Google announced the launch of Stadia – a virtual stadium where games can be played in the cloud. In this year’s GDC (Game Developers Conference) this big announcement meant that Google is opening the door to the future of gaming.
The virtual playground, based on cloud streaming service uses Youtube and Chrome to provide simple access to games from any device, regardless of hardware capabilities. Although Google did not reveal many details about Stadia, one particularly eye-catching feature presented was Style Transfer Machine Learning in Stadia.
The cloud-powered gaming service will use Style Transfer techniques to allow game developers to map textures and color palettes from real photos, artwork or videos directly to game environments.
Google’s idea is to change the mindset of game developers and empower the artist side of every one of them. With Stadia and Style Transfer ML they will be able to texture anything starting with a blank (gray) box world.
Style Transfer is a technique that is quite advanced, and it leverages the power of convolutional neural networks. The idea behind including it in Stadia is to make it easier for game developers to apply art style(s) to an entire game in a very short period of time.
It is yet to be seen how Style Transfer Machine Learning will be accepted by the game developers community and if it will be able to provide faster and easier game development.
More details about the new gaming service are expected to be revealed this summer.