Mirjam nails her dissertation!

“Spikning” (lit. nailing) is an academic ritual in connection with the submission of a dissertation. Three weeks before the dissertation thesis is published it must be made available to anyone who wants to read it and come up with criticism for the disputation. The Swedish tradition is to have the respondent ceremonially nail a copy of the dissertation to a wall, for public display.

Our soon-to-be doctor Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari has done research in story construction, characterization and identity in massively multiplayer online role-playing games. She has built an AI-system (The Mind Module) that infuse game actors with “individuality”. The system can simulate personalities, relations, feelings, mood and temper, and many other character factors. The system was tested and evaluated in a MMO prototype; the Pataphysic Institute.

Mirjam passed the Viva Voce with flying colors at Teesside University the 23rd of February, examined by Dr Alan Hind and Prof Richard Bartle (co-creator of MUD, 1978).

Video in Swedish only, sorry. ­čÖü

Unreal Workshop with Sjoerd De Jong!

Sjoerd De Jong has been here for the past five days and taught our second year game students everything about the Unreal Development Kit. Sjoerd has been working with the Unreal Engine since 1999. He’s been involved in the development of five commercial Unreal Engine titles, has authored two books, released a training video and runs the worlds largest Unreal Engine 3 tutorials website! Add to this his five very large non-profit projects and more than 30 award winning Unreal levels and Sjoerd “Hourences” De Jong can safely claim to be an expert level designer and environment artist!

Gotland Game Jam (Spring 10)

In a collaborative effort between GAME students and staff, we set up the motion capture studio to host our third local Game Jam this weekend.

A Game Jam is an event where game developers meet and compete in creativity and experimentation. Every Game Jam have a unique set of rules and constraints for the developers to work within ÔÇô and it is amazing to see how diverse and unique the games turn out be. We were 8 teams in total, with some members participating over the internet, producing some marvelously quirky creations in just under 48 hours.

About Teachers Teaching Teachers

Photo from the TTT workshop on PureData, summer -09. (click image to read)

Teachers Teaching Teachers has sprung from some of the ancient social habits of the GAME-staff. For as long as anyone care to remember we’ve had this tradition where we get together every now and then, on weekends or lecture free days, to talk about whatever we know and anyone was interested to hear. It’s been an informal way to share our expertise with each other.

… or perhaps more like a bunch of teachers hanging out and showing off. ­čÖé

Over the years we’ve taught each other game design, programming, various software tools, talked about modern game research etc etc. All interresting stuff and over time these informal workshops and presentations have turned into a seriously important way for all of us to keep up-to-date and gain new insights.

Today this ancient habit of ours is made public and opened to a wider audience. We call it Teachers Teaching Teachers and from now on we invite all staff at the university to join in!

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