When you’re talking about a theme such as ‘The One That Got Away’ then it’s easy to get stuck thinking on the small scale, such as cancelled games and personal losses. But what about the bigger picture – what about the larger ideas which have escaped us all?
Mike Cook is the researcher responsible for creating ANGELINA, the game-making AI. In this episode he talks about how research is an overlooked aspect of the games industry and explains why it’s a problem developers don’t interact with academics more often. In doing so he reveals the future that’s got away from the industry and asks if gamers have been cheated out of their ambitions by a lifetime of samey shooters and stagnant technology.
Unlimited Hyperbole is a short podcast about videogames and the stories we tell about them. The show is divided into seasons of five episodes, each with a precise topic. This time we’re talking about ‘The One That Got Away’ – but to find out more, read after the jump.
Another five episodes and this season finally draws to a close. I like to think this is our best season yet, partly because of the great guests we had and partly because I’ve taught myself enough about production not to cringe when I listen back to these episodes.
Mike in particular has been one of the best guests. I’ve interviewed him at length before for other projects and he never fails to throw up new ideas when we talk. He mentioned a bunch of other research projects which unfortunately didn’t make the cut for this episode, for example. I’ll throw those and the ones he did mention in together, below…
- Julian Togelius - ‘A Procedural Content Generator Generator‘
- Mark Riedl and Boyang Li – ‘Goal-Driven Conceptual Blending‘
- Nathan Sturtevant – ‘Memory-Efﬁcient Abstractions for Pathﬁnding‘
- Michael Mateas – Publication Archive
- Valve Software – Publication Archive
Meanwhile, if you want to download Mike’s research or games then head to ANGELINA’s official site. Mike runs a weekly round-up of games research that’s very much worth checking out too, called The Saturday Papers.
As I said at the end of this episode, Unlimited Hyperbole will be going on hiatus for a short period now. We do this at the end of every season, as it usually takes me some time to gather new interviews and decide what I want to do, but this time I’ve left the duration deliberately vague.
There are two essential problems blocking the show at the moment. The first is logistical (I have a full time job that limits my time) and the second is financial (I’d need to invest a lot more cash to keep the show going). Hopefully neither will stop me forever, but while I do have ideas for a new season, I want to stop short of promising when/if that’ll appear.
In the meantime though, it just remains to thank everyone who’s listened to and supported the show over the last four seasons. It’s hard to believe that this show is now a full year old, but I’m pretty proud that it is.