Following Ubisoft Ghosterwriter’s announcement and the controversy surrounding its implementation Game Developer sat down with the tool’s creator Ben Swanson to talk about the tool’s implementation. Swanson clarified that Ghostwriter’s primary focus is to make bigger “bark trees.” You can read our summary of the interview here.
AI seems to be evolving every day now and Ubisoft is aiming to implement AI tools into future games. Ubisoft today announced ‘Ubisoft Ghostwriter,’ an in-house AI tool created by Ubisoft’s R&D department, La Forge. Ghostwriter is set to “generate first drafts of barks – phrases or sounds made by NPCs during a triggered event.” Ubisoft was quick to clarify at the beginning of its statement that “Ghostwriter isn’t replacing the video game writer.” Instead, Ubisoft hopes that the new AI tool will be able to alleviate writers to focus on more important elements of dialogue creation and drastically reduce the focus on repetitive and minor aspects of gameplay dialogue. The tool is set to allow writers more time to “polish the narrative elsewhere.”
The above trailer’s description reads: “Introducing Ubisoft Ghostwriter, an AI tool developed in-house that aims to support our scriptwriters by generating the first draft of our NPC barks – the phrases or sounds made by NPCs when players interact with the game world. This tool was created hand-in-hand with scriptwriters to create more realistic NPC interactions by generating variations on a piece of dialogue See how our teams will use AI to handle repetitive tasks, and free up time to work on other core game elements.”
While it’s still yet unclear what the general consensus from writers in the industry is about this new tool Liz England, Game Director at Possibility Space, who previously worked on Watch Dogs Legion noted in a tweet: “My gamedev mutuals, please, I love you but don’t love your immediate knee jerk reactions to this. I attended this talk. It was fantastic. Gold standard of how to integrate this tech into your development, in direct collaboration with writers and using their own datasets.” She followed this on by saying “this is not ‘we will replace writers with this tech’ this is ‘writers tell us what they want with this tech.'”
The creator of Ghostwriter, Ben Swanson said that Ghostwriter would allow writers to “rather than writing first draft versions themselves, Ghostwriter lets scriptwriters select and polish the samples generated.” Whether this will prove to be of benefit to writers at Ubisoft will have to wait to be seen.
Ben is set to speak more about the tool at GDC on March 21st, 2023 in his session titled “Machine Learning Summit: Natural Language Generation for Games Writing”