Ibrahim Asif Mirza
Supervisor:Prof. Gudrun Klinker, Ph.D.
Advisor:Daniel Dyrda, M.Sc.
Submission Date:15 April 2021


Emotion engines provide a unique paradigm to game development. Using computational models of emotion, rooted in psychology, they provide an emotion-oriented approach to game development. Current emotion engines, however, are limited to adapting only narrative elements of a video game. These mostly relate to the story and, to some extent, the dialogues of the characters. Most current video games, though heavily reliant on stories, are becoming more and more visually photorealistic. Each passing year provides new advancements in the tools and techniques used for creating those visuals. Most emotion engines do not take into account these visual aspects of video games. This thesis will set out to conceptualize, design and implement a framework that will attempt to adapt visual as well as narrative elements of a video game. After designing the framework, we will attempt to develop a prototypical game based around the framework. Finally, we shall compare our framework to current emotion engines and frameworks, discuss its shortcomings and shed light on potential improvements and suggestions for further development.

Project Description

This thesis lays the architectural foundation for an emotion engine framework, based on a simple model of emotion, which aims to adapt narrative plot points of the story and visual aspects of the game (such as colours, camera settings etc.) and also add personality aspects to the player avatar and NPCs (Non-Playable Characters)

The thesis:

  • examines emotions from biological, physiological, psychological and computational points-of-view
  • explains the importance of visual elements and introduces the concept of "aesthetic" emotions
  • explores various emotion engines within the context of software engineering principles
  • explores emotion engines developed within the context of video games
  • proposes an architectural framework for an emotion engine
  • implements a simple text-based adventure game prototype using the proposed framework
  • compares its features with other emotion engines


A basic implementation of the framework and prototype can be found at (Please note that there will be bugs)

Source code at:


The thesis proposed and implemented a framework for developing an emotion engine that can be used for games. Although it can be adapted to any platform, there are still improvements that can be done, especially when it comes to

  • developing dynamic NPC emotions
  • using advanced emotion models
  • testing it
  • developing advanced prototypes (2D, 3D, different genre etc.)

Thesis (PDF)

Final Presentation (PPT)