Los Angeles-based gaming tech company Promethean AI uses artificial intelligence to help game artists populate vast virtual worlds with objects such as lamps and desks, reported VentureBeat, a tech news portal.
The application programming interface (API) from the company packs a toolset powered by a technology awaiting a patent. The technology will help artists to fill out vast spaces in the games, by suggesting ideas for including lamps or desks for, say, an apartment in the virtual world.
The company was started by Andrew Maximov, former technical art director at Naughty Dog (a US-based video game company) and the lead artist on the ‘Uncharted’ games series.
Maximov pointed out that the task of designing virtual landscapes requires numerous artists and can be overwhelming at times. The technology, he added, takes away the mundane and non-creative work, allowing artists and developers to focus on what’s important.
“We are addressing a big need in the market where the cost keeps growing exponentially,” said Maximov in an interview to VentureBeat. “If you do a project with the next generation, we cannot sustain that. In this generation, it went from $40 million to $100 million to make a game. It could become $200 million. Then you need to sell seven million copies to remain profitable. That’s horrible,” said Maximov.
Maximov believes in easing the pressure on creative people and giving them the power of an army through artificial intelligence. He says he has been, for years, fighting for democratising the creative process as well as supporting and empowering creativity in artists.
“Half of an artist’s work now is not creative. They build or rebuild things a dozen times. This is where we can help. The artist sets it up. We fill it out. Then the artist applies their time to polishing. We don’t do 100%. We get you 70% there in a matter of seconds. It’s like autopilots in airplanes. They did not eliminate the pilots,” Maximov told VentureBeat.
Although procedural solutions, too, can fill out virtual gaming spaces, they have limited appeal and look fake. Also, they remove the artists from the loop, and remain confined to populating a forest road with trees and rocks.