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Posts Tagged ‘Storybricks’

Consulting Contract with Storybricks for SOE’s EverQuest Next Ends

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

As of February 19, 2014, Intrinsic Algorithm is no longer under contract with Storybricks to assist them with their work on Sony Online Entertainment’s, EverQuest Next. From the beginning, the EverQuest Next project was Storybricks’ contract with SOE with Intrinsic Algorithm as a sub-contractor. It is that sub-contracting relationship that has terminated.

We are honored that we were asked to participate in the AI architecture design and be able to assist both companies in their ambitious project. We wish the both the Storybricks team and the EverQuest Next team at SOE well with their continued efforts.

(Please understand that Intrinsic Algorithm is still under NDA and, therefore, cannot answer any questions about the project or details of the contract relationship.)

Working with Storybricks on the AI for EverQuest Next!

Monday, August 19th, 2013

eqn-logoA few months ago, I posted an article (AI Consulting Contract with @Storybricks on AAA MMO) that was a little vague. Yes, I had started on a long-term contract working with Storybricks on a contract for a 3rd party, but I couldn’t divulge who at the time. The secrete was not all that well kept over that time, but I couldn’t officially say who I was working for and what I was working on until only a few weeks ago.

So, I can now say that, for the past 4 months — and likely for quite some time into the future, I will be working as part of a Storybricks-staffed team doing the AI for Sony Online Entertainment’s new MMO, EverQuest Next. It is what SOE is calling “the biggest sandbox MMO ever developed.” And if you watch the videos below, you can see why they say that!

Storybricks Logo

This is an enormously exciting project to be working on due largely to the sheer scope of what they want to do… especially with AI.  Some of these ideas were coincidentally things that I spoke about in my 2009 GDC Austin lecture on AI in MMOs. Others are ideas that I have talked about in my other, non-MMO-based lectures at GDC and elsewhere — but are relevant nonetheless from an AI standpoint.

The most exciting thing, however, is some of the new and different features they want to do are things I have wanted to see in games ever since I started in MMOs back in September of 1997 with Ultima Online. In short, this project is largely a dream come true for me as an AI developer and a player!

Over the past few months, I have enjoyed immensely working alongside Stéphane Bura, Brian “Psychochild” Green, Ben Sizer and others from Storybricks as well as the entire EQNext team at SOE. The game industry is a talented, creative one in general… it has to be. But the energy in that room about this project is on a different level. I have found it truly inspiring!

For more information on EverQuest Next, here are some videos of the “reveal” from SOE Live in Las Vegas on August 2nd.


Part 1

Part 2


Anyway, I’ll be talking more about it as I can — somewhat of a staple comment in our industry. And believe me, when you see what we are doing, you will understand why I am brimming with excitement over this game!

AI Consulting Contract with @Storybricks on AAA MMO

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

[This post has been edited due to a request from the client. – Dave]

After many months of waiting to begin, I can officially announce that I am starting on a major consulting contract with Storybricks. Together with some of the staff from the London-based company, I will be working on a long contract developing and integrating Storybricks’ proprietary designs and technology (as well as my own original AI work) into a AAA MMO project.

I am excited to be working directly with Storybricks’ designers Stéphane Bura and Brian “Psychochild” Green. When I was approached by Storybricks CEO, Rodolfo Rossini in late 2010, I was intrigued by what he was setting out to do with his new company (then known as Namaste). Neither one of us thought that it would take this long for us to begin working together in a long-term capacity. Over that time, I have seen the direction that Storybricks has taken with their core product — an AI- and personality-driven model for dynamic, modular game characters — and it only served to increase my desire to work with them. The wait was worth it.

The alignment of vision between Intrinsic Algorithm and Storybricks on this project (and potentially more) is fairly obvious. To quote from the Storybricks site (currently somewhat bare due to non-disclosure restrictions):

We believe that while graphics, gameplay and interface have evolved in gaming, Artificial Intelligence has lagged behind. Our goal is to bring changes to Artificial Intelligence in games as significant as 3D graphics were to game aesthetics.

We designed and built an emotional intelligence engine in order to breathe life into virtual characters. They have their own goals, moods, they interact among themselves and take decisions on their own. The story no longer revolves solely around scripted behavior: game worlds can now be rich and complex.

The first paragraph almost mirrors what I have stated as one of the observations and related design goals of Intrinsic Algorithm for many years. The second paragraph parallels what I have been writing and speaking about for 5 years. Suffice to say, we are headed in the same direction and, for the time being, will be sharing the same road.

The new client’s project provides an exciting opportunity to work on a genre and style of game that I have been wanting to work on for over 15 years. It truly is a dream come true for me in many ways. Additionally, while I cannot yet divulge anything about the project, I feel that it has the potential to significantly change the way games are approached from both the development aspect and the end user experience — due in large part to what Storybricks and I will be providing. Thankfully, we have found a company that we did not have to convince to take this direction — they were looking for it from the start and are completely bought in to what we can provide. This opportunity to do something truly groundbreaking is, in and of itself, tremendously exciting.

Right now, I anticipate working on this project for quite some time. While this is likely to be close to full time (and will have me on the road a lot) I will still be available for AI consulting for small projects — providing they don’t violate my non-compete clauses, naturally.

Hopefully, later this year, we will be allowed to divulge more about what our work will entail. At that point, I hope you will be as excited as I am about it!

And yes, for those of you who are curious, there is plenty of utility-based AI in it!

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