More game companies are trying to incorporate AI technologies into their development processes. Ubisoft has introduced Ghostwriter, its own machine learning tool that should make it easier for writers to create interactions and dialogues with NPC.
What is Ghostwriter?
Ghostwriter was presented on March 21 during the GDC session titled “Machine Learning Summit: Natural Language Generation for Games Writing.” Ubisoft R&D scientist Ben Swanson, who previously worked at Google and MIT Media Lab, also shared the main details about the tool on the company’s blog.
- Developed by the Ubisoft La Forge division, Ghostwriter’s main goal is to help scriptwriters make every player interaction with an NPC unique and realistic.
- According to Swanson, the tool won’t replace human writers and narrative designers. Instead, it should alleviate some routine tasks like writing barks, phrases and sounds that NPCs make during different triggered events.
- “Rather than writing first draft versions themselves, Ghostwriter lets scriptwriters select and polish the samples generated,” Swanson noted.
- Ghostwriter was created in collaboration with Ubisoft’s narrative team. The researchers wanted to better understand their needs to integrate the technology in the company’s development process.
- With this tool, the writer first creates a character and a type of interaction they would like to generate. After that, Ghostwriter proposes several variations for the scriptwriter to choose from and edit.
- “This process uses pairwise comparison as a method of evaluation and improvement,” Ubisoft explained. “This means that, for each variation generated, Ghostwriter provides two choices which will be compared and chosen by the scriptwriter. Once one is selected, the tool learns from the preferred choice and, after thousands of selections made by humans, it becomes more effective and accurate.”
- La Forge also created a special back-end tool website called Ernestine, which allows anyone to create their own machine learning models tailored to the needs of a specific project.
What is Ubisoft La Forge?
- Originally based in Canada, La Forge is the company’s R&D arm tasked with prototyping and testing technological innovations in collaboration with games industry experts and academic researchers.
- The division works in different areas, including AI, physics, rendering, animation and audio. Its goal is to create new frameworks and technologies that can be integrated into Ubisoft’s development process.
- Earlier this year, La Forge announced its global expansion by opening a new hub in Los Angeles.
- The R&D team has already created over 70 prototypes, 30 of which have been integrated into the company’s pipelines. Among its products are Choreograph, an animation motion-matching tool, FaceShifter, which generates realistic character faces, and SmartNav, a tool for NPC navigation.