Google DeepMind’s new generative model makes Super Mario–like games from scratch

Key Points:

  • Genie was trained on video footage alone
  • Genie can generate simple games from hand-drawn sketches
  • Future versions of Genie could run faster


Researchers at Google DeepMind have developed a cutting-edge artificial intelligence called Genie that has the ability to create video games by learning from visual data alone, a significant advancement in the field. Unlike previous models that required input actions and button presses alongside video footage to be trained, Genie was trained solely on 30,000 hours of video from various 2D platform games obtained from the internet. This unique approach allowed Genie to learn from the actions taken by game characters in the videos and generate new frames on the fly based on player inputs.


Genie’s capability to generate simple games from hand-drawn sketches showcases its versatility and potential for innovation in the gaming industry. The AI creates each frame dynamically depending on the player’s actions, updating the visuals in real-time as the game progresses. Additionally, Genie has picked up on common visual features found in platformers, such as parallax effects where the foreground moves faster than the background, enhancing the authenticity of the games it generates.


Tim Rocktäschel, the lead researcher at Google DeepMind behind Genie, believes that future versions could operate even faster, potentially reaching a speed of 30 frames per second. Leveraging advancements in technology similar to large language models, Genie shows promise for further optimization and performance enhancements, opening new possibilities for game development in the future.


While Genie remains an internal research project at Google DeepMind and is not slated for public release, there is speculation that it could evolve into a game-making tool down the line. This prospect excites AI researcher Matthew Guzdial, who previously developed a similar game generator and acknowledges the potential impact of such technology on the gaming landscape. The innovative capabilities and adaptability of Genie represent a significant stride forward in AI-powered game creation, offering a glimpse into the exciting possibilities that lie ahead for the industry.



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