Over the past few months, news related to artificial intelligence has been plagued with mentions of art created by using text prompts. This allows AI programs such as DALL-E 2 to take what is written to generate, oftentimes, awe-inspiring imagery, which is now sparking a bit of controversy. But now, it seems that AI is moving into the gaming world, and it’s not to speed up quality assurance for major players such as Xbox’s Matt Booty expected.
Released on Steam, This Girl Does Not Exist is marketing itself as a game that is entirely created using artificial intelligence. As its description claims, from its art, story, characters, and even voice-over work, all major elements were created using machine learning. While speaking to the outlet Kotaku on the chat service Discord, a user who claims to have created the game with their spouse “mrspotatoes, discussed the challenges, worries, and tools used to create a first-of-its-kind ai game.
In the interview, mrspotatoes opened up about her and her husband’s concern about how people would react to the This Girl Does Not Exist. She worries that users on Steam would consider their work to be “ low effort” due to the use of AI programs to create the game. But during their chat, she made clear that she was optimistic about the game and hoped that curiosity about how AI created a video game and its outcome could win over detractors.
Like a good marketer, she hopes that players would be too interested in how new emerging technology is working and wouldn’t want to “miss the AI train.” In how she and her husband were able to create a game just using AI, mrspotatoes noted the challenges involved. Since This Girl Does Not Exist is a dating/puzzle game, it would require a variety of unique characters to fill out the needed roster. This is where the AI image-producing program, Midjourney, came into play. By carefully writing prompts, and learning from what wording didn’t work, they were able to put together their character’s images. This was a similar method employed for other AI programs that were used for voice-overs and other assets.
The developer spoke about the difficulty of being able to create a character through word prompts, but also needed photos of different angles, poses, and reactions: “how to generate images of the same person, yet in different poses/settings? I had to rerun a lot of the commands and try many times until I got out of it a set of pictures which would be the ‘same person.’”
So far, the game has a sole review, which is negative. It claims the game oversold its complexity to users. Though it has just been released, it will take some time before it travels through the Steam community which will generate more reviews. Either way, a first-of-its-kind AI-generated game should cause a conversation within the gaming community. Here is the trailer for This Girl Does Not Exist.