AI Creates Video Game

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The AI called Angelina, can create a simple video game almost entirely from scratch.  The Angelina project is the PhD work of Michael Cook at Imperial College's Computational Creativity Group. The aim is to develop an AI system that can intelligently design video games, as part of an investigation into the ways in which software can design creatively.
Software that generates video game artwork, music or even whole levels is not new, but Angelina takes it a step further by creating a simple video game almost entirely from scratch. "It has only been very recently that we've asked ourselves, could you procedurally generate the whole thing?" says Cook.
Angelina creates games using a technique known as cooperative co-evolution. The system separately designs different aspects, or species, of the game.
Angelina creates a level by randomly selecting from a list, then scattering enemies and power-ups throughout the level. Enemy movements and combat behaviors are also randomly selected from a list, while the effects of the power-ups are also random.
It then combines the species and simulates a human playing the game to see which designs lead to the most fun or interesting results. Combining these simple elements can produce surprisingly nuanced effects. The games can easily match the quality of some Facebook or smartphone games, with little human input.
If you want to know what it is like to play a game designed by an artificial intelligence you can try your hand at Space Station Invaders, which was created especially for New Scientist
For the next step, Cook is suggesting that he might work with the Painting Fool project to show how Angelina can be used to influence mood.