Level Building Sidekick: An AI-Assisted Level Editor Package for Unity
Keywords:Mixed-Initiative Procedural Content Generation, Videogame Design Tools, AI-Assisted Level Editor
AbstractDeveloping an original video game requires high investment levels, market research, cost-effective solutions, and a quick development process. Game developers usually reach for commercial off-the-shelf components often available in the engine's marketplace to reduce costs. Mixed-initiative authoring tools allow us to combine the thoughtful work of human designers with the productivity gains of automated techniques. However, most commercial AI-assisted Procedural Content Generation tools focus on generating small independent components, and standalone research tools available for generating full game levels with state-of-the-art algorithms usually lack integration with commercial game engines. This article aims to fill this gap between industry and academia. The Level Building Sidekick (LBS) is a mixed-initiative procedural content generation tool built by our research lab in association with four small independent game studios. It has a modular software architecture that enables developers to extend it for their particular projects. The current version has two working modules for building game maps, an early version of a module for populating the level with NPCs or items, and the first stages of a quest editor module. An automated testing module is planned. LBS is distributed as an AI-Assisted videogame-level editor Unity package. Usability testing performed using the ``Think-Aloud'' methodology indicates LBS has the potential to improve game development processes convincingly. However, at this stage, the user interface and the AI recommendations could improve their intuitiveness. As a general comment, the tool is perceived as a substantial contribution to facilitating and shortening development times, compared to only using the base game engine. There is an untapped market for mixed-initiative tools that assist the game designer in creating complete game levels. We expect to fill that market for our partner development studios and provide the community with an open research and development platform in a standard game engine.
How to Cite
Aliaga, C., Vidal, C., Sepulveda, G. K., Romero, N., González, F., & Barriga, N. A. (2023). Level Building Sidekick: An AI-Assisted Level Editor Package for Unity. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment, 19(1), 392-399. https://doi.org/10.1609/aiide.v19i1.27535
Software Track Papers