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What I Am Doing With Myself


Monc has been very quiet for a while now. Whaddaya mean, you couldn't tell the difference? Anyway, I thought I'd post about what my life's like right now, because someone might find it interesting.

I am currently doing a PhD in Interactive Digital Storytelling. I won't go into technical details in this post (although I'd be happy to share; I just don't want to make this post confusing or boring), but the short version is that I'm working on Emergent Narrative, in which the story arises from the autonomous actions and interactions of AI characters. The trouble is, the AI we're using is very good at representing people, but not so good at representing characters: They act pretty believably, and can react to user interactions pretty agilely, but they have absolutely no concern about whether or not what they're doing is dramatically interesting. That's where my work comes in. To put it in RP terms, the AI agents we have right now are purely IC, and I'm working to make them think in OOC terms about their collaboration on the story, as well. It's an idea I got from when I used to RP with a bunch of great people in this MMO I played.

I don't want to get all sentimental, but if it weren't for Assembly, I probably wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now. And I *static* love what I'm doing. So I wanted to say thanks. I suppose a lot of the people who should be thanked don't come round here any more, so if anyone reading this is still in touch with them, please pass it on.

(I have to say that a by-product of my research is some pretty-interesting-if-I-do-say-so-myself thoughts about roleplaying in general, which I may share if I can find the time to write them down.)

I'm kind of back in AO, now, but my free time is limited (as you might expect) and, since I'm a PhD student, I actually go into uni during the day (unlike my undergrad habit of just turning up when I felt like it ;) ) so I'm limited to a British schedule - no more staying up all night for me. I was a bit burned out on the TL5 grind, but with dailies, I should be TL6 in about a week or two, even with limited free time, so that helps. The only problem is that I returned because I - completely by chance - remembered why I loved the game, and I just have to hope that other people remember, too.


Hey guy! you have been busy. PhD!? Good lord. Thing have been quiet on this end. Assembly is here and there, and mostly people do get the emails or just feel nostalgic and drop in. We are still not very active. Xee and I played for a few months over the spring, summer, and fall and are kind of taking a break I guess at the time.

We've been looking at a Cabal in TSW too... AO is still very dear to us. I imagine we'll come back in just the same and check things out again.

It's surreal to think we've impacted your life in such a positive way... it feels damn good to be honest. I'm really glad to hear things are going well for you.

Y'know, the fact that I remember people even if they're quiet probably means that "quiet" and "interesting" are not mutually exclusive :P That's wonderful news! I've seen other games but I haven't found roleplay partners anywhere near the ones I found on AO, especially in Assembly. I think we had a gold nugget here :)

Glad to see it led you to do something you "f'ing" love *wink* That's positively priceless. (They offer PhD in digital storytelling? o_O) Infuse in AI a sense of what is "interesting" sounds pretty challenging - it's a very subjective notion, and meta-thinking is not easy to stack on top of IC thinking. I'm already amazed that you guys can make AI react plausibly in IC situations though!

I don't know if I'm still in your contacts on Skype (you're still on mine - Puppies!), but I'm sending you my Steam username in PM so you can ping me when you find some playtime :)  I have a few alts, and one at TL5 namely, so we could run along :)

Take care, good luck with this  and chime in when you can :)


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