Vanilla Noir has relocated. We moved out of Jena, even out of Germany and are now based in the lovely city of York in the United Kingdom. Yes, I know, very exciting. Nice old city, lots of vikings, and the beautiful minster. But for us, York offers the unique possibility to expand our work by diving deeper into the world of human-computer interactions and video game research.
"The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI) is the world's largest PhD research programme aimed at games." - The IGGI website The IGGI program is a collaborative program betwen very high ranking universities in the UK and it is all about games. Research topics of interest deal with game artificial intelligence, with creating and evaluating serious games, with computational creativity, and with all things game design. People from various backgrounds work on their PhDs within this program and their research covers a wide range of topics. Why do people play games? How can we make better game agents? What's the role of music? How do we design games to best promote health and well-being? It is such a great program, so we are very happy to announce that we are now part of this colourful group of video game researchers.
Right now, it may be a bit too early to talk about our research in detail. We will both be involved in different projects and will create new gaming opportunities based on psychological findings and find out more about the effects of gaming. It is our aim to work towards more and better purposeful games and the IGGI program gives us the perfect opportunity for that. Over the next few years, we will certainly learn a lot and shape what Vanilla Noir can and will be.
So stay tuned for new and exciting news on video game research and more insights about our ever evolving grasp on game design. New games are in development with our social game Lia being released hopefully soon. It is a game that heavily encourages social interactions and it is very important for us to only release it when the situation has become safe enough to do so. If you are interested in gaming research, or even consider a PhD in the field yourself - take a look at the IGGI page. Applications for programs starting 2021 will be open later this year, but it is never too early to prepare.
This is a new starting point for Vanilla Noir and if you want to accompany us on this journey, have a look at our Twitter or Instagram accounts. We are very open to any kind of contact, be it about research, just gaming, or something completely unrelated.
Written by Maximilian Croissant