Semantic Game Builder Interface to be Integrated Into Unity

April 1, 2012 in Technology

Unity Technologies today announced a new feature under development aimed at aiding game developers bring their visions into reality.

The new feature is dubbed “The Semantic Game Builder Interface” and it will let developers create a natural language based description of the desired game outcome which the tool will interpret and convert into a working implementation of the game using a combination of natural language processing and a ontology of knowledge of existing game genres and games. The development is lead by Professor in Computational Linguistics Mark Höffenberg, one of the lesser known architects behind the Semantic Web.

“In my prior work [on the Semantic Web] the progress was going very slow and the Semantic Web still hasn’t reached any widespread use due to the almost limitless scope of it which makes it very hard to reach a critical knowledge mass.” said Mark Höffenberg. “When Unity Technologies approached me six months ago and offered me a position to make a semantic interface to building games I immediately recognized it as a very exciting opportunity because games is a much more limited domain with more or less well defined boundaries, which make it actually within reach to create a working ontology of it.”

Behind the scenes the Semantic Game Building Interface will perform a lexical analysis on the description of the game to build a semantic model of the description. Markov Chains and Semi-Structured Relational Queries are then used to link the description up against a database of known information about game genres, game conventions, and popular released games, which also include data on construction and asset dependencies.

“We’re building this huge database of game construction knowledge that has never been done before.” said CTO Joachim Ante. Unity Technologies’ experience with automated testing has come in handy here, as the process is mostly automated, mining game reviews and descriptions off the Internet, although outsourcing is used for some of the manual data can can’t be constructed automatically.

According to Unity CEO David Helgason the feature is the newest among the efforts from Unity Technologies to democratize the games industry. “First we made the tools to let people focus on making fun games rather than solving technical problems. Then with the Asset Store we let people buy assets and extensions they couldn’t create themselves to let anyone be able to focus on and mine their own strengths while buying things from each other to compensate for individual shortcomings. But one barrier has continued to prevent many people from making games, and that is the lack of talent. With the Semantic Game Builder Interface, that is something we’re going to solve as well. We’re very excited about it!” said Helgason.

The feature is going to be very easy to use, the interface consisting largely of an input field where the semantic game description is typed in. “The technology is still in an early stage, but we’re seeing promising progress. Just the other day I tried to use [the Semantic Game Builder] to make a turn-based strategy game with it, and it was quite fun to play, actually.” said Höffenberg, while also admitting that there may be “some manual tweaking involved” after the game has been built.

When asked about if not the new feature will result in tons of games being made that are almost identical, Helgason replied, “Sure, this kind of democratization means that there will be some, or maybe quite a lot of games made that are very similar, without a lot of originality or vision – but then again that’s already the current state of the industry anyway.”

Comments (24)

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  1. Social Bookmarking

    June 26, 2012 at 6:03 am / 

    David Helgason! A great personality

  2. Jason

    May 29, 2012 at 5:42 am / 

    It is also important to note that Unity must also start testing these things for the next release of Unity 3D:

    – Destructible Geometry.
    – Interactive Fluid Surfaces.
    – Material Instancing.
    – Visual Script Editor.
    – Matinee style cinematic editor.
    – Normal Mapping for terrain.
    – Multi-texturing Shader.
    – Realtime Reflections (so without a render texture).
    – Voxel Clouds.
    – Underwater god rays and caustics.
    – Realtime Global illumination.
    – More realistic glass shader.
    – etc,etc,…

  3. Jason

    May 21, 2012 at 3:38 am / 

    Nice.
    And don’t forget the interactive fluids surfaces and destructible geometry for the next unity 3D release.

  4. jon

    May 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm / 

    “But one barrier has continued to prevent many people from making games, and that is the lack of talent. With the Semantic Game Builder Interface, that is something we’re going to solve as well.”

    “Sure, this kind of democratization means that there will be some, or maybe quite a lot of games made that are very similar, without a lot of originality or vision”

    hahaha. thats actually funny i got a good laugh. so if you dont need any talent, skills or knowledge then whats the point? your not actually making a game your just using a game created by someone else. i can sorta understand this from the prototyping standpoint where you could prototype someone quickly and only have to make a couple of tweaks to get you going. but my concern is how much time does it actually save you and how generic are the games it produces? the article also made it sound more like an automated game creator then a tool.

  5. Fred

    May 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm / 

    So this is how SOE makes their online games.

  6. Software Company in Bhubaneswar

    April 27, 2012 at 1:29 am / 

    Its a right thing that The Software Industry has succeeded in converting this comparative advantage to increasing exports.

  7. altin fiyatlari

    April 22, 2012 at 6:03 am / 

    Thanks a lot. This is great for MMOs

  8. Spk

    April 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm / 

    Thank you Unity, I can now make that MMO I’ve been dreaming about for so long but didn’t know where to start!

    Does it work too if you specify how much cash you want the game to make? like “I want to make a game like Angry Birds and make just as much money”.

    Thanks for all these great features!

  9. Josh

    April 3, 2012 at 10:39 am / 

    Actually, this isn’t a joke. They just reported about this in New Scientist back in March.
    http://www.wildpipe.com/news/524/

  10. Jack Shiels

    April 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm / 

    Hahahaha good one guys!

  11. judy3t

    April 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm / 

    Brilliant! The technical explanation of limited domain really hit a nerve. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages.

  12. Ippokratis Bournellis

    April 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm / 

    It was about time.

  13. Chris

    April 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm / 

    Finally, my 150,000 word design document will be useful!

  14. Jashan

    April 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm / 

    Bah, I’m seriously disappointed. You guys really should have used that brain power to create the simple “Make MMORPG”-button that everyone is waiting for. C’mon, you don’t seriously expect us to think about what kind of game we want to create, now do you? Let alone write it down.

    In 2012, people really expect a little more than that. I’m just not impressed at all.

  15. Kevin Hopcraft

    April 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm / 

    OH, ITS APRIL FOOLS. I almost forgot, thanks for the reminder UT.

  16. Ticked Off Pixel

    April 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm / 

    I bet there’ll be lots of 3D Porn Games beeing made with this feature.

  17. Anurag

    April 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm / 

    I already have access to this tool, i typed “make a funny april fool prank game”, and it made this webpage !!!

  18. Joe Williamsen

    April 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm / 

    FINALLY – a “make cool game” button! It’s about time!

  19. Glauber

    April 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm / 

    I really wanted this adobe flash premium business model were another 1st April prank too…

  20. Arowx

    April 1, 2012 at 11:59 am / 

    Duz it haz a spel chekr & gramr thingzy?

  21. Richard Fine

    April 1, 2012 at 11:14 am / 

    Finally, my Inform 7 coding skills can be brought to 3D game development!

  22. Cleverson

    April 1, 2012 at 11:02 am / 

    That’s great!!! I can’t wait for open this window and ask for “Make a great game that will become the most profitable game ever built!! And be quick!”

  23. inakrinat

    April 1, 2012 at 10:28 am / 

    Last taim i usd thiz simantic bilder, I traid to maik mmorpg. But inzted it maid me 3d hentai action pazzl reicer. Mai be I mispeld samthin, but it defenetly overriactid! Pliz cansider thiz ishue in yo divelapmint!

  24. Minos

    April 1, 2012 at 10:28 am / 

    I was a beta tester of this feature. It’s totally awesome!
    Thx for this feature guys!

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