There’s a big brain at work in Baldur’s Gate 3, and I’m not talking about the monster. It’s actually an artificial intelligence that’s tirelessly pushing the game’s boundaries, pressing different combinations of buttons and input commands faster than a human could ever hope for, and it’s letting Larian Studios develop their game faster and more efficiently than ever before.
In the before times, all this work had to be done by QA testers–basically humans whose sole job was to try and break the game. While this might seem like just playing video games all day long, it’s actually tedious, monotonous work. You’re not so much playing the game as you are running into walls and pressing weird input combinations to see what happens.
Larian still has QA testers in their employ, but a lot of the grunt work has been taken over by an artificial intelligence that Larian calls World Tester. In an interview with Polygon, the developer explains that World Tester is a sort of “super gamer,” going through combat, dialog options, and menus in search of bugs at “lightning speed.”
With every new build of Baldur’s Gate 3, World Tester gets first crack at it, and only after it reports the build to be safe does an actual human start poking around.
“In the early years, it was just teleporting an NPC across regions, testing performance markers and looking for basic crashes,” Larian said, referring to their time developing Divinity: Original Sin. Since that game’s 2014 release, World Tester has been evolving to perform more complex tasks, but Larian says it’s not going to fully replace humans. At least, not yet.
“Our QA teams across the world are extremely important, and the world-tester is really not as smart as it thinks it is.”
AI is great and all, but it’ll never figure out how to kill all the goblins at Selûne’s temple without ever casting a single spell.
Baldur’s Gate 3 has already exceeded one million units sold, but players should keep in mind that their Early Access save files won’t transfer over to the final product when it eventually releases.
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