Nvidia’s AI game demo plants endless dialogue trees everywhere.

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Nvidia did what we all knew was coming – it created an AI-powered game demo. I Change the protocol., You play as a detective trying to track down a certain subject in an upscale hotel. A promise is made by interacting with non-playable characters (NPCs) to get what you need. In addition to this demo, you use your microphone and voice to ask questions instead of choosing from a list of preset options.

I watched the demo with a few other journalists at a small private show. As soon as the demo started and Nvidia’s Seth Schneider, ACE’s senior product manager, took over, I was filled with excitement. We can ask anything. We could what Whatever it is, this kind of detective game is a dream come true. You don’t have to play detective with a preset list of dialogue options. You can ask for what you want whenever you want.

Schneider even called in for questions. We can ask anything from the AI ​​powered door reception. The chat was full of a few new ideas — is PC or console gaming better, what’s your favorite RTX GPU, that sort of thing. Schneider spoke the questions into the microphone, but sparks didn’t fly.

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These AI-powered NPCs, set up in their own ways with an extensive network of guardrails to keep them on topic, will ignore anything unrelated to the game. The door greeter may greet you politely and perhaps make a few comments about the need for a break. Inside the hotel, the central setting of this detective plot, you can ask the receptionist about the room number or how the hotel works. There’s even an executive sitting nearby who knows a little about your subject.

All these conversations are real conversations. They come with a microphone, and you speak using your voice as you wish. In the blink of an eye, NPCs can respond via an AI model. It’s a different way to play a dialogue-based game. I don’t know if this is a better way.

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NPCs stay on topic, never straying too far and risking getting into an AI mess. This is Nvidia’s tech at work, but it doesn’t really change the gameplay experience. What I noticed through the demo is that this tech opens up more dialogue trees. This gives you more possibilities to flesh out the dialogue options you’d always skip in dense RPGs. It’s interesting, but it doesn’t make the game better.

Asking questions about console or PC gaming, or a particular NPC’s favorite RTX GPU, it was clear that the AI ​​had no idea what Schneider was talking about. They can provide an answer that makes sense in the context of a question, but not one that is significantly different from the answer you might get with a pre-programmed list of dialog options.

It’s easy to check out Nvidia’s demo and add to the possibilities. There’s a lot of potential here, and I’m excited to see how developers leverage this technology in real games. I don’t think it will be something that will immediately change the way games are designed and played.

Something to say about the preset list of dialog options. NPCs often have interesting things to say, and with endless possibilities, it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll ask the right thing. It’s hard to imagine a developer being content with hiding important details behind an AI that might not reveal the right information. I suppose you could use AI to populate a world with more NPCs that aren’t important to the game — but do we really want more endless dialogue trees in our games?

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