Artificial intelligence is currently everywhere, not just since ChatGPT rose to prominence at the start of 2023. Shortly after initially revealing their GTR Revival project, Straight4 Studios have now announced their patent that was shrouded in mystery for a few days – they want to revolutionize commentary in sim racing using AI!
Commentary used to be a mainstay in racing games 20 years or more ago, but it has been absent from racing sims except for engineers – save for commentary on live streams of big events or even smaller league races. This, of course, needs organizing, potentially payment, and sorting out the technical environment.
Should the system get off the ground as intended, this might not be necessary anymore: Straight4’s Game Design Director Austin Ogonoski explains the processes behind the commentary in a YouTube video, which are rather impressive: Just like usual, certain events in the sim trigger certain commentary cues, but instead of playing pre-recorded lines, the system instead generates an AI prompt that fits the situation. This prompt is then processed and “read aloud” by the artificial commentators – and it sounds rather natural, as a demo race in Automobilista 2 shows in the video.
While commentary may not be of much interest to every sim racer, this could also open the door to a highly useful and lifelike engineer who coaches racers while they are on track – something Crew Chief is already doing remarkably well for a multitude of sims using pre-recorded lines, which has its limitations, of course.
The concept falls perfectly in line with the immersion aspect that Straight4 is aiming for in GTR Revival. What do you think about the AI commentary demo? Let us know in the comments!