Max Kreminski

mkreminski@scu.edu

mkremins.github.io

Education

2017-2022
University of California, Santa Cruz
Ph.D. in Computational Media
Thesis: Narrative Instruments: AI-Based Playable Media for Storytelling
M.S. in Computational Media
Thesis: Designing to Support Authorship Play in Emergent Narrative Games
2013-2017
University of Southern California
B.A. in Interactive Entertainment
Minor in Game User Research

Professorial Positions

Since 2022
Santa Clara University
Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
Faculty Scholar, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Honors and Awards

2022
Best Student Paper Honorable Mention [C21], ICIDS 2022
2022
Best Artifact [C20], AIIDE 2022
2022
Resident, Stochastic Labs
2021
Best Short Paper Honorable Mentions [C17, C18], ICIDS 2021
2021
Best Paper, Game Criticism and Analysis Track [C13], FDG 2021
2021
Best Game or Demo [PD3], FDG 2021
2021
Second Place, Generative Design in Minecraft (GDMC) AI Settlement Generation Competition
2020
Best Reviewer, ICIDS 2020
Awarded to top 14% of reviewers.
2020
Exceptional Paper [C9], FDG 2020
Awarded to top 22% of papers.
2019
Best Paper Honorable Mention [C4], FDG 2019
Awarded to top 17% of full papers.

Publications

Book Chapters

[B2]
Authoring for Story Sifters
Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas
In The Authoring Problem: Challenges in Supporting Authoring for Interactive Digital Narratives. Springer, 2022 (in press).
[B1]
Academical: A Choice-Based Interactive Storytelling Game for Enhancing Moral Reasoning, Knowledge, and Attitudes in Responsible Conduct of Research
Katelyn M. Grasse, Edward F. Melcer, Max Kreminski, Nick Junius, James Ryan, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
In Games and Narrative: Theory and Practice. Springer, 2022.

Journal Articles

[J1]
Using Self-Determination Theory to Explore Enjoyment of Educational Interactive Narrative Games: A Case Study of Academical
Katelyn M. Grasse, Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas, Edward F. Melcer
Frontiers in Virtual Reality, 2022.

Conference Papers

[C22]
Select the Unexpected: A Statistical Heuristic for Story Sifting
Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas
ICIDS 2022.
[C21]
Constructing a Catbox: Story Volume Poetics in Umineko no Naku Koro ni
Isaac Karth, Nic Junius, Max Kreminski
ICIDS 2022. Best student paper honorable mention.
[C20]
Loose Ends: A Mixed-Initiative Creative Interface for Playful Storytelling
Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas
AIIDE 2022. 62% acceptance rate (combined rate for oral + poster presentations). Best artifact.
[C19]
A Coauthorship-Centric History of Interactive Emergent Narrative
Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas
ICIDS 2021. 25% acceptance rate.
[C18]
Toward Narrative Instruments
Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas
ICIDS 2021. Best short paper honorable mention (top 15%).
[C17]
Emergent Narrative and Reparative Play
Jason Grinblat, Cat Manning, Max Kreminski
ICIDS 2021. Best short paper honorable mention (top 15%).
[C16]
Winnow: A Domain-Specific Language for Incremental Story Sifting
Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Michael Mateas
AIIDE 2021. 50% acceptance rate (combined rate for oral + poster presentations).
[C15]
Reflective Creators
Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas
ICCC 2021. 56% acceptance rate (combined rate for oral + poster presentations).
[C14]
A Genre-Specific Game Description Language for Game Boy RPGs
Tamara Duplantis, Isaac Karth, Max Kreminski, Adam M. Smith, Michael Mateas
CoG 2021. 49% acceptance rate.
[C13]
There Is No Escape: Theatricality in Hades
Nick Junius, Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas
FDG 2021. 38% acceptance rate. Best paper, Game Criticism and Analysis track (top 6%).
[C12]
Improving Undergraduate Attitudes Towards Responsible Conduct of Research Through an Interactive Storytelling Game
Katelyn M. Grasse, Edward F. Melcer, Max Kreminski, Nick Junius, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
CHI LBW 2021. 39% acceptance rate.
[C11]
Germinate: A Mixed-Initiative Casual Creator for Rhetorical Games
Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Joseph C. Osborn, Adam Summerville, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
AIIDE 2020. 25% acceptance rate.
[C10]
Why Are We Like This?: The AI Architecture of a Co-Creative Storytelling Game
Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
FDG 2020. 57% acceptance rate (short + late-breaking papers).
[C9]
Getting Academical: A Choice-Based Interactive Storytelling Game for Teaching Responsible Conduct of Research
Edward F. Melcer, Katelyn M. Grasse, James Ryan, Nick Junius, Max Kreminski, Dietrich Squinkifer, Brent Hill, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
FDG 2020. 36% acceptance rate. Exceptional paper (top 14%).
[C8]
Why Are We Like This?: Exploring Writing Mechanics for an AI-Augmented Storytelling Game
Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
ELO 2020.
[C7]
Teaching Responsible Conduct of Research Through an Interactive Storytelling Game
Edward F. Melcer, James Ryan, Nick Junius, Max Kreminski, Dietrich Squinkifer, Brent Hill, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
CHI LBW 2020. 42% acceptance rate.
[C6]
Felt: A Simple Story Sifter
Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
ICIDS 2019. 30% acceptance rate.
[C5]
Evaluating AI-Based Games Through Retellings
Max Kreminski, Ben Samuel, Edward Melcer, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
AIIDE 2019. 25% acceptance rate.
[C4]
StoryAssembler: An Engine for Generating Dynamic Choice-Driven Narratives
Jacob Garbe, Max Kreminski, Ben Samuel, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas
FDG 2019. 37% acceptance rate. Best paper honorable mention (top 4%).
[C3]
Sketching a Map of the Storylets Design Space
Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
ICIDS 2018.
[C2]
Immersive Design Fiction: Using VR to Prototype Speculative Interfaces and Interaction Rituals within a Virtual Storyworld
Joshua McVeigh-Schultz, Max Kreminski, Keshav Prasad, Perry Hoberman, Scott S. Fisher
DIS 2018. 22% acceptance rate.
[C1]

Workshop Papers

[W13]
[W12]
[W11]
Reevaluating the Role of Relatedness in Single-Player Roleplaying Games
Katelyn M. Grasse, Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas, Edward F. Melcer
SDT-HCI 2022.
[W10]
Evaluating Mixed-Initiative Creative Interfaces via Expressive Range Coverage Analysis
Max Kreminski, Isaac Karth, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
HAI-GEN 2022.
[W9]
[W8]
AgentCraft: An Agent-Based Minecraft Settlement Generator
Ari Iramanesh, Max Kreminski
EXAG 2021.
[W7]
Social Superpowers in Social VR: Beyond Approximation of Face-to-face
Joshua McVeigh-Schultz, Anya Osborne, Max Kreminski, Sean Fernandes, Sabrina Fielder, Victor Li, Tym Lang, Katherine Isbister
SocialVR 2021.
[W6]
Toward Example-Driven Program Synthesis of Story Sifting Patterns
Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas
INT 2020.
[W5]
Tabletop Roleplaying Games as Procedural Content Generators
Matthew Guzdial, Devi Acharya, Max Kreminski, Michael Cook, Mirjam Eladhari, Antonios Liapis, Anne Sullivan
PCG 2020.
[W4]
Generative Games as Storytelling Partners
Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
UX of AI 2019.
[W3]
Cozy Mystery Construction Kit: Prototyping Toward an AI-Assisted Collaborative Storytelling Mystery Game
Max Kreminski, Devi Acharya, Nick Junius, Elisabeth Oliver, Kate Compton, Melanie Dickinson, Cyril Focht, Stacey Mason, Stella Mazeika, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
PCG 2019.
[W2]
Generators that Read
Max Kreminski, Isaac Karth, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
PCG 2019.
[W1]
Gardening Games: An Alternative Philosophy of PCG in Games
Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin
PCG 2018.

Playable Experiences and Demos

[PD6]
A Demonstration of Loose Ends, a Mixed-Initiative Narrative Instrument
Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas
ICIDS 2022.
[PD5]
Conversation Balance: A Shared VR Visualization to Support Turn-taking in Meetings
Jialang Victor Li, Max Kreminski, Sean M. Fernandes, Anya Osborne, Joshua McVeigh-Schultz, Katherine Isbister
CHI Interactivity 2022.
[PD4]
A Demonstration of Blabrecs, an AI-Based Wordgame
Max Kreminski, Isaac Karth
AIIDE 2021.
[PD3]
Generating Playable RPG ROMs for the Game Boy
Isaac Karth, Tamara Duplantis, Max Kreminski, Sachita Kashyap, Vijaya Kukutla, Aaron Lo, Anika Mittal, Harvin Park, Adam M. Smith
FDG 2021. Best game or demo (top 16%).
[PD2]
Playable Experiences at the 16th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment
Melanie Dickinson, Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Sabine Wieluch
AIIDE 2020.
[PD1]

Doctoral Consortia

[DC1]

External Fundraising

Under Review

2023-2026
Emerging Technology Support for Sustainable Practices and Waste Management Learning. NSF RETTL. $848,742. Co-PI (with PI Sharon Hsiao, co-PI David Jeong).

In Progress

* Not named as awardee due to graduate student status at time of proposal submission.

2022-2025
Innovating Online Ethics Training Using a Dynamic Narrative Learning Environment. NSF RETTL. $849,964. Proposal coauthor (with PI Edward Melcer, co-PI Michael Mateas, co-PI Noah Wardrip-Fruin).*
2020-2023
CHS: Small: Collaborative Research: Social Virtual Reality Technology to Improve Networked Meetings. NSF CHS. $373,142. Proposal coauthor and supported PhD student (with PI Katherine Isbister).*

Completed

Oct 2019
AIIDE 2019 Travel Grant. AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE). $1,900.

Internal Fundraising

In Progress

2023
Investigating Homogenization of Imagination by Generative AI Models. Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Hackworth Faculty Research Grant. $5,000. PI.
2022-2023
A Neurosymbolic Approach to Creativity Support for Narrative Writing. SCU University Research Grant. $5,000. PI.

Completed

Mar 2022
Graduate Dean’s Research Travel Grant. UCSC Division of Graduate Studies. $400.
Su2021
Investigating Instrumental Uses of Interactive Narrative Systems. UCSC Computational Media Department. $8,973. PI.
2017-2018
University of California Chancellor’s Fellowship. University of California. $24,000 stipend plus one year of full tuition remission (F2017-Sp2018).

Invited Talks and Panels

2022
Creativity Support via Story Sifting. School of Arts, Media and Engineering, Arizona State University, 2022.
Creativity Support via Story Sifting. Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2022.
Creativity Support via Story Sifting. Department of Computational Arts, York University, 2022.
Narrative Instruments and Story Sifting. Fable Studio, 2022.
Creativity Support via Story Sifting. Khoury College of Computer Sciences, Northeastern University, 2022.
Creativity Support via Story Sifting. School of Interactive Games and Media, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2022.
Creativity Support via Story Sifting. Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Santa Clara University, 2022.
Creativity Support via Story Sifting. Department of Computer Graphics Technology, Purdue University, 2022.
2021
Creativity Support via Story Sifting. Computer Science Colloquium Series, University of New Orleans, 2021.
Story Sifting. Guest lecture, CS 660: Topics in Artificial Intelligence: Interactive Narrative (Prof. Stephen Ware), University of Kentucky, 2021.
Toward Narrative Instruments. Association for Research in Digital Interactive Narratives (ARDIN), 2021.
2020
Panelist, Murder Mysteries as a Grand Challenge in Computational Storytelling. AIIDE Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies (INT), 2020.
Synthesizing Story Sifters. Roguelike Celebration, 2020.
Panelist, Games as Story Generators. Foundations of Digital Games (FDG), 2020.
AI Support for Player Storytelling in Digital Games. Animal Crossing AI Workshop (ACAI), 2020.
2019
Approachable Authoring Tools for Simulation-Driven Interactive Storyworlds. UCSC Center for Research in Open Source Software (CROSS), 2019.
Panelist, Changes over the last 10 years in PCG research and practice. FDG Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (PCG), 2019.
Exploring Poemspace Through Procedural Erasure. Computational Poetry Workshop, 2019.
Procedural Narrative Design with Parametrized Storylets. Tech Toolbox microtalks, Game Developers Conference (GDC), 2019.
Procedural Narrative Design with Parametrized Storylets. Experimental AI for Games microtalks, Game Developers Conference (GDC), 2019.
2018
Gardening as a Mode of Play. Roguelike Celebration, 2018.
Gardening as a Mode of Play. Queerness and Games Conference (QGCon), 2018.
2017

Art Exhibitions

2020
Why Are We Like This? Melanie Dickinson, Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. Digital game. “(un)continuity” (juried group exhibition). Electronic Literature Organization (ELO). Orlando, Florida. Jul. 16-19, 2020.
2018
Epitaph. Max Kreminski. Digital game. “QGCon 2018 Arcade” (juried group exhibition). Queerness and Games Conference (QGCon). Montreal, Quebec. Sep. 28-30, 2018.

Teaching

Santa Clara University

Sp2023
COEN 266 Artificial Intelligence
W2023
W2023
COEN 174 Software Engineering
F2022
COEN 174 Software Engineering

University of California, Santa Cruz (as Instructor)

Su2021
CMPM 148 Interactive Storytelling
W2021
CMPM 171 Game Design Studio II

University of California, Santa Cruz (as Teaching Assistant)

Sp2022
CMPM 172 Game Design Studio III
W2022
CMPM 171 Game Design Studio II
Sp2020
CMPM 172 Game Design Studio III
W2020
CMPM 171 Game Design Studio II
F2019
CMPM 170 Game Design Studio I
Su2019
CMPM 147 Generative Design
W2019
CMPM 80K Foundations of Video Game Design
F2018
CMPM 176 Game Systems
Su2018
CMPM 80K Foundations of Video Game Design

Mentoring and Advising

Undergraduate Students

2022
James Dameris; Rosie Hernandez. Year-long senior design project: an open-source toolkit for interactive drama authoring inspired by the Versu framework.
Nolan Anderson. Year-long senior honors thesis project.
2021
Ari Iramanesh. Student-led independent study project: AgentCraft, an entry for the Generative Design in Minecraft (GDMC) AI Settlement Generation Competition. Resulted in a student-authored publication [W8].
Second place (top 10%) in the 2021 GDMC competition.
2020
Camille Miller. Student-led independent study project: Paper Hearts, an approachable digital game creation tool inspired by queer games and flatgames.
2019
Anthony Medina; Katie Moses. Students assisted with data collection and coding for my AIIDE 2019 paper, “Evaluating AI-Based Games Through Retellings” [C5].

High School Students (via the UCSC Science Internship Program)

2019
Megna Anand; Anish Kashyap; Daniel Man; Akhil Vemuri. Students contributed to the development of Diarytown, an AI-based game described as a case study in my ICIDS 2019 paper, “Felt: A Simple Story Sifter” [C6].

Other Positions

Since 2020
Independent consulting. Clients include Zynga’s Applied AI team and Fable Studio.
2016-2017
Undergraduate Research Associate, USC Mobile & Environmental Media Lab. Design, rapid prototyping, and development of VR and AR experiences with Unity, C#, and SteamVR.
2015-2017
Junior User Researcher, User Behavioristics. User research consulting; qualitative and quantitative analysis of user behavior in mobile and VR games and apps.
2016
Undergraduate Research Associate, USC Game Innovation Lab. Python scripting and data analysis to provide insights on player behavior in Mission: Admission, an educational game about college admissions for high school students.

Service

Conference Organization

Since 2021
Steering Committee Member, AIIDE Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (EXAG)
2022
Area Co-Chair, Tools and Systems, International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS)
2021
Co-Organizer, Queer in AI Social, AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE)
2020
Publicity Co-Chair, AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE)
2020
Co-Organizer, AIIDE Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (EXAG)
2020
Co-Organizer, ICCC Workshop on Casual Creators (CasCre)
2019
Demonstrations Chair, International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS)
2019
Co-Organizer, AIIDE Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (EXAG)

Reviewing and Program Committee Membership

Journals
IEEE Transactions on Games (ToG)
Entertainment Computing (EntCom)
Conferences
ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)
AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY)
AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE)
International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS)
International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG)
IEEE Conference on Games (CoG)
International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC)
International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Music, Sound, Art and Design (EvoMUSART)
IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (SSCI)
Workshops
FDG Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (PCG)
AIIDE Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (EXAG)
AIIDE Workshop on Programming Languages and Interactive Entertainment (PLIE)
Workshop on Casual Creators (CasCre)
ICSE Workshop on Games and Software Engineering (GAS)

Departmental Service

2019-2020
Community Management Assistant, UCSC Computational Media Department. Co-organized events and programs to build graduate student community.

Selected Media Coverage

2023
2022
2021
“How the Grid Kid Became King of the Online Spelling Bee.” Spectacular Vernacular (Slate podcast), August 2021.
“Why you should trust reindeer to pick stocks over politicians” (Feedback column). New Scientist, January 2021.
2020
“17: Words of the Week of the Year 2020.” Because Language, December 2020.
2019
“Storylets: You Want Them.” Emily Short’s Interactive Storytelling, November 2019.
“Survey of Storylets-based Design.” Emily Short’s Interactive Storytelling, January 2019.
2017
“IF Only: Apocalypse Eve.” Rock Paper Shotgun, January 2017.