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Deep Dream: Can It Map?


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19 April 2023page first published

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

In our last article, we looked at what artificial intelligence could do to pictures of our painted minis.

However, these AIs are trained on a vast amount of art and images. So… does it know what a map is, and can it generate something useful for gamers?

Dungeon Maps

There are several useful websites on the internet which will generate dungeon maps, but is that something which Deep Dream (the AI we've been using) understands?

Dungeon Map #1

Above is our first attempt. The prompt was "dungeon map with 1' grid in the style of Dungeons and Dragons." No photo was provided. The AI has generated something in the ballpark, but the grid varies, and the text is mostly in an unrecognizable script. (Note: These are large images, you might need to click to see the full-size image.)

Dungeon Map #2

Another attempt, this time at "high detail" setting. The grid is more uniform this time, but the map doesn't look much like a dungeon. Lots of gibberish text.

Dungeon Map #3

Final attempt, also at high detail, but increased from the supposed '1MP basic size' (which, oddly enough, produces images between 100 and 300kb in size). This gave us an image of 1152 pixels by 896 pixels (365kb) – not that large, still should fit on a standard sheet of paper. It looks like a cross between a dungeon map and a dungeon boardgame.

So no, it can't generate a useful dungeon map.

Campaign Maps

So let's think bigger – can it generate a fantasy map for a wargame campaign or RPG?

Campaign Map #1

Surprisingly, the AI seems to know what a campaign map is. It's even given it a name – Amiloni – although most of the lettering once again is gibberish. But the land seems rather boring, lots and lots of mountains.

Campaign Map #2

On the second attempt, we've been able to generate a larger image, but again a rather monotonous map. And are those rivers or roads?

So no, it can't do campaign maps well.

Global Maps

Let's think really big – like, from orbit. A view of a planet from orbit. Something you might use in your sci-fi campaign or SFRPG.

Orbit Map #1

Well, this doesn't look much like a map, and where did that flying saucer come from? Or the second planet?

Orbit Map #2

On the second attempt, we've got something more like a map, but not the entire planet side.

So this is partially what we wanted.

Scenario Map

And finally, we know from experience that Deep Dream has some cognizance of wargaming. Could it generate a scenario map for a WWII wargame? We asked for a scenario map for Flames of War, set in the North European theater.

Scenario Map

OK, I think we can call that a fail.