This Game Was Designed By an Algorithm

January 3, 2014 | Andy Cush

Angelina was just like any other entrant in the most recent Ludlum Dare–a regular “game jam” in which contestants develop video games over a 24-hour period. She took the competition’s theme– “You Only Get One” –as a jumping off point, choosing her game’s setting, colors, and music based on the idea of “one” and related words. The game she came up with, titled To That Sectalso incorporates the theme into its central mechanic, which asks players to collect one type of item and avoid the other.

The only difference between Angelina and other Ludlum Dare participants? She’s an algorithm, created by British developer Mike Cook to push the limits of creativity in artificial intelligence.

New Scientist explains some of Cook’s philosophy:

Games like Proteus, MirrorMoon and the recently announced No Man’s Sky turn players into explorers, letting them walk across uniquely generated landscapes that no other human has ever seen. Cook thinks in the hands of an AI, procedural generation can be something very different. In the trailer for No Man’s Sky, for example, which promises a procedurally generated universe containing everything from plants and animals to planets, we glimpse a worm-like monster. “That’s cool,” says Cook. “But the concept of a giant creature that tunnels through a planet was created by a human.”

Play To That Sect here.