AI game development is becoming more and more prevalent in the gaming industry. As artificial intelligence becomes more advanced, developers find new and novel ways to incorporate it into their game development processes. Though it’s unlikely that AI will replace human game developers, AI in game development has a practical role.

Magic Media and Starloop Studios are no strangers to working with AI tools to enhance our game development pipelines. AI in game development can help augment various aspects of games, and it has a bright future in the industry as a practical tool.

Established Uses of AI in Game Development

AI game development practices have been present in the gaming industry for decades. One of the most prevalent uses of AI in game development has been enemy AI behaviors, like that seen in Unreal Engine 4’s behavior trees. In most games, players face off against some kind of foe with behavioral patterns dictated by AI models. These behavioral models have become significantly more complex, allowing enemies to adapt their tactics to the player’s behaviors to provide more challenge. A prominent example of advanced enemy AI is in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, where if the player makes a habit of shooting enemies in fatal areas like the head, they’ll start wearing protective gear to prevent these attacks.

Another well-established use of AI in game development is procedural content generation (PCG). Games like the massive-scale No Man’s Sky use AI models to procedurally generate the majority of in-game locations, objects, and creatures to deliver a unique experience for every player. Even down to the layout of star systems and mission structures, No Man’s Sky procedurally generates this content through AI systems.

Growing Use of AI in Game Development

Thanks to modern technology and AI game development practices, game developers are discovering new, novel, and exciting ways to incorporate AI in game development projects. Nvidia’s DLSS technology is a prime example of modern AI game development applications. DLSS, or Deep Learning Super Sampling, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to upscale lower-resolution image quality and outputs it at a higher resolution on players’ displays. It also boosts frame rates, allowing games to run smoother than previously possible.

AI-powered coding assistants are also changing the way programmers code games. Some tools not only accelerate the rate of code production but also provide suggestions for auto-completion, help developers understand the behavior of their code, and identify edge cases that help programmers produce more robust code. Some advanced AI-powered applications, such as GitHub Copilot, produce coding suggestions in dozens of languages based on natural language prompts.

Futures Uses of AI in Game Development

As the technology powering AI in game development and other industries advances, developers have more options to leverage AI for their game development projects. Generative AI technologies for images and video are considered to be in their infancy despite frequent leaps in quality every other month. Generative AI platforms can currently be leveraged in several ways, such as artists generating references, working out ideas, and creating rough concepts. It’s not inconceivable that in the future, such platforms will have the capacity to generate even more photorealistic and accurate images and video content.

There is precedent to suggest that more AI in game development could handle more aspects fully autonomously, such as game narratives. AI Dungeon 2, for instance, creates different stories for players depending on minor player input, such as defining the setting and their character. It features branching storylines that go down many diverse paths, allowing players to have distinct gameplay experiences. It’s feasible that with further advances, these AI game development practices could be applied to larger AAA titles and become more accessible to a wider range of developers to leverage for their game development projects.

Contact Starloop Studios today to learn more about our expert high-quality game development services for all platforms.

As part of Magic Media, we offer a wide range of services for the gaming, entertainment, and tech industries, including but not limited to full-cycle game development, game trailer production, and real-time VFX. Get in contact today, and let’s create magic!

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