Friday, January 10, 2014

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Play It This Weekend: To That Sect, A Game Jam Entry Designed Entirely By An AI

Ludum dare to that sect
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

To That Sect, an entry in the most recent Ludum Dare game jam, might not look like much. To be perfectly blunt, a lot of game jam games don't. Their creators are given an extremely limited time frame (a matter of days or even hours) to conceive of and create a game, usually based on a particular theme or idea, and it's a mad dash to do as much as you can with the little time you have.

But the creator of To That Sect didn't really have that problem. She didn't need to sleep, eat, or even take a single bathroom break. For ANGELINA, a game-making AI, the most difficult part of the process might have been interpreting the theme...

In ANGELINA's own words, To That Sect "is a game about a disgruntled child. A Founder. The game only has one level, and the objective is to reach the exit (the yellow cylinder). Along the way, you must avoid the Tomb as they kill you, and collect the Ship." 

The theme of this last Ludum Dare was "You Get Only One", and ANGELINA's version of that seems a bit... Obtuse. It's hard to say if that's because AI may not be the best with metaphors or if perhaps they understand them in a way that's just well above our heads. Either way, the idea of a game-designing AI is interesting to say the least.

You can download or play To That Sect in your browser here. If you'd like to learn more about AI game design, check out as well as this fascinating interview with ANGELINA's creator, Mike Cook.

Mixed reality iris 2013Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times, and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.


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