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Artificial Intelligence Creates New Levels For Video Games

An AI network has been able to create new levels for the classic Doom video game using an advanced algorithm. Researchers say that this type of AI would be able to produce large video games more quickly and at a lower cost.

The artificial intelligence had been trained to create new levels for the video game after being shown human-created levels. Because the original Doom, now freeware, has thousands of official and user-created levels, it gave the AI a large repository of human –created levels to learn from.

The original game was released back in 1993 and while it was not the first FPS (first person shooter) video game (the title belonging to the developers previous WW2 era entry Wolfenstein), it was ground-breaking for the genre.

The researchers working at Italy’s Politecnio Di Milano made use of a deep-learning system called GAN (generative adversarial network).

The two AI networks, one being called the generator and the other the discriminator, are set against each other. The generator attempts to trick the discriminator.

The data that was used came from 1000 official Doom levels and 9000 from the game’s community.

A series of images was used to teach the AI about the walkable area, floor height, wall distance, room segmentation and object placement of levels so that it could replicate them. There was also information that the AI received which told it about the number of rooms, the total size of the space and what objectives there were.

It apparently took at least 36,000 attempts before the AI network generated something that was playable by a human.

Head researcher Edoardo Giacomello said that the results demonstrated that the Gans system could follow the “intrinsic structure” of the game’s levels and that it was a “promising approach” for the future of games development.

However, Mr Giacomello added that there was still a lot of demand for human input.

While this is not the first time a computer algorithm has been used for video game development, it is definitely a new level of sophistication, even when being used in a primitive game engine like Doom’s.