I'm spending a few weeks at the EIS Lab at UCSC, getting started on a research project.
I found cosy Victorian guesthouse where one can rent by the week.
I got a run-down from James S on how to get ABL (A behavior language) up and running, with example code that hooks it up to another virtual world. Perfect for me and Christoph at Pixeltamer too look at if we hook up ABL to the Pataphysic Institute Prototype. (ABL is a system which would allow the use of reactive planning.)
I've also finally gotten around to start exploring the Emotiv SDK. It would be so interesting to see how I might use EEG and data from movements of facial muscles as input data to the Mind Module.
Here is the desk i borrow, it used to be Mark Nelson's (he is at ITU now) desk , so it is imbued with genous and clarity. Perhaps that's why I was able to make a final version of a paper on game research methods that Elina Ollila and I are writing, it is to be in a special issue in the Gaming & Simulations Journal.
Ted Nelson, who coined the term Hypertext way back when, and founded project Xanadu in 1960, came to visit and give a talk. He talked about that we don't use the full potential of who information can be displayed: we are stuck copying paper and we think in squares. Fantastic speaker. He especially stressed how useful side-notes can be. I went of on a trail thinking of how many different solutions I've had for taking notes. For a while I used a slate/tablet computer which screen was a wakom (x) board, and right now i instead tend to write in ordinary books, but sometimes, if i want to keep the note, I take a photo of it and upload it to a private folder on Flickr. Evernote could be useful.
Thursday Josh and I worked at a cafe down-town instead of in the lab. We talked about the importance of AI based game design, about operational logics, and laid down some plans for fun stuff to do.
Jane Pinckard joined the lab this week, she is now the Associate Director for Center for Games and Playable Media at UCSC. We went for dinner at the Red Room, but first for a drink at Rose's. This picture is accidentally shot in the transition of two situations.
Emily Short came to give a gueslecture, which was awsome. What I found especially interesting is that she, in Galatea used a 2-axis matrix of moods for characters, but not for their own internal mood, but rather the mood towards each other. For example, to a certain player, and object in the world (like the statue) can be creepy – whiny, pathetic – dangerous. At lunch afterwards I asked her how that was like, to make it so in inform 7.
Here is Jane, Michael and Noah, listening to Emily.
In the end of the week everyone got busy with GDC preparations. Here's Josh, Mike and Ben making a demonstration video for Prom Week, and I'm taking the picture so Michael gets more to choose from when he makes a picture-medley to show in a GDC talk about building research studios.
Here Anne, Gillian and I are confirming when we will get together to talk about a panel that could be done at the Grace Hopper.
It is so nice to back.I didn't realize just quite how much I've missed everyone here.
(I was in the lab for a whole year 2007/2008, and we do get to meet frequently ant conferences, but thats not the same thing.)