Mixed-initiative approaches to on-device mobile game design

Mark J. Nelson, Simon Colton, Edward J. Powley, Swen E. Gaudl, Peter Ivey, Rob Saunders, Blanca Pérez Ferrer, Michael Cook (2017). Mixed-initiative approaches to on-device mobile game design. In Proceedings of the CHI Workshop: Mixed-Initiative Creative Interfaces.


Playing casual games is a wildly popular activity on smartphones. However, designing casual games is done by a smaller group of people, usually on desktop computers, using professional development tools. Our goal is to bring these activities closer together, in terms of who does them and how they do them. Our Gamika Technology platform is a 2D physics-based mobile game design environment. It comprises a 284-dimensional parametric design space, and poses mobile game design as the problem of navigating this space. We have built three mobile apps thus far to experiment with on-device, mixed-initiative navigation of the Gamika design space and some of its subspaces. We describe these apps here in terms of the initiatives that go into making a game with them, and how these are split between people and underlying AI software. Our overall goal is to democratise game design, so that anyone and everyone can make casual games directly on their mobile phones or tablets.

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