The ConferenceThe Conference

The International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) is a major international event. It seeks to promote the exchange of information concerning the foundations of digital games, technology used to develop digital games, and the study of digital games and their design, broadly construed. The goal of the conference is the advancement of the study of digital games, including but not limited to new game technologies, critical analysis, innovative designs, theories on play, empirical studies, and data analysis.

FDG 2018 will include presentations of peer-reviewed papers (with rebuttal process), invited talks by high-profile industry and academic leaders, panels, workshops, and posters. The conference will also host a game competition, tech demo session, and a doctoral consortium. This year’s FDG conference will nominate two papers with honorable mention and one best paper from each track.

FDG 2018 is organized in-cooperation with ACM SIGAI, SIGCHI, and SIGGRAPH.

Important DatesImportant Dates

FDG 2018 will accept communications in the form of full papers, short papers, workshops, posters, panels, games and demos. Full papers, short papers, and posters will appear in ACM’s digital library and will also be reachable from the conference website. High quality submissions are expected and will be rigorously reviewed for their technical merit, significance, clarity and relevance to the advancement of digital game research.

The date for the conference is 7-10 August 2018, with the following key dates:

Workshop proposals:
  • Submissions: February 12, 2018
  • Notifications: February 26, 2018
Doctoral Consortium:


  • Submissions: May 7 May 21, 2018
  • Notifications: May 21 May 28, 2018
Full and short papers:


  • Submissions: March 12 March 22, 2018
  • Notifications: April 15 April 20, 2018
  • Rebuttal due: April 30, 2018
  • Final notification: May 7, 2018


  • Submissions:May 14 May 21, 2018
  • Notifications: June 4 June 11, 2018


  • Submissions: May 7 May 21, 2018
  • Notifications: May 21 May 28, 2018
Games and demos:
  • Submissions: June 11 June 18, 2018
  • Notifications: June 25, 2018
  • Submissions: February 28, 2018
  • Notifications: March 5, 2018


Local Organizers

José Font is a tenured assistant professor at Malmö University and holds a PhD in artificial intelligence from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. His research focuses on artificial intelligence and computational intelligence in games, exploring the ways in which AI can be a productive and creative tool during the video game development process, such as procedural content generation and mixed-initiative creative tools. He is also active in gamification, e-learning, and purposeful games, as well as former manager of the Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering at U-tad.

Website: about.me/josefont

Carl Magnus is a tenured assistant professor at Malmö University, and responsible for the Smart Living application area within the Internet of Things and People research center. He holds a PhD in context-aware systems from the Computer Science and Information Systems Department at the University of Limerick, Ireland. While Carl has published within digital games, the majority of his research has been published outside the digital games sphere, where he manages projects in close collaboration with international industry partners developing mobile and wearable devices and services. This has included gaming, entertainment, and well-being based implementations to understand how human-technology relationships are affected and change over time, as well as how intelligent system design can adapt to this.

Steve Dahlskog is a tenured assistant professor at Malmö University. His main research interest include procedural content generation in games and game AI. Steve holds a PhD in Computer Science and is the program manager of the game developer program at the Department of Computer Science and Media Technology. He is also a well-known community member in the Malmö gaming sphere.

Johan is an IT engineer at Malmö University, who also works as a teacher and technical lab manager. He holds an MSc in Computer Science, his thesis exploring AI-driven procedural content generation in mixed-initiative game development tools.

Program committee

Christoph Salge is a Marie Curie Global Fellow, currently on secondment to New York University. His project, INTERCOGAM, is aimed at using information-theoretic intrinsic motivations to evaluate procedurally generated game content. He is generally interested in the intersections between games, AI and philosophy. He holds a PhD from the University of Hertfordshire in “Information Theoretic Models of Social Interaction.”

Website: homepages.herts.ac.uk/~cs08abi

Sebastian Deterding is a designer and researcher working on playful and gameful design for human flourishing.

Website: codingconduct.cc

Sebastian Risi is an Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen where he is part of the Center for Computer Games Research and the Robotics, Evolution and Art Lab (REAL). His interests include computational intelligence in games, neuroevolution, evolutionary robotics and human computation. Risi completed his PhD in computer science from the University of Central Florida. He has won several best paper awards at GECCO, EvoMusArt, IJCNN, and the Continual Learning Workshop at NIPS for his work on adaptive systems, the HyperNEAT algorithm for evolving complex artificial neural networks, and music generation. He was a co-founder of FinchBeak, a company that focused on casual and educational social games enabled by AI technology.

Amy K. Hoover is an assistant professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey. After receiving her Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Central Florida where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, she was a postdoc at the Institute of Digital Games in Malta and with the Playable Innovative Technolgies group at Northeastern University in Boston. Her research interests include computational creativity and artificial intelligence and games. Amy has received two Best Paper Awards at EvoMUSART and Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, and was a Runner-Up for the Best Paper Award at FDG 2017. .

Website: amykhoover.com

Diego Perez-Liebana is a Lecturer in Computer Games and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Essex (UK), where he achieved a Ph.D. in Computer Science (2015). His research focuses on Reinforcement Learning and Evolutionary Computation in Game AI. He is author of more than 50 papers at main conferences and journals, including IEEE CIG, IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation and IEEE Transactions on CI and AI in Games. He has organized several international competitions on Game AI for IEEE CIG conferences, such as the Physical Travelling Salesman Problem and the GVGAI Competition. He also served as competitions chair at IEEE CEEC 2015, 2016, Track Chair at nucl.ai 2015 and 2016, IEEE CIG 2016 and 2018, and he’s member of the CIS Student Games-Based Competitions Sub-Committee. He has several years of experience in the videogames industry, working as a games programmer (Revistronic; Spain), with titles published for both PC and consoles and as an AI for videogames developer (Game Brains; Ireland). He has lectured several modules about games development and game AI.

Website: www.diego-perez.net

Annika is a ‘research through design’ academic with a background in computer science and Human-Computer Interaction, who has been researching play and games for about fifteen years. Annika has an extensive background in researching pervasive games, and more recently she has been involved with studying interactive and physical play design for children, adults and families.

Website: katalog.uu.se/empinfo/?id=N13-228

Staffan Björk is a full professor at Göteborg University. He is co-author of the book “Patterns in Game Design” together with Jussi Holopainen. He has been active in promoting user-centred research and game research, being chair of the Swedish HCI organization (STIMDI) between 2004-2006, being one of the founders of the Digital Games Research Association, and co-organizing events such as Spelforum 2003, PerGames 2006, Pergames 2007, Visual Forum 2009, DiGRA 2014-2016.

I'm a game developer, teacher, and game/artificial intelligence researcher based out of Northeastern University and Die Gute Fabrik. My research focuses on using AI in the service of game design. With a background in game design and psychology, I am interested in building AI player models and applying these in game development, testing, and game play and using them to understand players and the craft of making games. I study small-scale game development processes with a strong interest in tools and ecologically valid playtesting. As a co-owner of independent game development studio Die Gute Fabrik, I focus on production, design, and programming of games that are synaesthetic, offbeat, and above all, personal.

Website: christoffer.holmgard.org

Henrik Warpefelt (PhD) is an assistant professor at the Department of Game Design at Uppsala University. His research is centered around non-player characters and generative game narratives.

Annakaisa Kultima is a lecturer at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture and a researcher at the University of Tampere. She has been teaching and studying game design and development since 2006 in three different universities, Finland and Sweden. As a visiting lecturer she has travelled around the world including universities in US, China, Denmark, Korea and Japan. Her research is concentrating on the game development cultures, industry trends and games as created. She is an active participant of the game ecosystem in Finland and internationally judging in game competitions, running game jams as well as curating exhibitions on games. She is also the head of non-profit organization Finnish Game Jam advocating the game making hobby and indie cultures in Finland.

Website: aakoosgamelab.com

Senior User Researcher and Data Scientist at Massive Entertainment, a Ubisoft studio. Dr. Alessandro Canossa has been straddling between the game industry and academia for many years.

As Associate Professor at Northeastern University he employed psychological theories of personality, motivation and emotion to design interactive scenarios with the purpose of investigating individual differences in behavior among users of digital entertainment. His research focuses heavily on these topics: a) developing behavioral analysis methodologies that are able to account for granular spatial and temporal events, avoiding aggregation; b) design and development of visual analytics tools that can enable any stakeholder to produce advanced statistics, predictions and datamining reports.

As Senior User Researcher and Data Scientist at Massive Entertainment he enjoys tremendously investigating occult behavioral patterns and is happiest when he can triangulate data-driven insights with surveys and lab observations to provide reports for productions teams. At the same time, he is involved with the Live Ops team to improve data culture and devise novel player segmentation approaches. He also established a workgroup to identify the best processes for transferring knowledge from academic research to industry practices and to bring Ubisoft at the cutting edge of the game analytics culture.

Simon Niedenthal is an Associate Professor of Interaction Design at Malmö University in Sweden. Since 2010 he has explored the history and potentials of smell-enabled gaming and the playful uses of scent. His scholarly writings in the area of olfaction include “Skin Games: Fragrant Play, Scented Media and the Stench of Digital Games” and “Vile Perfume: The Future of the Zombie in the Smellscape of Gaming.” He has also written about the experience of sensory boundaries in motor racing and fireworks games.

Simon’s background is eclectic: he holds a B.F.A. in photography, an M.A. in Medieval English literature, and a Ph.D. in Interaction design. In 2008 he defended his Ph.D. thesis “Complicated Shadows: the Aesthetic Significance of Simulated Illumination in Digital Games” in the area of game lighting and its effect upon the emotions and behavior of the player.

Simon is currently engaged in the four-year Stockholm University research project “Nosewise”, which aims to explore the potential of smell-enabled gaming to enhance cognitive capacity in the elderly.

I am a PhD candidate in interaction and game design at Malmö University (Sweden). In my research I take a critical approach to the treatment of animals in society and investigate how the design of artefact that mediate playful, joyful, or surprising encounters between animals and humans can inspire us to imagine alternative - non-speciesist - futures.

Website: michellewesterlaken.com

Hanna Wirman (PhD) is an assistant professor at the School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University where she leads the MSc study stream in game development. Her research interests focus on marginal and critical ways of playing and making games, including design and research of animal play. Hanna serves on the board of Chinese DiGRA and on the DiGRA Executive Board. She has lead the Global Game Jam Hong Kong since 2013.

Website: www.sd.polyu.edu.hk/en/meet-our-staff/hannawirman

Website: miguelsicart.net

Víctor Navarro-Remesal holds a PhD Game Studies and is a lecturer at CESAG (Universidad Pontificia de Comillas) in Palma de Mallorca, where he teaches Interactive Narrative, Videogames, and Animated Cinema. His research interests include freedom and ethics in videogames, gêmu or Japanese games and the preservation of videogames. He has published articles and book chapters on these topics, in addition to being a co-author of ‘Game & Play: Diseño y análisis del juego, el jugador y el sistema lúdico’ (UOC Press, 2105) and the author of ‘Libertad dirigida: Una gramática del análisis y diseño de videojuegos’ (Shangri-La, 2016).

Website: www.victornavarroremesal.com

I'm working on artificial intelligence techniques for making computer games more fun, and on games for making artificial intelligence smarter. I ask what AI can do for games, and what games can do for AI.

I want to make computer games adapt to their players through finding out what players want (whether they know it or not) and creating new game levels, challenges or rules that suit the players. Related to this is the challenge of making sense of large amounts of data generated by computer games, and on assisting human game designers in creating great game experiences. I also want to make opponents and collaborators in games more intelligent and believable, research that has applications far outside of computer games. I believe games, in particular video games, are perfect test-beds for AI methods. But it is important that you test your algorithms not just on a single game, but on a large number of games, so you focus on general intelligence and not just solving a single problem.

Website: julian.togelius.com

Antonio José Planells de la Maza (PhD), researcher and professor at Tecnocampus-Pompeu Fabra University. He has studied Law, Media Studies and the Master of Applied Research to Mass Media at University Carlos III of Madrid and the Master of Advances Studies in Social Communication at University Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain). His main research interests are related to fictional and possible worlds, ideology and character design.

Anton Tibblin is a lecturer at the faculty of technology and society at Malmö University, where he serves as program director for the information architecture program. His main academic interests include web technologies and innovations.

Enrique Morales Corral holds a PhD in Communication Sciences and Sociology at UCM (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and a degree in Sociology at UPNA (Universidad Pública de Navarra). His teaching career is currently taking place at U-TAD, a university centre attached to the Universidad Camilo José Cela (UCJC), where he teaches various subjects, such as Digital Society and Game Theory. His research career began with a predoctoral fellowship FPI of the UCM, where he joined the MDCS research group led by UCM Professor Dr. Jose Luis Piñuel. In 2013 he completed a research stay at Westminster University. His main lines of research focus on videogames, digital society, climate change, communication and new technologies..

Website: goo.gl/CAAp5A

Alberto Alvarez is a PhD student from the faculty of technology and society at Malmö University. His research interests are on procedural content generation for games and how the different generated content can affect and interact with each other, computational intelligence for games, evolutionary algorithms and, the development of believable and reactive agents. He holds an MSc in games technology from the IT University of Copenhagen and a Bachelor in game design and development from ESNE, Madrid.

Website: aeaublog.wordpress.com

Jialin Liu is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL, UK) and one of the founding members of the Game AI research group created in August 2017. Before joining QMUL, she was a Senior Research Officer at the Games and AI research group of University of Essex (UK) between March 2016 and July 2017. Jialin received her Ph.D.in Computer Science from the University Paris-Saclay & Inria Saclay (France) in 2016. Her research interests include general game playing, robust game playing in adversarial games, automatic game design, black-box noisy optimization and portfolio algorithms. Jialin is chairing the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Student Games-Based Competitions Sub-Committee and also serves in the Games Technical Committee, Webinars Sub-Committee, Women in Computational Intelligence Sub-Committee and Young Professionals Sub-Committee. She serves as Program Co-Chair at IEEE CIG18.

Website: www.liujialin.tech


Katherine Isbister

Katherine Isbister Katherine Isbister is a full professor in the University of California, Santa Cruz's Department of Computational Media, where she is Director of the Social and Emotional Technology Lab. Her research at the intersection of Human Computer Interaction and Games focuses on designing playful experiences that heighten social and emotional connections, toward innovating design theory and technological practice. Isbister’s most recent book from MIT Press is How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design, which won an American Library Association Outstanding Academic Title Choice award. Prior books include Game Usability, and Better Game Characters by Design. Her research has been covered in Wired, Scientific American, and many other venues. She was a recipient of MIT Technology Review's Young Innovator Award, and is a Founding Fellow of HEVGA as well as an ACM Distinguished Scientist.

Engineering Social Play: Technology for Being Together

Computation is seeping deeper and deeper into everyday life, altering not just how we work and communicate, but also how we play together. The gameplay environment is increasingly a hybrid of the physical and the digital, opening new possibilities and design spaces. Katherine Isbister’s research group is known for building technology prototypes that explore and also shape the future of social play*. In this keynote, she will discuss recent technical prototypes her group has built in close collaboration with larp (live action role play) designers, using these wearables as thought objects to explore values and techniques for creating tech that supports social play. Isbister will also discuss recent work in social VR and in livestreaming environments such as Twitch, aimed at developing best design practices for supporting the future of playing together. The audience should leave the talk with a broader sense of the future possibility space for social play, and points for discussion about the role technology may take in better supporting playing (and being) together.

Date and time: August 8, 9:00am - 10:00am

Aki Järvinen

Aki Järvinen Aki, Ph.D., is a game industry veteran and an academic. Since 2001, Aki’s career has included a number of mobile and online game studios and three universities in three countries. Currently he leads game design at Sheffield Hallam University and runs his consultancy Game Futures, which specialises in helping game companies to use foresight thinking for their future product strategies. His recent own research and development in games has focused into Virtual and Augmented Realities, both from the perspective of content trends and mapping the emerging design space within VR. His talk at FDG will focus on the new paradigm of game design for VR.

From Pancakes to Presence: Game Design for Spatial Computing

In comparison to spaces on flat screens and mental images of space we coin through consuming media, the unique experiential aspect Virtual Reality enables is tangible sense of presence. While fidelity of virtual presence has been researched in academic VR laboratories since the 1990s, there has been less focus on how various design choices can lead to different flavors of presence, and how presence could be broken down into categories and patterns to inform creative practices, such as game design. Aki Järvinen shares his work into mapping presence design across existing VR games and experiences. He contextualises the emerging VR design space to the trend of Spatial Computing and introduces his practice-based research project, Palace of Presence, which gives the resulting design framework a tangible form as a VR application.

Date and time: August 9, 9:00am - 10:00am

James Newman

James Newman James Newman is Research Professor at Bath Spa University and curator at the National Videogame Foundation where he works on game preservation, exhibition and interpretation. Over the past 20 years, James has written widely on aspects of videogames, fandom and the cultures of play, media histories and game preservation and has spoken across the world at events for academics, policy-makers, game developers and players. James’ books on games and gaming include Videogames; Playing with Videogames; and Best Before: Videogames, Supersession and Obsolescence (for Routledge); and 100 Videogames and Teaching Videogames (for BFI Publishing). Most recently, he co-authored A History of Videogames 14 consoles, 5 computers, 2 arcade cabinets ... and an Ocarina of Time (Carlton, 2018) which draws on the collections of the UK’s National Videogame Arcade; and a White Paper on international videogame preservation practice and policy funded by British Academy and Leverhulme Trust. James is currently writing books on videogame spectatorship and on the histories of early videogame sound and music.

With colleagues from the National Media Museum, James co-founded the National Videogame Archive in 2007 and in 2017 founded the Game Sound Archive which is a collaboration with the British Library. In addition to working on the GameCity international games festival since its launch in 2006, James is director of the All Your Bass videogame music festival. He is an avid collector of synthesisers and an enthusiastic, but not very good, keyboard player.

The games (other) people play. What does gameplay spectating tell us about what it means to play a videogame?

“To me, watching another person play video games is like going to a restaurant and having someone eat your food for you.”
(Jimmy Kimmel Live, 27 August 2015)

If there is one thing that distinguishes videogames from other media forms surely it is their interactivity. To play a videogame is to directly effect change on the course of events whether by manoeuvring a character or avatar or by manipulating a set of variables in a simulation. For all their diversity of format, structure and interface, the unifying feature of videogames is their focus on participation, being, and doing.

Quite rightly, academic game studies has spent many years honing analyses and methods that accommodate these facets of videogames. As Consalvo, Mitgutsch and Stein (2013: 4) note in their Sports Videogames collection, ‘...although audiences of all types are “active” in the many ways delineated by Fiske (1987), players—or perhaps the play position—is unique in that the player must work to (co-)construct the object of interest—the videogame.’ Indeed, we might argue that the field has defined itself through its placement of players and their experiences at its heart. More than a decade on, Aarseth’s (2003) crucial discussion of the obligation to understand gameplay in order to do game studies remains most easily tackled by grasping a controller and seeking to attain at least some degree of expertise as a player.

Today, however, quite what it means to be a ‘player’, or what constitutes the distinctive ‘play position’, has never been more complicated, contested and confusing – so much so that it need not involve touching a controller at all, far less becoming an accomplished performer. And this is, at least in part, because gameplay spectatorship — ‘watching another person play video games’ as Jimmy Kimmel joked — is such an incontestably mainstream part of videogame culture.

The emergence of new technologies, platforms and services for sharing gameplay experience draws into sharp relief the narrowness of our current definitions of play and demands a fundamental reconsideration of our methods and approaches. However, although Twitch, the recent boom in livestreaming and personal gameplay archiving, and the increased visibility of e-sports make the phenomenon of gameplay spectatorship harder to ignore (and certainly each has a transformative effect on modes of watching and performing), the presentation argues that spectatorship has always been a fundamental yet under-appreciated part of gaming.

Aarseth, E. (2003) ‘Playing Research: Methodological approaches to game analysis’, DAC, Melbourne (RMIT).
Consalvo, M., Mitgutsch, K., and Stein, A. (Eds) (2013) Sports Videogames, Abingdon: Routledge.
Fiske, J. (1987) Television Culture. London: Routledge.

Date and time: August 10, 9:00am - 10:00am

Industry Guest TalkIndustry Guest Talk

Stefan Freyr Gudmundsson

Stefan Freyr Gudmunsson Stefan worked as a computer programmer for several years. He studied mathematics (M.Sc.) and later continued with artificial intelligence and computer science for PhD until he took the position of a director of Risk Analytics and Modelling at Islandsbanki – one of the three major banks in Iceland. With his PhD studies he was also a part-time lecturer in mathematics at Keilir Institute of Technology and Reykjavik University. In 2015 he joined King as a senior data scientist and later became AI Research Lead.

Talk - AI@King

Stefan will present how King uses AI in games, both in launched games like Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga, as well as in games in development. He will explain how King builds AI-agents with deep learning from hundreds of millions of tracked player decisions and will discuss King’s latest research on player modelling, reinforcement learning and automatic level generation.

Date and time: August 9, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

In cooperation withIn cooperation with

ACM In-Cooperation


Roof terrace at Niagara


Vision for the ConferenceVision for the Conference

The guiding vision for the conference is Creating Games from the Player and for the Player. The role of the player has evolved from being viewed as a mere consumer to a participant holding a key role within the game design, creation, and development processes. Such participation may be direct, e.g. as an involved party in pre-deployment testing and through active roles in support forums, or indirect through the continuous data collection that is becoming increasingly important post-deployment.

With this theme in mind, we would like to promote and expand cutting-edge research, involving theoretical and empirical studies from a wide variety of backgrounds, around the following topics: modeling and understanding the player, user experience research, player driven and data-driven content design and generation, mixed- initiative authoring, the role of the player in the on-line communities, designing for and participating in e- sports events, as well as gender and cultural aspects of digital games.

Information for AuthorsInformation for Authors

We expect high quality submissions. All submissions will be rigorously reviewed for their technical merit, significance, clarity and relevance to the advancement of digital game research.

All submitted manuscripts must be in PDF format, and comply with the ACM SIGCONF format. Both LaTeX and Word ACM SIGCONF templates are acceptable for producing the PDF file. There is no differentiation in the format among the different contributions. The only differentiation is the number of pages. All contributions need to import ACM CCS 2012 concepts.

Full/short paper and poster submissions should be anonymized for double-blind review. Full/short paper submissions will also include a rebuttal process where authors will have the opportunity to address the reviewer comments and explain how they will improve their contribution. All other submissions will involve a juried selection process and should not be anonymized. All submission lengths include references and appendices.

We welcome videos, binary files, or other materials accompanying submissions to demonstrate the contribution when necessary. Links to all materials should be provided in the main submission. More information about the submission system will be added soon.

For those contributions appearing in ACM’s digital library (full papers, short papers, and posters), at least one presenter must register for the conference in order for the contribution to be included in the proceedings.

Call for ContributionsCall for Contributions


We invite research contributions in the form of a full paper of up to 10 pages in length or as short paper of up to 6 pages in length. We invite contributions from any discipline, from computer science, communication studies, learning sciences, and psychology to the visual arts, humanities, public policy, and architecture.

Submissions are handled using EasyChair. When submitting authors are requested to select one the following tracks that fits most closely with their submission:

Artificial and Computational Intelligence for Games

This tracks focuses on the many applications of computational and artificial intelligence to the playing, design, development, improvement, and testing of video games. Topics include general game-playing AI, procedural and player-driven content generation, mixed-initiative authoring tools, computational narrative, believable agents, and AI assisted game design. Authors are encouraged to highlight how their work contributes to the expansion of the game research field.

Computer-Human Interaction and Player Experience

This track focuses on the exploration of different ways for designing and implementing interaction between the player and the game, as well as on the experiences derived from those interactions. This track will consider qualitative and quantitative experimental studies. Topics include persuasive games, augmented reality, virtual reality, novel controllers, user research, and player psychology.

Player Modeling and Visualization

This track aims for studies and work centered on the representation of the player and the gameplay, as well as its later analysis and visual representation. Topics include game patterns discovery and analysis, player profiling, gameplay visualization, spatial and social analysis in games, player modeling, and behavior prediction.

Analysis of Game Design and Development

This track encourages the analysis, critical discussion, and proposal of frameworks for designing, developing, and evaluating digital games. This includes the understanding of existing mechanics, dynamics, software development processes, and socio-cultural aspects in which games are developed. It also encourages the development of taxonomies related to game genres, patterns, mechanics, or game characteristics that provide better understanding of games as playful artifacts.

Purposeful and Serious Games

This track calls for papers showing results on the design, creation, and application of innovative games whose primary goals are not entertainment. Authors are encouraged to highlight the importance of the target problem that the game is addressing, as well as to present results from quantitative or qualitative studies that effectively analyze the impact of the developed game. Sample topics include games for education, gender equality, visibilization and awareness of social problems, healthcare, and training.

Game Studies and Analyses

This track encompasses all the works regarding the study of games, and the impact of playing them in the culture and the society. Following this year’s vision for the conference, we welcome analyses, ethnographic studies, and theoretical papers from anthropology, sociology, and psychology, that focus on the role of the player in history, society, and culture. Topics include the role of the player in on-line communities, e-sports, gender, politics, religion, as well as cultural aspects of life in digital games.

Each track will nominate two papers for honorable mention. The conference attendees will vote for the best paper award among the honorable mention papers. The best paper and the remaining honorable mention papers will receive recognition during the gala dinner event.


The following workshops will hosted be at FDG 2018:

9th Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (PCG2018)

Web address: www.pcgworkshop.com

Curiosity in Games - An Interdisciplinary Workshop

Web address: curious-games.org

Non-Player Characters and Social Believability

Web address: npc-workshop.org/cfp-2018.php

Tabletop Games

Web address: tabletopgamesworkshop.org

Beyond playable games: The role of the player in the writing of game history

Web address: www.speldesign.uu.se/speldesign.uu.se/start-se/beyond-playable-games

All the World (Wide Web)’s a Stage: A Twitch Workshop

Web address: sites.google.com/ucsc.edu/fdg-twitch-workshop


The following competitions will hosted be at FDG 2018:

The Two-player General Video Game AI Competiton

Organisers: Raluca D. Gaina, Diego Perez Liebana, Simon M. Lucas

Description: The GVG-AI Competition explores the problem of creating controllers for general video game playing. How would you create a single agent that is able to play any game it is given? Could you program an agent that is able to play a wide variety of games, without knowing which games are to be played? The Two-Player track brings the additional challenge of competing or cooperating with another intelligent agent. This track will count 50 two-player games for training, 10 for validation and 10 for test to compute the final rankings.

Web address: www.gvgai.net

Settlement Generation Challenge - Generative Design in Minecraft Competition (GDMC)

Organisers: Christoph Salge, Michael Green, Rodrigo Canaan, Julian Togelius

Description: The goal of Settlement Generation Competition is to produce an Artificial Intelligence program (AI) that can produce a functional, aesthetic and believable Settlement adapted to a given Minecraft map – ideally on a level comparable to a human created settlement. The aim of this competition is to advance the state of the art in procedural content generation, especially in regard to adaptive creation. Submitted algorithms will be applied to 3 previously unseen maps, and the resulting settlements will be evaluated by a group of judges. Further details on the framework, the evaluation criteria and the challenges involved can be found on our website:

Web address: gendesignmc.engineering.nyu.edu


Panel submissions should provide a list of speakers relevant to an interesting topic. We encourage both debate-style panels and emerging-area style panels that consolidate and explain recent work on a subject of interest to the FDG community.

Panel proposals will a maximum length of 4 pages (including references) and should include, among other relevant information:

  • The main topic of the panel
  • Topic relevance and a brief state of the art
  • List of confirmed participants with their expertise according to the panel topic

Panel submissions don’t have to be anonymized. Except for that, they have to follow the same guidelines as the full/short papers, as specified in the Information for authors section and they will be handled using EasyChair.


Poster submissions aim to give researchers an opportunity to present early-stage results, work in progress and ongoing promising research during the conference. The Submissions should be in the form of a 4-page paper (including references) and they have to be in relation to one of the tracks specified for the full/short paper submission.

The posters have to follow the same guidelines as the full/short papers, as specified in the Information for authors section and they will be handled using EasyChair.

Posters, like full/short papers, will be published in the proceedings.

Games and Demos

The games and demo exhibition provides a forum for demonstrations of work best suited to interaction rather than a paper or a formal presentation. This track encourages sumbissions of games in various stages of development, from playable physical mock-ups to full-fledged implementations, as well as technical demos showcasing the latest tools, techniques, and systems created for games by academic or industrial research groups, or other early-stage or late-breaking research not yet ready for formal presentation. Submissions are handled using EasyChair. They should include a 4-page extended abstract, an unedited video illustrating the game or technology, and (if possible) a link to the demo. Games and tech demos will be presented at a dedicated games and tech demo session open to the general public. Selected students projects receive a conference registration waiver for the day of the demo session.

Doctoral Consortium

We invite PhD students to apply to the Doctoral Consortium, a forum to provide PhD students with early feedback on their research directions, from fellow students, researchers, and experienced faculty in the area. The consortium is primarily for PhD students who intend to pursue a career in academia and who will soon propose, or have recently proposed, their dissertation research.

To apply, doctoral students should submit a CV, a 4-page extended abstract describing their proposed research, and a short letter explaining how you would benefit from the consortium and what questions you want to discuss (general and/or specific to your research). The abstract should address the goals of your research, the proposed approach and how it differs from prior work, any results you may have, and your plans for completing the work.

Doctoral Consortium submissions don’t have to be anonymized. Except for that, they have to follow the same guidelines as the full/short papers, as specified in the Information for authors section and they will be handled using EasyChair.

Accepted Doctoral Consortium students will give a presentation and are invited to present a poster on their abstracts during the conference. The conference organizing committee will award the best submissions with scholarships that cover the conference registration for their authors.

Aerial view of Malmö


Meeting VenueMeeting Venue

The Faculty of Technology and Society at Malmö University is the host for the venue. Malmö University is a forward-looking institution of higher education that fosters multi- and cross-disciplinary actions based on four core values: diversity, creativity, quality, and commitment to the community.

The venue is located in the recently built and highly modern buildings Niagara and Orkanen. The buildings are located next to each other in the Western Harbour area (Västra Hamnen). Historically, the area was an important industrial hub but has over the last decades become one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Malmö - with a mix of companies and housing to provide a vibrant experience. The area is also known as "the City of Tomorrow" and is the first district in Europe to be carbon dioxide neutral. Given the very short walk into the central parts of Malmö and the excellent public transport system, the location is also good for exploring the city and surrounding areas. The selected date for the event ensures a good availability of the spaces in the buildings as courses start early September

The Restaurant Niagara, located on the ground floor of the Niagara building, will host lunches and coffee breaks during the four days of the conference. The restaurant is happy to accommodate most diets and allergies, with friendly staff who always make sure to help out with any questions.

Malmö, SwedenMalmö, Sweden

Malmö is Sweden's most multicultural city, as well as an established center for the internationally well-regarded Swedish game development industry. Malmö is a vibrant city, especially during the yearly Malmö Festival (free admissions, and the week after the FDG conference), turning the city into one of the biggest cultural hubs and touristic attractions in Scandinavia. Please refer to the sections Malmö and Accessibility for a more detailed description of the city, as well as the many options to get to it from an international perspective. Direct flights to the Copenhagen airport is available from most major hubs, and the trains to Malmö Central Station is located within the airport.

The compactness of Malmö city centre offers not only a pleasant ambience and delightful atmosphere, it also enables you to explore the whole of the city even if you are only here for a short time. Most hotels and conference facilities are located within walking distance of the city centre, which means that you are never far from restaurants, cultural activities, entertainment and picturesque parks. The city's buses and trains run frequently and punctually, and there are plenty of taxis. The fact that most Malmö residents speak good English is another plus.

Getting ThereGetting There

Malmö is just 20 minutes from Scandinavia's largest airport, Copenhagen Airport. Malmö Airport and Copenhagen Airport together offer direct flights to 142 destinations throughout the world. And once you land, onward travel is easy too – trains from Copenhagen Airport to Malmö run every twenty minutes, and buses run continuously from Malmö Airport, stopping at numerous points in central Malmö.

Most international travelers should choose to fly in through Copenhagen Airport. For people traveling fom Central or Eastern Europe, Malmö Airport might prove to be a better choice. Don't be fooled by the fact that Malmö is a Swedish city: Stockholm is far, far away. Don't fly there.

Getting from Copenhagen Airport to the venue is a breeze. Board the train at the airport and disembark 25 minutes later at Malmö Central - quite literally on the university's doorstep.


Hotels are plentiful in the city center, starting at $60 per night. We recommend a closer look at Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmö Live, which is situated just across the street from the venue. You will receive a booking code for a reduced price for this hotel upon registration.

Looking for something a bit more affordable? Have a look at STF Malmö City Hotel & Hostel or simply browse Airbnb for some great deals.


Regular student ticket
8-bit small Mario
+ fees
Register before July 1st!
Full conference access
Opening reception
Fancy gala dinner
Social program
Regular ticket
8-bit small Mario
+ fees
Register before July 1st!
Full conference access
Opening reception
Fancy gala dinner
Social program
Late student ticket
8-bit small Mario
+ fees
Full conference access
Opening reception
Fancy gala dinner
Social program
Late ticket
8-bit small Mario
+ fees
Full conference access
Opening reception
Fancy gala dinner
Social program
Partner ticket
8-bit small Mario
+ fees
Opening reception
Fancy gala dinner

Attendance GrantsAttendance Grants

UPDATE (26/7)

Round 1 of the travel applications have now been decided, and the applicants will shortly receive an email from us.

Round 2 of applications are now open (deadline Thursday Aug 2). Please note that we are open for non-student applications even students (PhD or earlier) are given priority. We hope to have a quick decision in case traveling to FDG hinges upon this funding. Thus, please indicate if this is the case in your application, so we can try to speed the decision up as much as possible.

Round 3 of applications may still be opened at the conference. We will update more about this during the conference if this is the case.

Travel grants

FDG18 are now happy to announce travel grants will be available to apply for. The application process is straight forward, and we hope to see many applicants! As is often the case with travel grants, these are offered to support promising young scholars to attend the conference by reimbursing some of the associated costs.


Applicants must have a contribution accepted at FDG18 (for the main conference or one of the workshops or the doctoral consortium). The travel grant program is open to all scholars attending, but strong preference will be given to PhD, Masters and Bachelor students.

Awarded amount

The amount will depend on the number of valid applications we receive, and will be an equal amount for all who are awarded a grant. While subject to final decision by the organizing team, we expect an amount equal to or above the registration fee. The reimbursement may be used for any of the costs you have associated with the travel, however.

To apply

Participants interested in applying for a travel grant should send this to Carl Magnus and José. In no more than 500 words total, please include the following items:

  1. CV/resumé. No letters of recommendations are needed!
  2. Motivation for travel grant need.
  3. Which contribution you have been accepted for participation with at FDG18.
  4. Current status: PhD student, other student, faculty member, or other (describe).


Applications will be accepted until July 23rd, 2018. If we still have funds after this time, we may open for additional late applications.

Conditions and expectations

Any discount codes are only valid and usable during the FDG18 conference. The travel grants are available as support to game scholars that do not have other funding options for attending FDG18. The expectation is thus that well funded scholars use their regular funding, to ensure that the travel grants go to those that have the greatest needs. We recognize that there are many different funding situations, and thus leave it to each applicant to use their best judgment concerning this issue.

Stortorget, Malmö


Social ProgramSocial Program

The social program for the conference is comprised of the following events:

  • Tuesday, August 7th: Evening reception at a local bar organized in cooperation with Game Habitat. This is a joint social event where the conference attendees can meet with the indie developer community in the region. This makes the reception a very nice opportunity to informally meet-up, make some new contacts, meet game developers, play games, and have fun. Get in touch with the other attendees already now over at their Facebook event. To attend this event, please sign up here.
  • Thursday, August 9th: Gala dinner at the Malmö City Hall. As one of the main conference sponsors, Malmö City invites us to celebrate the gala dinner at the City Hall (built in 1544–1547).
  • Friday, August 10th: Visit to Malmö Museer on Friday afternoon. This combined visit includes the historically important Malmöhus Castle, the Science and Maritime Museum, as well as a walk through the Malmö Castle gardens. To attend this event, please sign up here.

The Malmö Festival is scheduled to start the same day as the conference ends, which offers attendees the possibility to extend their visit in order to enjoy one of the biggest cultural events and touristic attractions in Scandinavia during the summer. We strongly encourage taking the time to enjoy the free admissions festival with its many music stages, events, and exciting food offerings. Please refer to the Discover Malmö section in order to get a good overview of the cultural activities that can be enjoyed while staying in Malmö. In principle, anyone living in Malmö will also be more than happy to share tips on their hidden gems, suggestions for restaurant, and any other questions attendees may have. People in the town are known for their loyalty to the city, and take pride in helping visitors.

Conference ProgramConference Program

The conference program is comprised of the following events:

View the Foundations of Digital Games 2018 schedule & directory.