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June 20, 2005 at 12:47 am #4253
greetings from sunny Vancouver..
well I said I would post an update, hope to write something more detailed when I get back. I know some of you know about the Digital Games Research Association but if you don’t then you should check it out. Basically it is the main interdisciplinary association for digital game researchers – so if you are a research student or industry person with an interest in meeting more of the academic community and are interested in stuff like play and games, AI and games, the industry and games this is where you should be presenting your work.
Myself and Darryl gave a joint presentation yesterday which was mapping out some work we hope to do on adaptivity in games. There are also another four people here from Blanchardstown IT who are working on other technical aspects of games. I didn’t get to see their presentations cause we clashed but good to see Irish folk popping up.
Jason de la IGDA is here and making his presence felt. He chaired an industry panel at which EA and other local companies were represented. Jason is a real supporter of DIGRA and a lot of the discussion revolved around the need for the industry to do more research but their lack of time to do it and even to read the stuff that academics are producing..
Otherwise there are design workshops, interesting papers on Asian games, lots of stuff on emotions and games and games in education…
DIGRA has just made all the papers from their previous conferences available free on line so google them and go read…this is one of the few places where technical, social scientists and artists get together..\
June 20, 2005 at 4:29 pm #22349
Myself and Darryl gave a joint presentation yesterday which was mapping out some work we hope to do on adaptivity in games.[/quote:0cd651e82e]
WOW! This sounds interesting Aphra! Is this research to do with making games more accessible to players based on their ability or to do with personalisation etc? Can you say any more on the subject?
June 24, 2005 at 11:55 am #22507
well Ian my interest is in trying to look at alternative ways to make games more accessible and to go beyond stereotyping which one often finds in games for girls for example..
one of the things we reviewed in the paper were different approaches today like auto-dynamic difficulty used in Max Payne…but most are fairly simple…
player modelling may help but of course deciding on what one can include and how this can be linked to adjustment techniques is the core of the problem…
there is a draft paper if people are interested…
June 24, 2005 at 4:47 pm #22516
there is a draft paper if people are interested…
Yes, very interested please. Where it at?
It just occured to me, and this may be the wrong thread entirely, but it seems plausible that the quality and longevity of retro games is due to their complexity occuring at or below the cognitive capabilities of a single individual – this means that if a really good game designer has a good idea, they can control and communicate all aspects of the game.
Nowadays, the communication scaling problem is the bane of any large software project. So when a whole new paradigm of gaming endeavour is introduced, namely player-centric adaptivity, based on entirely new skill-sets like psychology and sociology, the increase in communication difficulties will be exponential (based on a three to four node increase in a directed peer-to-peer graph).
If Im right, and new tech paradigm’s are continuously entering industry from research, then how can DIGRA orchestrate the uptake of their work so that a) it is taken up and not ignored, and b) this does not become a production nightmare for the dev studio?
Or maybe its a job for IGDA?
June 28, 2005 at 8:02 am #22568
there was quite a discussion at DIGRA about how to develop closer links with industry and it was clear from the IGDA panel in Vancouver that many developers did not realise the range and type of work that DIGRA was doing or that there is a journal of game development for more technical work and a new journal being launched next Jan on games and culture.
this is a problem in many fields and DIGRA members have always said that they didn’t want game studies to become like film studies – almost entirely divorced from the practical side of film production. That may be somewhat unfair to film studies but it worth keeping in mind nevertheless.
In academia research teams can explore complexity in a range of non-pressured contexts and while all may not be possible to implement in commercial games such work may still extend the range of possibilities one thinks about..
June 28, 2005 at 4:31 pm #22589
many developers did not realise the range and type of work that DIGRA was doing [/quote:9bc4ca07ad]
It does seem as though the most progressive developers are those who have been formed around a core of ex-academics, or had an influx of such, bringing their comprehensive knowledge of new work directly into the dev team.
As an aside, I’m wondering if its possible to work with DIGRA from a non-academic standpoint. Its just that I really like the ideas you/they seem to be coming out with, but I’m not engaged in any formal research at the moment (I’ve applied to many Irish colleges, including Daryl’s player modelling PhD, but thats all pie in the sky for the moment).
Do they do any remote-collaborative work, like the open source community?
June 30, 2005 at 8:23 am #22637
see if you can spot anyone you know in the second photo…
June 30, 2005 at 10:37 am #22649
June 30, 2005 at 4:48 pm #22663
hmmm, is that a yawn being hidden, or a look of terror at the appearance of a camera? :D
June 30, 2005 at 9:03 pm #22669
I don’t think I even knew there was a camera there! :D
July 7, 2005 at 2:08 pm #22867
If you would like to have a look at our Digra paper, it can be grabbed here:
Feedback on our presentation was pretty positive and we had a chat with a guy from Microsoft’s Games User Research Group afterwards – seems they have been exploring similar ideas for a while.
Anyway, if anyone get the time to look at the paper we’d be grateful for any feedback or insights.
BTW I have a photo of Aphra looking scary at a conference session too!!
July 7, 2005 at 3:19 pm #22871
stop picking on me!!
July 8, 2005 at 11:04 pm #22895
didnt you know that with absolute power comes absolute liability? (should that be ‘with absolute power comes open season’?)
anyway, grin and bear it puppetmaster :)
re: your paper, I like a lot of the ideas therein, but I felt a *good* few of them came with qualifications, i.e. may/possible/perhaps…
It may not be possible to fund a full test and deploy solution of all these proposed techniques, but is it possible many of them already exist in fragmented form elsewhere?
I mean, there must be a lot of work in the industry to improve game responsiveness, and adaptivity would be a part of that. So by the principles of emergence, the tested implementation of the techniques proposed might appear (as if by magic) if there was a forum or group devoted to adaptivity under the IGDA, like the A.I. group they already have.
Just a thought.
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