Quality control in video games is usually carried out by testers, who examine every single element of the game looking for flaws or problems that the development team must solve, such as bugs, glitches, or similar problems.
To facilitate the work of these people, the developers of Larian Studios, since the days of Divinity: Original Sin in 2014, have made available to them a very advanced AI, called World Tester, which was able to carry out stress-tests of I play at levels and speeds well above those possible for a human player.
With every new game build, Larian made, World Tester tried it before it was even touched by human hands. If the build could withstand WT’s stress test, then it could be reviewed by test players. This saved a lot of time by avoiding delivering a failed build into the hands of quality control, which would have been bounced back to the sender anyway.
The AI proved to be of great help during the bug fix phases, but not only: just before the launch of the Enhanced Edition of Original Sin, it was also the protagonist of a very … particular challenge.
World Tester, as already mentioned, was able to perform in-game operations much faster than any human being, such as opening or closing interfaces. Just to “have some fun” with this artificial intelligence, a developer of Larian decided to face the AI in combat, one on one and, despite the computational power of the AI, the developer came out the winner.
The result was so unexpected that Larian’s then head of technology screamed “Impossible” the whole time. To celebrate the victory over a “superhuman” opponent, the developer has been promoted to lead tester at Larian Studios in Belgium.
Since that day, Larian has continued to improve and expand the potential of his AI and his services have also been essential in the creation and testing of Baldur’s Gate 3.
A funny story with a happy ending that shows how humans are still able to overcome machines.