Xbox has teamed up with Inworld AI, in a partnership which the companies hope will allow them to create an “accessible, responsibly designed multi-platform AI toolset” to help developers with quest design, story and dialogue, as well as an “AI character runtime engine” to make NPCs more realistic.
As outlined in a post on the Inworld blog, the AI toolset - also referred to as an “AI design copilot” - is intended to assist game designers in exploring “more creative ideas” by being able to use prompts to generate dialogue trees, quests and “detailed scripts.”
The blog post suggests that this could be used in the pre-production phase of game development, when developers, writers and designers bring together characters’ stories, as well as the lore of the world they’re in, and mechanics of the game itself. It implies that using the AI tool could “reduce the time and resource constraints during production”, in turn allowing games to release faster, and be more “expansive and immersive” when they do.
Meanwhile, the character runtime engine aims to bring “depth and realism” to NPCs, by allowing them to “adapt” to players’ actions as they happen, “providing players with a sense of agency and engagement like never before.” The post notes that using more than one AI model simultaneously will allow the character runtime engine to deliver dynamic responses in the form of dialogue, expressions, actions and gestures.
Haiyan Zhang, the general manager of gaming AI at Xbox said that these tools are intended for “game developers of any size, anywhere in the world, and on every platform where players want to play.” She added: “We want to help make it easier for developers to realize their visions, try new things, push the boundaries of gaming today, and experiment to improve gameplay, player connection and more.”
The use of AI in and around game development continues to be a controversial topic - voice actors like Yuri Lowenthal have raised concerns about the use of AI to impersonate voices. In September, The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) voted in favor of authorizing a strike against video game companies on the grounds that its members deserve better “protections surrounding AI”. However, it’s not yet known if strike action will take place.
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Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.