Grand Theft Auto 5 AI NPC Mod Nuked From The Internet

In case you thought Rockstar Games’ acquisition of Grand Theft Auto V creator group meant a brave new era for open modding in the hit open-world game, don’t worry, publisher Take-Two is still going after fan projects it doesn’t like. Case in point is its recent sacking of a mod called Sentient Streets, which used AI technology to generate NPC conversation dialogue on the fly. Take-Two had the mod scoured from both YouTube and NexusMods, leaving its creator confused and discouraged.

The Sentient Streets mod, which was previously covered by a number of sites like IGN and Eurogamer, had a story that revolved around an AI-worshiping death cult and NPCs whose dialogue was randomly generated by a tool called the Inworld Character Engine. YouTube user Bloc, who created the GTA V mod, said a video showing it off had over 100,000 views before it was removed, while the mod itself had apparently been downloaded over 3,000 times before NexusMods, where it was hosted, took it down.

“Perhaps this occurred automatically, but the evidence suggests a deliberate manual DMCA takedown request from them,” Bloc wrote in a post on YouTube. “I also didn’t get any response back [from Take-Two]. It looks like they are just attacking [the] mod from all fronts.”

Rockstar’s parent company has a long history of going after fan projects, mods, and other unsanctioned creations, from sending DMCA takedowns to filing lawsuits and even reportedly sending private investigators to players’ houses. At the same time, vast role-play communities and the third-party mods and servers that sustain them are a massive part of GTA V’s enduring significance and popularity.

It was both surprising but understandable then when Rockstar recently announced it would formerly partner with, the development team behind the FiveM and RedM mod communities for GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2, respectively. “As a way to further support those efforts, we recently expanded our policy on mods to officially include those made by the roleplay creative community,” the studio wrote in its announcement.

It’s not clear why Take-Two appears to have singled out Bloc’s mod for termination, but it could have something to do with its integration of the third-party Inworld Character Engine, made by Inworld AI, and voices by ElevenLabs. The latter ompany, which has a $100 million valuation, creates AI-generated voices through a combination of random sampling and contracted performances, it told IGN. It’s not hard to see that raising all kinds of potential red flags that don’t apply to standard mods that simply add or change in-game assets and gameplay mechanics.

Take-Two and Bloc did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“Knowing that large corporations can issue strikes based on arbitrary reasons, which can cause your work to go in vain in moments, is also discouraging to say the least,” Bloc wrote in their post.

Correction 8/17/2023 9:00 p.m. ET: Inworld Character Engine was made by Inworld AI not ElevenLabs.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Director Explains Why Every NPC Was Mo-Capped

Larian Studios’ Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game Baldur’s Gate 3 wouldn’t be what it is without nearly hundreds of actors’ diligent motion capture performances, mo-cap director Aliona Baranova explained in an August 25 Twitter thread.

“For almost ALL the dialogue we recorded, we ALSO captured the actors’ mo-cap data,” she explained. “That means all 248 actors,” including Baranova’s girlfriend Jennifer English, who voices Shadowheart, “ALL the NPCs […] put on a mo-cap suit, and their movements, gestures, and physical choices were recorded and sent along with the audio files for the animators to use in game.”

That’s the heart of why “the performances [feel] so alive,” Baranova continued. Everything you see a character do in-game is a decision a live actor made for them, except for in cases “when the actors voiced animals, [when they recorded] additional dialogue, cinematic cutscenes, and, occasionally, if an actor was injured or unavailable to record.”

So, you have real people to thank for your favorite battlefield moments, quips, and all the interspecies romance you’ve been watching unfold across hundreds of hours.

Read More: The Baldur’s Gate 3 Sex Scenes, Ranked From Worst To Best

“The iconic head wiggles Jen did as Shadowheat WERE Jen’s actual head wiggles,” Baranova said. “The militaristic and alien-like movements of [Lae’zel] were [Devora Wilde’s] physical choices for the character.”

“But […] the magic really happened […] when [we performance directors] helped the actor connect to the text on a deeper, more physical level—when you could see what they were saying affect their bodies,” Baranova continued. “By working with the voice director, as a team, we aimed to get the best possible performances from the actors.”

The end results, which have made BG3 players feel anything from vengeful to super horny, are effecting and authentic. It almost makes you want to pay creatives well, or something.


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