How AI Is Building the Next Blockbuster Videogames

WSJ 0 تعليق ارسل طباعة تبليغ حذف

Videogame companies say the kind of technology behind the viral chatbot ChatGPT is set to radically speed up game development, reduce costs and help players interact with characters in new ways.

Generative artificial-intelligence tools have gained prominence in recent months for their ability to create essays, images and even music in response to simple text prompts. Game studios are already using the technology for all sorts of tasks, from helping craft virtual scenes and scripts to designing weapons and characters.

“There is probably no game that we’re not thinking about some use cases for generative AI,” said Marija Radulovic-Nastic, chief technology officer of creative and development at Electronic Arts Inc., EA -0.32% the company behind hit franchises such as Madden NFL and The Sims. 

EA is using the technology to make quick digital sketches for visualizing ideas for game levels, challenges and other features. These designs could take weeks to draw up by hand before and now can be produced in hours. 

Roblox Corp. is building its own generative AI tools for developers who make games and other experiences for its platform. The tools can quickly create new kinds of materials and movements on screen. With simple text prompts, a developer could try to change a car’s paint job to look like bubbles and make it fly. No coding is necessary.

Roblox is building its own generative AI tools so developers can quickly create new looks for vehicles and other objects with simple text prompts. CREDIT: Roblox

“If you have this incredible idea in your head, you can make it a reality,” said Roblox’s technology chief, Dan Sturman. “You can use generative AI to create the materials you want.” 

China’s NetEase Inc. is testing a tool that can diversify the dialogues of the many extras in games, also known as nonplayable characters.   

Normally, players would need to select from a menu of pre-written responses to communicate with these so-called NPCs. Or they might get a limited number of scripted responses that would repeat every time they encountered them.  

In NetEase’s yet-to-be-released mobile version of its multiplayer computer game “Justice Online,” the company plans to make those conversations with NPCs more free-flowing, guided by users’ imaginations.

Because the mobile game is based on a Chinese martial arts novel, the AI used to create the NPCs’ responses was trained on Chinese-language history books, poems and songs, a NetEase spokesman said. The feature, which is a collaboration between the company’s Fuxi AI Lab and its ThunderFire game studio, is still in its early stages, he said. 

Photo illustration: Preston Jessee for The Wall Street Journal

Generative AI is also helping developers build soundscapes for games by streamlining the process of writing chatter for characters in the background, such as reactions to an explosion.

Ubisoft Entertainment SA recently unveiled Ghostwriter, an AI tool that creates first drafts for this chatter, something the company calls one of the most laborious tasks for videogame writers. 

Writing crowd chatter and NPC dialogue requires “time and creative effort from scriptwriters that could be spent on other core plot items,” the company said in a March blog post


Where do you think generative AI technology will have the biggest impact on game development? Join the conversation below.

Companies can also use generative AI to quickly give their games different looks depending on the season. Mobile game company Playtika Holding Corp. used the technology to add St. Patrick’s Day graphics and copy to its popular game “Bingo Blitz” last month. 

Despite the benefits, some game makers say they are approaching generative AI with caution. After Microsoft Corp. in February released a new version of its Bing search engine with the technology, several testers said they received inaccurate or bizarre responses. Developers are now concerned that similar results could show up in games that rely on the technology to create dialogue. 

Another concern is companies that use AI to produce characters, weapons and other content could run into copyright issues as generative AI models are often trained on vast amounts of publicly available words, code and images. There is also the danger that the technology could create similar-looking games for different companies. 

Some startups are attempting to help game developers create original content by enabling them to train AI generators on their own artwork and style. Scenario Inc. has a platform that is built on top of AI generators such as Stable Diffusion and Midjourney for game studios to produce custom results.

“We are entering an era of hyper-personalization of AI,” said Emmanuel de Maistre, Scenario’s chief executive and co-founder. 

London game studio Electric Noir used the generative AI tool Midjourney to create photo-realistic images of characters in a courtroom for its legal thriller game 'You be the Judge!' Electric Noir Studios

Generative AI is also helping some small game studios do more with less. 

Electric Noir Studios used ChatGPT and the audio tool Murf to create text messages and voice mails that serve as clues for its mobile game “Dead Man’s Phone.” And it used Midjourney to create photo-realistic images of characters in a courtroom for its legal thriller game “You be the Judge!”

The London studio couldn’t have afforded to hire actors, costume designers and others to make the game, said Nihal Tharoor, CEO and co-founder.  

“It is allowing us to build out high-quality content much quicker and much cheaper,” he said. 

Generative AI won’t fully replace human talent, industry executives say, because someone needs to input the prompts and the results typically need refining. 

Demiurge Studios, a small game studio in Boston and unit of Swedish media holding company Embracer Group AB, recently started using AI art generators to visualize ideas for new games. It still uses its own employees to guide and check the results, said Albert Reed, the company’s chief strategy officer.

“This is a tool to streamline an artist’s workflow,” he said. “You need a person at the wheel guiding the AI.”

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Disclaimer that the site operates automatically without human intervention, so all articles, news and comments posted on the site are the responsibility of the owners and the website manages them do not bear any moral or legal responsibility for the content of the site.
"All rights reserved for their owners"

Source:" WSJ "

0 تعليق