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AI game designer creates Ludum Dare entry To That Sect

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Ludum Dare 28 entry To That Sect is odd, unsettling and, most importantly of all, made by an artificial intelligence game designer called Angelina.

The creation of PhD researcher Mike Cook, Angelina crafts games built on simple concepts. When it came to Ludum Dare 28's theme of "You Only Get One," Angelina developed a game about a disgruntled child, or a founder.

"The game only has one level, and the objective is to reach the exit (the yellow cylinder)," the description, which was written by Angelina, reads. "Along the way, you must avoid the Tomb as they kill you, and collect the Ship.

"I use some sound effects from FreeSound, like the sound of Ship. Using Google and a tool called Metaphor Magnet, I discovered that people feel charmed by Founder sometimes. So I chose a unnerving piece of music from Kevin Macleod's Incompetech website to complement the game's mood."

According to Cook, the description is based off a template, but specifics about "the music and so on are all genuine." Speaking with NewScientist, Cook explained that Angelina approached the game jam by first separating a key noun in the aforementioned phrase and searching an online database for associated words and images.

"It chose ‘founder' — related to ‘one' in the sense of being the first or the originator," Cook said.

After identifying its interpretation, Angelina then built concepts within the game by searching for metaphors. This resulted in the game's use of tombs and its "disgruntled child."

For more on the game, check out the full interview on NewScientist. To That Sect is available as a downloadable title or in your browser.