February 24, 2007

Weekend Restaurant, No Reservations Required, BYOB

by Andrew Stern · , 1:35 am

Jeff Orkin, experienced industry developer cum grad student — a transition I wish more developers would make! — is building an AI-based interactive narrative of some sort called The Restaurant Game, with a pretty cool implementation method:

The Restaurant Game is a research project at the MIT Media Lab that will algorithmically combine the gameplay experiences of thousands of players to create a new game. In a few months, we will apply machine learning algorithms to data collected through the multiplayer Restaurant Game, and produce a new single-player game that we will enter into the 2008 Independent Games Festival. Everyone who plays The Restaurant Game will be credited as a Game Designer. It’s never been easier to earn Game Designer credentials!

Jeff needs your help: throughout this weekend, he’s asking players to play his system, which will match you up with other human players, so he can gather data for the single player version. Impressive. He’s asking that you try at the top of the hour (any hour, e.g. 5pm in your time zone), to make sure you find other participating players.

Read a bit more on his group blog.

(BYOB = Bring Your Own Broadband)

6 Responses to “Weekend Restaurant, No Reservations Required, BYOB”

  1. scott amundson Says:

    That’s phat!

    Anyone that likes that will like…


    Catch it!

  2. Jeff Orkin Says:

    Thanks for posting this Andrew. I’ve been a fan of Facade for a long time — you will undoubtably see its influence in the interface to The Restaurant Game.

  3. andrew Says:

    We briefly crossed paths and press coverage at AIIDE05 but never got a chance to chat. I didn’t realize you were joining the Media Lab, that’s awesome.

    One my ex-collaborators on Petz, Ben Resner, did a similar transition from industry to academia — he was one of Bruce Blumberg’s students, about 5 years ago. Now he’s CTO at a Media Lab spinoff, Ambient Devices, in Cambridge.

  4. Snarkmarket Says:

    The Restaurant Game

    Another awesome idea passed along by Grand Text Auto: The MIT Media Lab has created a lightweight multiplayer restaurant simulation. You can play as a waitron or as a diner, and all your interactions with other players will be recorded…

  5. andrew Says:

    I tried it, it was interesting. I played a waitress.

    I think I’ll give bigger tips when I eat out from now on.

  6. andrew Says:

    From Jeff:

    The Restaurant v1.6 is now available, which includes the new Restaurant Vacancy Notifier Desktop Widget!

    Join us in our final server test on WEDNESAY Feb 28 at 9pm EST. For the first time, we will simultaneously fill all 20 servers.

    Download v1.6 here:

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