May 18, 2018

An AI Created New Doom Levels That Are as Fun as the Game’s Original Ones

Posted by in categories: entertainment, information science, robotics/AI

The technical skills of programmer John Carmack helped create the 3D world of Doom, the first-person shooter that took over the world 25 years ago. But it was level designers like John Romero and American McGee that made the game fun to play. Level designers that, today, might find their jobs threatened by the ever-growing capabilities of artificial intelligence.

One of the many reasons Doom became so incredibly popular was that id Software made tools available that let anyone create their own levels for the game, resulting in thousands of free ways to add to its replay value. First-person 3D games and their level design have advanced by leaps and bounds since the original Doom’s release, but the sheer volume of user-created content made it the ideal game for training an AI to create its own levels.

Researchers at the Politecnico di Milano university in Italy created a generative adversarial network for the task, which essentially uses two artificially intelligent algorithms working against each other to optimise the overall results. One algorithm was fed thousands of Doom levels which it analysed for criteria like overall size, enemy placement, and the number of rooms. It then used what it learned to generate its own original Doom levels.

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