A new Nvidia tech demo features real-time AI characters that react to player decisions

Nvidia Unveils New AI-Powered Tech Demo at GDC 2024

Nvidia has revealed an exciting new tech demo showcasing AI video game characters with speech and animation capabilities, all powered by the Nvidia Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE) at GDC 2024 and GTC 2024.

Developed in partnership with AI gaming startup Inworld AI, this playable demo is constructed in Unreal Engine 5, incorporating Nvidia ACE technology and the Inworld Engine. This collaboration allows game developers to introduce realistically animated AI-driven NPC characters that respond dynamically to player decisions.

Exploring ‘Covert Protocol’

Entitled Covert Protocol, the demo immerses players in the role of a private investigator as they interact with various characters to gather information and advance through objectives.

To get a glimpse of the demo, check out a recently released explainer video which also provides insight into the software development kit (SDK) behind the scenes. This includes a screen displaying character details, such as backstory, current mood, and personality traits, all of which influence how characters interact with players.

CEO of Inworld AI, Kylan Gibbs, emphasizes that “the combination of Nvidia Ace microservices and the Inworld Engine enables developers to create digital characters that can drive dynamic narratives, opening new possibilities for how gamers can decipher, deduce, and play.”

Analysis: Player Reception of AI in Games

While the concept of NPC characters reacting to player actions is intriguing, it raises the question of whether gamers truly desire generative AI technology in their gaming experiences. Games like the popular RPG Baldur’s Gate 3 garnered praise for their finely crafted narratives and intricate characters.

Despite the technological marvel that is Covert Protocol, it remains uncertain whether AI-generated character dialogue can match the depth and quality of narratives crafted by talented writers. The demonstrated dialogue appears rudimentary, mainly featuring characters in static environments.

It remains to be seen if such technology can seamlessly integrate into the complex world of a full-fledged game. Inworld plans to release the source code for Covert Protocol in the near future, enabling developers to study and implement similar systems in their own projects.