Thursday, September 27, 2018

Samantha Heck, a senior in Computer Science and the lead programmer for Polymorphic Games, will present Project Hastur as a playable experience at this year’s Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment conference, or AIIDE 2018. AIIDE serves as the definitive point of interaction between entertainment software developers interested in artificial intelligence and academic AI researchers.  This year’s conference will be held at the University of Alberta in Edmonton from November 13-17.

Project Hastur is a tower defense style game that features a unique approach to Artificial Intelligence (AI).  The in-game enemies in Project Hastur are modeled as an evolving population with digital genomes.  These enemies, called Proteans, evolve in response to how the player plays.  For example, if the player has a penchant for flame-based weaponry, future generations of Proteans will evolve traits that confer fire resistance.  This AI system is a form of procedural enemy generation in which the game  adapts to  the player, increasing replay value.

“Project Hastur stands out at AIIDE because it’s built as a commercial game that’s fun to play.”  Heck says.  “Most projects in the Playable Experience track of AIIDE are smaller and focus on research rather than on the game play experience.” Alongside a playable demo, Heck will present Project Hastur during a poster session and a Q&A panel where she will answer questions from conference attendees.

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