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Matthew Bedder
M. Bedder

IGGI - Research Skills

Friday 31th of October, 2014

So here we go.

The first (ever) formal taught IGGI module is about research skills (RIGI, under the UoY module naming convention) taught by Paul Cairns. It wasn't quite what I expected: I was hoping for a nice couple of weeks learning formal methods for chasing down research, critically assessing papers, learning the conventions required to write papers for journals, all that jazz. What I got instead was a module about quantitative and qualitative studies and stats.

So everyone has the areas of research that they are interested in. Joe Cutting, for example, is looking into what motivates people to play self-paced games. David Gundry is looking into using games as a method for assessing language development. Presumably this module will therefore be directly useful for them.

By comparison it looks incredibly unlikely that I'll actually perform any experiments with participants in the course of my research: my research topic is really looking into how conventional AI techniques can be adapted and extended so they are applicable for difficult games, and therefore is only indirectly related to players' experiences.

But in some respects it's nice to get a bit more context for the different sort of research going on in IGGI. Without this module I would have happily gone on my way ignoring the whole idea of testing on players. Instead I was forced got to perform a study looking at players' perceptions of an AI implementation's intelligence, I got to see some of the research that the rest of the office will be performing, and still learned some stats that could be useful for assessing other people's work (if not to use directly in my own).

Oh, and I got to make a small game over the weekend to use for testing. It's partially based off Magma Fortress's "Hoplite" which you should all go out and play.