Maltco Lotteries and Institute of Digital Games partner to support the next generation of game researchers and game designers in Malta

By April 13, 2018 No Comments

Maltco Lotteries and the Institute of Digital Games – University of Malta will be presenting the outcomes of their two-year agreement made to increase the opportunities of students in the field of digital games in a press conference to be held the 18th April at 18h30 at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta.

The completed projects will be presented by Prof. Georgios N. Yannakakis, Director of the Institute of Digital Games – University of Malta whilst the two upcoming projects falling under the agreement will also be announced. The projects were made possible due to a Maltco research grant of € 20,000 to promote research and innovation in digital games which allows researchers at the IDG to hire students or alumni to an undertake a project in their area of expertise. Projects are selected by the Director of the Institute of Digital Games, in consultation with the faculty, on the basis of proposals submitted by researchers. Each semester the most interesting proposals are implemented with the support of the Maltco research grant.

The first project to be completed entitled “Something Something Soup Something” was designed by Dr Stefano Gualeni with the support of two of the Institute’s Master students: Isabelle Kniestedt and Johnathan Harrington. The game was an innovative sortie into the possibilities of a “game as interactive thought experiment” addressing the unreliability and relativity of language and our methods of communication. The game is meant to demonstrate through the gameplay that despite our best efforts for precision in communication we are still faced with ultimately indefinite, shifting concepts. The project was well-received by the video game community even featuring on Kotaku.com, one of the most prominent international gaming websites.

The second selected project “The New Born World” is a story-telling game developed as tablet application. The game will be one of the first examples of hybrid board game application to be used in conjunction with social game play and is designed by Dr Antonios Liapis with the support of one master’s student, Konstantinos Sfikas and one alumnus, Rebecca Portelli. The game also builds on the One Tablet Per Child initiative started by the Maltese government as it is a storytelling game encouraging both literacy and semantic creativity. Dr Liapis intends to further examine the experience of human and computer co-creation, his particular area of expertise, through the designed game.

During this press conference, another two new projects, one related to machine learning led by Prof. Yannakakis, and one related to immersion and story by Prof. Calleja, will also be announced.

Present for this event will be; Prof. Alfred Vella, the Rector for the University of Malta, Prof Georgios N. Yannakakis, Director Institute of Digital Games – University of Malta, Mr. Vasileios Kasiotakis, Chief Executive Officer – Maltco Lotteries Limited, Dr Panagiotis Koustenis, Games and Statistics Manager – INTRALOT, and also the creators of the two complete funded research Dr. Stefano Gualeni and Dr Antonios Liapis. Personnel from both the Institute of Digital Games and from Maltco Lotteries will also attend.

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