery of not only base concepts but arbitrary combinations of these concepts. The input to our system is a model of what the player needs to do to complete each level, expressed as either an imperative procedure for producing solutions or a representation of features common to all solutions. The output is a progression of levels that can be adjusted by changing high-level parameters. We apply our framework to a popular math puzzle game and present results from 2,377 players showing that our automatic level progression is comparable to expert-crafted progression after a few design iterations based on a key engagement metric.