You step forward into a dark, lush forest, steeped in fog. Except for the trees, you are alone–and without tools or resources. You must create your very own reality and adventure, using your hands to build a virtual world by relentlessly punching the trees. You take a deep breath and begin…BAM!
If you’re a video gamer or gaming company, you can likely relate to this scene. And you’ll also recognize that gaming experiences have come a long way—mostly due to developments in artificial intelligence (AI). Yet, thanks to generative AI, a new gaming frontier is emerging that will radically elevate content and make characters and virtual worlds much more expansive, personalized, and life-like. A recent example1 is the partnership between Microsoft Xbox and Inworld AI, aiming to develop an AI toolset that dynamically generates gaming characters, dialogues, and quests. Generative AI will take the gaming world from the current scripted and somewhat limited interactions to a vast selection of player-driven dynamic experiences. The goal is to increase gamer interest, retention, and revenue.
Here are some of the gaming capabilities being boosted by generative AI.
One of the first gaming features to be transformed by generative AI is character design. First up are non-playable characters (NPCs), the video game characters not controlled by players. NPCs have traditionally run on prefabricated and limited scripts, making them look and sound stilted. Generative AI will help opponent characters become more adaptive, crafting more intelligent, natural, and unpredictable experiences for gamers.
Playable characters, or avatars, will also benefit from generative AI by gaining greater customizability. For instance, even the top-performing games have limited options to customize avatar features such as hair, skin tone, eye color, and clothing. Generative AI algorithms can expand the range of available character features, allowing gamers to tailor appearance, apparel as well as contextual behaviors based on gameplay.
In short, generative AI will help NPCs and avatars be more dynamic, diverse, and realistic, enhancing engagement and gameplay.
Adapting gameplay in real-time
As generative AI improves character features and customizations, it will also uniquely shape each gamer’s experience, and do so in real-time. Gamer skills and expertise vary widely—from pro to novice to everything in between. Generative AI can analyze player behavior, predict player expertise then adapt levels of play to each gamer in real time, preventing boredom and defection.
Consequently, a positive gamer experience can be delivered across a broad range of users with varying skill sets and remain appealing for gamers as their abilities progress.
Expanding the universe of possibilities
Gaming worlds are a major draw for gamers—and the ability to keep these worlds interesting and evolving is important to maintaining interaction. In gaming, Procedural Content Generation (PCG) automatically generates vast and adaptive game environments, replacing static, pre-designed worlds.
Using AI algorithms, PCG can produce near-infinite variations of game universes, characters, and stories, increasing “replayability”, a holy grail for gaming companies.
While players gain ever-changing gaming environments, generative AI-powered PCG also helps game developers reduce the time and effort needed to design game content. That’s because generative AI-driven PCG helps game developers craft many unique virtual worlds quickly, without manually managing every design detail. This advances designers’ creative potential and accelerates time to market.
Gaining smoother animations and graphics
As PCG expands game worlds, animations, and graphics must improve in kind. Algorithms driven by generative AI can provide texture synthesis and create realistic, high-quality textures for game objects and environments. For characters, generative AI can aid in creating smooth, fluid, and lifelike animations, bolstering engagement and entertainment value.
Storytelling goes dynamic
In-game stories can be produced dynamically as generative AI tailors dialogues, narratives, and plots based on player choices. The result is a highly personalized, interactive, and immersive gamer experience. In addition, natural language processing (NLP) models can enhance in-game chats to create natural and real-time interactions.
Elevating your game
Generative AI will usher in a much-changed and elevated gamer experience. To capture AI and generative AI’s full potential, gaming companies must first obtain the right kind of storage infrastructure. Without it, generative AI deployments often stall in the final mile. That’s because many organizations are currently operating with disparate IT systems that employ traditional data storage systems that are not designed to handle AI workloads and unstructured data in real-time. Modern storage solutions with distributed storage, data compression, and efficient data indexing support the speed and scale that AI requires.
As generative AI transforms gaming, gamers can expect more realistic and dynamic characters, game worlds, and content. Consequently, gaming organizations can facilitate more engagement, retention, and revenue. And I’m excited to see my next-generation avatar as he navigates challenges in the dark, lush forests and trees of tomorrow.
Check out the Intel Gaming Alliance.
Read about Dell Technologies AI solutions.