AI Art for Games - Everything Waiting to Exist
The difference between a search engine and a creative AI is the difference between “does this exist” and “make this exist.” We’ve cataloged all human knowledge & experience now we’re replicating imagination & dreams. On the way, we’re replacing everyday human interaction with machine equivalents. If you’re not already a replicant, this should fill you with existential dread. Don’t Panic. Terror is just life’s way of letting you know you’re paying attention. As someone who survived the nuclear age, I feel fairly confident that, though terrifying, humans will probably survive the internet age too.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
We survived acid rain, the hole in the ozone layer, lead and asbestos. Humans create things then clean up their messes after. The world is our kitchen & we’re cooking! Sometimes we just take longer to do the dishes then we should.
As someone who writes board games & RPGs, the Algorithm that is currently most invasive in my life is the one dictating the success of our content marketing. Things like this blog are designed to help others, but also function as a reminder to our fans (and yet-to-be-fans) that we exist. Being indie has made each bump in the iteration of social media more painful than the last. In the not-so-distant-future, all channels will be filled with quality weirdness from the machine mind.
“You must work very long to write short sentences.”
Progress is inevitable. Resistance is futile. Embracing what’s next will help you avoid getting crushed by it. A glimpse of what’s on its way is Futurepedia - an AI tools directory. There’s a host of copywriting tools (as one who writes these fill me with awe & dread), at least one for interior design and one that generates whole podcasts. I won’t spoil the discovery but it’s worth poking around.
As a publisher, I fully accept that with copy & art already well on its way, game design will soon follow. We already have procedurally generated levels in a multitude of games. With each solo board game that is written, we’re providing teaching materials for the machine to understand the formula for “fun.” Successful titles are typically “approachable” and “easy-to-learn”; our future overlords will build these essential qualities into the new world order. But where does that leave me?
Progress means humans spend their time doing other tasks, hopefully ones that are just as gratifying, but typically that means either being “higher up” in the creative process or closer to the audience. Actors want to become directors, directors want to be producers etc. In the case of getting closer to your audience, instead of making the bulk of your earnings recording music, you make it by playing live shows creating unique & personal experiences.
“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
For a game publisher, the Future might mean imagining worlds that bring players together or being a tour guide as you share your own story & dreams. It becomes less about our games & more about helping forge those real personal connections between fans, creators, and their machines.