Welcome to the brave new world of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where creativity meets chaos, and game development becomes a wild rollercoaster ride of fantastic possibilities and, oh yeah, the occasional scam! With AI-powered tools and plugins that are getting more powerful by the day, that can generate content like images, video, and even 3D models, game development will soon change forever. While it sounds like a dream come true for developers, this newfound power might also be a Pandora's Box for the gaming industry, and we, the gamers, too. Let's dive into the world of our AI overlords, where creativity might be thwarted by cunning "pseudo developers" lurking in the shadows, waiting to scam gamers through crowdfunding campaigns.
AI: A Magic Wand or a Gateway to the Dark Side?
Picture this: you're sitting at your computer, daydreaming about the perfect game you want to create. You type some text commands, and AI Command, a ChatGPT plugin for the Unity Editor, magically brings your vision to life. Sounds amazing, right?
3D designers are going to love this.This is ChatGPT for Unity. & It’s available for everyone to try??pic.twitter.com/jzAajqnKFM— Rowan Cheung (@rowancheung) March 19, 2023
With the potential to make game creation more efficient and accessible, AI Command is like a genie in a bottle granting wishes to developers. Or, at least, that’s generally the premise behind building an AI command interface into Unity. While AI Command may not be up to snuff quite yet, with even mild requests often throwing up more failures than Bless Online’s worldwide rollout, it’s still a proof of concept with legs.
But beware! There's a dark side to this magical wand. The same technology that aims to make game development easier for honest developers can be used by nefarious scammers to dupe unsuspecting gamers, who, let’s be honest, are no strangers to being scammed. These "pseudo developers" can whip up dazzling demos and gorgeous concept art that look like the next big hit, but when the curtain is lifted, the final product turns out to be nothing but smoke and a mirror big enough where you have no choice but to look at your stupid face, as you wonder why you backed it in the first place. Oh, the horror!
But We Never Needed AI for Errors and Broken Dreams
I probably don’t even need to ask but do you remember crowdfunded failures like Chronicles of Elyria, TitanReach and Greedmonger? These crowdfunded games promised a thrilling experience, complete with mesmerizing art and gameplay. However, when the moment of truth arrived, these games faltered in ways that left backers confused and incredibly angry. Especially where COE is concerned, it was far less "Chronicles" and much more "Comical’s" of Elyria. This ill-fated game still serves as a cautionary tale for gamers and developers alike: beware of false promises and beautiful illusions. Say what you will, but there is something to be said amid the ongoing lawsuits, that Chronicles of Elyria at least put forth some work towards creating a reasonable project presentation.
As AI-generated content becomes more widespread, we might find ourselves in a world where the line between game fact and game fiction becomes increasingly blurred. Will we be able to tell the difference between a genuine masterpiece and an elaborate crowdfunded scam? It’s clear that there are instances of crowdfunded MMOs that are still working hard to deliver on their promises, and are succeeding, at least by an external observer’s view, with titles like Ashes of Creation. It’s only logical to think that maybe Ashes of Creation wouldn’t be nearly as far along, showing off their in-game successes month after month, without their backers showing up, and proving their excitement by enthusiastically providing funding. But still we sit with the possibility that in the age of AI, discerning the Ashes of Creation’s of the world in comparison to the Chronicles of Elyria’s will be increasingly tougher.
Is AI Art the Divine Paintbrush or the Devil's Canvas?
With the advent of AI-based tools like Polyhive and Leonardo.AI, developers can create objects and textures with the flick of a virtual wrist. These platforms, though still in their infancy, offer a tantalizing glimpse into the future of gaming. Will developers simply type in a prompt, and within minutes have their next best-selling cosmetic item? Perhaps. Will they be unique? Maybe. But chances are that in the short term, most self-respecting studios wouldn’t touch these services.
However, these tools could also be a breeding ground for scams. Maybe even the scammiest of scams. Imagine a world where con artists can create intricate, convincing fakes with just a few clicks. It's like giving a forger a magical paintbrush that can replicate the Mona Lisa in mere seconds. Push that even further, where video creation AI is working to create video content utilizing images you provide, and what's a gamer to do? This isn’t something that we can foresee having a direct impact tomorrow, though AI image generation is pretty convincing right now, but we’re on the cusp of a developmental revolution, and the last thing we want is for it to spell disaster for the legitimate projects that will trailblaze the effort to attempt to make AI assisted games.
Should We Just Embrace the Chaos and Forge Ahead?
We’ve already seen some developers lust after AI-powered game development. We're witnessing a revolution in creativity and accessibility where writing is concerned. But with great power comes great responsibility, and it's up to gamers, developers, and crowdfunding platforms to navigate this wild rollercoaster ride with caution and a healthy dose of skepticism. Currently there are numerous indicators that AI copywriting has taken hold in a lot of professional settings, and the potential for quest writing or NPC interactions as AI generated responses seems like a high probability in the near future. In fact, it was only a few months ago that I posited that AI will be utilized far more freely in games. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time.
So, what can we do to keep the gaming industry from turning into a circus of scams? First, let's educate ourselves and each other about the potential pitfalls of AI-generated content. For example, where AI writing is concerned, there are several places to check whether there’s a high possibility that the content was written by AI, in sites like GPTZero. Second, let's stay vigilant and hold developers accountable for delivering on their promises, especially where the possibility that crowdfunding will be concerned. Finally, and probably the most difficult, let's support platforms and measures that protect the interests of both gamers and genuine creators by steering away from crowdfunding projects that piggyback on hope and intentions rather than a playable game.
As we hurtle towards a future where AI-generated content becomes the norm, let's not forget that innovation and progress always come with their fair share of challenges, mishaps and unexpected surprises. I think the blockchain gaming scene is learning that in spades, as many studios are quickly attempting to rebound from the declining interest of GameFi over the past year. With all that said though, we must learn to embrace the chaos, adapt, and forge ahead, because if I’m honest, there’s a lot of fun that AI can bring to MMORPGs, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
In the midst of this whirlwind, let's also not lose sight of the incredible opportunities that AI-powered game development offers for smaller studios. We're witnessing the dawn of a new era in which creative expression can reach new heights for indie developers, where they may have a shot to compete with the big players in the industry. By harnessing the power of AI we might see the gaming industry, and MMOs especially, thrive like never before.
So, as we buckle up for this rollercoaster ride through the thrilling, comedic, and occasionally scam-ridden world of AI-powered game development, let's make sure that we play our part in keeping the gaming industry honest, innovative, and try and have a little fun along the way.
Would you play a mostly AI generated game? Will you be more or less likely to get involved with a kickstarted game knowing AI is involved? Generate your own responses in our comments section, and let us know.
All concept art generated by https://lexica.art/ a completely free AI generation program