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Roleverse is bringing the power of creation to all users by enabling them to create their own games using generative AI.
The idea is to combine the ingenuity and creative passion of ordinary gamers with emerging technologies that allow them to create games faster and with better quality. But it’s not just about giving players access to ChatGPT and entering text messages, hoping that good games will come up.
Rather, the game asks players questions that help them narrow their vision more quickly to something that seems interesting. In response to Roleverse’s requests, you build a game by customizing something that starts out more generic until you’re satisfied with your original work.
We have created a service or platform where you can create a game by saying what kind of game you want to play, said Jani Penttinen, CTO of Roleverse, in an interview with GamesBeat. You say, I want to go to a tropical island and he will make you an island. You can change it by saying you want to make it wintery. Can create enemies. Can make changes to the landscape.
The result is a platform that allows people to create their own visions and become storytellers themselves. No coding skills are required. You can do simple things that can dramatically change speech. For example, if you say the atmosphere should be spooky, then it will make the world darker and scarier.
The company uses artificial intelligence to create emergent gameplay or something you didn’t expect when you started. Rather than seeing AI as a threat, the company sees it as a tool to unlock more creativity, as the player has the freedom to alter the world.
How it started
Penttinen started making games in the early 1990s. So he started working on machine learning in games about six years ago. It was a little early, but since then technology has come a long way.
Over the past year, with the emergence of big language models that can actually do things, Penttinen has dived into technology. He felt that creating a story for a game was the easy part. But building an entire world and game around that is the hard part.
Nobody really expected them to be the solution that actually allows you to have intelligence, he said. We used to think you could make customer service bots or something like that. But it turned out we could do so much more with it.
Penttinen sees each game more like an island, like in Fortnite, where others can visit. In the long run, she hopes to have multiplayer so friends can visit each other and streamers stream their creations to each other. The company has raised $1.64 million to date. Penttinen expects to raise more later this year.
Aurelien Merville is the CEO and Markus Kiukkonen is the COO. Altogether there are eight founders and one employee.
How does it work
You can share the results as you wish. The company is opening up Roleverse for testing on its Discord community. This gives you access to test the game and start building stuff.
The game has an AI backend, based on OpenAI’s GPT-4 AI model, which has full control over the world. It is also linked to Google’s Bard model.
We basically have this proxy server where we call our API and our backend will connect to OpenAI or Google Bard, he said.
So he can create anything. You can say you want the world to be more dangerous and the AI will understand that, Penttinen said. The language model can create its own backstory.
It’s a bit like Minecraft without the editor, he said. You don’t have to know how to change things. No need to drag and drop or click the mouse. You say what you want.
Roleverse is looking for playtesters now and expects the game to be released in October 2023. The company started over a year ago and started building things in August 2022. Penttinen is in Austin, Texas, but everyone else has based in Helsinki, Finland.
We expected to see a variety of different games in unexpected ways, he said. It’s hard to compare it to any other game because we just tried to give players as much freedom as possible to create.
The company designed models for games, and its engineers taught AI how to design a great gaming session. Start with a story and then create the world around that story. The games can usually be played in about 15 minutes to an hour. It’s a bit like teaching a junior game designer how to design a great game, he said. The game world that is created is approximately one square kilometer.
We want to give AI the ability to come up with infinite variations when designing a game, he said. If you really like it, you can share it with your friends.
While the company’s platform will be called Roleverse, it’s also making its own game, and that game’s name has yet to be decided. It is an open world game similar to Zelda.
It’s like a sandbox platform where people will be able to experiment and create their own stuff, he said. We are showing what can be done with technology. But the ultimate goal is to host a platform for all types of games.
As for earnings, Penttinen said, “Initially it will be a model similar to Midjourney and ChatGPT, where you get a certain amount of free usage and if you want to do more, you have to sign up. This will be the sandbox. Later when it launches our very first game, will be playable for free with in-app purchases.
Since there is no direct user text input, Roleverse aims to prevent people from creating inappropriate games that may violate community standards. The company keeps it family-friendly. Once you get to the point where you’ve built enough, then you can say a sentence that can change the way it’s built.
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