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The annual GDC Survey is out now and it's an interesting look into what developers are up to and how the industry is changing, and some of the info this time around is pretty eyebrow raising.

Firstly, to note, this survey ran between Oct. 11 to Oct. 29, 2023 and contains answers polled from over 3,000 developers working in the games industry. As with all surveys, a pinch of salt is needed but it's a great overall look at the state of things.

Scanning through the PDF with my Mark I Eyeball, the first real interesting result is on what platform the developers are developing for with 66% of responses for PC. This is a good showing, and clearly PC gaming is stronger than it ever has been before when you take into account the growth of Steam as well. Remember Valve even said Steam had 83,000 new customers every day in 2022, but we haven't seen a 2023 overview yet.

For Linux specifically, only 7% said they were developing for it. 

Image credit: GDC, click to enlarge.

The really interesting bit though is when it comes to generative AI. The AI flood gates have been opened by Valve for Steam with their new rules, and no doubt many developers will be looking into using it, and some already are. According to the survey 49% of developers overall are using it or they have colleagues using it. That's split across many departments though from finance to programming and all sorts. But AI generation is clearly already popular.

Image credit: GDC, click to enlarge.

Image credit: GDC, click to enlarge.

The survey also showed that indie developers were more likely to be the ones using AI at 37%, and not the bigger AAA lot at 21%. Although no doubt this will change over time as AI generation continues improving. When asked about how developers think the impact of generative AI will be only 21% were positive about it, with 57% feeling mixed and 18% having a negative opinion of it. Only 1% thought it would have no impact and another 3% didn't know.

You can register to see the survey on the GDC website.

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Not even a surprise. Even as a hobbyist, AI is interesting. Once you see its potential, you start seeing it as a tool, and once you see it as a tool, you start thinking about how you can use it in your workflow. Just like how nowadays I'd rather just ask ChatGPT over going to Stack Overflow, people are going to use AI for the most tedious or things that they don't find to matter too much for them.

I, for one, find creative fulfilment in writing a story - I don't find creative fulfilment in proof reading them for grammatical error. I don't mind some prose suggestions either, even if I am the final arbiter of what I want to convey. Now, apply that to every creative endeavour, and you find that there's a lot of room for AI, especially when time and money are involved. You just need to make sure that it doesn't become a large issue or infringe on what you actually are passionate about, which isn't hard to do.

Last edited by fenglengshun on 24 January 2024 at 2:44 am UTC
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