Team

  Co-Designer, Wizard    James Ryan  recently defended his PhD thesis in Computational Media (the first of its kind) as a member of the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz. His research there concerned the development of new technologies in the areas of social simulation, procedural narrative, and conversational AI. In turn, his creative practice explores new possibilities for media experiences that are enabled by such technologies. After finishing up at UC Santa Cruz, he moved back to Minneapolis, where he is currently seeking employment.

Co-Designer, Wizard

James Ryan recently defended his PhD thesis in Computational Media (the first of its kind) as a member of the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz. His research there concerned the development of new technologies in the areas of social simulation, procedural narrative, and conversational AI. In turn, his creative practice explores new possibilities for media experiences that are enabled by such technologies. After finishing up at UC Santa Cruz, he moved back to Minneapolis, where he is currently seeking employment.

  Co-Designer, Actor    Ben Samuel  is a computer science researcher, award-winning game designer, and professional actor. Though fascinated by all games centered research, his primary focus is on artificial intelligence systems that advance the state of the art of interactive storytelling. Notable works include the social simulation game  Prom Week  (a finalist for technical excellence in the Independent Games Festival), the Ensemble Engine (an open source framework for developing socially dynamic characters), and CiF (an AI system whose metaphors have informed projects promoting conflict resolution and good stranger techniques). His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, and he was a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Ben's acting credits include a starring role in Hulu's first original scripted series, Battleground,  which won him praise from the New York Times  and  a nod for best actor in a drama .

Co-Designer, Actor

Ben Samuel is a computer science researcher, award-winning game designer, and professional actor. Though fascinated by all games centered research, his primary focus is on artificial intelligence systems that advance the state of the art of interactive storytelling. Notable works include the social simulation game Prom Week (a finalist for technical excellence in the Independent Games Festival), the Ensemble Engine (an open source framework for developing socially dynamic characters), and CiF (an AI system whose metaphors have informed projects promoting conflict resolution and good stranger techniques). His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, and he was a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Ben's acting credits include a starring role in Hulu's first original scripted series, Battleground, which won him praise from the New York Times and a nod for best actor in a drama.

  Co-Designer, Guide    Adam Summerville  is an assistant professor in Computer Science at Cal Poly Pomona. His research interests mainly fall at the intersection of machine learning and video game design, with an ultimate goal of creating intelligent tools to help democratize game development. He does this research while raising two energetic (read: don't like to sleep), intelligent (read: don't like to listen) boys with the help (read: she does the bulk of the work) of his wonderful wife. In his previous life he was a systems analyst at MIT Lincoln Laboratory doing research on GPS Jamming, Multi-Sensor Fusion, and whatever else the Air Force decided to throw at him. He prefers his current life.

Co-Designer, Guide

Adam Summerville is an assistant professor in Computer Science at Cal Poly Pomona. His research interests mainly fall at the intersection of machine learning and video game design, with an ultimate goal of creating intelligent tools to help democratize game development. He does this research while raising two energetic (read: don't like to sleep), intelligent (read: don't like to listen) boys with the help (read: she does the bulk of the work) of his wonderful wife. In his previous life he was a systems analyst at MIT Lincoln Laboratory doing research on GPS Jamming, Multi-Sensor Fusion, and whatever else the Air Force decided to throw at him. He prefers his current life.

  Mentor    Michael Mateas  is recognized internationally as a leader in AI-based interactive entertainment. He is the founding chair of the new department of Computational Media at UC Santa Cruz, a department which grew out of Computer Science and combines CS, art and design to invent new forms of interactive experiences. He founded and co-directs the Expressive Intelligence Studio, one of the largest technical game research groups in the world and is also the founding director of the Center for Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz. Credits include Prom Week, a social simulation-based interactive story and puzzle game, and Façade—the world's first AI-based interactive drama. Michael has given numerous keynote addresses and paper presentations at conferences worldwide. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Mentor

Michael Mateas is recognized internationally as a leader in AI-based interactive entertainment. He is the founding chair of the new department of Computational Media at UC Santa Cruz, a department which grew out of Computer Science and combines CS, art and design to invent new forms of interactive experiences. He founded and co-directs the Expressive Intelligence Studio, one of the largest technical game research groups in the world and is also the founding director of the Center for Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz. Credits include Prom Week, a social simulation-based interactive story and puzzle game, and Façade—the world's first AI-based interactive drama. Michael has given numerous keynote addresses and paper presentations at conferences worldwide. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

  Mentor    Noah Wardrip-Fruin  is a Professor of Computational Media at UC Santa Cruz. He co-directs the Expressive Intelligence Studio, a technical and cultural research group focused on games and computational media. His projects have been presented by art venues such as the Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as in games venues such as IndieCade and the Independent Games Festival, and featured in field-defining volumes such as Digital Art (2003) and Art of the Digital Age (2006). Holding a both a PhD and MFA from Brown University, his most recent book is Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies (2009).

Mentor

Noah Wardrip-Fruin is a Professor of Computational Media at UC Santa Cruz. He co-directs the Expressive Intelligence Studio, a technical and cultural research group focused on games and computational media. His projects have been presented by art venues such as the Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as in games venues such as IndieCade and the Independent Games Festival, and featured in field-defining volumes such as Digital Art (2003) and Art of the Digital Age (2006). Holding a both a PhD and MFA from Brown University, his most recent book is Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies (2009).

  Guide    Tyler Brothers  is an undergraduate currently attending UC Santa Cruz while pursuing a degree in Linguistics. He is interested in games research which utilizes interdisciplinary collaboration in order to promote opportunities for critical self-reflection during play. As a senior this school term, he hopes to continue exploring the intersection of language, computationally-assisted games and AI.   

Guide

Tyler Brothers is an undergraduate currently attending UC Santa Cruz while pursuing a degree in Linguistics. He is interested in games research which utilizes interdisciplinary collaboration in order to promote opportunities for critical self-reflection during play. As a senior this school term, he hopes to continue exploring the intersection of language, computationally-assisted games and AI.

 


We would also like to thank the following people for their various contributions to the project: Roxanne Baril-Bédard, Eseel Borlasa, Sarah Brin, Dustin Freeman, Erica Gangsei, Jacob Garbe, Jessica Hammer, Tim Hong, Albert Kong, Josh Lee, Jonathan Lessard, Mitch Mastroni, Anastasia Pahules, Bernard Perron, Ethan Seither, Ben Spalding, Chris Venner-Tan, Colin Wheelock, Deron Williams, and Kevin Yeh.