Is it possible for AI art to revolutionize tabletop game publishing?

Is it possible for AI art to revolutionize tabletop game publishing? ...

The latent space has been compared to the Wild West in its lawlessness, but this metaphor neglects the true weirdness of its uncanny valleys. Faceless men struggle to be able to see out of the fog, textured spires extend to the horizon, and night markets fade in and out of existence as Frank Lloyd Wrights buildings transform into Pizza Huts. As art becomes more and more a product of a tabletop role-playing campaign, the latent space is becoming a questionable tool

DALL-E 2, Midjourney, and Disco Diffusion are some of the most popular AI art generation systems in recent months, with the majority of interest coming this spring with easy-to-access systems like Craiyon (formerly DALL-E mini) and accounts like Weird Dall-E Mini Generations, showing people how far AI art has come.

Thoughts about copyright use, corporate power, intellectual property, Web3 buzzing, artist economies, and overall respectful behavior, the techno-magic can be a minefield. For example, Will AI systems reduce the value of original TTRPG art?; and Will I be laughed out of the room if I use AI art?

Merilliza Chan and Nala J. Wu, a TTRPG illustrator and concept artist, point to AI art as a preproduction assistant. Others have discussed generating AI art during campaign sessions to demonstrate new NPCs, enemies, and locations while they are being created.

Leaning towards what AI does best for designers who are willing to dive into TTRPG rulebook art despite the muddy ethical issues can be helpful, according to Tuesday Knight Games co-owner Sean McCoy. He believes that regular illustration of art or book design can be rendered via AI, which will help new publishers make their entry into TTRPGs by lowering the cost of producing high-quality rulebooks.

Pawe Kicmans GODS is a CY_BORG zine that was created with Rytr and Midjourney (an AI music system) and is currently undergoing soundtrack experiments with Jukebox (an AI music system), each building on the silly computer glitches and inhumanities that both AI and the cyberpunk theme explored. DAmico is now considering removing all AI art from the finalized game as concept art or base art for future commissions, according to Polygon.

While today's AI art excels at abstraction, it struggles with faces, and often more with nonwhite faces. Wu retold Polygon that it was a lot worse. From the automatic dispensers that detect darker skin to the abundance of Renaissance paintings of white people that the AI removed from when it removed their eyes, they're both aware that the AI's is causing problems for them.

Welcome to Cyber Mumbai #MidjourneyAI #cyberpunk #ttrpg pic.twitter.com/kho9fIpMQd

KP recognizes a lack of South Asian participation in cyberpunk games and is using Midjourney to experiment with South Asian cyberpunk player characters and environments to inspire others and demonstrate how diverse the genre and subcontinent can be. It spits out so many different iterations, sometimes things that I didnt even consider, he says.

Polygon sifted through several Stable Diffusion images this month, only finding a nude fantasy AI illustration, this time of Zendaya as a mermaid. Due to the pseudonymous and dispersed nature of AI generators across various Discord servers and websites, it is nearly impossible to determine what is being created with the best intentions or how many bad actors there are.

A world where the indie TTRPG industry flourishes from AI art, while resolving algorithmic biases, creating expansive, diverse games, lowering the production limit, and assisting artists in their work are all possible. However, when Joe DeSimone, the lead design instructor at The Academy of Games, thinks of the natural endpoints of AI tools in TTRPGs, he sees two options: utopian and realistic.

Large studios or corporations might have the business acumen to fire 50 concept artists in favor of two skilled AI art prompters to complete the same amount of work, according to Dr. Hoffman. As the art becomes more complex, as the AI becomes more complicated, its going to be more process intensive, which means that fewer people will be able to use it to the fullest.

The specter of original art is shunned in all AI discussions: the images are scrapped to teach the system how dwarves appear and how camera lenses flare in space. Who has the power, or the right, to tell an artist or designer that their AI-generated artwork violates copyright? That's when you'll start to see DMCA-type notices come out the woodwork that will be sent to the courts, according to McCoy. At the indie RPG level, people

this is a total hoax, lmao pic.twitter.com/4Qe9X5Fy0n

After speculative artist Karla Ortiz questioned the implications of an artificial intelligence system using Ortiz's work or learning how to replicate it, Midjourney said it was considering possibilities for requesting a name block. As such, individual designers are faced with drawing their own lines in the sand for what they will ethically produce and use; art in the style of an artist they might commission might not be appropriate.

The absence of clear or straightforward answers is causing the tiptoeing and the callouts McCoy makes. We fight each other rather than organizing and battling better battles, according to DeSimone. The role-playing game community [has] some of the worst examples of that [infighting] Ive ever seen in my entire life. I believe AI art, AI writing, and NFTs might provide an opportunity to band together.

When Indie TTRPG advisors backed off from Kickstarter's drive for blockchain technology, they resisted and formed an advisory council with indie TTRPG advisors. Could similar campaigns be mobilized for clearer image rights, transparency about image collection, energy intensiveness, and biases in AI systems? As artistic questions become more thornier, designers and artists suggested solutions have become more systemic: universal basic income to help artists whose work might be devalued, universal health care to make the transition between commissions