Writing a Dissertation 15 Minutes a Day

I’ve started to read this awesome book sharing the title of this blog post… It’s less focused on Dissertation crunching, as the title might suggest, and more on creating a healthy writing attitude.  That’s where this blog starts!  An attempt at free-writing, starting at 10 minutes a day, to lay my thoughts and musings down.

Today during our pod meeting, I brought up combining CiF and GrailGM into a new system, as Grail NEEDS CiF and doesn’t appear to need a layer on top of it. I’ve had a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head, tugging between how much this new version of CiF Ben and I are working on is a generic tool for other people and other systems, and how much it is for our personal use on our projects other people be damned.  

The pull to organize systems into polished products is a strong one.  It’s a clear path, a nice trajectory, with concrete goals and a pretty outcome. However, how much of that is making new knowledge as an academic should? How much of the final product would even be used by other people?  Even cleaned up, it may just be too complicated, too robust to just throw at someone and expect them to make something useful out of it. Do I want to make my phd career about authoring tools and solving that beast of a question: how to make a user-friendly authoring tool for complicated AI systems?  Not really.

What do I really want to get out of it? My mind seems to change every month or so about what I want to do.  October was about the failed NSF proposal on the effective mediation chat bot.  November was user studies and the intersection of qualitative research techniques and natural language understanding. January-March saw a split desire between procedural crochet patterns and non-text non-combat rogue-like gameplay.  Now I seem to be on a pet game kick.

Assuming I stick on the pet game kick, what do I want to do with THAT? I love pet games. I lose myself in them and enjoy them far more than most other games on a purely mechanical level.  But they have such a terrible stigmatism, generally considered for babies, for “stupid” women gamers…  Even I don’t want to buy the pet game titles out there now. However, the Chao minigame in Sonic Adventure I and II, Monster Rancher titles… Those I could get behind. What do they have that the others don’t?

Regardless, I want pets as intelligent agents. I want robust pet interactions beyond how they have been distilled in Facebook games. Click to feed. Click to pet. Click to breed. Click to walk. Click to play. Come back in an hour when the activities have finished. Repeat. And don’t forget to share with your neighbors!  >.>

It would be great if I could integrate… oh, what was it called? Extra Credits talked about it in a recent video. Trans-Gaming?  Using multiple minigames (as small games, not generally regarded minigames like in Mario Party. Need new terminology…) that connect and effect each other.  I farm in a Harvest Moon style game, and that effects what food I can eat as I’m dungeon crawling.  Depth of dungeon crawling unlocks more materials to sell as parts.  Parts determine crafting of armor and farming tools.  Just a quick top-of-my-head example, but I want it to be complicated and intermingled on all levels of interaction.  

Pets abound in all parts of the system, so that the player can pick their flavor of game and connect with others, rather than as a MMO-sized economy.  Hook up with yourself, or other friends… or an AI?  Like Pokemon, only right now Pokemon games are not interconnected… and the main games are all about competition and fighting.  Pokemon Cooking Mama?  Pokemon Harvest Moon?  Pokemon Recettear? Those need their place in the economy too.

Hmm… I think I went over 10 minutes today. Oh well!


About robbierabbit

As of the making of this account, a 1st year phd student in computer science with a focus in computer games and intelligent agents.
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