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Is AI the Future of Collaborative Game Worlds?by@dacoco
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Is AI the Future of Collaborative Game Worlds?

by DacocoNovember 22nd, 2023
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Recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence could impact the future of collaborative world building for games, specifically with NPCs. Large Language Models (LLMs) promise an unprecedented level of immersion, as each NPC could develop a distinct persona that extends and evolves as the player’s journey unfolds. Non-playable characters might represent heroes or villains, allies or enemies, their moral compasses and personal arcs defined by the individualised influence of every gamer.
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With recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence, particularly Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, the future of non-player characters (NPCs) in video games is on the brink of a transformative leap. Happily, the outcome could be richer and more dynamic collaborative game worlds for all players.


While NPCs have always had fairly limited roles within games, a consequence of their narrow predetermined set of behaviours, the prospect of LLM-powered NPCs gives rise to an altogether more immersive and enriching playing experience.


Picture this: NPCs with the depth, complexity, and unpredictability of human beings, figures that adapt and evolve (or even regress) based on every single interaction they have with living players.


This isn’t just an upgrade on what has gone before; it’s a complete reimagining of gaming as a whole.

The Infinite Possibilities of LLM-Powered NPCs

The integration of LLMs into games promises to rewrite the script on NPC interactions. These AI entities can be trained on vast datasets, enabling a spontaneity and realism that was hitherto unachievable.  Players might engage in intricate dialogues or strategic conversations, developing strong relationships with NPCs that affect their standing in the game.


Large-language models promise an unprecedented level of immersion, as each NPC could develop a distinct persona that extends and evolves as the player’s journey unfolds.


The implications here are far-reaching. Non-playable characters might represent heroes or villains, allies or enemies, their moral compasses and personal arcs defined by the individualised influence of every gamer. AI-driven NPCs could even be ported across different gaming universes, functioning as plug-and-play APIs and opening a Pandora’s box of narrative possibilities.


Earlier this year, Replica Studios, an AI voice platform for games and film, unveiled AI-powered smart NPCs for the Unreal Engine platform. These smart NPCs will be powered by OpenAI (developer of ChatGPT) and Replica’s library of 120+ text-to-speech AI voices, with the feature made available as a cloud-based plugin.


“Within the next technology hop, we will see AI-powered smart NPC live games and virtual experiences with hundreds of live concurrent players and NPCs all together, with no more latency than a Zoom video call that has hundreds of participants,” predicted Replica CEO Shreya Nivas.

Alien Worlds’ Very Own LLM: A Large Lore Model

In the Alien Worlds Metaverse, the potential for LLM-powered NPCs is particularly intriguing due to the game’s thriving user base: it’s the world’s most-played on-chain game. What’s more, players (known as Explorers) already generate creative content using AI tools, suggesting a willingness from the community to embrace everything AI has to offer.


While Alien Worlds is a game in its own right, a number of other games live under its metaverse umbrella, from Battledome and Trilium Quest to Galactic Standoff and Battlefleet Armageddon. The ability to integrate AI-powered NPCs into current and future games that exist within the Alien Worlds universe is something that is likely to appeal to developers and the players they serve.


Plans are already underway to turn Alien Worlds into a sprawling, cross-media sci-fi storytelling platform. One of the game’s key selling points – decentralised governance via Planetary Syndicate DAOs – presents a unique opportunity for further AI integration: these Syndicates could democratically curate and approve the flood of AI-generated content produced by players, whether in the form of stories, characters, artwork, videos, etc, ensuring Explorers are the ones who shape the game’s lore.


Alien Worlds’ vision of a Large Lore Model, meanwhile, would see additions to the game’s official canon ratified by Syndicates, whereafter NPCs could be trained up on the extensive, community-approved lore: there could, for example, be a Keeper of the Lore character whom players consult to aid their quest or deepen their knowledge of Alien Worlds. In short, a DAO controls the game’s IP and canonization so the community is empowered to take stories where they want them to go. It’s decentralised decision-making meets AI content creation.


The integration of LLMs into gaming, specifically within successful decentralised ecosystems like Alien Worlds, heralds a new era for interactive storytelling and collaborative game worlds. As AI-powered smart NPCs become more nuanced, and their storylines more deeply interwoven with players’ actions, games will provide a level of interactivity that borders on the dream-like.



What a time to be a gamer.