Michael Cook has set out to make an artificial intelligence (AI) that can design games. Why? Because he’s doing for his PhD and it’s an awesome idea is why. He calls the AI Angelina and their first game the two of them have made is available now!

On his project site he say the “aim is to develop an AI system that can intelligently design videogames, as part of an investigation into the ways in which software can design creatively.”

This is really nifty because if it’s possible that level and/or mechanics design can be done by a computer then overall game development can arguably become more accessible. Ultimately, if Cook is successful in his goal then we would be forced to further question what creativity means in a game making context.

Imagine if we have once AI making art assets and another AI using those assets to make a coherent game. I would love to see some bizarre game generate by such a beastly setup.

I hope the AI gets smarter and better at designing as his project continues. Right now there is still a lot of need for human intervention.

Cnet has some more info on the AI design project:

According to Cook, there are a few problems with a computer AI generating video games for a human audience. One is that Angelina can’t understand difficulty levels very easily — which explains why some levels were confusingly difficult. Cook has made user feedback a part of A Puzzling Present’s design, so that human interaction can be taken into account.

He has also built a system called “Mechanic Miner”, which presents Angelina with an impossible level and tasks her with coming up with a new mechanic to make the level passable.

From the best ghost I know.