UE4 / Blueprints
Caroline is a project I created as part of my master thesis titled
"Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment in a Horror Game Using Biometric Data".
The aim of this project was to develop a survival horror game in first person view, that would capture the player’s heart rate in real-time to adjust its difficulty and investigate how DDA and biometrics work together.
This project was made in UE4 using only Blueprints and assets from the Marketplace. I was the sole developer and worked on every aspect of the game including Player Controls (incorporating the heart rate data coming from an Arduino sensor), AI (Behaviour Trees, Blackboard, AI Perception), UI and Level Design.
The hypothesis of this study was that biometric data can be used successfully as an input parameter to calibrate a game using a Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment system in order to enhance the player’s experience, engagement, enjoyment and immersion.
I added a small twist to make it interesting, which was that if the player panicked and their heart rate rose, the game would become harder instead of easier, where the enemies would become faster and their detection radius would increase.
The study involved participants playtesting the game with or without a heart rate sensor which provided the data input into the dynamic difficulty adjustment system of the game. The results showed participants who used the heart rate sensor enjoyed the game more, felt more challenged and were more immersed when the gameplay was adjusted according to their heart rate.