Up until now if a games developer wanted to change the look and style of a game they’d have to crack open its code, but now they can just apply a style in real time without having to.


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At the start of the year Google unveiled their cloud based game streaming service Stadia that hopes to bring gaming “to the next two billion people” wherever they are and on whatever device they want to use. Now, a few months down the line from that announcement they’ve unveiled a new funky development tool that will let game developers change the style and feel of their games in real time using little more than a single image and some Artificial Intelligence (AI) Machine Learning trickery, and they’ve named their new impressive tool, a demo of which you can see below, Style Transfer ML.


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The idea behind Style Transfer ML is to make it easier for a game developer to apply an art style to an entire video game in a shorter period of time. The technology behind this is nothing new, but creating frame-by-frame animations within something such as a game all in real-time is nothing short of amazing.


Applying a 2D image to dynamic game play in real time


Google showed off their new tool in a Stadia blog post where they used it to apply a whole variety of new styles to a “greybox game.”


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As the company explains: “Translating from an illustrated, two-dimensional piece of concept art into a fully realized game environment would ordinarily require custom texture painting, modelling, material crafting, lighting, and tuning. Real-time artistic style transfer potentially allows developers to go straight from looking at a concept to testing it in a live, interactive game environment. This might enable rapid iteration of a video game’s art style. Real-time execution of artistic style transfer also opens up new forms of video game interaction, including the shifting of visual styles during gameplay, individually customized artistic styles (personalization by the player), styles generated through user generated content (turn a drawing into rendered game art).”

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.


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