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The first fully AI-generated PC game on Steam has been met with hostility

This Valve AI-powered game on Steam was developed in part with the help of tools like Midjourney.

Screenshots: Cute pen game

It was bound to happen. AI-generated works of art are appearing in competitions, although controversial, and they may have flooded your social media feeds in some way or another. After all, the big promise behind the ability to create detailed images with just a few prompts and clicks, the so-called democratization of creativity. And on Steam, PC gamesing’s most popular platform, the barrier to selling the game is already pretty low.

enter This girl doesn’t exist, a recent Steam game with simple puzzle gameplay but heralds a big change coming soon in the gaming industry. The developer claims that everything from the art to the story to the music is generated by some kind of AI. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s not surprising, as the game currently has only one review on Steam and it’s not a positive one. But the story behind the game is intriguing and suggests greater tensions will only become more apparent in space.

This girl doesn’t exist is the product of a married couple, one of whom spoke to Kotaku via Discord for this story. “Mrspotatoes,” as she called herself on the chat app, noted that when she got in, her husband worried that people would “hate it” and “consider it not “real art.” maybe even “consider it low effort” on the same level as “content change”. However, she’s more optimistic going forward, hoping that people will be curious to see the “introduction of modern technology” and that players won’t want to “miss the AI ​​train” spreading the discussions. larger online commentary right now.

Read more: AI Creating ‘Art’ Is an Ethical and Copyright Nightmare

Making a game with AI-generated content comes with its own unique challenges, as she says. Not having to make art from scratch means everything will be faster, but because This girl doesn’t exist is a dating game, it needs many attractive, enduring characters for the player to romance. Each has their own story, voice and image. Using the popular image generation AI known as Midjourney, there was a lot of trial and error using activity prompts and much more testing to get the same useful results across multiple iterations. again.

“This is something with which the AI struggles,” the developer recounted, “how to generate images of the same person, yet in different poses / settings? I had to rerun a lot of the commands and try many times until I got out of it a set of pictures which would be the ‘same person.’”

After all was said and done, the pair sent the game to around 250 YouTubers, she claims. Almost nobody bit. It’s been the couple’s worst-selling by far, she says, despite having their back catalog containing NSFW games that Steam hides if the user isn’t logged in. And it seems that the unusual way they created the game’s assets was a major repellant for some people.

“One [YouTuber] did a live stream but during that live stream, people hated it… not the game, but the AI ​​part,” she explained. “They wrote in the chats like: ‘I feel the AI ​​will take our work/emotion crap from the game.'”

Cute pen game

She said the response was disappointing, especially because in their eyes the game was “revolutionary”. However, based on our conversation, the response doesn’t seem to stop the game-developing pair from exploring the technology more deeply. mrspotatoes says it will somehow show up in their next hot game, but the AI ​​will only assist in certain aspects of the development process. Maybe the less important details, like the user interface or the background image.

“If I were to do the whole AI game over again,” she mused, “I would probably try to tell people just after they finished the game and see what the reaction would be, like I think This girlmaybe people have preconceived notions. “

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