Hello to all board game enthusiasts!
We are excited to present the first article in a series dedicated to the world of board games and publishing, exploring the behind-the-scenes and upcoming changes in an ever-evolving industry. Throughout this series of articles, we will also provide tips, tricks, and tactics for the games we publish. Feel free to suggest topics that particularly interest you.
In this first article, we will delve into the growing influence of artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of board games and the concrete changes it will bring.
Conversational AI, like ChatGPT, already helps organize and structure game rule ideas and concepts. Designers can benefit from AI assistance in refining and improving their creations, gaining clarity and consistency. If well-briefed, AI can even suggest new game mechanics, ideas, or balance gameplay.
Translations and proofreading
AI excels in this area, resulting in considerable time savings. AI-generated translations are becoming increasingly natural, and these systems take context into account to provide accurate translations that respect rule keywords as well as the text’s style and atmosphere. Although human supervision is still required, AI represents a significant improvement in terms of time and quality.
AI, like Midjourney, has made remarkable progress in this field. It can create ultra-realistic or artistic images, often suitable for board games. Artists still need to intervene to adjust illustrations and provide clear guidance on their vision, and to ensure consistency when the same character is represented multiple times, for example. AI-generated environments and unique characters can be astounding, but human intervention remains essential for overall coherence. From what we are beginning to see, artists’ talent and vision will always make a difference, and AI will become a time-saving tool for them, just as previous digital tools have been.
As you know, we love miniatures, and most of our games incorporate them. In this area, AI can also revolutionize the process. Graphic AI systems can already produce stunning 3D visuals that could easily be manufactured on an industrial scale. We are on the verge of being able to create miniatures ready for printing based solely on a description. However, training these AI systems is essential. Plastic miniatures, which must be removed from a metal mold, have specific technical constraints related to positioning and assembly. Nevertheless, we can be sure that in the near future, the first entirely AI-generated board game miniatures will be created. To infuse them with personality, human intervention and ideas will certainly be required.
Playtesting and balancing
AI can also significantly improve playtesting and balancing for some games, particularly “mechanics-driven” games. By simulating thousands of games in a short time, AI can identify potential issues and suggest adjustments. This process can streamline the development phase, helping designers focus on improving the gaming experience.
Personalization and procedural generation: AI can help create personalized content and procedurally generated elements for board games. This capability can enrich the content of certain games, particularly “scenario-based” games. AI can generate new scenarios, quests, or challenges tailored to players’ preferences and skill levels. However, human supervision remains necessary to sift through good and bad ideas and to refine the generated text.
Voice assistants and AI-powered voice recognition can help make board games more accessible to players with visual impairments or other disabilities. By reading rules aloud, providing voice guidance, or assisting with game setup, AI can create a more inclusive gaming experience.
Marketing and community engagement
AI can also play a role in promoting board games and engaging the community. It can analyze player feedback, identify trends and preferences, and help target marketing efforts effectively. AI chatbots can answer questions or provide assistance. While they are now capable of responding almost like a human community manager would, it may not be the time to replace humans with AI, at least not on social media. Players enjoy interacting with “real” humans, whether they agree with them or not. However, for technical support and simple questions like replacing defective parts, changing addresses, or inquiring about delivery dates, AI will suffice.
Expanding game universes and storytelling
AI can contribute to developing the narrative aspects of board games. By instantly generating stories, character backgrounds, and immersive game worlds, AI can already create rich and engaging experiences for players. At the very least, it can provide designers with ideas. This storytelling potential can help board game designers explore new themes and genres.
By analyzing countless data, AI can provide valuable insights to designers and publishers, helping them understand player behavior, preferences, and trends. This information can inspire ideas for the next games to be published, for example.
In conclusion, will artificial intelligence become increasingly present in the design of future board games? Undoubtedly, yes. By harnessing the potential of AI and leveraging its strengths, board game designers and publishers can create games more easily, more quickly, and even find new ideas to exploit. However, AI will not replace humans – far from it. Passion, enthusiasm, and vision will remain at the heart of the creative process. AI will serve as a tool for improving efficiency, but human creativity and sensitivity will continue to breathe life and originality into the games of the future.
As we continue our journey through the rapidly changing world of board games, we look forward to exploring other topics and sharing our insights with you. Stay tuned for upcoming articles in this series, and please do not hesitate to suggest themes that interest you!
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