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Immersive Storytelling and NPCs: Microsoft’s AI Tools Transform Xbox Game Development

Inworld AI

Xbox has joined forces with a startup named Inworld AI to create a generative AI toolkit for game developers. This partnership, spanning several years, is aimed at providing support and empowerment to creators in the domains of dialogue, storytelling, and quest design. More specifically, they are working on an “AI design copilot” capable of transforming prompts into detailed scripts, dialogue structures, quests, and other game components, much like people input ideas into generative AI chatbots and receive detailed scripts in return. Additionally, they are collaborating on an “AI character runtime engine” that can be integrated into developers’ actual games, enabling players to generate new stories, quests, and dialogues as they play.

Inworld AI’s technology, as stated on their website, has the capability to craft characters with unique personalities and contextual awareness, allowing them to exist within the game world. It goes beyond the capabilities of large language models (LLMs) and offers a fully integrated character engine for AI non-playable characters (NPCs). Notably, while their technology has been showcased in collaboration with Lucasfilm’s storytelling studio ILM Immersive as part of the Disney Accelerator program, it has not yet been featured in a major game release and has primarily been used in mods.

Developers are understandably cautious about these upcoming tools. There is a growing concern among creative professionals regarding companies utilizing their work to train generative AI without their consent. Notably, a group of authors, including John Grisham and George R.R. Martin, filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, accusing the company of copyright infringement. Moreover, there’s the persistent worry that game developers might opt to reduce their writing and design teams to save costs.

However, Xbox believes that these tools can “facilitate developers in realizing their creative visions, experimenting, and pushing the boundaries of contemporary gaming to enhance gameplay, player engagement, and more.” Haiyan Zhang, General Manager of Gaming AI, expressed in the brand’s announcement that they are committed to collaborating and innovating with game creators within Xbox studios and third-party studios to develop tools that cater to their needs and inspire new possibilities for future games.

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