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Bot Colony: A Game You’ll Communicate With Via the Spoken Word

Bot Colony: A Game You’ll Communicate With Via the Spoken Word

Employs Natural Language Understanding, created to enable players to interact with the game using conversational English


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Trailers and Screens – December 15, 2013

Montreal-based R&D company and indie game developer North Side, Inc is doing away with dialog trees in Bot Colony, its upcoming episodic 3D sci-fi adventure. Instead, the game will employ North Side’s proprietary Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology — a deep Artificial Intelligence that’s been in development since 2001 and in which North Side has already invested $18,000,000.

Bot Colony will be the first game to understand and respond intelligently in English. Not only will your character be part of the game world, you’ll interact with other characters using your own words.

This will offer a first-hand experience of realistic verbal communication with intelligent machines, such as the interaction depicted in the sci-fi movies 2001: A Space Odyssey; I, Robot and Blade Runner. It promises to take immersion to a new level. 

“I know everyone claims this, but Bot Colony is truly trailblazing a new way of interacting with games,” Eugene Joseph, CEO of North Side and lead architect, explains.  “Every year we see incredible advances in game graphics, sound, physics, etc., but character interaction is still ruled by the predefined dialog tree approach we’ve had since the ’70s.  The ability for characters in a game to understand what you say and respond in an intelligent way has the potential to change the gaming world.”

In Bot Colony, which takes place in 2021, the player is a robot cognition specialist who investigates the disappearance of prototype Robot sensors and tracks down a spy. The game is set on the tropical island of Agrihan, one of the Marianas islands made famous as a key South Pacific stronghold during World War II. Twelve episodes are planned.

Of necessity, Bot Colony will be an online game (single-player) as the AI software runs on Linux servers and communicates with the client through Internet. The game’s first platform will be Windows, to be followed by mobile platforms and consoles.

An Open Alpha version is publicly available and can be downloaded from the Bot Colony website.

Karla Munger

Karla Munger

I've been with JA in one capacity or other since 2003. I'm currently website administrator. I'm also a digital artist (my avatar is one of my creations). I write reviews and articles, create graphics and basically help tend the site. It's work I enjoy very much. I love playing games of all kinds, but adventure and RPGs are my favorites (particularly scary/dark/unsettling ones). At the top of my list are The Cat Lady, The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Still Life (first one only), Scratches and Culpa Innata. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool recluse and prefer the company of animals, hardware and ghosts to human beings (no offense). And no bio would be complete without my saying that I do NOT care for phones of ANY sort. Further, I think Dell computers are garbage and that Microsoft has become megalomaniacal. "I put my heart and soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process." - Vincent Van Gogh "I need solitude for my writing; not like a hermit - that wouldn't be enough - but like a dead man." - Franz Kafka "I've been to hell and back, my boy." - Susan Ashworth, The Cat Lady

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