The Institute of Digital Games presented some of the projects and research they are currently working on at Science in the City, Malta's science and arts festival.
The Institute presented the work being done under the AutoGame project and the together with the ICT Department presented the work done together as part of the eCrisis project.
The AutoGame project research aims to answer the question of whether autonomous creative systems are able to generate valuable, novel and surprising outcomes within games, thereby realising computational game creativity. It explores how computational creators can be equipped with transformed exploratory creativity for the generation of novel and valuable outputs and how surprise can be modelled computationally and drive the search for and evaluate creativity. Advanced machine learning methods are fused with computational predictors of emotive creativity yielding entirely new ways of searching within the creative search space.
At the AutoGame stand visitors could experiment with some of the games the students had been using for their Artificial Intelligence research, including a weapon that adapts to the skills of the users to ensure more balanced gameplay, predicition models for first-person shooter weapons, procedurally generated coral, and many more. The visitors also had the opportunity to speak to the researchers themselves and ask questions about their work. IDG Lecturers Dr Antonios Liapis and Georgios Yannakakis presented their research explaining the basics of Artificial Intelligence and Procedural Content Generation. PhD students and researchers Daniele Gravina and Daniel Karavolos and post-doc Dr Owen Sacco were also on hand to answer the public's questions.
The eCrisis project aims to enable inclusive education through playful and game-based learning and, thereby, foster the development of social, civic and intercultural competences such as conflict resolution, creative thinking, and reflective debate in primary and secondary education students. It is done in collaboration with St Ignatius College in Malta, Ellinogermaniki Agogi and the University of Athens in Greece, the Univeristy of Vienna, and both the Institute of Digital Games and the ICT Department of the University of Malta.
At the eCrisis stand visitors had the opportunity to try out Iconoscope, one of the two games that form a central part of the eCrisis project. In Iconoscope visitors drew abstract concepts with simple shapes that encouraged abstract thinking and reflection on communicating complex ideas. After they had drawn their concept it was uploaded to the online database, where other people could guess which concept they had drawn. Jasper Schellekens and Daniel Karavolos explained how this game fit into the larger context of the eCrisis project by demonstrating that people perceive things differently and that understanding different perspectives is one of the underlying foundations for social inclusion.