Dr Penny Kyburz

Senior Lecturer
Ph.D., B.IT(Hons), G.C.Ed.(Higher Ed.), G.C.Academic Practice
+61 2 6125 1607

I am a researcher in the areas of AI, player experience, and human-AI interaction in games and mixed reality and an experienced game developer. I developed the GameFlow model, which is a widely cited model of enjoyment in video games, and authored a book on Emergence in Games. I have contributed to 20 digital games, which have garnered many awards, including four prestigious BAFTA nominations. I have devised usability methods and lead usability testing on AAA games, resulting in very high critic scores. I have also worked in the Senate as a policy adviser in digital rights, communications, and disability.

I lead the ANU Games Research Group, convene the ANU Computing Internship Program, and teach Human-Computer Interaction.

I am an advocate for women in technology and games and am the Chair of the ANU Family Friendly Committee and founder of the ANU Gender Equity in Engineering and Computer Science (GEECS) initiative.

Video games, play experience, HCI, AI, human-AI interaction, technology policy, digital rights

(Note I publish under the name P. Sweetser)

Scholarly books

Sweetser, P. (2008) Emergence in Games. Hingham, MA: Charles River Media, Inc.

Scholarly book chapters

Johnson, D., Wyeth, P. & Sweetser, P. (2014). Creating Good Lives through Computer Games. In F. A. Huppert and C. Cooper (eds.) Interventions and Policies to Enhance Wellbeing. Wiley.

Sweetser, P. (2006) Environmental Awareness in Game Agents. In Rabin, S. (ed.), AI Game Programming Wisdom 3. Hingham, MA: Charles River Media, Inc.

Sweetser, P. (2004) Strategic Decision-Making with Neural Networks and Influence Maps. In S. Rabin (Ed.), AI Game Programming Wisdom 2. Hingham, MA: Charles River Media, Inc.

Sweetser, P. (2004) How to Build Neural Networks for Games. In S. Rabin (ed.), AI Game Programming Wisdom 2. Hingham, MA: Charles River Media, Inc.

Sweetser, P. (2004) How to Build Evolutionary Algorithms for Games. In S. Rabin (ed.), AI Game Programming Wisdom 2. Hingham, MA: Charles River Media, Inc.

Refereed journal articles

Sweetser, P., Johnson, D., Wyeth, P., Anwar, A., Meng, Y., & Ozdowska, A. (2017) GameFlow in Different Game Genres and Platforms. ACM Computers in Entertainment 15 (3), pp. 1-24.

Johnson, D., Gardner, J., & Sweetser, P. (2016) Motivations for videogame play: Predictors of time spent playing, Computers in Human Behavior, 63.

Sweetser, P. (2013) Teaching Games Level Design using the StarCraft II Editor. Journal of Learning Design, 6 (2), pp. 12-25.

Sweetser, P., Johnson, D., Ozdowska, A. & Wyeth, P. (2012). Active versus Passive Screen Time for Young Children. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood 37 (4).

Sweetser, P., Johnson, D., & Wyeth, P. (2012). Revisiting the GameFlow Model with Detailed Heuristics. Journal of Creative Technologies 3.

Sweetser, P. & Wiles, J. (2005) Scripting versus Emergence: Issues for Game Developers and Players in Game Environment Design. International Journal of Intelligent Games and Simulations 4 (1), pp. 1-9.

Sweetser, P. & Wyeth, P. (2005) GameFlow: A Method for Evaluating Player Enjoyment in Games. ACM Computers in Entertainment 3 (3), pp. 1-24.

Sweetser, P. & Wiles, J. (2002) Current AI in games: a review. Australian Journal of Intelligent Information Processing Systems, 8 (1), pp. 24-42.

Refereed conference papers

Hao, D., Sweetser, P. & Aitchison, M. (2020) Designing Curriculum for Deep Reinforcement Learning in StarCraft II. Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI2020).

Chen, Y., Aitchison, M. & Sweetser, P. (2020) Improving StarCraft II Player League Prediction with Spending Quotient. Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI2020).

Jeffrey, R., Bian, P., Ji, F. & Sweetser, P. (2020) The Wisdom of the Gaming Crowd.ACM SIGCHI annual symposium on Computer-human interaction in play (CHI PLAY 2020).

Sweetser, P. & Rogalewicz, Z. (2020) Affording Enjoyment in VR Games: Possibilities, Pitfalls, and Perfection. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Australian Special Interest Group for Computer Human Interaction (OzCHI 2020)

Sweetser, P. (2020) GameFlow 2020: 15 Years of a Model of Enjoyment in Games. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Australian Special Interest Group for Computer Human Interaction (OzCHI 2020)

Gellel, A. & Sweetser, P. (2020) A Hybrid Approach to Procedural Generation of Roguelike Video Game Levels. Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2020).

Sweetser, P. & Aitchison, M. (2020) Do Game Bots Dream of Electric Rewards? Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2020).

Sweetser, P., Johnson, D. & Kyburz, J. (2020) Evaluating GameFlow in a Multiplayer Online Strategy Game Under Development. Proceedings of the Australasian Computer Science Week Multiconference (ACSW 2020), 10 pages.

Sweetser, P., King, A. & De Wan, T. (2020) Setting Students up to Succeed in Computing Internships. Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE’20), 114-121.

Sweetser, P. & Johnson, D. (2019) Evaluating the GameFlow Model with Different Stakeholders. Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI annual symposium on Computer-human interaction in play (CHI PLAY 2019), 697-703. 

Sweetser, P. & Johnson, D. (2019) GameFlow and Player Experience Measures. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Australian Special Interest Group for Computer Human Interaction (OzCHI 2019), 317-321.

Sweetser, P., Rogalewicz, Z. & Li, Q. (2019) Understanding Enjoyment in VR Games with GameFlow. Proceedings of VRST '19: 25th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST '19), 2 pages.

Sweetser, P., Wyeth, P., McMahon, N., & Johnson, D. (2013) Female Game Developers Wanted: Low pay, long hours, inflexible work environments. IEEE International Games Innovation Conference, pp. 243-249.

Johnson, D., Wyeth, P., & Sweetser, P. (2013) The People Game Play Model for Understanding Videogames’ Impact on Wellbeing. IEEE International Games Innovation Conference, pp. 85-88.

Baldwin, A., Johnson, D., Sweetser, P., & Wyeth, P. (2013) A Framework of Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment in Competitive Multiplayer Video Games. IEEE International Games Innovation Conference, pp. 16-19.

Hall, J., Wyeth, P., Johnson, D., & Sweetser, P. (2013) Embedding Challenge in Serious Games: Limitations with Current Table-based Games. Let’s Talk about Failures: Why was the Game for Children not a Success? CHI’13 Extended Abstracts on on Human Factors in Computer Systems.

Sweetser, P., Johnson, D., Wyeth, P., & Ozdowksa, A. (2012). GameFlow Heuristics for Designing and Evaluating Real-Time Strategy Games. Proceedings of the 8th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, pp. 1-10.

Johnson, D., Wyeth, P., Sweetser, P. & Gardner, J. (2012). Personality, Genre and Videogame Play Experience. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Fun and Games, pp. 117-120.

Wyeth, P., Johnson, D., & Sweetser, P. (2012). Conceptualising, Operationalising and Measuring the Player Experience in Videogames. Extended Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Fun and Games, pp. 90-93.

Wyeth, P., Johnson, D., & Sweetser, P. (2011). Motivating Whole Body Gaming for People with Intellectual Disability. 4th International Workshop on Whole Body Interaction, ACE 2011 Workshop, pp. 1-6.

Sweetser, P. & Wiles, J. (2005) Combining Influence Maps and Cellular Automata for Reactive Game Agents. 6th International Conference on Intelligent Data Engineering and Automated Learning, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3578, pp. 524-531.

Sweetser, P. & Johnson, D. (2004) Player-Centred Game Environments: Assessing Playing Opinions, Experiences and Issues. Entertainment Computing - ICEC 2004: Third International Conference, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3166, pp. 321-332.

Sweetser, P., Johnson, D., Sweetser, J., & Wiles, J. (2003) Creating Engaging Artificial Characters for Games. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Entertainment Computing, pp. 1-8.

Sweetser, P. & Dennis, S. (2003) Facilitating Learning in a Real Time Strategy Computer Game. Entertainment Computing: Technologies and Applications (eds. Ryohei Nakatsu and Junichi Hoshino), pp. 49-56.

Johnson, D., Gardner, J., Wiles, J., Sweetser, P. & Hollingsworth, K. (2003) The Inherent Appeal of Physically Controlled Peripherals. Entertainment Computing: Technologies and Applications (eds. Ryohei Nakatsu and Junichi Hoshino), pp. 371-378.

Conference Presentations (Invited and Industry)

Sweetser, P. (2009) Internal User Testing: Tips & Tales. Presented at Game Connect Asia Pacific, Melbourne, Australia (6-8 December, 2009).

Sweetser, P. (2009) Wired Women. Panel at Game On, Brisbane, Australia (28 January, 2009). [Invited]

Sweetser, P. (2008) Emergence in Games. Keynote presented at IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Games, Perth, Australia (15-18 December, 2008). [Invited]

Sweetser, P. (2008) Emergence in Games. Presented at Game Connect Asia Pacific, Brisbane, Australia (19-21 November, 2008).

Sweetser, P., Orman, E. & James, A. (2008) How to Lose Your Team in 10 Steps. Presented at Game Connect Asia Pacific, Brisbane, Australia (19-21 November, 2008).

Sweetser, P. (2004) Using Cellular Automata and Influence Maps in Games. Presented at the Australian Game Developers Conference, Melbourne, Australia (2-4 December, 2004).

Sweetser, P. & Drennan, P. (2003) User-Centred Design in Games. Presented at the Australian Game Developers Conference, Melbourne, Australia (20-23 November, 2003).

Sweetser, P. (2002) Learning AI in Games. Presented at the Australian Game Developers Conference, Melbourne, Australia (6-8 December, 2002).

 

Published Digital Games

I have contributed to 20 published digital games, including:

Patrick Chieppe »

Phd Student

Lei Liu »

PhD Student

I am the Convenor of the ANU Computing Internship Program: https://cecs.anu.edu.au/engage/computer-science-in...

I am the Convenor of COMP3900/6390: Human-Computer Interface Design & Evaluation

I am the Chair of the ANU Family Friendly Committee: https://cecs.anu.edu.au/engage/computer-science-in...

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