Indie game developer Team Miaozi has released a tech demo showing AI characters playing a game. These fully AI-controlled NPCs are shown responding in real time. The NPCs in question are from Team Miaozi’s action RPG Cygnus Enterprises which is currently in Early Access on Steam.
“Cygnus Enterprises is an epic base-building action game about an independent contractor who has recently joined Cygnus Enterprises and is tasked with restoring a derelict outpost on a frontier planet to a thriving colony,” reads the game’s overview description.
In the game, players battle hostile aliens, gather resources and construct and upgrade their base. Additionally, players can create clones to populate the base and perform tasks. The top-down game features lush exotic environments for players to explore. Currently, however, the AI NPC update is unavailable in the public demo as it is still in development.
Many games have integrated chatbots. However, Team Miaozi believes Cygnus Enterprises is the first video game with AI-controlled characters that interact with the game in real time. The company used an internally developed AI platform to recognize intent and translate dialogue into action within the game.
The Rise of AI-Controlled Characters
Team Miaozi partnered with AI developer Inworld to enable the AI characters to hold conversations. Inworld has raised more than $50m in venture capital with the goal of developing realistic AI-controlled characters. According to a report from the company released early this year, the majority of gamers want NPCs to have more personality.
Others are also working to develop AI NPCs for video games. Modder Art From The Machine is developing an AI mod for Skyrim VR that allows NPCs to hold conversations and remember past events. Likewise, NetEase plans to integrate CHatGPT into Justice Online Mobile, an upcoming MMORPG. Meanwhile, Unreal developers can clone and mod the company’s Origins project, showcasing how AI can create dynamic NPCs.