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Innovative AI won’t revolutionize game development

Make a video The game requires hard, repetitive work. How can it not? Developers are in the business of building the world, so it’s easy to see why game industry will be excited about innovative AI. With computers doing the mundane tasks, a small team can create a map the size of San Andreas. Crunch is a thing of the past; Release the game in completed state. A new age beckons.

There are at least two interrelated issues with this story. First, the hype itself has logic—reminiscent of the frenzied gold rush for crypto/Web3/metaverse—that, intentionally or not, seems to consider automating the work of Artists are a progressive form.

Second, there is a gap between these claims and reality. Back in November, when DALL-E seems to be everywhereventure capital firm Andreessen Horowitz posted aa long analysis on their website touts an “innovative AI revolution in gaming” that will do everything from shorten development times to change the types of titles being made. The following month, Andreessen’s partner, Jonathan Lai, posted a Twitter thread explanation of a “Science Fiction where most of the world/text is generated, allowing developers to move from producing assets to higher-level tasks like storytelling and innovation” and hypothesized that AI could enable creation “good + fast + affordable” game. In the end, Lai’s mentions were filled with so many nasty replies that he posted a second topic admits “there are certainly a lot of challenges to tackle.”

Patrick Mills, acting franchise content strategy lead at CD Projekt Red, developer of CD Projekt Red, said: “Honestly, I’ve seen some ridiculous claims about what’s supposed to be. coming soon. Electronic 2077. “I see people suggesting that AI will be able to build Midnight City, Eg. I think we are far from that.”

Even advocates of AI in video games think that much of the exciting talk about machine learning in the industry is getting out of hand. Julian Togelius, co-director of NYU Game Innovation Lab, who has written dozens of articles on the subject. “Sometimes it feels like the worst crypto brethren have left the crypto boat as it was sinking, and then they come here and say, ‘Innovative AI: Launch the hype machine. .’”

It’s not that general AI can’t or shouldn’t be used in game development, Togelius explains. That people are not realistic about what it can do. Sure, the AI ​​can design some generic weapons or write some dialogs, but compared to generating text or images, level design is a bad thing. You can forgive those face generators with buzzing ears or some meaningless lines of text. But a broken game level, no matter how magical it looks, is useless. “It’s bullshit,” he said, “You need to throw it away or fix it by hand.”

Basically—and Togelius has had this conversation with many developers—nobody wants level generators to work less than 100% of the time. They make the game unplayable, destroying the entire title. “That’s why it’s so hard to take general AI that’s so hard to control and just put it in there,” he said.

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