Making an entire game in a weekend is a daunting affair. I vaguely remember attempting Ludum Dare once, before disintegrating a couple of hours later after drawing one terrible platformer sprite. If only we could program an AI to design - and create - games for us. Mike Cook has been doing just that for his PhD project. For her first Ludum Dare, his AI game designer ANGELINA has come up with the unsettling, albeit basic To That Sect, which you can play here. As a game it's awful, but it's worth exploring to see what fascinating design decisions ANGELINA went for when confronted with the theme 'You Only Get One'.
I’m not the first person to admit that I don’t have the firmest grasp on quantum mechanics or the computational mechanics that utilize them. Sure, I’ll bust out the Schrodinger’s cat situation at the many intellectual gatherings I’m totally invited to, but that’s where my familiarity with all things quantum ends. Google’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab wants that to change for the world’s youth, and found the best way to accomplish that task was through non-other than Minecraft.
X-COM creator Julian Gollop on "brute force" blockbuster game development and the lost promise of intelligent AI
In a genial interview, strategy-game elder statesman and creator of the original X-COM: UFO Defense Julian Gollop talked to us about his imagined alternate history of gaming, his preference for procedural systems, and how he feels modern games have abandoned the promise of advanced AI in favour of shinier visuals and reward mechanics designed to massage players' egos.
Gollop first came to GDC in 1995, to discuss AI, when turn-based strategy games like UFO / X-COM were the cutting edge, just as RTS was taking over. “In those days, I believed firmly that the future of computer games was all about AI. That in twenty years time we'd be interacting with NPC characters in computer games that actually had real intelligence and could respond to you in really intelligent ways. Boy, I was wrong. So wrong!”
Some breakthroughs are awesome. Others are downright frightening. We're unsure how to categorise this latest news that university students have developed an AI system for StarCraft: Brood War that can beat seasoned human players. Read on for details.