Hellblade Director Wants to Create a Game Using AI and “Machine Learning”

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Almost all games use some form of artificial intelligence to bring their NPCs and enemies to life, and plenty, like the just-released Detroit: Become Human, use the possibilities of AI as a key story element, but what if AI was actually used to make a game? Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice director Tameem Antoniades would like to make that happen.

“I am interested in AI, because finally we're breaking through. AI technology has basically been in the doldrums for 30 or 40 years with very little in the way of advancement, and finally we're getting really good results - eye-opening results. I think I'd like to explore where AI can […] build that experience.

On a practical level, what you can do with machine learning and deep learning is quite astounding. I think it has the possibility of increasing productivity and quality massively, but we need to figure out how to do that. The idea of using small teams to create epic things becomes more feasible with AI.”

Antoniades admits characters with advanced AI may not mesh with the kind of cinematic adventures Ninja Theory specializes in. Instead, he hopes AI can be used to generate assets and worlds more efficiently…

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“The decisions that the AI makes needs to further a narrative of some sort, and if you can't control those decisions you're probably not going to end up with something very compelling. I see AI less like sentience intelligence and more as a tool for productivity and creating volume of assets. […] It's less about having super-intelligent AI that can beat you, because that's not fun. They'll beat you every single time.”

Ninja Theory opened a lot of eyes when they released Hellblade, proving a triple-A quality project could be made with a relatively small (around $10 million) budget. Given the studio’s “triple-A indie” ethos, turning over some of their asset and world creation to AI would certainly make sense. As long as they don’t create Skynet in the process, I’m in favor of anything that helps indie devs out.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is available now on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

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