MIke Treanor

2013 PhD graduates Mike Treanor and Chris Lewis

2013 PhD graduates Mike Treanor and Chris Lewis

On June 3, 2013, brand spanking new PhD graduate at UCSC’s Games and Playable Media Center, Mike Treanor came into the KZSC studio to talk with Nada Miljkovic on Artist on Art.

Mike will begin his teaching this fall at the American University in Washington DC and developing a game department.

Mike is a developer and theorist.  He was researching in the Expressive Intelligence Studio which is dedicated to exploring the intersection of artificial intelligence, art and design.  A major thrust of this work is advanced AI for video games.

To hear our interview, please click on the grey button below: [haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/miket.mp3″ title=”Mike Treanor” graphical=”true”]

Ken Hullett


On April 16, 2012, graduating Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz, Ken Hullett came into KZSC and onto Gamers on Game to talk about his research in game design.
Ken spoke in length about his dissertation, The Science of Level Design: Design Patterns and Player Behavior in FPS Levels. Ken’s research is in the Center for Games and Playable Media Department and in the Augmented Design Lab with Jim Whitehead as his advisor.

We started the conversation with defining what level design which is level designers create gameplay through geometry, AI scripting, and item placement. Designers draw from their experience, design lore, and rules of thumb rather than a formal understanding of how the construction of a level creates gameplay for a player. To improve this understanding, Ken and his research group have taken a first by identifying design patterns in game levels, primarily in single player first-person shooters (FPS) and studying the cause-effect relationships between these level design elements and gameplay. To test these relationships, they are gathering data from a series of user tests. Analysis of this data will improve our understanding and provide level designers with scientifically verified tools for creating gameplay.

We explored Ken’s other research interests concerning Design in Games: Level DesignDesign Patterns in GamesGame Data AnalysisPlayer Modeling, and Procedural Content  Generation.

Ken is a part of the first cohort to graduate from the  Department of Computer Science (CS) with Ph.D. degrees.  This program is considered one of the top ten graduate schools in video game design.

If you missed any part of our Gamers on Game broadcast, please click the gray ‘play’ button below: [haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/gog41612.mp3″ title=”Ken Hullett” graphical=”true”]

Here’s the video of our interview:

Josh McCoy on Gamers on Game

Screen shot 2012-02-16 at 7.37.54 AM

On February 13, 2012, UCSC PhD graduating candidate, Josh McCoy came onto Gamers on Game to talk about his work particularly the new indy game Prom Week.

Josh McCoy is finishing his dissertation this year and is the person who created the AI system that inspired Prom Week. He’s been a team lead of Prom Week from the beginning.

The team includes two past Gamers on Game and Artist on Art guests, Mike Treanor, and Aaron Xander Reed. The fourth team member, Ben Samuel will be on Gamers on Game February 20, 2012.

Ben Samuel is also an actor. He stars in the first HULU’s first original series – Battleground which premiered on Valentine’s Day, just like Prom Week.

The Prom Week team are finalists for the Independent Games Festival and hope that the campus and community will come out to vote for the team for the “Audience Choice” award. Play Prom Week on Facebook. It’s fun. I had the pleasure of playing it last year, when the game was less evolved, at the Future of Games Symposium. It was fun half-baked. Now it’s great. Can teach a greek a few things about high school.

If you would like to get up close and personal with the Prom Week team, they will be presenting at the E-Games Gathering at 7pm at NextSpace, February 16, 2012.

If you missed any part of our Gamers on Game broadcast, please click the gray ‘play’ button below: [haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/gog21312.mp3″ title=”Josh McCoy” graphical=”true”]

Here’s our radio interview video:

Avron Barr on Gamers on Game

 For the November 14, 2011, Gamers on Game show, featured Artificial Intelligence, E-learning and Serious Games expert, Avron Barr.

Avron  is a longtime researcher and implementer of advanced virtual learning systems, an independent consultant for software businesses, writer, director, and DARPA advisor. We discussed the nature and breadth of what’s going in the emerging area of “Serious Games.”

Game technology has been applied to serious activities since teachers discovered they could dramatically impact student involvement in the classroom by replacing flash cards with a Jeopardy-like game. Especially if there was some reward for the winner. Modern game technology, consisting of an expanded collection of tools and methods, is being applied quite seriously to education, corporate and military training, clinical psychology, marketing, rehabilitation therapy, and even social
and political discourse.

To hear our broadcast in its entirety, please click the gray ‘play’ button below: [haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/gog111411.mp3″ title=”Avron Barr” graphical=”true”]

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