MONTREAL, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- North Side Inc. (www.northsideinc.com) of Montreal will unveil an alpha version of its Bot Colony (www.botcolony.com) online game at E3 in Los Angeles on June 15, 2010. The company describes Bot Colony as the first game ever to feature intelligent English conversation between the player and the game. E3 is the first venue where the video game will be shown publicly. A technology prototype was shown at GDC in March 2009.
Until Bot Colony, dialogue in videogames took the form of dialogue trees, essentially a list of canned choices (for example, Mass Effect, Hotel Dusk, The Last Express and older text adventure games), voice commands (EndWar, Sega Seaman), or an attempt to key on a word or extract a sentiment from the input (Facade, Starship Titanic). In Bot Colony, the player speaks freely, asking questions, seeking clarification, or requesting the characters to carry out actions, and the game responds intelligently. This natural interaction makes for a more immersive gameplay experience.
Platform and Availability
Bot Colony is an online game with a PC client. A Beta version is scheduled for August 16, 2010. At that time, North Side also plans to roll out a Beta version targeting ESL (learning English as a second language), enabling players to learn English online (see www.botcolony.com/esl.html). Conversing with the characters will be the next best thing to traveling to an English-speaking country and talking with its residents. The game will be able to correct specific errors that a player makes, providing tailored feedback, similar to a human tutor.
The Bot Colony novel that inspired the game will be launched in July. Buyers of the book will receive 10 hours access to the game online servers, as part of a Premium Beta program. Sign-up for the book and Beta is open at http://botcolony.com/book.html
Visitors to the North Side booth (4325 West, Los Angeles Convention Center) will be the first to experience the game.
About North Side Inc.
North Side Inc. has been working for 8 years to develop natural language understanding and dialogue technology that enables a computer to converse with a person about a body of facts.
While Bot Colony is the first to integrate North Side's dialogue pipeline, many other applications can benefit from the ability to speak to a computer and be understood: automated attendants, call centers, e-commerce and help systems are some of the key applications that system integrators and software developers will be able to address using North Side's language understanding technology.
SOURCE North Side