Probable Cause: Using Random Chance in Games (CANCELLED)

Probable Cause: Using Random Chance in Games

Predictability in game AI has often been cited as a drawback to gameplay and especially replayability. In some genres sports games, for example randomness is a necessary component to generate believable results. Often, it simply provides needed variety. Sometimes, however, randomness in game behavior can cause problems if it fails to align with the player’s expectations. This lecture will show examples of the sometimes quirky ways that people perceive randomness, show the pros and cons of using randomness in game systems, and give concrete techniques for mitigating some of the problems that truly random sequences can generate.

It is almost equally a design talk as it is a programming talk.

Brian Schwab (Blizzard Entertainment)

VII Dama Workshop, June 6-15

Gotland University is hosting the seventh DAMA (Dance and Media Art) workshop. Through the DAMA network, this workshop is open to the participating institutions. The workshop takes place in Visby in June 06-15, and students will work together in groups, leading to a final performance/presentation.

Time: 06.6.2011 – 15.6.2011
Place: Visby. Gotland. Sweden. Gotland University. Institution of Game Design, Technology and Learning. GAME Department.
Duration: 10 days
Level: Intermediate/advanced
Working language: English
Recognition: 5 ECTS. Students should confirm that the course can be accepted into their studies at their home university.

Course description

Course goal:
The 10 days intensive Course provides students with knowledge about the common ground between dance, games and media, and encourages to learn more about other students’ disciplines. The students work together in groups, creating an game based performance or interactive experience as the final work.

Content and methods:
The course will focus on the space between dance/theatre and games: where games become art and dance/theatre becomes interactive. Techniques from the dance/theatre will be used to design new games and interactive (game) techniques will be used to make dance/theatre. The student will research and develop a cross-over between games and performance. S/he will learn to deal with different soft- and hardware and theatrical techniques. S/he will learn to work in a team or as a collective on artistic and innovative concepts and how to adjust them to an artistic context. The development of and experimenting with innovative concepts of virtual theatre and games is a central issue here. Dance students will benefit both by using theatre techniques as well as game development theories for choreography exercises. It will extend the issue of connectivity between movement and content in the choreographic dance work.

All information, application procedure and contacts are available in this PDF.
Preliminary course plan for the workshop.

Ernest Adams – “Ghost in the Machine”

Adams is back for lectures, workshops and feedback on your Gotland Game Conference projects. First up is a wednesday lecture titled Ghost in the Machine:

Just as poetry is the art of language, interactive entertainment is the art of artificial intelligence. One of our core goals is to create the impression that the player is competing with an intelligent opponent. AI is incredibly hard to do, so we cheat in a number of ways, taking advantage of the player’s suspension of disbelief. I looked at some of the ways we can cheat, and suggested a number of models for behavior from the animal kingdom.

Time: Wednesday, April 6th, 13:00
Location: B51

On thursday he’s doing a workshop called Accessibility in Games. There are two opportunities:

Time: Thursday, 7th April:
Pass 1 | 10:00 – 14:00 (30 students)
Pass 2 | 14:20 – 17:20 (30 students)
Location: B25+B27

Sign up in the student forums.

And on friday Ernest has a workshop in Character Design. It’s limited to 40 heads and primarily for 2nd and 3rd year students. Sign up in the forums!

Time: Friday, April 8th, 13:00
Location: B25+B27

Michael Sellers from Online Alchemy

Michael Sellers is the Chief Executive Officer at Online Alchemy, a developer of computer games, artificial intelligence, and social networking software. He has been designing and developing online multiplayer games since 1994.

One of two co-founders of Archetype Interactive, Mike was Lead Designer on Meridian 59, the first 3D massively multiplayer online game, published in 1996. In 1997 he co-founded The Big Network and led the design for online family oriented social networking software (MyPlace).

After TBN was acquired by eUniverse in 1999, he led designs on SimCity Online, The Sims 2, and Ultima Online Trilogy in his role as Senior Game Designer at Electronic Arts. Mike has been a speaker and panelist at many industry conferences and written several articles on MMOG design and production. In 2002 he founded Online Alchemy in Austin, Texas, and is working on a next-generation MMOG based on proprietary advanced artificial intelligence.

Mike is coming here tuesday next week for an intense lecture on Game Design and AI, followed by Q&A. Due to limited space we have to prioritize programmers. Graphics and animation students are welcome if seatings allow. Sorry for the inconvenience. :/

Time: Tuesday, Mars 29th, 13:30 – 14:30
Location: E31