What does Dall-E Mini think our favourite games look like?

If you’ve been hanging around on social media of late, doubtless you’ve run across the Dall-E (like Wall-E plus Dali, see) artificial intelligence experiment, which aims to take plain human language and interpret it into visual art. The full-scale Dall-E 2 model has an extensive waiting list that you have to sign up for before you can experiment with it, but in the meantime, Dall-E Mini is available to the public, and while the results aren’t quite as good for the most part, you can still have some fun.

So let’s do just that. I thought I’d feed in the names of some of our favourite games from recent months — plus a little bit of descriptive text to help the process along a little — and see what happens. The results of this experiment — which was not at all dreamed up because it’s late afternoon on a Friday, it’s really hot and my brain is melting — follow.

“Seven Pirates H for Nintendo Switch”

Dall-E Mini: Seven Pirates H for Nintendo Switch

I was actually quite impressed with this one: although Dall-E Mini’s images are all obviously rather ill-defined, most of them actually look like an RPG (albeit one from the PS1 era) — and I didn’t tell Dall-E Mini that Seven Pirates H was an RPG. Moreover, the top-right image has a screen layout remarkably similar to the battle screen in the real game, and the bottom-middle image looks very much like the environment on the first island you visit in the game.

A thumbs-up me hearties for this one, then. Blimey!

“even if TEMPEST, an otome visual novel for Nintendo Switch”

Dall-E Mini: even if TEMPEST

Okay, the explanatory text may have helped Dall-E Mini out a fair bit here, but come on — the bot’s absolutely nailed the otome art style. Were it not for the fact that most of these figures are completely lacking in facial features — and when facial features are present, they’re pretty horrifying — these could absolutely pass for promotional shots.

Of particular note is the red-headed heroine in the left-middle image, which matches even if TEMPEST’s heroine, and the ahegaoing lady in the top left, who appears to have replaced one of her eyes with a slice of tomato. All in all, a good effort, though.

“Drainus, a sci-fi spaceship shoot ’em up for Windows PC”

Not a bad effort at all here, though the images generated by Dall-E Mini here are a bit darker and moodier than the real Drainus, which is a rather colourful pixel-art affair. These definitely carry the vibe of a modern-day shoot ’em up about them, though, bearing a particular resemblance to R-Type Final 2’s moody visuals.

If anything, a couple of the top images actually look a bit more like a space-based strategy game like Endless Space or Sins of a Solar Empire.

“Street Fighter 6, a fighting game for multiple platforms”

Dall-E Mini: Street Fighter

I was not at all surprised to see Dall-E Mini have some success with this one — though it’s still impressive that it’s managed to bring in some authentic-looking character designs. We can clearly see Ryu and Akuma in a couple of these, plus you can probably make arguments as to who some of the others might be.

We’ve even got some form of fighting game interface in most of these — including health bars at the top and meters down at the bottom. Good job, Dall-E Mini!

“Metal Max Xeno Reborn, a post-apocalyptic RPG for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC”

Dall-E Mini: Metal Max Xeno Reborn

A little less successful this time around, with most of Dall-E Mini’s images looking more like real-time strategy games or first-person shooters. Bottom-right looks like a shot from Halo. Bottom middle actually isn’t too bad of an effort, though; the desert setting looks quite like Metal Max Xeno Reborn’s Dystokyo wasteland, and if you squint a bit that thing in the foreground could be some sort of tank.

Dall-E Mini clearly needs some more training on obscure Japanese open-world RPG series, though.

“Neko Secret Room, a terrible sexy puzzle game for Nintendo Switch”

Dall-E Mini: Neko Secret Room

A solid interpretation of “puzzle game” here by Dall-E Mini, though in a lot of cases this looks a bit more like a top-down adventure than your traditional abstract puzzle game — and it definitely doesn’t look like Neko Secret Room. Which is probably for the best, for a variety of reasons.

I’d be up for playing some of these, though. Bottom-left looks like an intriguing “escape room” sort of situation, left middle looks like something I would have played on the Atari ST — Skweek or Jumping Jack Son-style — and top middle and middle middle look like fun games starring a pink-haired anime girl, which I’m all for.


Right, enough of that nonsense, I’m off to go and melt in this heat. Have a lovely weekend, stay safe and drink lots of water!

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Pete Davison
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