Thanks to Jupiter Hadley for the pic!
We are slap-bang in the middle of my busiest time of year right now, with PROCJAM coming up in the next month, conferences happening, grant deadlines, book deadlines, and lots more. I wanted to slip in with a quick post here about some things that have been going on recently, and to mention a project I put up on GitHub today that you might be interested in!
I like it when great games research (and researchers) get seen by more people, and one of my favourite groups to show this stuff to are indie developers. I’ve poked and prodded at a variety of ways of doing this over the years, but one thing remains hard to organise: getting indie developers involved and recognised at academic events. It’s hard to explain to indies why they’d want to submit anything, and hard to get work potentially seen as ‘not academic’ accepted and taken seriously at some events. But I think it’s worth pushing for more, and I thought it was time to put into words why I think this is. So this is a short post about why you might like to submit something to EXAG 2016 as an indie, and why academic events should do their best to accept it.
Hello everyone! I’ve been so busy having fun with PROCJAM this week that I hardly had time to let you know that all the talks from last Saturday are online for you to watch. We had a great day launching the jam, and people are making incredible, varied, beautiful things for their jam entries. Check them out on Twitter!
If last weekend’s talks weren’t enough games-related brain thinks for you, though, this coming weekend is the second Experimental AI In Games workshop – a followup to both AIGA and EXAG of years past at the annual AIIDE conference. This year it’s a two-day workshop, packed full of cool papers and fun stuff. I thought I’d give you a brief rundown of what’s happening when, and how you can tune in online.
Last month, ANGELINA entered Ludum Dare for the first time. Ludum Dare is a game jam – a friendly contest where people get together to each design a videogame in a short period of time, normally from scratch. This was a pretty big landmark for the project, and marks the start of an exciting new phase for the research. I haven’t talked about it much since the results, but with the publication of a feature on Eurogamer today I can finally go into more depth.
If you’ve been reading this site for a year or two, you’ll know that I like to post lots of screenshots and video whenever I’m building a new version of ANGELINA, even playable demos. This time I’ve been quieter, and the screenshots on Twitter have been fewer and further between. That’s because next week ANGELINA is going to be entering Ludum Dare – the first game jam entry we’ve attempted. It’s going to be a big debut for the new system, and I’m rather nervous indeed.
Last week the annual AIIDE conference took place in Boston. AIIDE is a fantastic conference with a great mix of talks, and this time I was lucky enough to be co-organising a workshop as part of the proceedings. As part of our workshop’s schedule of events, and with some generous help from the Computational Creativity Group, I was able to organise the very first DAGGER – a get-together of academics and game developers with an emphasis on playing games rather than worrying about presentations or networking. I’ve got a few photos and a quick report on what we got up to…
Over the weekend I went to Paris to attend an exhibition being put on by my supervisor, Simon Colton. For the last eleven years he’s been building a piece of software called The Painting Fool – software which he hopes will one day be taken seriously as an artist in its own right. The exhibition, which continues this week if you’re in Paris, is the first solo exhibition by The Painting Fool. I was there on Saturday for a rather special event – live portraiture.
I’ll be talking at the University of Essex as part of their Workshop on Games this September. You can find the Workshop’s agenda here. I’ll be talking about some brand new work I’m doing for platform game design, more of which will appear on the blog here over the next few weeks.
I’m a scientist most weeks, obviously, but next week is I’m A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here! and I’m one of the participating scientists! IAS is an online event for UK schoolchildren where groups of scientist answer questions and take part in live chats. It’s a wonderful way to give kids a chance to talk to a scientist and ask anything they want, and in doing so help them see what science is really like as a career, and what the people who do it are like.
You can see some of the questions the current batch of scientists have been asked by checking out the project’s News page here. I’ll be putting up some more games next week to show the students (you may notice that, temporarily, one of ANGELINA’s games has been taken down for this reason also).
If you’re a scientist (anywhere in the world) and would like to take part, you should go and sign up here. Computer Scientists in particular seem to be very lacking. It’s very well organised, and represents something that I think is a fundamental part of being a scientist today. Also: fun.