There are a bunch of Generative AI tools out there right now, and we're just starting to see a flurry of new MVP's with niche use cases for game design that allow us to dive in and see their use cases, benefits and limitations.
One that I have been playing with recently has a real focus on environments and landscapes, that tool is Sky Box from Blockade labs.
For my own use case, I am looking at a series of environments to storyboard for my own game. The great thing about SkyBox, is it takes out the time and cost of a 2D artist to sketch out concepts and ideas. Don't get me wrong, you still need one, but time to market for all products, even games is critical, so this will be a great help in the speed of execution.
This, whilst not perfect, as there's no art or games designer plugged into this product, is great for exploring ideas, concepts and musings. OK, not one scene is perfect, but if you throw them in Figma and stitch the areas together that are the most relevant, then the tool has massive potential.
Though this is just my opinion, I have strong ideas of what I want scenes to look like. Every image I have generated so far has been stunning. But as with all GenAI tools, they still fall down when it comes to people, their limbs, fingers and toes.
In the case of Sky labs the niche is very much steered and geared towards environments and lanscapes, so in this use case, it excells.
Let's looks at a few examples
Prompt: Inside a house looking out of the window across the Grand Canyon (Fantasy landscape)
Prompt: A tropical beach with palm trees and white puffy clouds (Fantasy landscape) Disclaimer: I'm rather fond of tropical beaches.
Prompt: Tropical rain forest with dark skies and rain (Scenic)
Prompt: Mountain range like Mount Everest covered in snow (Realistic)
So you have seen some results, what do you think? Personally I think this has many uses cases from quick ideation to, in the hands of the skilled, actual working environments and backdrops for games.
Though what about high-res backdrops for film sets? I have met a few set designers over the years, and they are essentially painters and artists that are true experts at depicting perspective.
Will you use these tools in your next game?