Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Part Two: Open Source at the IEEE Games Innovation Conference in Hong Kong

Two presentations today covered additional games education and research efforts using FOSS tools.

The first, and one that has really taken off over the past 18 months or so, is the Mario AI competition. The goal is to program variations of ai agents, or bots, to do the best job of playing a game variation based on "Infinite Mario Bros" tribute by Markus Persson. That Java created game variant already had an endless random level generation function built in. This current year's contest has involved several different conferences and several different programming challenges including game play, learning, level generation challenges. An additional Turing test challenge will be run at the Aisa Game Show on Monday the 27th.Sergey Karakovskiy and the other organizers are planning for next year's challenge. So visit their page and get cracking!

Flexible Rules showcases a ser of tools aimed at creating computer-based board and card games that will allow for players to create digital games that can be as flexible as analog games. For example, you may play Monopoly with certain rules that your family has created to make the gameplay faster or "more fun". For example, the "free parking" space on the Monopoly board, according to the official rules, is just that, a consequence free space for the players to take a deep breath. Yet many use a "House Rule" in which fines levied accumulate and are given to the player who lands on the space. Digital games dont allow for the flexibility in game play that analog ones do. The website offers a set of java tools to create more flexible games.

This has been the second GIC conference with a third already being planned for. The organizers and I have been discussing a possible game jam as part of the next conference where the student teams would use open source technologies exclusively to build a game in 48 hours.
It'll take a couple of months to figure it out, nut if there's positive movement forward I'll be spreading the word and looking for your help to do the same.

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