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Five AI tools every game developer should have in their toolbelt



Five AI tools every game developer should have in their toolbelt
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Gabriella Barros, AI Researcher at, and Ricardo Sissnet, Lead Engineer at

The games industry is no stranger to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in video games. Anyone that’s played a game populated by NPCs or multiplayer games with bots will know that the quality of the AI that defines how they interact with players can be hugely variable. Done well, AI-controlled characters help a game to be more cohesive and engaging.

That’s why research into game AI is an ongoing focus for so many studios, with bigger companies such as Sony exploring advanced AI techniques like reinforcement learning, which has the potential to create the most advanced form of NPCs to be a player’s friend or foe, depending on how they play.

But AI’s capabilities don’t stop there. AI is also changing the way games are developed, adding much greater realism to in-game characters, gaming experience and creating autonomous online bots that are near-indistinguishable from human players.

Electronic Arts is currently developing systems that use machine learning to replicate facial expressions, skin types and body movements from video and photos. In theory, this means that actors would no longer have to come into a  mo-cap studio and there would be a greater range of genders and ethnicities produced in games.

With so much happening in this space, we’ve compiled a list of five AI tools every game developer should have at hand to make their lives easier.


Content Generation

One of the most time-consuming processes a developer will have to deal with is content generation, especially in puzzle games where there is a high demand for new levels. But AI technology can help here, using a method known as Procedural Content Generation (PCG), which creates content algorithmically. AI can be used to generate tens or hundreds of variations ready to be reviewed and selected. If the AI is being used for level generation, it’s even possible to use AI bots to play the levels and score them for difficulty or the time it takes to complete them.

PCG allows for quicker content creation and provides developers with more time for creative experimentation. The AI can easily do the heavy lifting, but human input is still crucial to launching a polished product, which is where the developer’s skill comes in.



Unlike mobile apps or web pages, games are one of the hardest forms of software to test due to their sheer variation, the near-infinite number of states a game can have, its custom interaction models, and constant updates.

Games are still mainly tested by humans, which means it can be a lengthy and expensive process. While big studios have the budget to create dedicated teams that focus solely on game testing, smaller developers mostly rely on their network of friends, coworkers and fans. But what happens when they are unable to test every aspect of the game? That is where AI and machine learning steps in.

Testing in video games is complex due to the number of split-second choices a player can make and the outcomes those choices have. In addition, there are interactions with other human and non-human players that are also non-deterministically playing the game, which further complicates things.

The advantage of using AI bots for your playtesting is that they can test quickly, constantly and methodically. For example, bots can be used to test for things like object clipping by running all the possible moves and interactions on a level far faster than a human player..

Cheat Detection

Cheating turns players off multiplayer gaming,  even if they are not directly affected. For players striving to be the best, it’s all too easy to turn to cheat tools that bestow superhero-like powers in the game. Cheating tools range from simple aimbots that assist with aiming and shooting in FPS games like CounterStrike to mining bots in MMOs that control a player’s character and essentially play for them.

Developers can combat the use of cheats with machine learning and behaviour-based detection AI. By collecting data on a player’s behavioural patterns, such as how a player moves the controller or how fast a player reacts, AI can recognise when an action goes beyond normal human behaviour.

While there are plenty of other products that are able to detect cheaters, the advantage of a machine learning system is that it’s continuously learning and adapting itself to fit the game – making it harder for players to fool. This means that developers can employ updates and patches to the game without having to reprogram the AI.


Content Moderation

Online toxicity has become a growing problem as more and more games are built around persistent online worlds with thousands of concurrent players. There are times that a small number of players spoil the experience for the majority.  However, AI is a great ally for developers looking to curb such behaviours and safeguard their players.

There are different approaches to moderating game chat. The most common is to use lists of banned words and phrases, which can be used to block posts that use them. The problem here is that gamers can get around moderation by changing letters to numbers or using slang phrases.

A better approach is to use an AI model that can consider the context of the text so that even if a player is being clever with the spelling of a word, it will still be flagged due to its context and intent. This kind of AI is relatively recent, with only a handful of experts working in this field. But, with no signs that toxic behaviours are declining and the number of people playing games increasing, this is a field that will continue to need expert solutions.

Whilst, AI can capture the bulk of comments before they are posted, human moderators are still required as the ultimate arbiters of what content is permissible.  But working as a team, human moderators and AI moderation can together ensure that games are a safe space for all players.


AI Player Stand-Ins

The big attraction of online games is the ability to interact and team up with other players.  However, there are not always enough human players to fill in the empty seats; that’s where bots come in.

Bots can act as a reasonable stand-in for human players, with a sophisticated range of behaviours. But it’s still pretty obvious to most when you are playing alongside a bot rather than a real person

One way to address this is to use AI to introduce more variables into the behaviour of the bots. This can give a much more realistic impression of unpredictability, and reproduce things like the risk-taking that you often encounter with human players.

While the combination of techniques used to create effective AI-based bots is fairly new, when done correctly it can create dynamic, adaptive and very human-like bots that add an extra dimension to online play.


AI tools are there to help developers

Developers are faced with an immense amount of challenges to develop great games very quickly, but thanks to the latest AI-based tools, there are powerful solutions to some of the most resource-hungry aspects of the development process.

That is why AI is increasingly becoming an essential addition to the game development process, providing developers with the tools, and the insight, to address any issue that arises.  Which, in turn, allows them to unload tedious tasks and concentrate on creative output.




Headquartered in Denmark, is a team of game developers, engineers and AI experts working together to create AI-driven tools for building better games. Its AI-based tools allow developers to rapidly create and test games and understand their players.’s unique technology is designed to accelerate the game development process, automating repetitive and time-intensive tasks and helping developers to enhance and increase player engagement. was founded in 2018 by Christoffer Holmgård, Benedikte Mikkelsen, Lars Henriksen, Sebastian Risi, Georgios N. Yannakakis, and Julian Togelius, who between them have been involved in the launch of more than 30 games and have more than 28,000 citations in technical literature covering AI and game design. In 2019 the company successfully secured seed funding from a number of investors led by PreSeed Ventures, Denmark’s largest and most successful early-stage investor, joined by Saltagen Ventures and Propagator Ventures.


Application Start for Gamecity Hamburg Prototype Funding on March 7 – 400,000 Euros for Games from Hamburg and New Diversity Checklist



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“In the context of paused federal funding, we are pleased to reliably support game developers in Hamburg once again with up to 400,000 euros with the Prototype Funding 2024. In this funding round, we’re adding a diversity checklist to our application documents to encourage our applicants to examine their own structures and processes while developing. Games are the leading medium of our time and can showcase diverse voices, perspectives, and stories,” comments Dennis Schoubye, Head of Gamecity Hamburg.

Starting this year, answering the diversity checklist is mandatory when applying for Prototype Funding. Applicants’ answers can optionally be used by the awarding committee when evaluating projects. Applicants whose team and/or project enriches the diversity of Hamburg’s games landscape can receive a bonus in the evaluation by the awarding committee. On the contrary, applicants are not disadvantaged in the evaluation process if that is not the case for their team and/or project. The awarding committee consists of Nina Müller (Head of Publishing, Goodgame Studios), Jonas Hüsges (Publishing Director, Daedalic Entertainment), Valentina Birke (Director, Indie Arena Booth), Jens Unrau (Head of the Media and Digital Economy Department of the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media) and Dennis Schoubye (Head of Gamecity Hamburg). They will decide on the granted funding after the end of the application phase on the basis of the submitted projects and a subsequent pitch by the applicants.

The Application Process

Eligible to apply for Prototype Funding are: 

  • developers and developer groups
  • or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 
  • who are based in Hamburg
  • or which relocate their registered office to Hamburg
  • or open a branch office/business location in Hamburg

 A consultation with Gamecity Hamburg is mandatory and is recommended at least two weeks before the submission deadline on April 8, to prepare applicants optimally for their submission. Interested parties please contact [email protected] to arrange an appointment.

Projects funded through the Prototype Funding program

Since the start of the first funding round in 2020, the Prototype Funding has so far supported 26 games projects with more than 1,450,000 euros. Among the funding recipients are, for example, the indie studio Tiny Roar, which received prototype funding in 2022 for its dreamlike world-builder game “Wanderful”. The serious game “Mambio” by neurodactics, an educational game to make arithmetic understandable for primary school children, received the Prototype Funding in 2021 and was able to secure over 1,100,000 million euros in additional federal computer games funding in 2022. The virtual reality game “Crumbling”, in which your own controller becomes an action figure, was part of the first prototype funding round as well and found a strong partner alongside investors in Meta. Crumbling celebrated its successful release in February 2024.

Further funding programs for Hamburg games industry by Gamecity Hamburg

Every year, the Games Lift Incubator supports five teams, developers and start-ups in the development of digital games and projects. In addition to 15,000 euros in start-up funding, the recipients receive a comprehensive coaching and mentoring program featuring international experts as well as workshops and subsequent individual support. The application phase for this year’s Games Lift runs from May 2 to June 10, 2024.

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The 2024 BAFTA Games Nominations Host and Panel have been announced!



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BAFTA’s team of panellists will announce and discuss the nominations live, give their opinions on the outstanding games we’ve seen from the industry in 2023 and recognise the creative talent who made them.

Lucy James said: “I’m so excited to be returning to host the BAFTA Games Awards nominations stream for the 2024 Games Awards. BAFTA’s commitment to uplifting and celebrating the people who make the games we love is an incredibly important endeavour: now more than ever. 2023 will go down in history as one of the greatest years for video game releases ever, but also for being one of the worst for the industry. Sadly, 2024 looks to be continuing this trend with multiple project cancellations, studio closures, and mass layoffs. It’s important for us to take a moment to band together to recognise the contributions and achievements of our hard-working and talented peers.”

Luke Hebblethwaite, Head of Games at BAFTA, said: “We’re hugely excited to be revealing the nominees for this year’s BAFTA Games Awards and couldn’t be happier than to have five such energetic and knowledgeable voices to lead us through the big moment. I’m looking forward to their lively and insightful reactions and a great conversation as we celebrate the amazing talent, creativity and hard work behind the best games of the year.”

The world’s most prestigious annual celebration of excellence and creative achievement in games, the 20th BAFTA Games Awards, will take place on Thursday 11 April at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London and will be livestreamed on BAFTA’s YouTube, Twitch and X channels at 19.00 BST / 14.00 ET / 11.00 PT.

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S Gaming Launches The Emerald Road Game



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S Gaming has launched The Emerald Road, an exhilarating new gaming experience set to captivate players worldwide. The game was launched exclusively on Entain’s platform on March 1, expanding to the wider public two weeks later.

This exclusive partnership marks an exciting opportunity for Entain, to offer its players a unique and immersive gaming experience. The Emerald Road game combines captivating gameplay, with stunning visuals and innovative mechanics, promising an unforgettable journey through a fantastical world filled with adventure, mystery and leprechauns.

During the two-week exclusive period, Entain players will have the opportunity to be among the first to experience The Emerald Road’s captivating gameplay and discover its secrets. After the exclusive period, the game will be available for general release, allowing even more players to embark on this epic journey.

Charles Mott, CEO of S Gaming, said: “We are committed to offering our players the best and most innovative gaming experiences available. The Emerald Road is a perfect fit for Entain, and we are excited to give them an exclusive game launch before we expand it to the wider public in two weeks.”

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