Update: AI Dungeon's CEO has confirmed that, for speed's sake, the game does not generate images on the fly. Instead it uses "AI to match to a library of AI created images that were pre-generated."
Original Story: I love me a good AI Dungeon session, and I'm happy to announce the devs have just made their AI image generator free to use with the base AI. At the same time though, it looks like the free version now includes ads so, swings and roundabouts.
If you've never heard of AI Dungeon before, think D&D but with an AI as your dungeon master. I've played through a lot of campaigns with this AI story generator, developed by Latitude, and it's not as terrible as you might expect. There are paid versions that use slightly more advanced AI models, but generally the base AI does a pretty neat job at creating a cohesive storyline.
There are times it doesn't make a lot of sense, but the devs have included the option to redo and undo, to give the AI more of a chance to get it right.
Like all AI based games, it's all about training the artificial intelligence model to generate the kind of story you're after. Once you get that down, you can essentially just hit return and watch the story unfold with some incredible results.
The 2D image feature of AI Dungeon lets the game illustrate these stories as they're being generated. It used to be limited to paid users, and the results have always been... interesting. As of today, though, the feature rolls out to non-paid users, meaning anyone can experience the strange wonders of AI illustrations along with their free campaign.
Playing away with the 2D image feature turned on, I have noticed that a lot of the images I get are the same for actions with similar subjects, even when I'm playing in different settings. My guess would be that it's not generating the images on the fly, rather it's likely pulling them from a list of previously generated images.
I've reached out to the CEO and co-founder of the company, Nick Walton, to see if I can get some clarification on this, so watch this space if you're interested to find out how the image generation works.
Best gaming PC: The top pre-built machines from the pros
Best gaming laptop: Perfect notebooks for mobile gaming
Either way, the AI images are gorgeous, and usually relatively apt for the subject matter. Talk about trees, and you'll get a forest. Talk about fighting dragons and you might get a knight being set upon by a red monster or something. The images have the surrealistic charm of those little doodles you'd find in the margins of medieval texts, and I love them even when they don't make much sense to the story or setting.
Along with the announcement of the free AI image generator, it seems there's now a caveat for AI Dungeon's free users: if you want to use the redo, undo, or similar actions, you have to watch an advertisement to refresh your actions when they run out. You get a good 10 actions by watching a single ad, so it's not as intrusive as I thought, but I guess that all depends on how well the AI does at not messing up the story.
If you're wondering how you can experience AI Dungeon's 2D image feature, simply head into settings in the top right once you've chosen a campaign setting, and Enable Beta Testing Features. That will reveal the option to Turn on AI Dungeon 2D.
Make sure you tag us in some of the results over on Twitter, because we're dying to see the full breadth of images the game has to offer.