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PlayStation Executive Thinks AI Will Make Games More Personalized

Technology will help create emotion in stories.

Guerrilla | Horizon Forbidden West

When I think about personalization, I have to say artificial intelligence doesn't come to mind as a solution, but maybe it's just me. Asad Qizilbash, head of PlayStation productions and product, doesn't agree and believes that this is the future that will deliver the narrative players want nowadays.

In a recent interview, he said that AI and advanced technology will make game characters more expressive and emotive and thus improve storytelling.

"In terms of gaming's future, I envision games becoming more personalized due to advances in technology and AI, enabling customized experiences for each player. Moreover, technological advancements will enhance emotional depth in games by allowing characters to be much more emotive and expressive, fostering more evocative storytelling. That's going to help a whole generation of creators be able to just create so much more emotion in the stories. The focus is going to shift from graphics or visuals to immersive narratives that resonate long after the controller is set down."

PlayStation's role in this evolution is to be a "destination defined by community and a commitment to quality, unexpected and memorable experiences," in Qizilbash's opinion.

One example of these personalized experiences is NPC interaction, which will change based on the player's actions: "This is important for the younger Gen Z and Gen Alpha audiences, who are the first generations that grew up digitally and are looking for personalization across everything, as well as looking for experiences to have more meaning."

Talks in favor of AI are nothing new and have been emerging more often lately. Naughty Dog's president Neil Druckmann, for example, expressed his love toward the technology saying it is going to revolutionize how content is being created. To him, it's a powerful tool that helps even non-technical people realize their dreams.

I understand big bosses' fondness for AI (and the money it can save them), but I just don't see how it can advance storytelling and characters' expressiveness because these are the two things that a machine can't really grasp, in my view. As, you know, it doesn't have feelings and can't come up with brand-new, original thoughts because generative AI relies on previously created ideas. Sure, freely talking NPCs are what we all want, but it's hardly the pinnacle of meaningful narration.

See what Qizilbash has to say here and join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitterLinkedInTikTok, and Reddit, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more. 

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Comments 3

  • Matheson James

    The Outlining Abstract
    An Idea for Devs to Consider

    Script based open worlds have a fixed set of prewritten stories with a limited number of outcomes; this diminishes player agency and replay value. In contrast, a ‘living’ world has independent and evolving nonplayer character agents for the player to interact with over an undetermined number of calendar years; the story becomes whatever relationship the player develops with the gameworld and its occupants.
    All of today’s computer roleplaying games would benefit from the form of content organizing, orchestrating, and pipelining engine that a well-trained AI can provide. I can only imagine how labor intensive and tedious it must be to design each and every non-player character’s dungeon, story, and event just to watch players power through it all seemingly moments after release. There is a more efficient way to deliver content to players within a gameworld. Traditional script based open worlds in use today are nothing more than interactive, choose-your-own-adventure movies; they are finite, rigid, and predictable because NPCs simply carry a story to be discovered. This makes the player more observer than participant. I am proposing the development of a way that is fluid, adaptable, effectively infinite, and far more engaging. A living and ever evolving world can be created by giving nonplayer characters the ability to shape the gameworld, each according to the direction of their life paths and from the results of their skill checks. This would allow for an exponentially greater number of spontaneous story outcomes than what is possible with prewritten script carrying NPCs. More ‘potential’ content, in the form of well-crafted and believable nonplayer character agents, can be created by your artists in the same amount of time and investment normally used to author predetermined stories, and thus, vastly increase the replayability and value of future games.
    There are three main areas where I see an AI being most useful - first, the ambulation, vocalization, and visual tailoring of artist created canon, non-canon, and non-canon plus NPCs, including their motives and goals, with dialogue logically derived from artist input and training; and second, in assembling the who, what, when, where and why of the stories, in which, the what and why would work themselves out by the calculus of the who when and where; and that is how the stories would unfold themselves, across time denoted in a calendar and logged by the Game Meister Program in each NPC’s and player’s respective campaign journals. Every NPC would be the protagonist of their own story, just like real life. Whether the player chooses to engage with them or not, the world spins on, because the players are not the center of the universe anymore. This would create a ‘living’ world, which is an expansion of the ‘open’ world game concept. By giving NPCs the freedom to forge their own path and a history from which to work, you will be making them proactive rather than reactive. And by doing this, you will be giving players more than a collection of stories, you will be giving them your Entire World. Finally, an AI gamemaster could be used to shuffle and modify assets like NPCs, including their locations, histories, associations, appearances, motives, and goals; as well as building sites, lairs, and legendary items and their requisite components; and thus, create an ever evolving, infinitely playable, campaign setting.

    SleuthyScout
    Soul Proprietor
    Chaotic Good
    Technical Writer


    0

    Matheson James

    ·a month ago·
  • Matheson James

    There is a pervasive belief that AI will be used to quickly and cheaply generate narratives for the player to discover and that this will render writers obsolete. While this is certainly a possibility, having AI write stories could reduce the need for writers, but only if developers continue to produce roleplaying games that are merely finite interactive movies with fixed prewritten scripts that minimize player agency and replay value. However, the potential of generative AI to enhance roleplay greatly exceeds this simplistic view. Imagine a game where nonplayer characters are more than just vehicles with which to guide players along a prewritten path; one where NPCs are dynamic beings with motivations, who strive toward the completion of their own goals and are capable of context-aware conversations and decision making, NPCs with memory and purpose. It is my firm belief that it will take more writers and voice actors to compile the amount of data needed for a Small Language Model AI to accurately portray a plethora of nonplayer characters as agents, not less. Just as important though, if generative AI were solely used to create, ambulate, and voice the characters that populate a world, then players and critics will likely, whether wrongly or rightly, succumb to the ‘first impression’ bias and only ever sense a soulless world created by machines. But most important of all, keeping as many people employed as fiscally possible will create the Good Will crucial for maximizing profitability.
    - SleuthyScout

    0

    Matheson James

    ·a month ago·
  • Matheson James

    If there’s one idea that I hope developers of computer roleplaying games leave in the past, it’s the belief that they have to be the ones to tell the story.

    I hope the idea that replaces it is the realization that the role of the gamemaster is to build a world around the player’s character, and that the story becomes the player’s lived history in the world gamemasters share with their players.
    The best use of AI will be to organize and orchestrate artist created content so that the player is not being told a story, they will be the story.

    0

    Matheson James

    ·a month ago·

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