Ubisoft shows off AI-powered NPC project at GDC 2024

by Danny Craig  · 
Ubisoft shows off AI-powered NPC project at GDC 2024

Ubisoft demonstrated its new "NEO NPCs" project at GDC 2024, which is powered by generative AI with the goal of "transforming the way players interact with non-playable characters (NPCs)."

The details:

  • In a new blog post, the publisher revealed that it has collaborated with Nvidia and Inworld to "prod at the limits" of how much interaction a player can have with NPCs in games while maintaining authenticity.

  • It is stressed that the characters' personalities, including their backstory and conversation style, are still created by a writer, and changes are made on a regular basis to ensure that everything remains intact as the learning language model is implemented.

  • One of the short demos shown behind closed doors at GDC (via GamesIndustry.biz) revolved around an NPC named Bloom, and attendees were tasked with forming a relationship with the character using their voices. Certain questions would cause the player to "level up" their relationship with Bloom, unlocking new behaviors.

  • Another demo with Bloom featured the character watching a drone in a stealth mission, with the player able to ask questions while he commented on what was going on.

  • The final demo featured another NPC, Iron, during the mission's pre-planning phase. Players could challenge tactical suggestions, and Iron would comment on whether or not they thought the strategy would work.

  • It's unclear when or if NEO NPCs will appear in Ubisoft's games, but the project has already drawn comparisons to Project Milo, a similar AI concept developed at Peter Molyneux's Lionhead around the time of the Xbox 360's Kinect. Many people dismissed this project as nothing more than a proof of concept that would never be used in future Xbox games.

More gaming news:

Latest News