To That Sect submitted during December’s Ludum Dare online game jam, is “about a disgruntled child,” writes ANGELINA.
Ever wondered what sort of games a computer would make if we let it? If you’re a judge at the Ludum Dare online game jam, you’ve just recently found out. ANGELINA, a computer program entered a game called “To That Sect” into the contest which it created entirely on its own. In the game’s description, also written entirely by the program, To That Sect is described as a game “about a disgruntled child. A Founder.”
The game is only one level long and requires the player to collect tiny, floating objects, while ominous statues watch and creepy music plays in the background. “Using Google and a tool called Metaphor Magnet, I discovered that people feel charmed by Founder sometimes,” wrote Angelina. “So I chose a unnerving piece of music from Kevin Macleod’s Incompetech website to complement the game’s mood.”
Like other games in the jam, To That Sect was created around the theme of “You Only Get One,” leaving it up to the designers to interpret that statement. ANGELINA chose to incorporate this by tasking players with only collecting certain objects in the environment. ANGELINA was designed by British developer Mike Cook, as a test of creativity in artificial intelligences. ANGELINA has actually been designing games for some time, but this is the first one has been entered into a contest.
Cook admitted to site New Scientist that he was concerned when he saw the chosen theme pop up at the recent jam. ANGELINA’S choice of “Founder” as the main character had to do with its association with the word “one,” as in “first,” in the stated theme. That choice ended up being “way too general,” Cook said. Most of the program’s game was created by going through a database of metaphors and then using those to select colors, objects and music.
Kotaku has a play-through of To That Sect that explores the game’s eerie, computer-created dreamscape. If you want to try out the game for yourself, you can try it here.