Fluidic games in cultural contexts

Mark J. Nelson, Swen E. Gaudl, Simon Colton, Edward J. Powley, Blanca Pérez Ferrer, Rob Saunders, Peter Ivey, Michael Cook (2017). Fluidic games in cultural contexts. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Computational Creativity.

Abstract

We introduce fluidic games, a type of casual creator that blends game play and game design. Fluidic games have a core of built-in games that anchor a space of design possibilities around them, and encourage players to alternate between playing specific games and playing with the design space. Our Gamika Technology platform supports fluidic games on mobile devices, and we have thus far built three of them. In doing so, we have found that even for simple games, fluidic games require computational creativity support. This takes several forms intended to keep design sessions playful and fast-moving, including automated game design used as a form of brainstorming, mixed-initiative co-creative design to ease design-space navigation, and automated game playing to evaluate game dynamics. Finally, we have exhibited this fluidic-games concept in three distinct cultural settings: a series of rapid game jams lasting 1–2 hours each, an in-progress semester-long enrichment course with a local school, and an art installation that foregrounds an autonomous version of the system exploring a fluidic game on its own, at least if the audience will allow it to do so.


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