Introduction to AI Generated Game Art

Combined with a great level of creativity, AI can help determine the future of interactive entertainment. Artificial intelligence and machine learning incorporated into video games can bring us new cutting-edge gaming experiences. But it also brings a lot of questions to art creators and game developers.

What is AI generated art service? How can we use AI art for games? And if artificial intelligence can replace real artists? Let’s find some answers!

Introduction to AI Generated Game Art

Comparing AI Game Art to Traditional Creation Methods

AI artwork is generated when you feed an existing work and a selection of prompts into a machine-learning algorithm. The algorithm “learns” a specific aesthetic by analyzing thousands of images related to the prompts.

Then the algorithm tries to generate a piece of art in adherence to the aesthetics it has learned. AI can’t generate an image from anywhere. It just performs a function, while humans supply the creative spark.

Comparing AI Game Art to Traditional Creation Methods

AI generates a piece of art that tries to resemble what a human might come up with. Some artists fear that AI art could replace them altogether. Why bother and pay real artists if you can get good enough results generated for free? However, AI art might be yet another new art medium. Artists were panicking the same way when photography and digital art entered the scene. But now all these media perfectly live together, each having its own demand.

AI generated game art won’t replace human artists. Even though generated art may look great, it will always need help from the outside. Human artists will always be required to choose the subject and its surroundings for getting the desired results.

We were talking about 2D art, and creating 3D models for games is usually even more complex. A professional 3D artist who uses the best software for creating games will never be replaced by an AI.

Techniques for Creating AI Game Art Design

Techniques for Creating AI Game Art Design

There are two types of algorithms you can use to generate artwork. Depending on the type, you will have different levels of control over what you get.

Text-to-image. For this method, all you need is to type in a selection of prompts. Describe every little detail of art you want to get and hope for the best. Then you can choose from several AI generated options and enhance them if needed. 

Image-to-image. This method is more specific and gives you more control. Here, you input two types of data: an existing image (a sketch) in conjunction with prompts.

Best Practices for Creating AI Art for Games

Best Practices for Creating AI Art for Games

Using an AI game art generator, do not entrust all the work completely to AI. A machine learning algorithm only mimics the references, but the result may still have a lot of artifacts and inaccuracies. To avoid it, we recommend breaking up the generation process into several steps, correcting the work of an algorithm alongside.

For example, you want to use an AI for concept art in your video game genre. You choose image-to-image generation. To get a good enough result, you will need to go through several iterations and “guide” the algorithm in the right direction. Make sure an AI will generate not one, but several images you can choose from. Then select two or three images you liked most and join the best parts from each of them in Photoshop. You can enhance this image even further by feeding it to the algorithm for the second time. Continue this process as much as you want, until you get high-quality artwork.

ai generated video game art

AI Generated Game Art Workflows

Let’s imagine you want to get a hammer drawing for a WOW-like art-style video game. Our advice is to use an image-to-image approach.

First, you’ll need to draw a rough sketch of your hammer – just some basic shapes, colors, and key elements like an engraving and a leather handle. Don’t pay attention to details – AI will figure it out for you. Then upload an image to the AI you’ve chosen.

After you upload your sketch, it’s time to insert some prompts. For a correct output, type what kind of art it will be – “video game art” – and insert the name of one or several artists you’re inspired by. Then describe a nicer version of your drawing: “a huge rectangular hammer weapon with runes on its head and a leather handle”. To narrow a style a little bit, type something like “World of Warcraft” or any other game with a similar look. Finally, type “intricate”, “detailed”, “8k” to get better quality results. 

Tips for ai generated video game art

Choose the number of sampling steps. Sampling count means how much time an AI will spend working on the image. Don’t get too hard on it – you don’t want to overload the machine. A good starting point is usually 50. Upper the batch count to have not just one, but a few generated images to choose from. Set up the free guidance scale and the denoising scale. It determines how strongly an AI will stick to the prompts and the inserted sketch.   Click generate and enjoy the results.

Keep in mind that you might not get perfect artwork from the first attempt. Genuinely, you will need to repeat the following steps several times, replacing your sketch from the input with the generated image you liked most. Thus, you will enhance the AI game art design and make it appear more like a real drawing.

Tips for Game Artists on Creating AI Game Art

With AI art generators, anyone can create art, but you need to fine-tune your prompt. Be specific about exactly what you want your AI generated video game art to be. Describe all the details right down to the art style, color, and material. Many AI art generators are trained using famous art styles, so you can freely use terms like “impressionist”, “game art”, or “watercolor drawing”.

Sometimes what happens with video games is that they reference each other. They mimic the aesthetics of other games and solidify the styles that “feel like a video game”. Provide a diverse range of references if you want your AI game art to stand out and not be a copy of the most popular game art styles.

ai game art generator for games

Understanding the Benefits of AI Generated Art

AI engine is a tool with the potential to make content creation incredibly accessible. AI generators became available to large swathes of indie developers, saving them money when they couldn’t afford to hire a team of specialized artists. 

Even though AI seems to be a threat to a lot of jobs, some people think it can help artists to automate tasks that are either too boring or repetitive. It can solve the problem of filling out vast spaces in open-world video games without being too formulaic. AI can take away the mundane work so that artists can focus on more creative tasks and developers can focus on the intent and storytelling behind the artwork. 

With the growing scale of AAA games, their cost and development time are getting close to unsustainable levels. We can gain substantial production efficiency using innovative machine-learning technologies. It will allow game developers to bring true next-generation game experiences at a quality the audiences deserve.

Benefits of AI Generated Video Game Art

Using AI for Concept Art in Games

If you’re struggling to look for original game design ideas, an AI can generate some concepts to get started with. Utilizing an AI for concept art, you can take a very rough sketch to refine it into something bigger.

However, there is a huge difference between being a concept artist, and making everything make sense. The key component of a great design is that concept art tells a story. That’s something an AI can’t handle. It can give you inspiration, but you always need to add some final touches.

Using AI for Concept Art in Games

Exploring AI Generated Game Art

This Girl Does Not Exist is a simple, still unique puzzle game on Steam. The developer claims that everything in the game –  art, story, characters, and even voice-over – has been generated by machine learning AI. 

A starting room in the High on Life has some clearly AI generated posters. They feature a number of prompts used to generate art based on popular films. Players recognized the AI artwork since the characters, environments and letters aren’t formed enough to be considered man-made.

ai for concept art

How to Integrate AI into Your Existing Game Art Workflow

To integrate such a tool into your game workflow, you should also understand how this will change the workflow itself. Here are the tasks you can delegate to an AI:

  • Concept art
  • Ambient music
  • Voices and Speech
  • Sound effects
Exploring ai generated video game art1

Afterwards

AI art is an innovative phenomenon, and there still isn’t enough data on how it affects the game market now. However, it’s safe to say that artists aren’t going to be put out of work by this tool. Human artists will always be required to choose the subject of the project, its surroundings, and the backstory.

Even though AI art may look great, it can’t maintain the concept in every detail that makes sense and serves a purpose. But it can help artists to be more productive, dedicating less time to monotonous work and more time to the unique nuances that can set their work apart.