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StoryGames.AI is live now. It combines generative AI with user-friendly tools to inspire amateurs to create games that are like visual novels, said Jonathan Zweig, CEO of Buildbox, in an interview with GamesBeat.
In a world where storytelling takes center stage, Zweig sees StoryGames.AI as a groundbreaking platform allowing creators to bring their imaginative tales to life in the form of captivating games. Buildbox is a no-code platform that enables people to create their own games, and StoryGames.AI can enhance what they can do in creating games where players follow a narrative and make choices.
“The community has been asking to create these kinds of visual novel games, kind of like Episode and Choices,” Zweig said. “Buildbox has kind of been known for making hypercasual games for a long time. So it was definitely a new kind of undertaking. Then with all the AI stuff happening, it just made sense to put all those technologies together. So you can now just type any storyline that you want and it will create the first 10 chapters for you.”
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I can relate. I’ve been playing Total Battle, a fantasy strategy game on iOS and one of the things that keeps me coming back is the text-based story that comes out once a day, telling me about the drama among the leadership of my city. Those handful of sentences each day is one of the small things that draws me in.
At its core, StoryGames.ai is a tool to inspire creativity and remove barriers to entry in game development. This advanced tool enables users to create interactive and captivating visual novel games in just a few minutes, regardless of their technical backgrounds. While some people might see this as churning out low-end content, Zweig believes in the heart of every person resides a storyteller, an imaginative creator of tales that captivate and inspire. All they need is a platform to let them conjure their games.
The process is simple yet powerful. Utilizing cutting-edge AI technology, StoryGames.ai guides users through a series of questions about their main character, the story’s general trajectory, and the obstacles the character must overcome. Within minutes, a complete ten-chapter visual novel game with an engaging storyline, interactive choices, and visually stunning scenes is generated, Zweig said.
One of the key features of StoryGames.ai is its integration with the Buildbox ecosystem. Users can create Story Games within Buildbox Classic, Buildbox World, or directly on the web at Buildbox.ai. This flexibility allows creators to build games for various platforms, including the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Steam, without the need to download Buildbox itself. The platform’s ease of use and accessibility make it even more attractive to aspiring game developers.
Creators can think about adding themselves to the story. The monetization can work where there is a fee for premium content. You can generate a story based on a photo in your photo album. He noted how there are a relatively small number of Roblox creators in the millions, yet there are hundreds of millions of players. Zweig would like to see more people find self-expression and become creators. Games structured like “Choose Your Own Adventure” can give people the basic formula to build their stories.
Zweig said it costs Buildbox perhaps 25 cents to generate each game based on what users want. And so it allows users to make a couple of games for free. After you make two games for free, you can subscribe to Buildbox on a paid plan.
Buildbox has to do some limited moderation so people don’t create undesirable storylines. And its team plays each game before approving it.
“Just like the App Store has to play a role as a gatekeeper, we at Buildbox have to approve all content,” he said. “We have to be careful.”
What you can create
Within Buildbox Classic, users have the freedom to edit and expand their story games as their imagination unfolds. Elements can be easily moved, text and buttons can be repositioned, and the decision tree can be customized to create an interactive narrative experience. The built-in AI asset generator streamlines the process of creating new images, allowing creators to fine-tune their chapter visuals easily.
StoryGames.ai unleashes creativity by enabling users to bring any story they desire to life. Whether it’s mythical fantasy, detective noir thrillers, classic romance, or sci-fi dystopias, the platform offers limitless creative possibilities. Users can take players on adventures beyond their wildest dreams, exploring uncharted territories and facing unimaginable challenges.
The AI technology behind StoryGames.ai is capable of handling complex storylines, plot twists, and turns. It empowers creators to develop diverse characters, immersive environments, and captivating scenarios, ensuring players are fully immersed in the narrative.
The potential for creating with StoryGames.ai is endless, Zweig said. The sophisticated AI technology within the platform allows for branching dialogues, intricate decision-making, and a wide range of characters and scenarios. This no-code platform is designed to be user-friendly and accessible to anyone, regardless of their technical expertise, making game-making a possibility for all.
Beyond game development, Story Games from Buildbox serves as a dynamic environment for honing storytelling skills, exploring innovative narratives, and even for educational purposes.
Teachers can design interactive lessons, entrepreneurs can convey their brand story in an engaging format, and therapists can create narrative therapy tools. The platform offers a multitude of possibilities limited only by the user’s imagination.
With its seamless integration with the Buildbox ecosystem, powerful AI technology, and user-friendly interface, StoryGames.AI empowers storytellers to transform their ideas into immersive interactive experiences. Aspiring game developers, educators, entrepreneurs, and creative enthusiasts can make use of it as they begin a game development journey.
It took close to a year to create the storytelling tools. And you can get started without ever having to download Buildbox and use its other tools for making games.
Zweig said the team was thinking of all the ways it could expand the game developer universe. It’s tough for many creators to find great game dynamics. But everybody has a story to tell.
“Our aha moment was how we could open up game development to a lot of people by starting with the storyline and then adding the game mechanics later,” he said. “Not many people have the inspiration out of the box to create a new game mechanic, but you could potentially add existing game mechanics to to a unique storyline.”
He added, “If you could could just empower people to create super unique storylines about anything, and then maybe add those other clicker-type mechanics to that, we would have like a really rich tapestry of of games to play in the world. Ultimately, we want there to be great games to play. But maybe we should start with great storylines first, and then add mechanics afterwards, instead of kind of the way the industry is set up right now.”
So far, users have created around 1,500 games so far. At some point, you can take the story and write a different ending or modify what you want. Zweig showed me a game where he asked for a game based on Mark Zuckerberg fighting Elon Musk in a UFC challenge.
“Our whole mission is about whether games can be a medium just like blogging, a way for people to express themselves,” Zweig said. “It’s about inspiring people to create their first game through through a personal story that they have. And then maybe once they’ve done that, they can get inspired to take more steps.”
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