Seminars & Colloquia

Michael Mateas

Computer Science, UC Santa Cruz

"Automated Support for Game Design"

Friday September 12, 2008 01:30 PM
Location: EB2, 3211 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)

This talk is part of the Future of Games Series


Abstract: Game designers currently have no formal, abstract tools or representations they can use to reason about designs in progress. This talk will describe research in the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz that seeks to build systems that can reason about the consequences of and interactions between game design mechanics, as well as make heuristic game design suggestions. We have identified four different design domains that interact during game design, the thematic, abstract mechanics, game state representation, and input mapping domains, and seek to provide semi-automated and automated support to assist with these domains. We have experimented with common-sense reasoning approaches for reasoning about game thematics, and event calculus representations of game mechanics and state representation. This talk will provide an overview of the research agenda, present the demo systems we've created, and describe the two primary application directions we're pursuing, namely, design support tools ('CAD for game designers') and computer creativity systems that discover new and interesting game mechanics.

Short Bio: Michael Mateas' research in AI-based art and entertainment combines science, engineering and design into an integrated practice that pushes the boundaries of the conceivable and possible in games and other interactive art forms. He is a faculty member in the Computer Science department at UC Santa Cruz, where he helped launch UCSC''s game design degree, the first such degree offered in the UC system. Prior to Santa Cruz, Michael was a faculty member at The Georgia Institute of Technology, where he held a joint appointment in the College of Computing and the School of Literature, Communication and Culture, and founded the Experimental Game Lab. With Andrew Stern, Michael released Facade, the world's first AI-based interactive drama in July 2005. Facade has received numerous awards, including top honors at the Slamdance independent game festival (co-located with the Sundance film festival). Michael's current research interests include game AI, particularly character and story AI, ambient intelligence supporting non-task-based social experiences, and dynamic game generation. Michael has presented papers and exhibited artwork internationally including SIGGRAPH, the New York Digital Salon, AAAI, CHI, the Game Developers Conference, ISEA, AIIDE, the Carnegie Museum, and Te PaPa, the national museum of New Zealand. Michael received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to CMU, Michael worked at Intel Laboratories, where he co-founded the ethnographic research group that eventually became People and Practices Research, and Tektronix Laboratories, where he developed qualitative design methodologies and built advanced interface prototypes.

Host: R. Michael Young, Computer Science/Digital Games Research Center

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