Dream by Wombo is being used to create tons of AI-powered video game artwork

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-01-13 13:21 JST)

It looks like many gamers have been using an AI-powered artwork tool called Dream to generate gaming-related illustrations. Dream is an app released by Canadian startup Wombo in November of last year. Users enter a keyword like “apple” or “tower” and the AI generates an image based on that keyword. The images are abstract, but still “feel” like an illustration based on the entered keyword. While Dream was released in November, it looks like it started catching on in Japan around December and January (Google Trends).

Images made using the keywords apple, tower, and samurai

The AI generated illustrations often look abstract in nature, but users seem to be enjoying how they’re vague, yet capture the gist of the keyword. Let’s take a look at some AI generated images based on video games.

One Twitter user posted images made using Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi. They certainly each have their respective red, green, yellow, and purple coloring. It also looks like each one has a part that could be considered a hat, but nothing that really resembles a face. Perhaps the AI isn’t great with eyes, noses, and other facial features.

Let’s continue by looking at an image one Reddit user generated with “Metroid.” The orange figure in the center of the image does resemble Samus’s Power Suit. While the head area has a sense of being out of place, surprisingly, one of the arms does look arm cannon-like. The fleshy looking background is also a match with the series. Reddit poster PsycrowArchon dubbed the image, “appropriately H R Giger-like nightmare fuel.”

Image credit: PsycrowArchon

Next, let’s take a look at an image made with “Link’s Awakening.” Depending on what part you consider Link’s face, you can see what looks to be his green tunic or the blue clothes he wears in Breath of the Wild. You could say this one has a wide breadth in how it can be interpreted.

A Japanese Twitter user recently posted artwork generated using “Bloodborne.” The character at the bottom left appears to be a Hunter. It looks like the character is wearing a silk hat, and the world has a Victorian era look to it, which also matches up with Bloodborne.

Another thing worth noting is how the city of Yharnam is depicted in the background. This is only conjecture, but Dream seems to show its strength more with buildings and backgrounds than it does with characters. Within the Dream art world, Bloodborne art seems especially popular, with many users trying to generate images from it.

One reason for Dream’s popularity is likely from the randomness in the results. Even if you use the same keyword in the app, you can get different results with each attempt. I also tried generating three images by feeding the AI “solid snake” and received a different image each time.

Dream also allows users to specify an art style when making an image. By changing the style, you can get completely different results, even when using the same keyword. The following experiment was to generate Pikachu in an ukiyo-e, synthwave, and dark fantasy style. You can see the results are completely different even though the theme is the same. In gaming terms, you could say it has a high replay value.

You can generate art via Dream here through your browser, or via the iOS and Android apps.