WorldSmith: Iterative and Expressive Prompting for World Building with a Generative AI

Hai Dang, Frederik Brudy, George Fitzmaurice, Fraser Anderson

in Proceedings of the 36th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST '23)

tl;dr: This paper explores the use of multi-modal generative AI to enable novice world builders to quickly and iteratively visualize and modify their fictional worlds using a combination of text input, sketching, and region-based filling, through a tool called WorldSmith.


Crafting a rich and unique environment is crucial for fictional world-building, but can be difficult to achieve since illustrating a world from scratch requires time and significant skill. We investigate the use of recent multi-modal image generation systems to enable users iteratively visualize and modify elements of their fictional world using a combination of text input, sketching, and region-based filling. WorldSmith enables novice world builders to quickly visualize a fictional world with layered edits and hierarchical compositions. Through a formative study (4 participants) and first-use study (13 participants) we demonstrate that WorldSmith offers more expressive interactions with prompt-based models. With this work, we explore how creatives can be empowered to leverage prompt-based generative AI as a tool in their creative process, beyond current "click-once" prompting UI paradigms.