Funding Fallout: 'AI Assisted Content' Sparks Backer Discontent in Cyan Worlds' Latest Game

Audrey Hansen


blog image

It seems Cyan Worlds, the developer of the puzzle game Firmament, has landed in hot water after a paragraph in the credits revealed that many aspects of the game were developed with the assistance of AI. As the creators of Myst, Cyan Worlds has a dedicated following that eagerly backed the project. However, not everyone is happy with their use of AI, and some backers have expressed their disappointment, sparking a debate about the role of AI in game development.

Firmament was funded via Kickstarter, with backers committing over $1.4M to bring the game to life. The list of AI-assisted content includes journals, voice acting, songs, poems, portraits, and artwork, among others. Although Cyan Worlds clarified that the AI tools "assisted" and did not completely create these elements, many backers feel cheated. They argue that the use of AI has resulted in an inferior game and that Cyan should have disclosed its intention to use AI during the fundraising campaign.

Some backers have taken to Kickstarter's comment section to voice their discontent. Many believe it's unethical to use AI for creative work and that the game's artistic and narrative quality has suffered as a result. As the debate unfolds, it highlights the growing concerns around AI-assisted content and its potential impact on the gaming industry. Although Firmament has received generally positive feedback, the AI revelations have left a sour taste in the mouths of some players, who argue that the game feels lifeless and dull.

AI's expanding role in the development of games and creative projects is not without controversy. On the one hand, AI tools can streamline processes and improve efficiency. On the other hand, many worry that AI-generated content can compromise the creativity and human touch that is traditionally linked with game development. The Firmament controversy raises questions about transparency and the ethical implications of using AI in game design, which will likely persist as AI becomes more prevalent in the industry.

In conclusion, Cyan Worlds' use of AI in the development of Firmament has ignited a heated discussion among fans and industry insiders alike. As AI continues to make inroads in the gaming world, developers will have to grapple with balancing the benefits of these powerful tools against the expectations of their audience. Transparency about the role of AI in a project may be key to maintaining a trusting relationship with backers and fans. Future game projects will surely need to address these concerns as both creators and players navigate the brave new world of AI-assisted content.