Earlier in the year, I helped my supervisor write an application for funding that would let me work on ANGELINA beyond my PhD funding end date (which was this October). We learned a couple of weeks ago that the funding had been approved, which means that ANGELINA and I are secure in our research for another two years, working at Goldsmiths College in London where my supervisor has now moved. What are we going to be doing there? Lots of things! Below is some early details on what I hope to get done.
The headline stuff is as follows: firstly, I’m moving our work into Unity for the next couple of years. There’s a load of reasons for us to do this – probably worth another post sometimes. One of the main reasons is that the grant includes objectives that look at things that aren’t just games. In fact the title of the grant is Creative Code Generation for Interactive Media. We named it that very carefully, because we want to include a wide spectrum of software in ANGELINA’s output this time, including things that might not be considered games in the traditional sense.
A core part of the grant is expanding the work in Mechanic Miner to include proper bona fide code generation, not just fiddling with variables. Unity’s C# is compatible with the CodeDOM libraries inside .NET, and I’m already working at systems that will let ANGELINA generate code. This is much harder than anything we attempted in Mechanic Miner, but hopefully that means our results will be much more interesting too.
The next couple of years will hopefully let me push at other areas of ANGELINA too. A lot of people have suggested to me in the past that perhaps ANGELINA could use human feedback to modify its games. We’re interested in this grant in programs that can modify themselves not just during a design phase but also at runtime. I’m looking into the possibility that ANGELINA might start QA testing with humans in order to get feedback during the design phase. But this is a long way off right now.
I’ll also be finding the time to write my thesis in the next two years and finish my PhD. In case the above didn’t sound like enough! It’s looking to be very exciting, though, and I can’t wait to share the results with you. Thanks for the support everyone has shown so far – I was talking to another scientist the other day about how much it boosts me up and motivates me to keep working. More info soon, then – for snippets of what I’m up to right now, do follow me on Twitter.
- Personally I have an incredibly broad range of what I consider a game, but for the purposes of the grant application it made sense to broaden the words being used.↩