Have you ever heard of extraction? perhaps you have heard of projections? maybe inception? Yes, I recently just watched that Christopher Nolan movie, finally and its perception of what is real and what is not was pretty interesting, makes me want to just wake up from this dream and into a life where I am the one who bought Twitter and not Elon Musk!
But these dreams span a lifetime, Cobb said so himself so I have about a few more decades in this dream, (given I don’t die) so what better way to immerse myself in new realities than by gaming, even better, gaming with Artificial intelligence (AI). AI is taking over every field, from generative texts to robots that do deliveries and it’s no different in the gaming industry, AI is being used to create more realistic and immersive experiences.
One of the most exciting developments in AI gaming is the introduction of smart Non-Playable Characters (NPCs), -think of them like projections in Inception- Smart NPCs are AI-powered characters that can interact with players in real-time. They can hear you talk through your microphone, understand and respond to natural language, and they can even learn and adapt their behavior over time.
Replica Studios is one company that is leading the way in the development of smart NPCs. Their AI-Powered Smart NPCs for Unreal Engine plugin allows game developers to demo realistic and engaging AI characters.
They have developed a plugin that allows you to interact with NPCs that can dynamically respond to player input, both verbally and physically. NPCs can also be programmed to have different personalities and backstories, which can lead to more immersive and unpredictable gameplay.
In the demo you get to walk around the city of New York, interestingly based on Unreal Engines 5- The Matrix Awakens project, and interact with any NPCs who would respond to your questions and actions in a natural way. The NPCs can even remember follow-up questions, which makes the interactions feel more organic.
One of the most striking things about the demo was the way the NPCs looked. Many of them have sad demeanors or depressed expressions on their faces as if they are aware that they were living in a simulation. This adds a layer of depth and meaning to the experience, and it also makes you question the nature of reality itself.
The plugin uses OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model to power the NPCs’ conversations. The Smart NPCs plugin also includes a library of over 120 AI voices. This allows developers to create NPCs with a wide range of accents and personalities.
The possibilities for smart NPCs are endless. They could be used to create more realistic and immersive open-world games, or they could be used to create new types of role-playing games. They could even be used to create educational games that teach players about different cultures or historical periods.
One of the most interesting things about smart NPCs is that they could make games more meaningful. By being able to understand and respond to players’ questions and requests, smart NPCs could create a more personal and engaging gaming experience.
For example, imagine a game where you are a detective trying to solve a crime. With smart NPCs, you could ask the NPCs questions about the crime scene or the suspects. The NPCs could then provide you with information that could help you solve the case.
Of course, smart NPCs are still in their early stages of development. But the potential for this technology is huge. When Replica’s smart NPC plugin launches for Unreal Engine later this year, game developers will be able to integrate Smart NPCs into their projects to begin scaling up characters in their games. It could revolutionize the way we play games, it could make games more meaningful and engaging than ever before and finally lure us into the bottomless pit that is the real matrix with less human interaction.