The creation of smart contracts and Web3 interfaces has led to a whole new genre of play-to-win or non-fungible token (NFT) video games. This niche has seen incredible ups and downs in terms of player count and transaction volume. Despite this volatility, a Web3 gaming executive says new innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) will make the genre better than ever. Alex Connelly is the CTO of Immutable, developer of the digital trading card game Gods Unchained and NFT platform Immutable X. He told that OpenAI, an American research lab focused on AI, is dedicated to developing user-friendly applications with a variety of tasks. The software will open new possibilities for Web3 games, allowing developers to create better art, more challenging encounters, and superior storytelling, resulting in a more intense and rich experience for players.
Connelly said the area where his team is most looking for OpenAI applications is in the arts. In the past, video game developers often had to create multiple versions of the same images. For example, there often had to be multiple sizes of the same image or slightly different versions highlighting different parts of an artwork. This sometimes resulted in a lack of efficiency. But with OpenAI software, artists can now experiment with letting the AI create different versions of an artwork. Art gives artists more time to create original works.
Challenging players, but not too much
Beyond the immediate benefit of creating better graphics, Connolly said there are other areas where OpenAI could improve games in the future. One topic the team has been discussing is the development of AI that can dynamically adapt to players’ abilities levels and create encounters difficult enough to be fun without becoming overwhelming. Connelly explained:
“I think we’re really excited about the potential of this technology to create a more meaningful counter play for opponents, so a challenge in things like trading card games or roleplaying games is to build an AI that’s at the right level of difficulty and that kind of fits the players’ needs.” “I think we can create continuous, really deep, immersive learning curves for players that fit their current position in games.”
ChatGPT and GPT3 storytelling
One of the newer pieces of OpenAI software is the Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, also known as ChatGPT, which has been used to create trading bots, blogs, and even crypto songs. In response to a question about whether Immutable plans to use ChatGPT in its games, Connelly said the team is only considering it in the early stages since it’s so new. However, he said the team used a previous incarnation, GPT-3, to experiment with ways to create an AI storyteller that would tell stories based on the games that appear in a deck of cards. He explained: “We think there are really cool storytelling opportunities with this technology, and we explored ideas like, say, you’re in a deck of cards, and you’re playing cards to get GPT-3 to tie that into a story.
No human could go on and write a story that ties together the information of an entire game. It would just be impossible if we were talking about millions of games here, right?
Despite his optimism, he cautioned that the team had encountered some difficulties in implementing the story narrator concept. Initial tests resulted in “spam” narration that detracted from the game rather than added to it, so the team is still figuring out how to incorporate the right amount of narration into a card game.
“We did this really cool thing.” However, when we play, it confuses them [the players] or does not directly resonate with them. We’re still figuring out how to strike the right balance: how do we ensure that if we do this, it doesn’t just result in a lot of spam content? “I believe that there are some potential uses for NFTs and gaming in reducing the amount of spam that is produced or in introducing some costs there so that people can still have richer experiences,” he stated.
Web3 game developers embrace OpenAI
Connelly stated that Immutable is not the only company looking to use this technology to improve games. He also notices that Immutable X partner developers are becoming more interested in experimenting with OpenAI.
When compared to other studios, Web3 studios, in his opinion, are the most enthusiastic about using these new technologies. Although all game studios want to use OpenAI to improve their games, he claims that large studios face an “innovator’s dilemma” that makes taking the risks of implementing OpenAI features more expensive. As a result, he expects Web3 and NFT games to lead the way in these technologies in the future.