GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #13 - AlienGPT

Published on Thursday, April 27, 2023 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #13 - GPT

GPT stands for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer” and since the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT the world of generative AI has really taken off. For the past several months, we have been working to build GPT technology into our Tachyon engine, Stardock’s cloud-based metagaming technology that has previously been seen in Ashes of the Singularity, Offworld Trading Company and Star Control: Origins. Thanks to OpenAI’s ChatGPT API and Tachyon, we are proud to demonstrate what this technology can do for games.

AI generated civilizations

In the past, Stardock would release new civilizations for $4.99 for 5 as a DLC. Creating a new civilization was a lot of work. Lots of writing and lots of new art and game balance. With Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova, it’s just a matter of entering a description of your civilization and pressing a button:

Step 1: Enter a description for your civilization.

Step 2: Press the button.

There is no step 3.

It’s not just cosmetic. How you set up your civilization will affect how other civilizations will react to you and interact with you.

Let’s jump into the game:

I should also mention that when you save your civilization you can also play against them in the future… Such as…

Don’t judge me.

And other civilizations will refer to your civilization as you would…well, expect.

We are, after all, sentient ice cream.

And the Drengin are never impressed.

AI generated quests and challenges

Why stop with AI aliens? Another source of DLC in games has been new quests and related content. With Tachyon, our games, starting with Galactic Civilizations, can just ask for a new quest. Where is gets really crazy that we can ask in the language of the player so the result comes back as a native speaker (or alternatively, as good/bad at it as English).

Sharing

Players can take their custom civilizations and share them with others online. So we expect to see…well you know deep down exactly what we are likely to see.

What about the art?

As mentioned in a previous blog, Stardock has been making space games for 30 years. So we have a fairly extensive library of aliens to train AI image generators on.

The Human future

Ironically, this work has resulted in us putting out the call for even more artists, writers and editors. While on the surface, this may seem counterintuitive, let me walk you through how this works out.

Before: You hire artists, writers and editors and produce N assets per month which is insufficient to be commercially viable. I.e. the consumer market just won’t pay enough to justify focusing them on these tasks.

Now: You hire artists, writers and editors and product 100N assets per month. Now it’s enough to justify the work. The stuff the AI generates is really good and getting better all the time, only a human being knows our game well enough to know whether the output fits in with what we’re trying to do.

So the short answer is, we expect to hire more artists and writers and editors in the future.

We’re just starting

AI generation helps us greatly increase content but it won’t make a bad game good. It does, however, make the game a much more personal experience for the player.

We are hoping to make Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova the most immersive space strategy game ever. Combining Stardock’s inhouse AI capabilities with generative AI we can build a truly living universe.

During the early access period for GalCiv IV: Supernova we will be balancing the game, adding more content, optimizing and polishing and listening to your feedback. It’s going to be quite a ride!

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Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Dev Journals