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      Gamereactor
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      Sloyd on how AI is helping developers create 3D graphics and assets

      AI is the hottest topic this year and at Gamelab Barcelona 2023 we caught up with Sloyd's CEO Andreas Edesberg to learn more about their tool, its different uses and possibilities, and what AI could mean to indie developers in the longer run.

      Audio transcription

      "All right, we are at Gamelab 2023 in Barcelona.
      And as it used to happen back in the day, we always learn a bit more about the trends in the industry, the tech that's been developed for developers to, you know, make better games or be more efficient perhaps."

      "So thank you so much for joining us, Andreas.
      Let's talk about AI.
      You know, last year or the year before, NFTs were everywhere.
      I would like the keyword, right?
      But then they're nowhere to be found."

      "Now we are all talking about AI.
      But even though it's virtual in a way, it is more tangible.
      Is that something that you guys feel that this is something real that is being used for real and is very useful for developers?
      Yeah, I think, I mean, AI has been around for a long time already."

      "And I feel like it was really with ChatGPT and that that really brought it into the mainstream of everyone was like, oh, OK, I mean, AI has existed for a long time.
      But now we could really see the use of it and the next phase of just prompt to get anything.
      So, yeah, the usability, I think, is indisputable."

      "But AI has been around for many, many years.
      And we've we've been doing this for like as a company for two and a half years.
      The technology has been in development for almost seven years.
      So it's not something it's not something new, but it's definitely on everyone's lips these days."

      "OK, so tell us what you do.
      You guys work for developers to easily generate 3D assets for their games, 3D only.
      Right. So tell us what you've been doing.
      Yeah, I mean, creating 3D is extremely manual."

      "It's very, very time consuming.
      It's it could be a lot of fun, but it can also be really just exhausting.
      And there's a lot of people just making the same things over and over again.
      And I mean, our core thesis is that there's, you know, everyone knows what a chair looks like."

      "Everyone knows what a gun looks like, what the creativity that goes into it is customizing it.
      So that's that's what we give to to our users.
      We give them the base kind of object, the template, and they can customize it.
      But part of our core differentiator, too, is it's it's so fast that we can do generate generative 3D within the games themselves."

      "So as the game is running, so enabling even the gamers themselves to create and kind of pushing that over to to user generated content and that kind of stuff.
      So, yeah. How do they give the system context?
      Because we've seen some systems that you just write some words saying, hey, I want this to look more epic, more medieval, more sci fi.
      How do you in your system, how do both gamers and developers like sort of tell the system what they want?
      Yeah, I mean, part of the problem with 3D, it's it's mainly twofold."

      "It's one lack of data and annotated data in the same way that we have for images.
      And the other one is just the complexity of 3D models itself with polygons.
      The mesh is just so much more complex than an image.
      So we're basically making the data set ourselves with customizable parts and customizable objects."

      "So it's it's a hybrid, actually, between parametric objects that you can customize with AI to combine all these building blocks.
      Look at them as like Lego blocks, but they're customizable Lego blocks and you can put them together into new objects.
      So so that's so today, if you go into our product, you'll see, you know, certain domains, certain certain types of objects that you can customize."

      "But we have some really, really cool things coming out where you can have full creative freedom and creates fundamentally new things.
      And right now, yeah, we we're focused on having something out there that works, that you can take out, directly put it into your projects and just go and use.
      And then, yeah, get the full width of everything that's possible as we go."

      "How do you feed and how do you control the model? Is it a static database that you sort of update yourselves and keep an eye on?
      Or does it also perhaps connect online and check elsewhere to to get inspiration?
      How does it work in that in those terms?
      Yeah, I mean, that's that's also kind of part of the timeline in terms of where we are and where we where we're going."

      "But today it's it's us in the community that helps us create the data set, basically on the content.
      And, yeah, I'm maybe not going to talk so much about exactly how we're going to do it in the future.
      But what's very important for us is to is to not infringe on any type of copyright or like just go and scrape the Web for different types of assets and just claim that we're generating something new."

      "But actually, also part of the issue is that you don't have that type of data set in the same way as images like Dali had 10 billion annotated images to train on.
      The biggest data set in 3D is like eight hundred thousand one million.
      It's very, very small and it's not annotated to the to the level that you need, really.
      You know, this is a car, but you need to know all the way down for us, at least."

      "We want to know all the way down to the bolt in the wheel, what what that part is.
      So that's kind of what we're building so that we can create something that's game ready, has optimized mesh, has UVs that are consistent and works and you get LOD generation.
      So you get like the resolution you want, all that stuff, because if you just train and use."

      "Yeah, well, I can go into the technical stuff.
      You just mentioned two very interesting things. One is one is copyright and the other one is more technically.
      I don't know if your system is platform agnostic or engine.
      If you know I'm working with Unreal Engine, someone else is working on Unity."

      "Someone else have their own engine.
      Can you use your product, generate those assets and import them easily?
      And then let's talk about copyright.
      So we have two products. We have the web app and the web app is just kind of like an easy to use customizing export."

      "And those are OBJs, GLBs.
      You can take them into any platform, not even game engines, but also like whatever, like other platforms to the SDK for in-game creation, for runtime, real time generation.
      Today is a Unity SDK and we're working on the open APIs to support Unreal and all the other engines as well.
      And then on the copyright topic, we just learned that some games are being banned from Steam for using AI, perhaps for not their own copyrighted stuff."

      "So how do you work with rights and how do artists participate in sort of claim these or how is this going to evolve? What do you think?
      It depends on the way you're doing it.
      And if you're scraping and you're taking things from the Internet, then obviously that's someone else's work.
      And that will have some sort of copyright infringement, even though some of it is open source or like free to use, but it's still someone else's work."

      "And we're not doing that. We're building our own data set together with our community that knows exactly what they're doing.
      They just want to help out. They want to create objects that other people can use.
      And generators and that kind of stuff.
      So for us, that's been key from the start to not kind of go in that direction at all and just have complete control over the data."

      "It's ours. We can use that directly for anything that we want.
      So it's very easy for us.
      And finally, the elephant in the room, I guess, is the most asked question about AI.
      This is not stealing someone else's jobs."

      "What do you think about that?
      To me, at least the impression I get is that we just both programmers, artists, even writers, everyone have to know how to relate, how to deal with AI to become better and more efficient.
      It's not that AI is here to steal your jobs.
      What do you think about all that?
      Well, I don't know if I agree with the concept of stealing a job."

      "I think it's more like enabling people to do more.
      And we might see that the bigger companies will be challenged by smaller teams with tools that can enable you to do more.
      You could really, as a small team, suddenly challenge the big AAAs and create equally large worlds.
      So, yeah, you might have an issue with two big teams and the big companies, but those people hopefully will see huge potential in their own kind of endeavors."

      "Obviously, we'll see much more rough competition and more games coming out.
      But, I mean, I don't know, as a gamer myself, I'm just excited about seeing more big games with immersive experiences, with more things you can explore and do.
      Because right now, I feel like I love indie games.
      I've had so much fun with a lot of amazing indie games."

      "But, obviously, it's restricted by what they can do with a small team.
      So, the scale is smaller.
      And that's just so inspirational to me, to see a small team do so much more.
      So, that's what I'm excited about."

      "Can you share examples of clients and games that have been using your product, your tech, for the past few years?
      So, we're still in open beta.
      So, we're still not even monetizing it.
      We've hosted Game Jam, so people can go in and see kind of the games that people have made, only using stored assets."

      "And it's been really cool to see, actually, people make kind of, you know, they export things and they combine things with ways we never would have thought possible.
      So, yeah, we have on our website, you can go in and check the things that people made.
      So, yeah, I would encourage people to go there.
      Sounds a little bit sandbox, a little bit like Zelda."

      "Thank you so much for your time, Andreas.
      It looks very interesting.
      And we'll talk about this in a few years time to see where it goes.
      Thank you so much."

      "Absolutely. Thank you."

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