Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Computer Science

Committee Member

Matthew Evett, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Susan Haynes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Sverdlik, Ph. D.


In this paper a method of enhancing the realism of certain computer game types, particularly First Person Shooter games, is explored by attempting to include intelligent neutral background characters to the game environment. This method also requires that the inclusion of these background characters will not adversely affect the performance of a game by drastically increasing the computational complexity of the game. A simulation was created to show how this can be done using a group of intelligent agents based in a simulated world, and a simplified system of norms designed to influence the agents’ behavior. The agents are designed to interact with each other and other objects in their virtual world, in a fashion that could be considered human-like. To show the validity of this method, the simulation was designed to be minimally resource intensive. Furthermore, extensive tests were performed using a variety of initial starting values for various aspects of the simulation, to show that the simulation, and thus the method, can sustain itself long enough to provide an improvement to a gaming environment. The results of the tests are discussed at length, as well as theories as to how this method could be used successfully in computer gaming.