Artificial Intelligence will lead to more jobs in the video game industry, one of the bodies representing games developers has told the BBC.
Dr Richard Wilson, boss of TIGA, says AI will “reduce the cost of making games and speed up the process”.
Video games have been using forms of artificial intelligence for decades.
But use of the latest technology in games creation is concerning some who worry that it could cost jobs and create legal issues for studios.
UKIE, another organisation that looks after games companies in the UK, said it recognises there are concerns, but added the developments in this field were an “exciting opportunity” for the industry.
Even in the 1980s when players would put their coins into an arcade machine to help Pacman (or Ms Pacman) collect white dots on the screen, it was a type of AI that told the ghosts how to hunt the player down.
“This is a much simpler form of AI compared with what we’re talking about today, but fundamentally the core principles are the same,” says Dr Tommy Thompson, an AI in games expert.
“It’s helping make intelligent decisions by looking at a snapshot of a game and from that characters can make intelligent judgements on what to do.”
But while AI has been used to influence what happens on screen for years, it could now influence the process of getting games onto screens in the first place.
Being able to quickly create hundreds of pages worth of scripts, voice background characters or draw thousands of pieces of art could be a game changer for the industry according to some senior figures.
“It should allow games studios to make routine aspects of game development automated, and then use that space to be more creative and focus on other areas,” Dr Wilson says.
“Reducing the overall cost of development will mean more games studios which should, therefore, mean more jobs.”
Guy Gadney, one of the co-founders of Charisma.ai, a technology platform that allows generative AI techniques to be used in games, thinks it will give makers a new way of telling stories.
It all comes down to how computer-controlled characters can interact with the player.
Instead of a handful of pre-prepared lines that are regurgitated to players at random, AI can allow for characters like these to ‘think’ and respond more intelligently depending on the story that has been written for them and the behaviour of the player.
He explains: “In games, players are often running through the three-dimensional environment, we want people to stop and engage more.
“We want players to have deep dives in moments, where they sit and have natural conversations with characters. Previously this happened by giving you four conversation choices on screen, which is very limiting, it’s only an illusion of choice. We want more than that.”
For Guy Gadney unlocking the potential of non-playable-characters will change how games tell stories, by allowing players to interact with what’s in front of them differently to how they do it now. Charisma.ai is also working with companies like Warner, Dreamworks and Sky about how this technology might also work in other forms of storytelling.