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How AI is Going to Change the Game Industry?

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has sparked a revolution in the gaming world, ushering in a new era of interactive, immersive, and ever-changing experiences. While AI has been part of gaming since its early days, its role has evolved significantly. With its ability to reshape all aspects of game creation and play, AI is pushing the boundaries of what’s achievable in this realm.

It’s not just about smarter NPCs or challenging gameplay. AI is expected to completely change gaming experiences, providing developers with powerful tools to create more immersive, personalized, and dynamic experiences for players. This article will look at some of the main ways AI will affect the video game world in 2024. Let’s dive deeper into it!

Main Points:

How Will AI Revolutionize Gaming Experience?

First things first, let’s talk about customers. After all, it’s all about the player experience, isn’t it? The more immersive a game is, the more engaging the plot, and the more lifelike the characters, the more likely players are to enjoy the game and want to stick around for longer. AI opens up absolutely new possibilities for gaming studios to provide players with more realistic and captivating experiences. Here are a few upcoming changes that are going to appear (and are already being presented) in the game development industry.

AI Upscaling and Image Enhancements

One great way AI helps in gaming is by making graphics better through “AI Upscaling.” Basically, this tech takes a picture that’s not so clear and makes it clearer. It’s not just about making old games look nicer, but it also lets players with older gadgets enjoy really good graphics.

NVIDIA’s DLSS tech is a great example of AI helping with pictures. NVIDIA uses AI to make games like “Cyberpunk 2077”, “Spider-Man” or “Alan Wake 2” look sharper and run smoother, even if your computer isn’t super modern.

AI upscaling technology enables game developers to enhance the visual quality of game assets, such as textures and graphics, while maintaining gameplayability.

A good example is Cyberpunk 2077. It was one of the first games where NVIDIA added path tracing, making it stand out. This feature enhances how scenes are rendered by adding detailed shadows and light effects, making the visuals look more real and vibrant. Path tracing initially caused a drop in frame rate, making the game hard to play. But with the help of AI-based DLSS 3.5 technology, frame rates could be boosted up to more than 60 frames per second, which made the game smoother and playable.

Player Experience Modeling

PEM, or Player Experience Modeling, is a big deal in gaming right now. It uses math to figure out what players will like or not like in a game. AI in PEM looks at how good players are and how they’re feeling to change the game to fit them better. Depending on how skilled players are, AI can make the game harder or easier as they play, making it more fun and personalized for them.

Non Player Characters (NPCs)

One of the most impactful uses of AI in gaming revolves around NPCs, or non-player characters. These NPCs are designed to act with a level of intelligence akin to real players, yet they operate based on pre-set programming. This means that while they can mimic human-like behaviors, their actions are guided by automated rules that aren’t influenced by the player.

AI revolutionizes this aspect, it helps create more realistic characters that react to players’ actions, have their own goals, emotions, and personalities. AI for NPCs also reduces game development workload and costs by automating tasks and processes. Additionally, it enables new forms of gameplay and storytelling by creating unexpected situations.

What Potential Lies Within AI NPCs?

The AI company Convai made waves at CES this year during the Nvidia press conference. They unveiled a technology that combines generative AI with NPCs, allowing players to engage in unscripted conversations with in-game characters.

Purnendu Mukherjee, the CEO of Convai based in San Jose, explained, “What we are doing is giving these NPCs a mind.” In simple terms, NPCs can have genuine conversations with us, covering a wide range of topics. They don’t just reply verbally; they also express emotions through their facial expressions. Plus, in a 3D environment, they’re capable of perceiving and interacting with their surroundings.

While these conversations may not yet mimic human interactions perfectly, there’s a noticeable improvement. There’s a slight delay before the NPCs respond to questions, and the facial animations still have room for enhancement. Nevertheless, it’s a significant advancement from the static responses typical for many games like The Witcher or Skyrim.

How Can AI Help in Cheat Detection?

Several recent studies discovered that 60% of online gamers think their multiplayer gaming fun got worse because some players cheat.

In online gaming, cheating costs a lot, from losing money to harming a brand’s reputation. Not to mention, how players feel about it. It’s not fair and spoils the fun for everyone else. Given the significant impact cheating has on reputation and monetization concerns, it’s hardly surprising that advanced AI tools will inevitably find their way into games.

Here’s how AI can help in cheat detection through various techniques:

  • Behavioral Analysis: AI algorithms can analyze player behavior patterns to identify anomalies or suspicious activities indicative of cheating.
  • Machine Learning Models: By training machine learning models on large datasets of normal and cheating behavior, AI can learn to detect cheating techniques automatically.
  • Data Analysis: AI can analyze in-game data, such as player inputs, game states, and network traffic, to detect irregularities or discrepancies that may suggest cheating.
  • Anti-Cheat Systems: AI-powered anti-cheat systems can actively monitor game environments to detect and prevent cheating in real time.
  • Anomaly Detection: AI algorithms can flag unusual or suspicious activities in player data, such as sudden performance improvements, unrealistic achievements, or unexpected changes in gameplay behavior.

Games like PUBG already rely on AI to check players’ behaviors and stop cheating. Its anti-cheat system catches and stops users trying to play the game using a virtual machine. Those who try to get around it might get banned in the end.

How Does AI Power Gaming Marketing?

Using AI to analyze data, gaming studios can build detailed profiles of their players. This goes beyond just basic info like age and location. AI looks at what players have done in the past, what they like, and even how they feel about things. This helps marketers send out content, deals, and suggestions that are just right for each gamer. AI doesn’t just make marketing better — it helps build stronger relationships with customers. Here’s how AI can help personalize gaming experiences through marketing:

Player Sentiment Analysis

Player sentiment analysis is one of the exciting things about AI in gaming. By leveraging natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning techniques, AI can analyze player feedback, comments, and interactions to understand their sentiments and emotions towards the game. This means looking at what players say about games to see what they like and don’t like. Game makers use AI to check player feedback and figure out what parts of their games are the best and what needs fixing.

For example, in League of Legends, a big game by Riot Games, they use AI to watch what players say online. Then, the game developers at Riot Games use this info to decide how to make the game better and more fun for everyone.

Predictive Analytics

AI algorithms can analyze historical data and user behavior patterns to predict future trends and anticipate market demand. This enables gaming companies to tailor their marketing strategies accordingly, such as timing the release of new games or updates to coincide with peak demand periods.

Data-Driven Targeted Advertising

AI algorithms analyze user data, including demographics, behavior, and preferences, to identify target audiences more accurately. This allows gaming companies to deliver personalized advertisements to specific segments of players who are more likely to be interested in their games, increasing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Efficiency and Speed of Work

Developers are turning to AI tools to save time. Game studios want to work quicker and be more efficient. Unity claimed that in 2022, it took an average of 218 days to launch a game, but by 2023, it took 304 days. This means studios are spending more time developing games before they start making money. They need to find ways to get their games to market faster. 62% of the studios that Unity surveyed used AI in their work processes. They mainly used it for fast prototyping, coming up with ideas, creating assets, and building game worlds.

Prototyping and Concepting

What can be more exciting than starting a game from scratch? But at the same time, it can also feel daunting and exhausting. Concepting involves a lot of brainstorming and trying out different gameplay ideas. In a survey conducted by Unity in 2023, 68% of developers who use AI said they liked how it helps them come up with game ideas and prototypes faster.

Developers hope that being able to quickly conceptualize will either make the time it takes to release a game shorter or give them more time for planning strategies and making the game better. Unity says that 96% of the studios surveyed spent three months or less working on prototypes, compared to 85% of studios in 2022 – this is an incredible result that tends to be even better in 2024, as AI tools are developing fast. 4 Right now, about 35% of the world is using AI. Experts believe this number will go up in 2024 as AI becomes even more popular.

Testing and Fixing

Tools powered by AI for testing and fixing can handle lots of tricky test situations way faster than people. These automatic tools can look through heaps of code to find mistakes, spot bugs, and offer solutions.

Automating these tasks that take a long time and lots of effort lets developers find and fix all the small issues in the game’s setup. This makes testing games faster and easier for developers.

Procedural Content Generation (PCG)

Video games have tons of stuff in them: 3D objects, characters, clothes, music, and more. Making all these things is really hard and takes a lot of time and money. But AI can change that. With AI, game makers can create better and more varied worlds faster, meeting what players want.

Also, AI can make stories for games. Take AI Dungeon 2, for example. It’s a text adventure game that uses OpenAI’s GPT-3 model. Players can have endless adventures by giving the game prompts, and the AI makes up unique stories for them to play through.

Why AI Can’t Fully Replace Human Touch in Gaming: 3 Key Reasons

AI has improved a lot in making games, especially in creating content, finding bugs, and designing parts of games. But it works best when it works together with humans, not when it takes over from them. AI can help with tasks like generating content, analyzing data, and making things run better, which lets humans concentrate on the fun and smart parts of making games. Here are key aspects AI can’t replace humans in:

  • Creativity: Making games is about being imaginative, telling stories, and showing artistry, which are things that make us human. While AI can help with parts like making landscapes or characters, it can’t match the unique ideas and instincts that human developers bring. That human touch is crucial for making games that are special and grab players’ attention.
  • Emotions: Creating interesting stories, making characters grow, and making players feel things deeply are things humans are really good at. AI might help with making up conversations or plots, but it can’t reach the same emotional depth and storytelling skill that humans can.
  • Checking Quality: AI can help find mistakes like bugs or when a game doesn’t work well, but deciding if a game is really good usually comes down to humans testing it and getting feedback. Human testers can tell if a game feels right, looks good, and gives players a good time in ways AI can’t do yet.

The Ethical Dilemmas and Challenges AI Faces in Gaming

  • ​​Intellectual Property Concerns

A significant worry revolves around intellectual property because AI-generated content blurs the lines of ownership and rights. Developers must think about how AI-made content affects copyright protection and ownership rights. Yet, with clear guidelines and policies in place, the industry can handle these worries well and still make the most of AI’s possibilities.

  • ​​Job Loss

By the year 2030, it’s estimated that around 14% of jobs worldwide could be lost because of AI and automation. This means a significant number of people might find themselves without work due to machines and computers taking over tasks that humans used to do.

When AI becomes more involved, jobs may change or even disappear, causing worries about job security and the skills needed. Developers need to adjust to these changes and learn new skills to stay valuable. But as AI becomes part of the picture, it also brings new job chances and the possibility of more complex tasks and roles in game development.

Will Games Lose Their Uniqueness If AI Takes Over?

A major concern for many is that video games have strived to be seen as an art form, similar to music and movies. There’s a fear that if AI takes over, it might remove the human touch that artists and game developers have worked hard to include in games. Some worry that all games will start to look alike if AI is in charge.

Marc Whitten, chief product and technology officer at Unity in his interview for Pocketgamer acknowledges AI’s potential for significant disruption but emphasizes its role as a tool for creativity. He stresses AI’s broader utility, such as providing helpful assistance with conception, prototyping, content creation, level design. “AI is one of those things that supercharges people to be able to iterate more and find the fun faster, which hopefully is a really positive thing..,” says Marc Whitten.

By integrating AI into gameplay loops, developers can create dynamic and personalized interactions, leading to innovative game concepts previously unexplored.

So, answering the question, AI can be a powerful tool for game developers to explore new possibilities and create richer gaming experiences, but it’s unlikely to replace the creativity and uniqueness inherent in human game design.

Let’s Team Up to Build Cutting Edge and Immersive Gaming Solutions

28software offers full-cycle game development services, covering everything from initial concepts to launching and ongoing maintenance. You have the flexibility to select from a range of tailored services to suit your needs, including consulting, game development on an outsourcing basis, or co-development services.

Our game development services include:

  • MVP development
  • 2D/3D art production
  • Animation
  • UI/UX design
  • Unity and UE development
  • Live Operations

Additionally, we specialize in AI game development, offering services such as designing and implementing in-game analytics, finite-state machine models, and full-cycle artificial intelligence development. Our team assesses each client’s needs to determine the most effective AI strategy for their project’s success.

The Future of the Game Industry: So, What Lies Ahead?

In the realm of gaming, AI is not just a game-changer; it’s the future. From enhancing graphics to personalizing player experiences, AI is revolutionizing every aspect of game development and play. It’s making games more immersive, dynamic, and engaging than ever before.

With AI upscaling, games look sharper, even on older devices, while player experience modeling ensures that each player’s journey is unique and enjoyable. NPCs are becoming more lifelike, reacting to players’ actions and creating unexpected situations, thanks to AI.

Moreover, AI is combating cheating, powering marketing strategies, and streamlining development processes, from prototyping to testing. While AI’s rise sparks concerns about job loss and homogenized games, it’s ultimately a tool for creativity, amplifying human ingenuity rather than replacing it.

In the future, the game industry will thrive on the collaboration between AI and human creativity, ushering in a new era of cutting-edge and immersive gaming experiences.

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