Ever heard an unsual combination of words like 'Pilgrims of Catalonia' or 'Llama Farmer 2' and thought:
Hey, that sounds like a fun boardgame that I’d like to play, but gosh darn it isn’t actually a game so I’ll never get to play it. If only there were some website for generating a set of boardgame rules just based off of the name, that would be great and then I could try it out with my friends!
Well you are in luck, as we have made exactly that website.
Here at Generative Boargames you simply come up with the name of a fictional game that you’d like to play, press • bling! • and we’ll generate rules and box art for the game. If you want to tweak the rules and art then you can do that as well.
Can I actually play the games?
Yes! But it might not be easy. The (often nonsensical) rules might need to be adapted.
Our advice is to set off some time with a few friends to dig into the game, ignoring and adding information as you go.
Also, we're looking forward for your feedback on what can be improved in order for you to be able to play your generated games.
How are these games generated?
The rules are created using a big neural network (GPT-2). It works a bit like the word prediction on the keyboard of your phone — except on a larger scale. The algorithm was trained on 2000 boardgame rules, and uses the title that you gave it is mixed with its knowledge of boardgame rules to come up with something completely new.
The covers are generated in a similar way using another neural network called StyleGan, which we trained on 15,000 boardgame covers. It doesn’t understand what a boardgame cover is, but as you’ll see it kind of understands the essence of it: like having a title at the top, and some kind of colourful image underneath.
What are the costs of generating a game?
Great question! When you create a new game it costs us around US$0,08. We rely on the support of the community to keep this project running while we're working on making it better.
By donating 1 dollar, you will allow us to generate 12 boardgames :)
Who made this?
This website is the collaborative output of Julius Ingemann, Florian Porada and Lucas Terra, working out of their bedrooms in Copenhagen, Berlin, and São Paulo (respectively).
We thought this project would be a fun way to play some new games during lockdown, as well as an intersting way of understanding and interacting with the outputs of neural networks.