TECH NEWS – David Gaider, the creator of BioWare’s hit RPG Dragon Age, has had a rather scathing take on the potential role of AI in game writing.
David Gaider, who helped create BioWare’s successful RPG series Dragon Age, believes that using AI to write missions is a waste of time. Gaider commented on Twitter in response to an article in The Guardian. In the latter article, Stanford researchers created a game demo that uses ChatGPT to generate dialogue from NPCs and create in-depth interactions, according to the team.
Gaider says using AI to generate procedural content in this way sounds like a dream for some executives. But BioWare tried it nearly a decade ago and failed miserably.
“BioWare went through several iterations of this: ‘what if we didn’t need every conversation to be bespoke?'” Gaider said. “Unlimited playtime with dialogue being procedurally created alongside procedural quests!”
“Each time, the team collectively believed – believed down at their CORE – that this was possible,” Gaider said in reply to his original tweet.
“Just within reach. And each time we discovered that, even when the procedural lines were written by human hands, the end result once they were assembled was… lackluster. Soulless.”
Gaider says the problem wasn’t just that advanced technology was needed, or that more lines had to be fed into the system to turn into missions or ideas. It was the ideas that artificial intelligence came up with. In Gaider’s view, these are inevitably boring.
“Procedural content generation of quests results in something ‘shaped’ like a quest,” Gaider said. “It has the beats you need for one, sure, but the end result is no better than your typical ‘bring me 20 beetle heads’ MMO quest.”
Just a cursory glance at the article Gaider quoted. Or even Nvidia’s recent presentation on AI technology for procedurally generated missions. From all this, we can see that the same problem still exists. The missions were dull, and the conversations were clichéd, with little personality.
Gaider believes that developers – indie and AAA – and executives will continue to push AI in games. But that will only lead to the same conclusion BioWare reached when developing Dragon Age. It will end up being a colossal waste of time and resources.
Ah, yes. The dream of procedural content generation. Even BioWare went through several iterations of this: "what if we didn't need every conversation to be bespoke?" Unlimited playtime with dialogue being procedurally created alongside procedural quests! https://t.co/iTLAFgRDUk
— David Gaider (@davidgaider) May 29, 2023