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ChatGPT and Indiedev
Is "this" AI-thing going to change everything?
If you have not lived under a rock until now, you should have noticed the great noise that IA is making. The explosion has been peculiar, it seems like everyone was ready to bring out AI-based projects, features, and products but was waiting for the go-ahead from someone. Dall-e, from OpenAI, was probably the one that opened the door for all the AIs to enter the IT world. This was followed by the other AI dedicated to creating images from prompts (Midjourney, Craiyon, Starray, etc.). then came the turn of the LLMs (ChatGPT, Bard, YouChat, etc.).
Interest in these tools has grown incredibly, especially in the work environment. I started following them and testing them for work, I am a product manager and became interested in their applications in other areas, including gaming. So let's see what its peculiarities and limitations might be, also in terms of privacy and ethics.
As I said, I’m a Product Manager and in my company, we started a lot of groups and workshops and stuff like that around AI and how to use it in our daily job.
I’m sure that this is something that has been done in lots of other workplaces, and game development companies as well. I’m confident 100% that companies like Ubisoft, Activision and EA are already thinking about how to take advantage of AI in all the game development phases.
The idea about this topic came into my mind reading this tweet thread by Blair Renaud
He is working on a detective game in VR, also playable in non-VR mode, where we play the role of a policeman in a cyberpunk world. In the thread, he illustrates the process he used to get ChatGPT to help him write some of the crime scenes we will encounter. As he went on and improved and deepened the prompts through different prompts, Blair also managed to get NPC descriptions, a bit of ambience and some general ideas about key features.
Not only has GPT become an invaluable tool for brainstorming and writing, but it's now the perfect partner. It understands the world as well as I do and works with me to bring it to life. I feel like I've made a backup of the LOW-FI world within GPT. A living text. (Blair Renaud)
This is a strong statement that however clashes with the harsh reality of ChatGPT's current restrictions. First of all 'memory', the 'tokens' we exchange with the chat are limited and are forgotten after a while. I believe there is some sort of overwriting, last in first out, when the limit is reached.
As I said, the release of ChatGPT provoked many reactions, both negative and positive, and many are trying to harness the power of this tool.
Stanislav Stankovic is a Game Designer at Supercell, Ex-PixelUnited Ex-EA, Ex-Rovio who wrote an interesting article on Medium where he describes his experience in using AI applied to Game Design. First of all, he’s treating ChatGPT as a tool.
While I can completely understand the dread that many people feel when facing such constructs, I prefer to see AI as a tool. Personally, I am more interested in how I could integrate such tools into my workflow as a game designer.
One of the first experiments Stanislav tried was to ask the AI to write user stories (In software development and product management, a user story is an informal, natural language description of one or more features of a software system) about the 'clan' feature for a mobile game. to the Game Designer's great surprise, ChatGPT churned out 10 very good user stories, quite generic but nevertheless useful, indeed necessary, in the development of that type of feature.
He then went one step further. “I asked ChatGPT to generate the actual design specification for this feature. The output was somewhat high-level but nonetheless quite impressive and still quite usable. It is too long to include it in this text but if you are interested you can find it here.”
All in all, a lot of time is saved thanks to ChatGPT when used for tasks that are often repetitive and have to be done and completed anyway.
I asked ChatGPT to come out with some ideas on how It can be used in game design and this is the answer:
Conversational characters and dialogue generation are two other interesting applications of chatGPT in game development. I found a couple of examples that only show the tip of what could be a gigantic iceberg. Incidentally, in my opinion, I find the application of this kind of AI within video games something much, much more interesting than RTX (speaking of the 'future of VGs').
I say the tip of the iceberg because these are two tests done by two modders, therefore not professionals, for two different games with a similar application of AI. I'm talking about Mount & Blade 2 and the usual, unfailing Skyrim.
From PC Gamer:
“In the video below you can see some scenes from the work-in-progress mod, which uses OpenAI's large language model ChatGPT to generate responses, xVASynth for text-to-speech so the NPCs can be fully voiced, and Whisper for speech-to-text, so players can speak into their mic and the NPCs can understand them.
That's a lot of different systems being put into play, and the early results are some pretty stilted responses. But at the same time you see a glimmer of the potential of NPCs wired up with AI to create dynamic conversations:
The second video is the one about Mount & Blade 2, probably less 'spectacular' than the first one but in my opinion, more on target and refined despite being still a proof of concept.
From the video description on YouTube: “In the video, we will go to Vostrum, have chat with locals in the tavern, with people from different backgrounds with different “character” types. Notice how they are visually aware of me and their surroundings. Also pay attention to the tones and mocking of the people, depending on their profession.
This implementation allows the player to interact with random NPCs in the game directly by typing, in a more natural way.
All the stories in here are generated on the fly, with correct information (factions, locations, occupations, nearby events, rulers etc) with a custom story engine and ChatGPT. They provide you with information about the world they are living in.”
I personally tried the mod for M&B and actually, the sense of immersion it offers is incredible although, I have to be honest, I don't think it's the right game for this type of application. But imagine an investigative game (I accidentally recently finished playing Sherlock Holmes the Devil's Daughter, recommended) where we could question the suspects and witnesses of a case and it will only be thanks to our skill in asking the right questions to the right people that we could find the culprit instead of having to be channelled into an exchange of jokes predefined by the writer who in this case will instead take care of writing the information that each NPC will have to have within its own set of knowledge to allow the AI to answer our questions in a coherent manner.
So the future is bright and the possibilities are a LOT! Big names are already working to exploit the feature, like Unity https://gamerant.com/chatgpt-game-development-unity/ that shared this video, still a proof-of-concept, showing the integration of ChatGPT in their software.
“In the video, Keijiro is using a ChatGPT plugin for Unity Editor to type natural language prompts directly into the engine’s editor to generate objects, move them, and duplicate them. This introduction of official ChatGPT integration into Unity has the potential to change the entire landscape of video game development.”
I started playing that gem Everspace 2 and an editorial came out in Gameindustry telling the story of the game (or rather the two games) from the early access release to version 1.0 - https://www.gamesindustry.biz/comparing-space-oranges-and-zero-g-apples-a-deep-dive-into-everspaces-steam-launch
Is GameFreak trying something other than Pokémon? We'll see, the sure thing is that he is doing it with publisher Private Division and we will find out in 2026 (well maybe a little earlier). - https://www.gamesindustry.biz/private-division-and-game-freak-team-up-for-new-ip-project-bloom
This is the week of Zelda TotK so no other interesting releases but we got two interesting games last week (I skipped last week's issue, sorry, life’s busy).
Age of Wonders 4 - “Rule a fantasy realm of your own design! Explore new magical realms in Age of Wonders’ signature blend of 4X strategy and turn-based tactical combat.” https://store.steampowered.com/app/1669000/Age_of_Wonders_4
Tape to tape - “Tape to Tape is a rogue-lite hockey game where every choice matters on your journey to build the best hockey team.” https://store.steampowered.com/app/1566200/Tape_to_Tape/
I hope you enjoyed this issue as much as I enjoyed writing it and see you next issue!