What just happened? In case you missed it (we did), a knock-off version of Angry Birds called Angry Pumpkins launched on Halloween. It plays just like the classic game from 2010, except it has you shooting pumpkins at boxes, wooden planks, stone pillars, bones, skulls, and ghoulies.
Angry Pumpkins is not as advanced as its inspiration. It only has one level with seemingly no win condition, but it does have a crude editor allowing you to create custom layouts, sort of, maybe, if you are very, very patient. Okay, okay. The game sucks and is not very fun. You can judge for yourself on the developer's website.
But that's not the point.
What makes Angry Pumpkins newsworthy is that it was created entirely with natural language using ChatGPT to write its 600 lines of code, Midjourney to draw the objects and background, and Dall-E to generate the title screen. No manual coding was required, and little to no programming knowledge was needed to build the playable game.
Angry Pumpkins creator Javi Lopez has been tinkering with these AI tools for some time and has developed a keen sense of how to get the most out of them with English prompts. He even has tutorials on how to work with AI agents. Despite his better-than-average knowledge, he is still amazed he could create a playable game using only AI.
Midjourney, DALL*E 3 and GPT-4 have opened a world of endless possibilities.– Javi Lopez âÂ©ï¸Â (@javilopen) October 31, 2023
I just coded "Angry Pumpkins ðÂÂÂ" (any resemblance is purely coincidental ðÂÂÂ) using GPT-4 for all the coding and Midjourney / DALLE for the graphics.
Here are the prompts and the process I followed: pic.twitter.com/st3OEhVVtK
"I have to admit, I'm genuinely blown away," Lopez said on X. "Honestly, I never thought this would be possible. I truly believe we're living in a historic moment that we've only seen in sci-fi movies up until now."
A few of us at TechSpot have experimented with ChatGPT to code tasks in various programming languages. While it rarely produces completely functional error-free code on the first try, we've gotten it to self-correct and generate workable snippets for simple tasks. However, creating an interactive game is on a whole other level, even as crude as Angry Pumpkins is.
That said, designing the game was not as easy as pie. Lopez said that creating the graphics was the simplest part. He has been generating AI images for over a year and a half, and getting Dall-E or Midjourney to spit out what he wants was simply a matter of asking for it in the way the AI best understands. However, coding was a bear.
"Although the game is just 600 lines, of which I haven't written ANY, this was the most challenging part," Lopez said.
Getting ChatGPT-4 to produce workable code took patience and many, many iterations. He started with a simple prompt.
"Can we now create a simple game using matter.js and p5.js in the style of 'Angry Birds?' Just launch a ball with angle and force using the mouse and hit some stacked boxes with 2D physics."
Through a long back-and-forth process of testing and re-prompting, Lopez eventually got to a working, error-free game/demo. Never did he correct the code himself. If he got an error, he told ChatGPT what it was and commanded it to fix it. Sometimes, his prompts were humorously critical of the AI.
"Now, make the monsters circular, and be very careful: apply the same technique that already exists for the rectangular ones regarding scaling and collision area, and don't mess it up like before."
Despite the game's shortcomings, Angry Pumpkins is a great early example of how independent producers and even mainstream studios could leverage AI to save development costs. It also opens the door for virtually anybody with imagination and patience to create a game without any knowledge or experience in game development.
However, it's also a little scary as AI implementation in studios will most assuredly lead publishers to cut human staff, replacing them with AI. We aren't there yet, but the writing is on the wall.
"These new work processes, where we can create anything using just natural language, are going to change the world as we know it," Lopez opined. "It's such a massive tidal wave that those who don't see it coming will be hit hard. So... let's start riding the wave!"