Category: Uncategorized

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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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

Hyperbole

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I was fortunate enough to be one of the guests on the latest season of Joe Martin and Harriet Jones’ podcast, Unlimited Hyperbole. The episode has just gone up, and is perfect coffee break listening-size. In it, I talk about how the games industry is missing out on a future it could still have, if only we could get academia to work a bit closer with industry. I might be sounding like a broken record lately – I said the same thing when I launched The Saturday Paper just a few weeks ago. But it’s something that plays on my mind a lot, because it’s so easily fixed, and because there’s so much exciting research going on out of people’s reach.

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Brief Update: Spritely and A Rogue Dream

Apologies for the silence over here – I have begun work on my thesis, which is delaying anything exciting happening! Here are some things that are happening, though:

  • Next week I’ll be in Vienna at EvoStar 2013 talking about Mechanic Miner! Looking forward to that.
  • Spritely will be released in time for Ludum Dare, so hopefully I can get some developers using it to prototype their games!
  • A Rogue Dream’s code, which I talked about in an earlier post, is now up on GitHub here.

Thanks for bearing with me. More content on the site later in the year hopefully!

A Rogue Dream

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This was originally intended to be a non-research post over at Cut Garnet Games, but since it sprang out of work I’d been doing on ANGELINA I wanted to talk about it over here in the end. I entered the 7-Day Roguelike competition this year, a week-long game jam where entrants attempt to make a roguelike game. I failed, unfortunately, but I learnt a lot and had a good time. My attempt – A Rogue Dream – used techniques I’d picked up at computational creativity conferences, as well as work I’ve been doing on Spritely. Here’s how it would’ve gone

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Apps, Papers, and Other

I’ve been lax updating the site recently – this is partly down to not having anything flashy to show off, not even a screenshot of something new that’s going on! Nevertheless, things have been happening. Here’s a quick rundown, and a promise of more to come in the future.

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Hello, CIG 2011!

Since there’s not been much activity here in the last few weeks, I just wanted to remind anyone coming to the site (especially as we said hello to the CIG 2011 attendees a few hours ago) that our games can be found through this category here, you can follow ANGELINA on Twitter for future game updates here, and you can email me with feedback, questions and interesting thoughts at:

mike -at- gamesbyangelina.org

I don’t know why email scraping bots don’t just pattern match on those things. They probably do, for all I know. Anyway, there you go. The conference paper and the slides for the talk will be up here soon too.

A Peek At Visuals

I’m back to running lots of evolutions now, which means in the downtime I get to tinker with other aspects of ANGELINA. Here’s a mockup of what the graphics will look like once I get them slotted in.

More Progress

The camera-ready copy for our first paper is due soon, but this week I had other things in mind – specifically my PhD transfer talk that secures the next two years of work at Imperial for me. It looks like the transfer is going ahead, which is good news for continued work on ANGELINA and related projects. The timeline for the next few months still includes a couple of weeks of work on the paper, before we return to revamping ANGELINA and adding more bells and whistles for better game generation. This means more game rules, more interesting maps and even some game visuals. Stay tuned!

If you’re interested, I’ve put the slides for today’s talk online here. They don’t make a huge amount of sense without the accompanying notes, but hopefully they’re of some interest. The transfer report will also be online here once I’ve made some adjustments to it.