Chris Lewis

On May 5, 2013, Graduating PhD candidate in Computer Science at UCSC, Chris Lewis came onto Artist on Art to talk about his studies & research of “Motivational Design” and the intersection between computer science and psychology.

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Chris’ research delves into the psychology literature of motivation theory, to try and find the answers to these questions, and help software designers to make more engaging software. In the process, he’s learning about   psychology, motivational behavioral and pattern in design in popular applications to create a software where getting a task done is less important than ensuring that the user comes back tomorrow.

Chris‘s thesis, Motivational Design, presents his understanding into a framework and library of twenty-seven {motivational design patterns}, under the categories of gameful, social, interface and information. Theories and experimental results from motivational psychology, behavioral psychology and behavioral economics are used to explain the power of different design patterns and suggest optimal implementations. Additionally, a set of eight dark patterns are presented. These patterns promise short-term gains, but at the expense of long-term motivational harm, and strategies to avoid their use are proposed.

To hear our interview, please click on the grey button below: [haiku url=”″ title=”Chris Lewis” graphical=”true”]


Mike Treanor

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On January 2, 2012, PhD student at UCSC’s Games and Playable Media Center, Mike Treanor, came into KZSC to talk on Gamers on Game for the first show of 2012.

Mike is a game developer and theorist researching in the Expressive Intelligence Studio which is dedicated to exploring the intersection of artificial intelligence, art and design. Their goal is to create compelling new forms of interactive art and entertainment that provide deeply autonomous, generative and dynamic responses to interaction. A major thrust of this work is advanced AI for videogames

We started off the interview talking about his graduating project as a Digital Arts and New Media, Reflect. In 2008 and right after graduating wtih his MFA, Mike began studying in the Computer Science department. We talked extensively on his curent work with:

Prom Week


Videogame interpretation (the “proceduralist” perspective).

To hear our broadcast in its entirety, please click the gray ‘play’ button below: [haiku url=”″ title=”Mike Treanor” graphical=”true”]

Here’s a little video we took right after the show:

Peter Hunter and John Peters of Team Krinoid

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Recent UCSC graduates Peter Hunter and John Peters came into KZSC to talk about their new company Team Krinoid.

Team Krinoid was founded by Max Weinberg, Peter Hunter, and John Peters after their success with the iPad game, Syz: EG by winning the Game of the Year and Grand Prize at the first ever Games and Playable Media’s SAMMY’s.

Syz E.G. is a galactic adventure game that brings innovation to the space shooter genre with multi-touch controls, various weapons and abilities, a unique story, and a mixture of tactical top-down gameplay and fast-paced side-view action. The game is available in the Apple App Store and looks like a lot of fun.

We talked about transitioning from Games Academia, school, to Indie Games, company, and some the details involved. One challenge involved the Intellectual Property for a game that was created by a ten person collaboration. That team consisted of: John Peters, Jonathan Fotland, Lindsey Freeman, Lakota Lefler, Kevin Murphy, Alex Portnoy, Hosh Tachmuradov, Lucas Thornsberry, Max Weinberg(artist), Peter Hunter (story/music).

Team Krinoid is working on a new game entitle Bunny Run where the player takes th perspective of a bunny running from trouble .This game is developing faster due to experience and the Team’s responsibilities are divided between the three partner. Max does the artwork. Peter writes the story and music. John does the programming.

Here’s a little video we took right before the show:

To hear our broadcast in its entirety, please click the gray ‘play’ button below: [haiku url=”″ title=”Peter Hunter and John Peters” graphical=”true”]

Jim Whitehead Guest 6/13/11 for Gamers on Game

The first guest for Gamers on Games was  Associate Professor of Computer Science at UCSC, Jim Whitehead.

Jim is a researcher in the fields of software evolution, software bug prediction, and automated generation of computer game levels.

He is the board chair of the Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games, which hosts the yearly Foundations of Digital Games conference. Jim’s research interests in the area of games include level design and procedural content generation. In the field of software engineering, Jim performs research on software bug prediction, software repository mining, and software evolution. He runs both the Augmented Design Lab and the Software Introspection Laboratory at UCSC.

In June of 2006, Jim helped create a new undegraduate major, the BS in Computer Science: Computer Game Design. This major is very interdisciplinary, including several courses from the Arts Division on campus. It is a rigorous Computer Science degree, providing a solid, strong background in computer science, with additional courses that teach the elements of computer game design. A three course capstone design sequence permits students to work in teams for a year to develop a substantial computer game.

The first Sammys Awards event  that just happened June 10 in the Baskin Engineering Auditorium celebrating the best games designed by the undergraduate students.

We also talked about the Center for Games and Playable Media that was formally established in 2010, building on work done since the founding of the game degree and offering a Masters in Science and PHd programs. The center houses the school’s five games-related research labs including the Expressive Intelligence Studio, the Research Groups Computational Cinematics Lab, the Natural Language and Dialogue Systems Lab,  the Augmented Design Lab and the Software Introspection Laboratory.

These last two groups are directed by Jim Whitehead, focuses on the possibilities inherent in computer-augmented videogame design. The other focuses on the structure of software and how it evolves over time. Current projects include a program that provides runtime verification and repair of event-based systems.

To hear our interview,  press the play button: [haiku url=”″ title=”Chip Lord” graphical=”true”]


Inventing the Future of Games Michael Mateas – First of Three Keynotes

First keynote of the “Inventing the Future of Games” Symposium from Friday the 15th of April.

Inventing the Future of Video Games Keynote Michael Mateas from Nada Ammann on Vimeo.

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