PlayerUnknown’s “Prologue” Will be a F2P Massive AI-Generated Survival Tech Demo
Earlier this week it was announced that Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene was breaking away from PUBG publisher Krafton to start his own studio, PlayerUnknown Productions, and now he’s revealed a bit more information about what he’s working on in a new Twitter video, which you can check out below.
— PLAYERUNKNOWN (@PLAYERUNKNOWN) September 3, 2021
The basic gist is that Greene is looking to develop new technology that will be able to generate huge open worlds – hundreds of kilometers across – with the use of AI machine learning. Here’s Greene on what he hopes to achieve with his new studio.
We want to create realistic sandbox worlds on a scale seldom attempted. Worlds hundreds of kilometers across with thousands of players interacting, exploring, and creating. I'm humbly following in the footsteps of so many other great open-world developers like Markus, Gary, Shawn, and like them, my dream is not to create a game, but rather, a world. There are many problems with creating worlds at the scale I envision, but one of the more significant is we simply don't have a way to fill these massive with content -- assets, game mechanics, locations, and similar things -- in a reasonable amount of time. Realistic open worlds take a great deal of time and effort to produce, and so, this was the first issue that we chose to tackle.
The key to making things bigger than humans can create on their own has always been to get machines to pitch in and help, and that's exactly what we've done here. Our machine is a neural network and our network gives us a way to learn and then generate massive, realistic open worlds at runtime. Or to put it another way, each and every time you press play. It's this breakthrough that we hope will start pushing video game worlds to the sorts of scale that would lend weight to the idea of, "You see that mountain? You can climb it." Coming across a beautiful corner tucked away in a vast wilderness. I think that has real meaning when thousands of players haven't passed that way in the last hour.
The first step in Greene’s new journey is Prologue, a project first announced back at the Game Awards in 2019. Prologue will be a stripped-down survival game, which will task players will journeying across a large procedurally generated world with very little in the way of guidance. Greene is calling this a tech demo, and it will be released under a “pay what you want” model.
Soon we'll be able to show off some of what we've achieved, which brings me to Prologue. As I said, first, we have to build out the technology required to generate these vast worlds. Prologue is intended to serve as a simple introduction to an early introduction to our technology. A chance to look at what we've accomplished by leveraging machine learning.
In Prologue, you'll need to find your way across a runtime-generated wilderness and use found tools and gather the resources to survive in a journey where harsh weather is your constant foe. There will be no guidance, no path for you to follow, just a world, a spot on the map to reach, and the tools needed to get there. We've also decided to relese Prologue as a tech demo, rather than a complete game. A way for you to experience an early iteration of our terrain generation tool.
Our aim with Prologue is to open the door to our studio and to show you what we're working on. Because Prologue's a tech demo, we're going to let you pay what you want for it. If you like what you see and enjoy the experience and want to support the team, that will be entirely up to you. This is just the start though. A small glimpse at technology that will eventually power a much more extensive experience.
It certainly sounds like Greene has some mighty big ambitions, but, of course, AI-generated open worlds aren’t exactly a new thing. So, what will set this new tech apart? I suppose Prologue will give us a taste.
A release date for Prologue has yet to be set. What do you think? Excited to try out PlayerUnknown’s latest ambitious project?
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