Max Kreminski

mkremins@ucsc.edu

mkremins.github.io

Education

2017-now
Ph.D. in Computational Media (expected Spring 2022)
University of California, Santa Cruz
Advisors: Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas
2020
M.S. in Computational Media
University of California, Santa Cruz
Thesis: Designing to Support Authorship Play in Emergent Narrative Games
2013-2017
B.A. in Interactive Entertainment
University of Southern California
Minor in Game User Research

Honors, Awards, Grants and Fellowships

2021
Best Paper, Game Criticism and Analysis Track [C13], Foundations of Digital Games (FDG)
For paper [C13].
2021
Best Game or Demo [PD3], Foundations of Digital Games (FDG)
For paper [PD3].
2021
Second Place, Generative Design in Minecraft (GDMC) AI Settlement Generation Competition
2021
Summer Research Grant, UCSC Computational Media Department
Funds one quarter of stipend ($9,000). Competitively awarded on the basis of a written research proposal.
2020
Best Reviewer, International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS)
Awarded to top 14% of reviewers.
2020
Exceptional Paper [C9], Foundations of Digital Games (FDG)
For paper [C9]. Awarded to top 22% of papers.
2019
Travel Grant, AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE)
Fully funds travel to AIIDE ($1,200).
2019
Best Paper Honorable Mention [C4], Foundations of Digital Games (FDG)
For paper [C4]. Awarded to top 17% of full papers.
2017-2018
University of California Chancellor’s Fellowship
Competitively awarded to first-year UC grad students. Funds one year of stipend ($24,000) plus tuition and fees.

Publications

Book Chapters

2021
[B1] Katelyn M. Grasse, Edward F. Melcer, Max Kreminski, Nick Junius, James Ryan, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Academical: A Choice-Based Interactive Storytelling Game for Enhancing Moral Reasoning, Knowledge, and Attitudes in Responsible Conduct of Research.” In Games and Narrative: Theory and Practice. Springer, 2021.

Conference Papers

2021
[C19] Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas. “A Coauthorship-Centric History of Interactive Emergent Narrative.” International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS), 2021.
[C18] Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas. “Toward Narrative Instruments.” International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS), 2021.
[C17] Jason Grinblat, Cat Manning, Max Kreminski. “Emergent Narrative and Reparative Play.” International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS), 2021.
[C16] Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Michael Mateas. “Winnow: A Domain-Specific Language for Incremental Story Sifting.” Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), 2021.
[C15] Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas. “Reflective Creators.” International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC), 2021.
[C14] Tamara Duplantis, Isaac Karth, Max Kreminski, Adam M. Smith, Michael Mateas. “A Genre-Specific Game Description Language for Game Boy RPGs.” IEEE Conference on Games (CoG), 2021.
[C13] Nick Junius, Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas. “There Is No Escape: Theatricality in Hades.” Foundations of Digital Games (FDG), 2021.
Best paper, Game Criticism and Analysis track.
[C12] Katelyn M. Grasse, Edward F. Melcer, Max Kreminski, Nick Junius, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Improving Undergraduate Attitudes Towards Responsible Conduct of Research Through an Interactive Storytelling Game.” CHI Late-Breaking Work on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI LBW), 2021.
2020
[C11] Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Joseph C. Osborn, Adam Summerville, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Germinate: A Mixed-Initiative Casual Creator for Rhetorical Games.” Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), 2020.
[C10] Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Why Are We Like This?: The AI Architecture of a Co-Creative Storytelling Game.” Foundations of Digital Games (FDG), 2020.
[C9] Edward F. Melcer, Katelyn M. Grasse, James Ryan, Nick Junius, Max Kreminski, Dietrich Squinkifer, Brent Hill, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Getting Academical: A Choice-Based Interactive Storytelling Game for Teaching Responsible Conduct of Research.” Foundations of Digital Games (FDG), 2020.
Exceptional paper.
[C8] Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Why Are We Like This?: Exploring Writing Mechanics for an AI-Augmented Storytelling Game.” Electronic Literature Organization (ELO), 2020.
[C7] Edward F. Melcer, James Ryan, Nick Junius, Max Kreminski, Dietrich Squinkifer, Brent Hill, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Teaching Responsible Conduct of Research Through an Interactive Storytelling Game.” CHI Late-Breaking Work on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI LBW), 2020.
2019
[C6] Max Kreminski, Melanie Dickinson, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Felt: A Simple Story Sifter.” International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS), 2019.
[C5] Max Kreminski, Ben Samuel, Edward Melcer, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Evaluating AI-Based Games Through Retellings.” Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), 2019.
[C4] Jacob Garbe, Max Kreminski, Ben Samuel, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas. “StoryAssembler: An Engine for Generating Dynamic Choice-Driven Narratives.” Foundations of Digital Games (FDG), 2019.
Best paper honorable mention.
2018
[C3] Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Sketching a Map of the Storylets Design Space.” International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS), 2018.
[C2] Joshua McVeigh-Schultz, Max Kreminski, Keshav Prasad, Perry Hoberman, Scott S. Fisher. “Immersive Design Fiction: Using VR to Prototype Speculative Interfaces and Interaction Rituals within a Virtual Storyworld.” Designing Interactive Systems (DIS), 2018.

Workshop Papers

2021
[W9] Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas. “Opportunities for Approachable Game Development via Program Synthesis.” AIIDE Workshop on Programming Languages and Interactive Entertainment (PLIE), 2021.
[W8] Ari Iramanesh, Max Kreminski. “AgentCraft: An Agent-Based Minecraft Settlement Generator.” AIIDE Workshop on Experimental AI for Games (EXAG), 2021.
[W7] Joshua McVeigh-Schultz, Anya Osborne, Max Kreminski, Sean Fernandes, Sabrina Fielder, Victor Li, Tym Lang, Katherine Isbister. “Social Superpowers in Social VR: Beyond Approximation of Face-to-face.” CHI Social VR Workshop (SocialVR), 2021.
2020
[W6] Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas. “Toward Example-Driven Program Synthesis of Story Sifting Patterns.” AIIDE Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies (INT), 2020.
[W5] Matthew Guzdial, Devi Acharya, Max Kreminski, Michael Cook, Mirjam Eladhari, Antonios Liapis, Anne Sullivan. “Tabletop Roleplaying Games as Procedural Content Generators.” FDG Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (PCG), 2020.
2019
[W4] Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Generative Games as Storytelling Partners.” FDG Workshop on the User Experience of Artificial Intelligence in Games (UX of AI), 2019.
[W3] Max Kreminski, Devi Acharya, Nick Junius, Elisabeth Oliver, Kate Compton, Melanie Dickinson, Cyril Focht, Stacey Mason, Stella Mazeika, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Cozy Mystery Construction Kit: Prototyping Toward an AI-Assisted Collaborative Storytelling Mystery Game.” FDG Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (PCG), 2019.
[W2] Max Kreminski, Isaac Karth, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Generators that Read.” FDG Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (PCG), 2019.
2018
[W1] Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Gardening Games: An Alternative Philosophy of PCG in Games.” FDG Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (PCG), 2018.

Playable Experiences and Demos

2021
[PD4] Max Kreminski, Isaac Karth. “A Demonstration of Blabrecs, an AI-Based Wordgame.” Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), 2021.
[PD3] Isaac Karth, Tamara Duplantis, Max Kreminski, Sachita Kashyap, Vijaya Kukutla, Aaron Lo, Anika Mittal, Harvin Park, Adam M. Smith. “Generating Playable RPG ROMs for the Game Boy.” Foundations of Digital Games (FDG), 2021.
Best game or demo.
2020
[PD2] Melanie Dickinson, Max Kreminski, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Sabine Wieluch. “Playable Experiences at the 16th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment.” Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), 2020.
2018
[PD1] Max Kreminski, Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “Throwing Bottles at God: Predictive Text as a Game Mechanic in an AI-Based Narrative Game.” International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS), 2018.

Doctoral Consortia

2019
[DC1] Max Kreminski. “Creativity Support for Story Construction Play Experiences.” Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), 2019.

Invited Talks and Panels

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
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

Instructor of Record

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

Teaching Assistant

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

Sp2021
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 (of 20 entries) in the 2021 GDMC competition.
Su2020
Camellia Shea. Student-led independent study project: Paper Hearts, an approachable digital game creation tool inspired by queer games and flatgames.
Sp2019
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)

Su2019
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].

Research Positions

2017-now
Graduate Student Researcher, UCSC Expressive Intelligence Studio. Primary research focus: artificially intelligent creativity support tools for narrative and game design.
2020
Consultant, Zynga. Advised the Applied AI team on the use of generative methods in game design and development.
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 for high school students about the college admissions process.

Service

Conference Organization

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

2021-2022
International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Music, Sound, Art and Design (EvoMUSART)
2017-2021
International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS)
2017-2021
AIIDE Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (EXAG)
2019-2021
AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE)
2019, 2021
IEEE Conference on Games (CoG)
2020-2021
IEEE Transactions on Games (ToG)
2020-2021
Foundations of Digital Games (FDG)
2021
AIIDE Workshop on Programming Languages and Interactive Entertainment (PLIE)
2021
Entertainment Computing (EntCom)
2020
IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (SSCI)
2020
FDG Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (PCG)

Departmental Service

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

Selected Media Coverage

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.