ANGELINA AI game enters Ludum Dare jam

Posted on January 6, 2014
ANGELINA AI game enters Ludum Dare jam

Can we automatically design video games? Put more boldly, what if a machine carrying AI, not humans, could step up to the role of creating a game? And can AI even create a better game than a human can? These questions are under investigation by Mike Cook, who is a PhD student at Imperial College in London and also a research associate at Goldsmiths College, University of London. At Goldsmith, he is part of the Computational Creativity Group. Computational creativity is defined as a subfield of AI research which looks at whether software can be made to do things that would be considered creative if done by a human. Honing in on video game creation poses a fitting challenge.

“Games are the killer app for creativity,” said Cook, in a 2013 talk. “They integrate so many creative domains,” he said, into a single output: music, art, narrative, linguistics, rules (the mechanics of the games).

“Can we start with literally nothing at all, except a few basic ideas about what a game contains, and ask a computer to design levels, populate them with characters, and wrap it all up in a ruleset that is both challenging and fun?” His own answer has been “I don’t know!” but, he said, he was determined to find out through a software program called ANGELINA (A Novel Game Evolving Labrat I’ve Named ANGELINA).

Last year, Cook and Simon Colton of the Computational Creativity Group at Goldsmiths College authored a paper, “From Mechanics to Meaning and Back Again: Exploring Techniques for the Contextualisation of Code,” They presented the paper at the AI and Game Aesthetics workshop. Topics covered in the talk included: How can software come up with its own theme and context?

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