Myst Devs Used "AI Assistance" To Make Latest Game, And Fans Are Unhappy

Myst developer Cyan Worlds used AI in creating content for its new game Firmament, and many of its backers are upset as a result.


Game developers have expressed hope and concern about the future of AI in gaming, but it seems that for one developer, that future is already here. Myst studio Cyan Worlds apparently used AI tools to "assist" in creating content for its new puzzle game Firmament, and some of its backers are up in arms about it. However, Cyan has insisted it's only a small portion of the game's content that involved AI assistance.

As spotted by Kotaku, the credits of the game include a paragraph that lists the content that was made with "AI assistance." That list is quite long, and it includes: "Journals, logs, checklists, newspapers, stories, songs, poems, letters, loosely scattered papers; all backer portraits; all founders portraits; the 'sunset' paintings; the art-nouveau wallpaper in the Swan dormitory hallways; propaganda banners; coastal spill decal kit; all voiced mentor, announcer, founder, and other speeches; backer-exclusive content."

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In a statement, Cyan Worlds clarified that these parts of the game were merely "assisted" by AI tools, and gave the game's voice acting as an example. The studio said that the voice acting was performed by an actual human being, but the final performance was modified by AI in terms of timbre, pitch, and tone.

"Although individuals on the team did leverage AI tools to help with the development of the contents listed above, absolutely nothing in this small fraction of content for the game was generated and used outright from these services without extensive human oversight and revision," Cyan said.

Whatever the precise usage, this didn't stop several of the game's Kickstarter backers from expressing disappointment with Cyan Worlds' use of the technology. "Extremely disappointed to learn of the use of AI in the creation of Firmament," wrote backer Derram. "If this plagiarized homogeny is what we can expect going forward instead of the lovingly created worlds, world building and performances of past Cyan games, then the company has truly lost my interest."

It's worth noting that Firmament has received a fairly cool reaction from the studio's fanbase, as it currently has a Mixed rating on Steam. Reviewers have called the game's lore "bland and uninteresting." One has to wonder if this has anything to do with the AI tech used. In other AI news, Nvidia recently unveiled a suite of AI-powered tech that it claims could automate many aspects of game development.

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