Here’s what I’ve been up to over the last fortnight…
First and foremost, I’ve been writing a paper for submission to EVOGames 2012. It’s a workshop in EVO*, the European conference for computational evolution and all things related to it. I went last year to show a poster about some summer work I’d done, and the EVOGames stuff was a really inspirational ragtag mix of topics. I’m really hoping ANGELINA will get in this year and I can be a part of it in 2012.
The paper covers both ANGELINA and FLIPA (which I’m sort of referring to as ANGELINA-M for consistency’s sake), and talks about the theory behind both projects. It’ll also feature a summary of feedback to ANGELINA-M’s work, which I’ll be collecting later this week hopefully. Which brings me onto the other thing I’ve been doing, namely:
ANGELINA put out a game a few days ago that was just right. I’d made some tweaks to the system earlier in the week, and I began to really feel the effects. The powerups were nicely spaced out, there was a variety in the tasks, and a sense of progression (and a bit of backtracking). I also like it because it’s decidedly imperfect. There’s a pitfall that means you have to restart the game (which is frustrating me a lot!) and the enemy placement isn’t perfect either. It makes it a great candidate to show the game off to people, while also getting meaningful feedback.
I’ve been adding a title section and end sequence to the game, as well as polishing up a few bugs and nice-ifying the visuals (the snow looks better than the above screenshot now). When that’s done I’ll be announcing it on Twitter, as I’ll be submitting it to Kongregate, the site here, and probably trying to push it to a few sites that might give it a look-in for media coverage. I need players and I need feedback! So that will be super-exciting whatever happens.
Other stuff – I got interviewed! That was fun. I spent an hour chatting about ANGELINA and related stuff to a friend of mine who’s doing a neat-sounding article about procedural generation. I’ll let you know if any of my mumbling makes it into the final article when it goes live. I’ve also been seriously thinking about 2012 and what projects I might attempt next. There’s a bunch of ways to go next, some more ambitious than others. Either way, it’ll be on this site first, so stay tuned!
Thanks to all who have shown an interest in this stuff, responded on forums and Twitter with their opinions and input. You’re really shaping this project and helping me think about what all of this stuff should be heading towards! More updates to come before Christmas.