AI art is causing a lot of controversy at the moment, and amongst that it turns out that Squanch Games’ High On Life is using some.
Whether you find it funny or not, you probably can’t deny that High On Life is a pretty colourful and vibrant game. It has some pretty bold art direction, but according to a recent interview from Sky News with Squanch Games founder Justin Roiland, some of the art used in the game was made through AI technology.
Roiland explained that High On Life used the popular Midjourney AI, a tool that can produce a wide range of images with varying styles. “It makes the world feel like a strange alternate universe of our world,” Roiland said. “And we used it to come up with weird, funny ideas.”
Talking about his thoughts on the future of AI and art, Roiland said, “I don’t know what the future holds, but AI is going to be a tool that has the potential to make content creation incredibly accessible. I don’t know how many years away we are, but all you will need to be is somebody with some big ideas.”
Lead designer Erich Meyr also noted that AI was used to prototype some character voices, with one minor role apparently staying as such, though it wasn’t specified which one. It looks like AI in voice acting is becoming more commonplace as an early-stage developmental tool, as Hellblade developer Ninja Theory had to refute claims it was using AI voice acting to replace voice actors earlier this year. Instead, it used AI voice acting to figure out pacing, before actual voice actors were brought in.
It’s a shame to hear that AI art was used in the final version of the game, because all it does is take work away from actual artists, a big reason as to why the tech is so controversial. A simple solution to making a world feel alien is to bring a wide range of artists into the mix, because no two people will make the same thing. Maybe the team were to occupied with making the jokes run on for too long.