The art, the characters, the story, and voice acting were generated by AI.
AI-generated art is not that novel anymore, with DALL-E, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and other models paving the way for more and more advanced projects, including games. One such game is This Girl Does Not Exist – a colorful puzzle developed by Cute Pen Games and created by AI.
The developers say everything you see, including the art, the characters, the story, and even voice acting, was generated by machine learning AI.
This Girl Does Not Exist is a dating sim where you need to put together puzzle pieces of girls as you progress. In each stage, you choose which girls you like and would like to progress with further. Every girl has her personality and unique information to uncover.
Talking to Kotaku, the creators, a married couple, shared their expectations and experiences with the game. "mrspotatoes" hoped that people would be curious about the "showcase of modern technology", while her husband was more worried, thinking that players would hate it and "disregard it as not ‘real art.’"
While making an AI-generated game meant there was no need to draw anything, the game needed several characters for the player to romance, so the challenge was to make Midjourney create the same character in different poses and settings.
"I had to rerun a lot of the commands and try many times until I got out of it a set of pictures which would be the ‘same person,’" said the developer.
Unfortunately, the game hasn't attracted the attention the developers hoped for. They sent it to around 250 YouTubers, but almost nobody reacted. Cute Pen Games has many NSFW games, but this one is its worst-selling.
"One [YouTuber] did a livestream but during that livestream, people hated it...not the game, but the AI part. They wrote in the chat stuff like: ‘I feel the AI is gonna take our jobs/crap vibes from the game.’"
The disappointing response doesn't mean the couple won't try to incorporate AI-generated parts into their next game:
"If I would do a whole AI game again," mrspotatoes said, "I would maybe try to tell people only after they finish the game and see what would the reactions be, as I think with This Girl, maybe people had prejudices up front."
The reaction is not that surprising considering that some artists are worried about AI threatening their careers, although many believe it's more like an art student inspired by other artists' work and can't be compared to a real person's work.