Improved artificial intelligence will provide new opportunities for the online games market
LONDON, UK, October 1st, 2008 – The Technology Strategy Board has awarded almost 600,000 pounds of funding towards a 1.3 million pound artificial intelligence project of which Emote Games is the lead partner.
Emote Games is an online games publisher that specialises in high quality, cross platform, social games and technologies. This style of connected gaming is enhanced with the use of AI Non Player Characters (NPC’s) who can take many forms but essentially facilitate and act as opponents, informants, tutors and counterparts for gamers, contributing to the social cohesion of gaming communities.
The outcome of this project will not only bring about a breakthrough in how online communities are managed, but also create new opportunities to grow the online games market and push growth within the online social networking space.
The Technology Strategy Board funding will help support the development of vastly improved AI controlled social agents that exist within social networks. Working in collaboration with the Imperial College, London, who have expertise in multi-agent systems, constraint solving and machine learning, this best of breed partnership will harness the expertise from the cutting edge of both academia and the games industry.
The project will be managed incrementally, and the technology will be modular, so that more intelligent agent versions are built on top of previous iterations making the project sustainable and commercially viable for a much longer development cycle.
Matt Sansam, Operations Manager, Emote Games said, “The use of NPC’s will become integral to the social cohesion and support of social networks, online games and their communities. At Emote we take gaming further by linking our high quality games and communities with popular social networks. Within these social networks and games new, highly intelligent NPC characters can assist with everything from community integration and community management to new forms of mission, interaction and game play.”
The project will begin November 2008 with the Imperial College becoming involved January 2009.
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About Emote Games
Emote is an online games publisher focusing on the creation of high quality interactive entertainment for distribution solely via digital channels. Emotes games are designed to be dynamic social experiences, offering outstanding cross-platform gaming with extensive personalisation and social networking features. By presenting unique opportunities for gamers, game developers and brand owners, our innovative business model is creating an entirely new kind of gaming.
About Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). For further information please visit www.innovateuk.org.
About Imperial College, London
Imperial College is ranked in the top five universities of the world (Times Higher QS World University rankings 2007). The Department of Computing is a leading department of Computer Science among the UK Universities. It has consistently been awarded the highest research rating (5*) in Research Assessment Exercises and was rated as "Excellent" in the previous national assessment of teaching quality.
Dr. Colton, from the Department's Combined Reasoning Group (www.doc.ic.ac.uk/crg) will lead the research arm of the project. At Imperial. Dr. Colton has more than 10 years of experience researching the application of AI techniques to creative projects, and is one of the organisers of the EPSRC-funded AI and Games Network (www.aigamesnetwork.org).