December 3, 2004

Emergent Behaviorists

by Andrew Stern · , 7:44 pm

A recent Gamasutra article reminds me that there’s actually quite a few small, under-the-radar startups or commercial groups out there that you may have never heard of, who are attempting to tackle interactive character and/or story in some form or fashion. Some groups are new, some have been around for a while; some are just one or two people, some have reasonably large teams of people (i.e, more than 2). Some have external funding, some are self-funded, some have no funding, or have already used it up; some are building polished products or freeware, some are building tools and technology. They’re all worth keeping tabs on.

Here’s the ones I know of, in no particular order:

Telltale Games
Ai Research
Virtual Personalities
Interactive Drama, Inc.
Creature Labs
Artificial Life
Neon AI / Emotion AI
Realtime Drama
Erasmatazz (now Procedural Arts, as of July 2005)

A few I know of that have fallen away, or at least their webpages have: Improv Technologies, 3DMe, Protozoa.

There’s also several AI middleware companies offering more general tools.

Ingeeni has a new demo that’s pretty bizarre and kind of cool. Haptek’s stuff is very impressive — definitely try their stuff out. Zoesis has created a fancier Pearl Demon demo they (er, we) showed at last year’s Experimental Games Workshop at GDC, that has yet to be put online.

Anyone know of other little-known groups focused on interactive character/story, who have a least something of a commercial bent?

Updates, from the comments below:
Malibu Artifactual Intelligence Works
Totem Entertainment
Online Alchemy
Multiversal Entertainment
Digital Drama Studios

9 Responses to “Emergent Behaviorists”

  1. George Says:

    Oddcast has some stuff out at and Media Semantics as well

  2. andrew Says:

    Thanks, George. I’ll add these and any other below-the-radar groups people write in with that qualify to the aforementioned criteria, as updates to the main post.

    I was going to add a new group I found,, but those “characters” don’t seem to have any art / entertainment / aesthetic aspect to them, so I’ll leave them off the list.

    I will add Malibu Artifactual Intelligence Works, a company founded by the creator of one of the original chatterbots, PARRY, Ken Colby, although I believe he died a few years ago, so I don’t know what’s happening with the company.

    I’ll add Totem Entertainment, not worksafe.

    Also, AndroidWorld! Whoa…

  3. chz Says:

    Check out this:

    It uses the Haptek player and ALICE AI

  4. andrew Says:

    Here’s another one: Online Alchemy

  5. andrew Says:

    Another group to keep an eye on: Multiversal

  6. andrew Says:

    Here’s a new one: Digital Drama Studios

  7. andrew Says:

    Via WRT: Tactical Language Training LLC, a spinoff of USC’s ISI / ICT.

  8. andrew Says:

    Just read that Digital Drama Studios just folded. But here’s a new one:

    Artificial Contender from Trusoft

  9. Grand Text Auto » Updates on the Pursuit of Interactive Story Says:

    […] few years ago refer to this page of links, that I haven’t updated since; also see my emergent behaviorists post from 2004 — has it been that long?!) I’ […]

Powered by WordPress