Dragon Age narrative lead says BioWare tried AI for content generation and it came out "soulless"

Mass Effect 2
(Image credit: BioWare)

BioWare once tried their hand at procedural generator for scripts, and the result "soulless."

Former BioWare narrative lead David Gaider recently took to Twitter to respond to a Guardian article talking up the possibility of AI writing scripts for game developers. Gaider reflected on the time BioWare tried their hand at "procedural content generation," and revealed the result was less than satisfactory.

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Gaider writes that while the AI gave BioWare countless RPG-style quests, none of them were better than your standard "bring me 20 beetle heads." That, entirely understandably, is not what BioWare was going for in their approach to quest design in games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

The BioWare veteran goes on to say that developers shouldn't want anything more than this from AI writing. Developers will unfortunately think they can get more from an AI than your standard dull questline, Gaider concludes, but they will absolutely be mistaken in thinking this.

When we think about BioWare greats like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, we think about them for their branching narratives and memorable characters. Gaider, and no doubt other BioWare staffers, know AI just can't deliver on this, and can't give that player what they truly want: standout storytelling moments.

Gaider's next adventure is Stray Gods, a musical roleplaying game where Greek Gods intersect with mere humans. We haven't seen anything of gameplay for Stray Gods yet, but we know it'll feature narrative-shifting choices, and music from Journey and The Banner Saga composer Austin Wintory.

Check out our new games 2023 guide for a look at all the games you can play while you wait for Stray Gods to arrive.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.