|Presentation Date||October 11, 2012|
|Topic(s)||AI System Builds Video Games|
In 2010, PhD student Michael Cook started working on his research project which focused on applying computational evolution to video game design. Over time, Cook's research project evolved into an AI system, named ANGELINA, that could generate entire video game designs.
ANGELINA is able to create video games by first breaking the game up into 3 "species," or sub-tasks, which consists of maps (this determines "passable and impassible areas" in the game's levels), layout (this determines how the enemies behave, where they are placed, where the player starts, and where the level's exit is), and powersets/powerups (this determines what powerups are available in the game). ANGELINA then randomly creates content for each species, which she then combines to create a sort of rough draft of the video game's design. Next, ANGELINA uses computational evolution to generate the final video game design. She does this by using a sort of natural selection, carried out through 400-oddsome tests, to get rid of levels that are glitchy or don't work and keep "fun" levels, which are levels ANGELINA considers to be challenging, but easy to complete so long as the powerups are used wisely. After these tests, ANGELINA is left with a working and complete design. Unfortunately, ANGELINA only creates the video game design, so Cook has to provide graphics and music to the new video game to complete it.
Currently, ANGELINA is only capable of building arcade and 2D Metroidvania-style (See below) video games, but these games are pretty simplistic, but at the same time, slightly addicting according to some. While ANGELINA's practicality as an Artificial Intelligence is questionable, she represents an interesting development in AI and computational evolution and a good example of computational evolution in action.
Metroidvania-style video games: Video games where the player explores a large map, while fighting enemies, to collect powerups that would allow them to explore more of the map and collect more powerups and so on.