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  • Seppy Yoon

AI Art for Games - Airplane Tutorial

This week Bob, managing partner for Fight in a Box, pitched a new game idea for the world of Mouse Cheese Cat Cucumber. We thought this was a great opportunity to demonstrate some practical uses of AI generated images for board games.


“His Imperial Majesty the Kaiser commands”

- Captain Rumpelstoss, Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines


Bob’s pet project, which we’re titling Mayor Waffles’ Wild Skies is a mad mad mad mad race for citizens of McChanicle Corners. Pitting small teams like Kaiser Cucumber and his mini-clone Gherkin (Team Ultimate Evil) or the Cat and the Mouse (Team Crime & Punishment), players rally race/scavenger hunt across the continent! Flying amazing contraptions from rocket zeppelins, pedal pub hot air balloons to bi-planes and DaVinci-esque imaginings.


Mark, our creative director, is not the biggest fan of designing machines, be they spaceships, time machines, or race cars (giant robots are an exception: they are more friends than transportation). So we thought we’d take an AI art generator through a few rounds of inspiration, trying to find a nice balance of whacky v. raceworthy


For our first vehicle, we’re going to ask for Mayor Waffles’ and Larry the Corgi’s biplane. We’re hoping for whimsical, fun, and energetic. Let’s ask MidJourney version 4.


“There's no rush, we just wanna get there in a hurry!”

- Benjy Benjamin, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World


The first prompt attempted - biplane ::2 dog pilot ::1 whacky :: corgi ::.5 concept art :: steampunk :: wright brothers --v 4.


In this prompt, we use weights. Putting :: followed by a number tells the AI how important the word or phrase preceding it is. For example if you use cucumber ::1 kaiser ::1, You’re telling the AI that cucumber and kaiser are equally important. If you use cucumber ::.5 kaiser ::1, then kaiser is twice as important as cucumber. Check out this blog if you’d like more info on how this works and how to use it in your own prompts.


The AI understands that there are certain proportions and shapes that make things feel “whacky”. We like that about this set of images but it gave more weight to the pilot than our goal and didn’t include anything corgi related, so we’ll drop those two prompts for the next one.


The second prompt attempted - biplane ::1 whacky ::1 corgi ::.1 concept art :: steampunk ::.5 wright brothers ::.5 --seed 1 --v 4


After this we wanted more control over these images, with this next prompt, we added --seed 1. Your seed can be any number and gives the AI a starting point. (If you made something without a seed and would like to go back and find it, all you have to do is react to MidJourney’s post on your Discord with the envelope emoji ✉️).


"Never be in a hurry. You'll miss the best parts in life."

- Around the World in Eighty Days


Next up, we changed the prompts a bit. Notice the consistency in compositions that using a seed gave us, but even so things got too whacky with the fairy-themed biplane below.


The third prompt attempted - two-seater biplane ::1 whacky ::1 concept art :: steampunk ::.5 --seed 1 --v 4


Hoping for something more Spirit for St. Louis & less mardi gras, we decided to add more serious prompts and also you use –stylize. Stylize lets you decide how creative you want to let MidJourney be. With version 4, you can specify any number between --stylize 1 and --stylize 1000, with 1 being the least creative and 1000 being the most creative.


The fourth prompt attempted - biplane ::1 dog fighter world war 1 ::.5 WWI ::.5 whacky ::1 concept art :: --seed 1 --v 4 --stylize 500 and biplane ::1 dog fighter world war 1 ::.5 WWI ::.5 whacky ::1 concept art :: --seed 1 --v 4 --stylize 1000


We can see where --stylize comes in – the AI takes more liberties with both composition & subjects, adding some extra pilots and things in the sky. Now, with all of these ideas rattling around in Mark’s head, the next step is to do our own concepts.


Back to the literal drawing board for the next blog.


“Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.”

- Muttley, Whacky Races

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