Hello All,

My name is Rick Pingry. I am working on my Master's Degree in Computer Science, and I am taking a class called "Computational Creativity." We could have all kinds of discussion about whether or not computers could ever be creative, but it is an interesting exercise none the less to push that boundary. Something that might give you a better understanding of the kind of thing we are studying is "The Painting Fool".

The entire class is project based, and the objective of the project is to write some software that produces some artifact that might be cosidered creative (have quality and some kind of innovation). My partner and I decided to at first to write some software to generate a terrain. After some discussion with the teacher and doing some research, we decided that there were already lots of terrain generators out there, and that was not pushing what might be considered "creative." What we were really interested in was not the terrain itself, but the art involved in displaying the terrain - the MAP.

As we were looking around online, we came across this site. I really love how artistic these maps are and it has given me some inspiration about where I might go with this program. I would really like to become a part of this community (to be honest, I am kind of new to it all, it was my parnter that had the inspiration to make maps because his wife likes to write fantasy fiction, so this is kind of a new world to me). I would love it if we could write something that might provide some value to the community and get some feedback from you about some techniques that might be written in code generally, but more specifically, can we define some of the thought processes that you go through when making artistic decisions. We would also love some feedback about what makes for a good map. As a novice, I can get some ideas from what I like, but I am sure that you as Journeyman and Masters in the field have a much more refined sense of quality.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts,
-- Rick