AI in GTA 6 and Upcoming Elder Scrolls 6 Will Mark a Revolutionary Turn for Gaming
Machine learning and AI are circling pretty much every developer and publisher nowadays. There is the fear of people losing jobs due to AI. But usage of AI can result in good things too. If used well enough and creatively, video game makers can change gaming forever. And the CEO of Take-Two has already hinted at Rockstar Games using it for upcoming GTA games.
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It’s bold to suggest when you have not started meddling in these matters already. And the way Strauss Zelnick talked about this new tech, it appears that there is no doubt we are going to see it in either GTA 6 or future Rockstar Games titles.
The future of AI and machine learning in game development
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When Bethesda released Skyrim in 2011, the game was an instant hit. No matter what anyone says of it, the prime reason for that game’s success was its world; the world that Bethesda designed from the ground up. They, of course, used their proprietary procedural generation technology to build a map. Then they crafted it, gave it details, and made sure the terrain had textures and such.
A similar thing was done with Fallout 4. Both of these games were very beautiful to look at and so detailed that it was a pleasure exploring these worlds and finding new and unusual stuff at every corner. One cannot imagine how things would be if Bethesda did not have that technology handy.
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They stuck to their creation engine with Starfield for their familiarity with it and maybe for the fact that they keep improving its procedural generation features. And it would be hard to implement it in another engine. This means they compromise on the visuals, performance, and polish of their games for one feature that is no doubt crucial. Some say it’s for moderator support. Whatever that is, procedural generation can be made better.
In many other games from a number of other developers and publishers, procedural generation serves a crucial purpose. Guns in the Borderlands series, everything in No Man’s Sky, and the whole map in Valheim AI and machine learning can do this better, more creatively, and more efficiently. It just needs the right input.
It would be like a brain doing all the work that was previously left to a program with predetermined rules and exceptions. If they know how to use it and where, developers will be shipping some excellent games in the future. Who knows, maybe Bethesda will take a hint and fans can explore an AI-generated world in Elder Scrolls 6?
GTA 6 and evolution in NPC interaction
Years ago, when Rockstar Games released GTA 4, fans could not believe their eyes. They were seeing a game that looked way too real. The game was no doubt heavy on most of the hardware back then, but it brought a bunch of new stuff to the table.
Visuals aside, gameplay-wise, GTA 4 had new shooting mechanics and realistic ragdoll physics courtesy of Euphoria. This plugin was attached to Rockstar Games’ then-new RAGE engine. This new engine also allowed for random events; players could randomly meet people in that game and do missions for them. It was not a big deal, yet fans were very excited. This feature made Liberty City feel more lived. Just walking down an alley and someone asks you for a favor, simple enough. Players can meet fourteen random characters and work for them, which was huge back then.
Red Dead Redemption had 19 such missions; GTA 5 had 57; there were 24 such encounters in Red Dead Redemption 2, but it had an unlimited number of shorter missions. This engine kept on improving. It provided the best visuals and options to make game worlds even more detailed.
Now CEO of Take-Two Interactive, Strauss Zelnick, hinted at something even better. A feature that is rumored to be in GTA 6 too, to some extent. He told Inverse in an interview, “Everyone’s working on that. You’re a playable character; you’re interacting with a non-playable character. That interaction is currently scripted. And the non-playable characters are generally not very interesting. You could imagine all the NPCs becoming really interesting and fun.”
Remember those NPCs in games from the early 2000s? Similar-looking NPCs repeat the same lines of dialogue. Not reacting to anything, just standing there like tree stumps? Even Skyrim had such people. This would change.
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Imagine every NPC having their own character, preference, and choice of dialogues from numerous already present in their library of dialogues. Imagine asking an NPC for directions when they say to go east, but you start walking north, and they instantly either ask you to go the right way or maybe scold you for wasting their time even though you are going on your own predetermined path. Such interactions would completely work with GTA 6. That’s the kind of humor they capture.
Dark aesthetics, characters saying relevant stuff but with a tone of sarcasm to it—everything would sit right together if AI was used the way it should be.
Let’s see how far Rockstar Games decides to take this, though. Zelnick even mentioned that doing this would end up costing way more, as this kind of stuff takes years of time and a lot of money to make. He told Inverse that the usage of AI in gaming “may be better, but it almost certainly will not be faster and cheaper.”
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One can only assume they have been working on it for a while, and GTA 6 would be the first product using it. That, however, will only be known when the game launches.
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