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This AI will design new video games for you to play

Puck is a new game design AI from the maker of Angelina

Everyone knows that making a video game is simply a matter of deciding how much graphics, sound, gameplay, and replayability you want, then clicking the "Make Game" button in Unreal. This process is now even simpler with the launch of Puck, a game-making AI you can download right now and set to work designing brand new video games for you to play. It's the latest gamebot from Mike Cook, the maker of Angelina.

While Angelina was locked inside Cook's cyberprison, Puck is free for all to download and run. Grab Puck from Itch.io (on Windows and Linux, with Mac to come), run the software, and it'll happily sit there churning algorithms and playing with rules to design and test new games. Over time, it'll learn and develop its ideas about good games. It's still very much a research project, but it might make you something interesting.

The Puckpeeps say the software is "very basic" in its launch state. "It can design one- and two-player games, with simple mechanics inspired by games like Bejewelled, Go, Drop7 and more," they explain. "Even with this simple setup, it has already surprised us a lot with its games! We hope you find some nice surprises too."

Puck's FAQ explains that plans/hopes for future newness include "things like new types of game for Puck to design, the ability to play your own games, and ways for you and Puck to teach each other about what makes a good game."

To learn more about Puck and Angelina and what's going on with Cook and his research, do read the accompanying blog post. Oh, and I should mention Mads Johansen has worked on Puck too.

I look forward to seeing weird and interesting games designed by Puck. Cute name, too. The FAQ explains the software's named after mischevious household helper spirits "because it represents the kind of relationship we want people to have with a system like this - not as a servant or a tool, but as a friend who should be treated nicely, who can help, and who can be playfully unhelpful too." People should be nice to software. It took me a long time to get used to not saying "please" or "thank you" to the Google living in my phone because it couldn't understand I was being nice to it. Poor Google.

For more on Cook and Angelina, Lewis Denby talked with him way back in 2012, and Matt Cox played a few of Angelina's games in 2018.

Disclosure: We showed Angelina in our Rezzed room in 2018.

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Alice O'Connor

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Alice is likely in the sea.

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