March 2, 2009

Bot Colony to Generate and Understand Langauge

by Nick Montfort · , 9:41 pm

North Side, Inc. is set to show a protoype of their sandbox adventure Bot Colony at GDC at the end of this month. Their page for the game promises:

This prototype will demonstrate the dialogue engine powering Bot Colony™, which implements Natural Language Understanding, Natural Language Generation and reasoning on very large knowledge bases. The game characters are intelligent agents that react to their environment. They have perception, exhibit goal-oriented behavior, and are capable of learning.

I’m very interested to see how this one shapes up. GameSetWatch featured an interview about Bot Colony today. In it, Eugene Joseph of North Side explains that he started developing the game by writing a book, that commonsense knowledge has been a bigger issue than syntactical complexity, and that he’s still trying to get a copy of The Last Express on eBay. The game is apparently to be an online game, since there is discussion of how many simultaneous players it will support and of how it will be released in stages, with the first retail version perhaps coming by the end of this year.