Simon Colton is a Professor of Digital Games Technologies at Falmouth University and a part-time Professor of Computational Creativity at Goldsmiths College. He holds an EC-funded ERA Chair, leading the Games Research Opportunities project, and an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship. He is an AI researcher specialising in questions of Computational Creativity — getting software to autonomously create artefacts of real value in interesting ways. He has published nearly 200 papers and his research has won national and international prizes. He is most well known for the software he has written and co-written to make mathematical discoveries; paint pictures; make games and generate fictional ideas. He’s also known for his philosophical and theoretical contributions to Computational Creativity, in particular driving forward the assessment of creative software via what it does, rather than what it produces.
Rob Saunders is Associate Professor in Computational Creativity at the Academy for Innovation and Research in Falmouth University. Rob’s research centres around creative application of computing and the computational modelling of creativity. Using techniques from machine learning, robotics and video games he has explored the role of curiosity in creative design processes and developed computational models of creative systems at individual, social and cultural levels. His models of curious design agents have demonstrated useful abilities for autonomous design systems, including problem-finding and open-ended exploration. His models of social creativity exhibit emergent dynamics including clique formation, fashion cycles and the evolution of design specific languages. Rob works with artists and designers across a range of disciplines to support and engage in the creative application of computing and has applied his research in the development of design customisation systems, smart environments, online learning systems and robotic artworks.
Michael Cook is Senior Research Fellow in The MetaMakers Institute. A researcher in automated game design and computational creativity, he is best known as the creator of the automated videogame designer ANGELINA. The aim of Mike’s research 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; how software can conceive of, apply and evaluate meaning in games, and how it can invent new systems and mechanics for games. His work has captured the imagination of gamers and press alike, and in 2015 he was named as one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in games. He is also active in forging stronger connections between academia and the game development community.
Swen E. Gaudl is a Research Fellow in The MetaMakers Institute. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Bath, on the subject of advancing the development tools and approaches for creating better character AI for digital games. Previously, he worked for three years as a researcher and project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology, Germany. During this time, he was responsible for software development, project management and project acquisition. His main work during this period was in areas related to digital games and software development and software design. Swen’s main interests are to broaden the available knowledge on the understanding and replication of human behaviour and agent design with the aim to create something applicable beyond the confined academic space. He is interested in evolutionary and genetic algorithms and rule-based systems, as well as software engineering, data-mining and cognitive research. His skills are not just restricted to technical skills such as programming in Java/C#/Prolog/Python/Cpp and project management. He also enjoys working in interdisciplinary teams, and he is always interested in new concepts which could benefit the creative expression of authors and how to enrich their design/toolset.
Mark J. Nelson is Senior Research Fellow in The MetaMakers Institute. He is an artificial intelligence researcher specializing in automated videogame design and procedural content generation. His work aims especially at supporting player and designer creativity by intermixing their choices with intelligent computational methods, allowing people to visualize, understand, and sculpt generative design spaces through the help of software and interfaces that smooth over the messy details. A current interest is in applying these methods to generative “software toys”, which are fun, interactive applications on mobile and other devices but not necessarily games, and are designed to appeal to a wider audience than traditional games. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Falmouth University, he was at the IT University of Copenhagen (2011-2015, Assistant Professor), where among other things he co-wrote the first textbook on procedural content generation in games. He also runs a small artificial intelligence consultancy, Anadrome Research.
Edward Powley is a Research Fellow in The MetaMakers Institute. His research interests are centred on artificial intelligence for games, particularly on developing general-purpose AI methods which can play a wide variety of games. He is also an independent game developer, with particular interest in the emergent gameplay possibilities of cutting-edge AI, procedural content generation and physics-based gameplay. Ed is investigating the use of AI agents as playtesters and assistants in automated game design systems, and using his game development expertise to bring the Institute’s research to market and into the hands of the general public. Despite being a lecturer on Falmouth University’s BSc. Computing for Games course, he is working towards a future where anyone can create games without writing a single line of code.
Blanca Pérez Ferrer is a cultural mediator for the Games Academy. She has a background in the history of art, having worked at international organisations such as UNESCO and several museums and art institutions in Paris ; Museé Cernuschi, Museé du quai Branly. She studied at the Ecole du Louvre. Her interests involve studying digital games as an art form, presenting the richness and artistic value of games to the general public, and investigating the overlap between games and other art forms by translating academic research into practical mediation projects. She has wide experience of event planning and coordination, curating contemporary art exhibitions, designing and executing educational projects.
Tanya Krzywinska is a Professor of Digital Games and Director of the Games Academy at Falmouth University. She is also editor of Games and Culture. Her main research interest is in game aesthetics and design. She undertakes research into games from a philosophical, cultural and arts-based perspective. She has written extensively on the way in which games remediate and adapt existing art forms, as well as on what games offer uniquely as an art form in their own right. She is an artist and her current work is mainly in the area of augmented transmedial content creation.
Pete Ivey is a software engineer at The MetaMakers Institute. A 20 year veteran of the games industry, with an extensive background in cross-platform game engine development, real-time rendering, performance optimisation and content creation tools. He joins us after 8 years as Lead Render Engineer at Disney Interactive, where he worked on the Disney Infinity 1, 2 and 3, Cars 2 and Toy Story 3 game titles. Prior to that, you would have found him working in various game technology groups at studios such as Black Rock, Electronic Arts and Microsoft Games. A compulsive optimisation junky who enjoys the simple things in life. Now at MetaMakers, he looks forward to applying those skills to an exciting new set of problems and help empower others to create.
Erik Geelhoed is a research fellow at Falmouth University. He is an expert in user research and experimental psychology in the area where technology, design and the arts overlap. He uses sound qualitative and quantitative psychology research methods, always firmly grounded in the relevant theoretical background. Erik worked (1992 – 2009) at Hewlett-Packard Research Labs, Bristol. At Falmouth University, in an EU funded international research program, he conducted requirement studies for mediated performance; audience research using Galvanic Skin Response sensors, as well as user evaluations in social media settings. At the Games Academy he will contribute to games and games technologies evaluations, and is acting as the impact evaluator for the EPSRC Digital Creativity Hub. Erik has over 60 refereed publications.
Heidi Ball is the Senior Administrator for the Games Academy. With over fifteen years of experience in providing administrative support, the last five years of which have been for Falmouth University. Heidi has a BSc (Hons) Industrial Management from Nottingham Trent University and an MA Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University. As well as having a great perspective on the needs and challenges of the Academic Department here, her Masters qualification also provides her with an insight from the student and research perspective as well. She is also a practising illustrator with a freelance business and a keen interest in dystopian storytelling.