An EXAG Science II

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(This is a series of short ‘previews’ of papers to be presented at the upcoming Experimental AI for Games workshop at AIIDE 2014. Tune in live on Twitch on October 8th to catch the presentations of these papers, or find the PDFs online at http://www.exag.org)

AI is deeply connected to gameplay, perhaps more than graphics, audio, or other in-game assets. Yet we’ve seen  few games that put interaction with AI systems at the core of the game. Existing game AI developed in support of already popular genres like first-person shooters or real-time strategy games. This lead to refined systems for reactive gameplay situations. Classical AI, however, is best at using expressive formalisms for tasks like complex problem solving and question answering. In his paper “Game Design for Classical AI” Ian Horswill designs new game mechanics around high-end classical AI. What problems does an AI-heavy game need to address? What game design supports this kind of AI? Read on for a preview.  Continue reading

An EXAG Science

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(This is a series of short ‘previews’ of papers to be presented at the upcoming Experimental AI for Games workshop at AIIDE 2014. Tune in live on Twitch on October 8th to catch the presentations of these papers, or find the PDFs online at http://www.exag.org)

‘The Ideas Person’ has a bad reputation in the games industry – someone who offers up game concepts but doesn’t want to pull their weight. But everyone needs ideas from time to time, and when we’re stuck for inspiration, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have a source of ideas on-hand? In their paper ‘Towards the Automatic Generation of Fictional Ideas for Games‘, Maria Teresa Llano Rodriguez, Simon Colton, Rose Hepworth, Michael Cook and Christian Guckelsberger describe their ‘What-If Machine’ (WHIM) project and how it might be applied to invent ideas for games. Here’s a preview.  Continue reading

Quick Guide: How To Set Up A Stream, Pt 1

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Earlier this year I streamed the talks from the International Conference on Computational Creativity live on Twitch. We had almost 100 unique viewers in total over the course of the conference, extending the conference’s reach to people who couldn’t afford to attend, were from universities without travel budgets, or people who were just curious about what a conference talk about computational creativity might look like. It was a huge success and more events like this should stream their talks (where appropriate – many events avoid video recording for important reasons like the privacy, comfort or freedom of their speakers). I was asked several times for a guide on how to set up a stream like this – and I’ve finally written it. 
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Look At Things, Help Science!

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While I was over at ICCC 2014 I met Dan Ventura, who heads up a research group over at BYU in Utah. Dan always presents interesting work at ICCC, and has wonderful students doing great work. Right now they’re running a survey to evaluate DARCI, a piece of software that can create, modify and evaluate images using a nice bit of visual intelligence that lets it understand the kind of image it’s looking at. They need your help! The survey only takes 10 minutes and it would really help them out.

Take The Survey Here

ICCC 2014

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I’ve just got back from Ljubljana, Slovenia where I spent last week attending the 5th International Conference on Computational Creativity. It was one of the best conference experiences I’ve had – we had a wonderful host in the Josef Stefan Institute, an amazing array of papers, and the generally superb atmosphere that ICCC always has. Most importantly, it felt like we were moving forwards on a metalevel too. The conference was colocated with an amazing exhibition of art, and we streamed all of our conference talks live online, with all the papers online and freely available on the day the conference started. It feels a step ahead of a lot of the conferences I’ve been to.

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Quicker Bot: @AppreciationBot

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Darius Kazemi, one of the most fun people on the Internet, launched a bot today which tweets pictures and descriptions of pieces at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love bots like this, and I also really like the idea of bots which riff off one another. For a while now I’ve wanted to write a bot that named colours put out by EveryColorBot, but never thought of an elegant enough trick to doing so. Today I knocked up AppreciationBot in about an hour, which tweets comments about the pieces presented by MuseumBot.

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Ludum Dare 29 – Beneath The Surface

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Last weekend was Ludum Dare 29, the latest run of the thrice-yearly game jam. ANGELINA entered for the first time last December, but the intention was always to have ANGELINA enter the jam regularly. If we can get the system to enter on a regular basis, then we can show a pattern of change and progress, as well as building up the image of ANGELINA as a designer that can learn and participate in a community.  Continue reading

Watch Online – Eurogamer & Indievelopment

Things are still quiet on the Games By ANGELINA front, but I do have some exciting news – my talks from Eurogamer Rezzed and Indievelopment are now both online for you to watch! My Eurogamer talk was a 25-minute retrospective on my work on ANGELINA, and included lots of tiny prototypes and things that I don’t show very often. You can view that right here:

My Indievelopment talk was titled Generate Everything. In it, I argue that game developers should try to generate every part of their videogames, because in doing so we discover new and exciting things! You can watch that on Vimeo right here:

I’ll be updating my talks page and whatnot very soon with links to these, too. Let me know what you think!

ANGELINA @ Eurogamer – Live on Twitch Now!

I’ve set up this scheduled post to let you know that you can watch me give a short talk at Eurogamer’s Rezzed event right now by clicking here to watch via their Twitch stream. There’s already been some great talks at Rezzed today, so I hope I can keep up with their level. I’ll be showing some lesser-seen games, demoing some of ANGELINA’s new Unity tricks, and talking about the questions of the future.