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Chinese developers showcase AI's game-changing speed at GDC 2024

Chinese video game giant Tencent releases GiiNEX, its AI-powered game engine. /Tencent
Chinese video game giant Tencent releases GiiNEX, its AI-powered game engine. /Tencent

Chinese video game giant Tencent releases GiiNEX, its AI-powered game engine. /Tencent

At the Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, U.S., Chinese developers unveiled AI tools that promise to revolutionize video game creation speed. The tools can be up to 100 times faster than traditional software.

Leading the charge is tech giant Tencent, which introduced its AI-powered game engine, GiiNEX. This engine leverages powerful AI models to generate content at an unprecedented pace.

Tencent claims GiiNEX can create a sprawling 25-square-kilometer city in just 25 minutes, a feat that would take five days using conventional methods.

But GiiNEX's capabilities extend far beyond cityscapes. This versatile engine can generate a variety of game elements, including images, animations, storylines, conversations, music and even levels, significantly accelerating the development process.

Tencent implemented GiiNEX to create an in-game function that allows players to design their own levels for Yuanmeng Zhixing, its popular Fall Guys-inspired video game.

NetEase, another major Chinese developer, is also embracing AI for game content creation. Its Wuxia role-playing game (RPG), Justice Online, has AI-powered non-player characters (NPCs) that are very realistic.

"Justice Online is the first mobile game to integrate AI-generated content (AIGC)," declared Liu Chang, head AI designer for Justice Online Mobile at NetEase's ThunderFire Studio. Liu said players' interactions with NPCs will have meaningful consequences in the gaming world.

According to the game's official website, these AI NPCs possess unique personalities with traits like courage, kindness and honesty. They will remember players' actions and engage in conversations reminiscent of an AI chatbot. This level of interaction has led to a player meme that jokingly suggests NPCs are powered by an army of customer service representatives.

Looking ahead, Liu believes AI tools will streamline game development, freeing up valuable time for developers to focus on their core mission: crafting compelling gameplay mechanics.

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