AI Ghostwriter Helping Create More Compelling NPCs

Developing content for games is just as difficult as developing screenplays for movies. It requires thoughtful creativity and vigorous efforts. There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) will help transcend the gaming industry. And one of those ways appears to be through assistance with script and dialogue creation, which is exactly why the industry is so excited about Ubisoft’s Ghostwriter.

What is Ghostwriter?

Ghostwriter was created by Ubisoft as an AI tool with the purpose of assisting writers and developers in the creation of gaming content. The main function of Ghostwriter is to generate a massive amount of text, such as dialogue, in super quick fashion. For games that feature robust dialogue, Ghostwriter is the latest solution to save gaming developers time and money in the development phase.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get to it.

First, no, Ghostwriter won’t necessarily replace human content creators. When it comes to AI, this is a general fear no matter what industry you speak with.

Ghostwriter’s intention is to help, or assist, writers, in crafting large amounts of dialogue. It can also generate narratives. But creative control and direction remains with the writers. It would not be practical application to run autopilot on any of this.

And there’s more.

The same company is looking to build upon Ghostwriter by leveraging a technology that helps generate more realistic, lifelike reactions from NPCs.

“It takes speech as input and generates body gesture as output, so we can imagine those NPCs expressing themselves with non-scripted dialogues, having almost natural body animation, synthesized from speech,” says Alexis Rolland, development director of La Forge China, the Chinese branch of video games publisher Ubisoft’s research and development unit.

Many people don’t understand both the impact and burden of NPCs in gaming. While some may not notice them, their repetitious behaviors can impact the realism and immersiveness of a game. If AI can upgrade NPCs in a game, it inherently creates a more powerful, immersive experience for the gamer.

In these cases, AI is helping to shuttle along creative development buy cutting out the grunt-work aspect of the creative process.

“This NPC, using deep learning, does not have a fixed pattern, so can have a greater variety of movements,” says Jitao Zhou, a student at Rikkyo University in Tokyo.

Like, imagine this. Because is happening.

Below is a demo of an unreal engine demo where you can walk up and speak to any NPC.

Upgrading both dialogue and NPC reactions/actions/responsiveness will drastically upgrade the immersive aspect of games, as you can see.

The use of AI in gaming, as exemplified by Ghostwriter and NPC technology, points to a future where AI could play a significant role in various aspects of game development. From narrative creation to environment design and beyond, AI tools are starting to reshape how games are made. As a result, we can expect much more potent gaming experiences overall.