Silent Hill: Ascension Isn’t Written By AI, Dev Insists, Says Suggesting Otherwise Is A “Veiled Insult”

After a viral tweet accused Silent Hill: Ascension of being written by artificial intelligence, the CEO of the studio behind the interactive choose-your-own adventure series has insisted it was written by “real people.” He added that any insinuation that it wasn’t “is just a veiled insult to talented humans who have worked hard to create something they are proud of.”

Silent Hill: Ascension is an interactive television series set in Konami’s popular horror franchise. Via the web or an app, users can stream new episodes of the series live and collectively vote on choices. In a viral post on X (formerly Twitter), ex-Giant Bomb video producer Voidburger shared a video clip and lambasted a moment that recently played out as part of the show, in which the main characters stumble upon a lone man out in the woods. Some stilted dialogue ensues, in which the man comments on how he is out picking berries and “likes to make jams.” Just as soon as he appears, the berry-loving man disappears, never to be seen again.

“Silent Hill: Ascension is absolutely written by A.I. and I cannot be convinced otherwise,” Voidburger wrote. “This random NPC pops in, declares he’s berry hunting, says he’s seen weird shit and does not expound on it, provides no information, leaves for more berries. Goodbye forever, BerryMan.”

Other users were quick to point out what appeared to be evidence that Silent Hill: Ascension developer Genvid does use AI in its projects, like in a X post from CEO Jacob Navok from July 2023 where he stated that the studio’s upcoming projects all “feature AI characters.” In another post, Navok said the project had scaled back many of its AI elements, and instead put a larger focus on “human cinematography/animation for scene types over AI-driven.” He additionally said in an earlier post that the team had removed “AI-driven escape sequences and mocap the runs instead. The characters are still AI actors because no player is controlling them, but we determine the movements, fix the eye look, lipsync, and fingers.”

In a recent post seemingly in response to AI accusations, Navok said Silent Hill: Ascension was entirely written by real people.

“Across our 100,000 plus words, zero are authored by LLMs [large language models] or AI, and all are from dedicated work of a talented team,” Navok said.

In subsequent posts, Navok stressed that earlier use of AI for the project was for test purposes related to the use of the technology when it came to animating and directing cinematics. He also said that earlier AI work turned him into a “skeptic on the use of AI for a lot of creative endeavors,” and that “AI is a long way away” from being able to be used in games.

“None of that [AI] work ended up being used on this or other projects,” Navok said. “We have a team of animators working on the project, a team of writers who wrote the scripts, and narrative designers who made the choices. Suggesting otherwise is just a veiled insult to talented humans who have worked hard to create something they are proud of.”

Regardless of whether it uses AI or not, Silent Hill: Ascension’s reception hasn’t been exactly positive. The app through which the series is experienced currently sports 1.7 out of 5 user rating on the Google Play Store, while the series sits at .4 user rating score on Metacritic.

There are currently multiple Silent Hill projects in the works. Blooper Team’s Silent Hill 2 remake is “progressing smoothly” according to the developer, and two other games, Silent Hill f and Silent Hill Townfall, are also in development.

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