Finishing the PhD and picking up new Work


  • Finished the PhD;
  • picked up new work at the Metamakers Institute in Falmouth;
  • working on iOS app and researching Computational Creativity trying to work on side-projects

I finished my PhD on building robust game AI in May 2016 with minor typographical corrections (I had tons of help proof reading, a bumpy but super interesting ride, hundreds of coffee's and a decent grammar-/spell-checking tool Grammarly) at the Uni of Bath. This included the time I spent on corrections as well. My examination was actually in March. In March, after three hours with Steven Payne and Daniela Romano and a super interesting discussion on the different aspects of my research/PhD, I was asked to leave the room. Nervously waiting outside, I talked to my supervisor and other staff members I met just bridging the time and reducing myself to a nervous jitter.

*This period is super hazy to me now.*

Getting back into the room, I was told that I wrote a decent piece and defended my approach well but should have stopped way before the end of the over 250pages. Oh well, what is done is done and I personally find the last two projects I did super interesting.

Initially, when I was properly starting to write up, I decided not to apply for jobs and concentrate entirely on the write-up. However, Joanna Bryson (my supervisor) send me a job Ad for a research fellow at Falmouth University (never had heard of it before). The Ad was centred around most of the things I care for (research-wise), game AI, software development, a research group of size greater than one and generative game design (systems that build games that player's find "interesting").

The job interview went well and I was offered the job some time after that but went back to writing. Now, in November 2016, I am living in Cornwall, 10 minutes from the Sea.

When I said yes, I was not really aware that Falmouth/Cornwall is such a remote place

*I am not complaining, just stating*

but the place is remote and you need a car or some time to travel around. It is a beautiful place, if you like the Sea and Nature, which I do, but it is thinly populated with underwhelming public transport. The Uni is really new build with EU money and originated from an Arts college.

My work, since I started, has mostly been researching and developing small components for our new game design app, NoSecondChance, which gets its own blog post soon. In Bath, I was mostly working alone on my research but now I joined a group working on similar topics. Working in a group feels great, but I still have tons of things to catch up on. I am looking forward to the next couple of month and I hope I can pick up again a couple of projects such as StarCraft or the Stealth game I was working on both using my posh-sharp system and hopefully both fully using the GP system I am still working on. I am also working on a side project not related to Bath or Falmouth which I cannot talk about, yet, but want to as I think it is a great concept and has a good potential.

On Tuesday the 6th of Dec, I will be officially graduating in Bath which should give a comforting conclusion to my PhD.

... I did not turn crazy in the end, even though I was at some point sure I would ... :-)

Swen over and out...

BTW: If you read this far and like games have a look at "The Last Station". It is a great pixel-art crawler following the idea of Snow Piercer and other post-apocalyptic themes with a nifty story and some really fun gameplay.

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