December 25, 2023 – Microsoft’s Xbox Gaming AI General Manager, Haiyan Zhang, has recently announced a partnership with the digital humans development company, Inworld AI. This collaboration is set to introduce a range of development tools that will allow game developers to create AI-based NPCs (Non-Player Characters).
Currently, NPCs in games often rely on pre-scripted dialogues, which can lead players to quickly become disengaged. Microsoft’s Xbox, citing an internal survey conducted by Inworld, claims that 79% of players frequently interact with NPCs. However, 28% of players find that current in-game NPCs struggle to provide appropriate responses to their actions, and 52% complain that NPCs tend to repeat the same dialogues.
In this partnership with Inworld, Microsoft’s Xbox is primarily focused on introducing an AI-powered “Character Engine” and the “Copilot Assistant”:
1. The “Character Engine” allows for the addition of “real-time dialogue options” to NPCs. This enables games to create “dynamic NPC reactions” based on player behavior without the need for manual adjustments by game designers, resulting in NPCs that display lifelike expressions effortlessly.
2. The “Copilot Assistant” assists game designers in creating mission scripts and dialogue scripts with ease, providing a range of reference ideas.
Microsoft’s Xbox also claims that in the future, they will collaborate with departments such as Azure and Microsoft Research to provide game developers with the “cutting-edge AI tools.” Furthermore, they plan to partner with Xbox Studios and third-party studios to inspire new visions for future games.