Visiting UC Santa Cruz
I have spent the last week since GDC visitng Michael Mateas and Noah Wardrip-Fruin in the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UCSC. I am considering attending UCSC as a student in the DANM Master of Fine Arts program, and I felt quite at home. The UCSC campus is huge and mostly open land. Most of the buildings are hidden up above the tree-line among the glorious redwoods.
Noah is going to be leading the “Playable Media” strand of the MFA which will focus on creative ways of connecting story and play, something which games have fairly poor at doing so far. The MFA program would be a great opportunity to take some of the existing AI and theory and make a larger scale work that implements and exhibits them. This is something that we do not often get the chance to do in research circles. Mostly you prototype an idea and one or two simple examples as test cases and then move on. There is little time for doing full-scale development and not much funding or academic recognition for doing so.
I will have to decide soon whether I take the place I have been offered in this program. Money is the only thing that holds me back.