IMLS Libraries Project

Hive Mechanic with AI Images and Chat

As we have been developing new API cards for Hive Mechanic, our team gathered together to have a brainstorming session, playing around with answering the question: what if we modified existing games and activities to include AI-generated images or AI-powered chat?

We did our brainstorming session on February 3rd, 2023, during Global Game Jam 2023. A game jam is an event where people make games from scratch in a predetermined amount of time. Global Game Jam is one of the largest annual game jams in the world and attracts thousands of participants each year. This spirit of creativity and innovation inspired us to brainstorm our AI game query. 

We created a brainstorm scaffolding document to help guide our process. Similar to the scaffolding document that we used at the brainstorming session we hosted at Games for Change 2022, we separated out affordances in columns for an easy “pick-and-choose” approach to brainstorming. Here we selected (1) an impact/outcome, (2) a Hive Mechanic interaction, (3) an AI response, and (4) a game diversifier. In the spirit of Global Game Jam 2023, we used some of their diversifiers as some prods for us to think of additional ways that we could alter our original designs.

We used our texting with a sculpture example as the starting point for our brainstorm. Initially we used a jamboard to get all of our ideas in one spot before diving deeper into any single idea. 

We decided to focus on the idea of a “tailored oracle”, an ‘oracle’ that gives custom readings by asking a question and then using a participant’s answer to generate an image and a text reading. We used OpenAI’s API playground to test out how this might look and put together this example flow of what the experience might be like.  

As accessible AI tools continue to be developed and improved, we challenge ourselves to continue considering the playful applications of these technologies. How might we use AI tools to support the design of a game that can generate social interaction between neighbors? How might it be leveraged to circulate hyper-local storytelling? The innovative implications of these AI tools are far-reaching and under-considered in playful community-building spaces and we will continue encouraging the exploration of these design considerations. 

What’s next? In preparation for this brainstorm, we did the technical work to create new cards for Hive Mechanic to ensure these game ideas would be viable to create. These new cards allow Hive Mechanic to work with Microsoft’s OpenAI API. This spring, we are doing further tests to demonstrate this technological approach. 

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