Ubisoft’s venture into GenAI for more lifelike NPCs enhances player experience through realistic dialogues and character depth.

Ubisoft’s R&D team, collaborating with Nvidia and Inworld, is pioneering GenAI technology to transform non-player character (NPC) interactions in video games. The NEO NPC project aims to transcend traditional dialogue trees, offering players genuine conversations and dynamic reactions with NPCs. This initiative requires a blend of creativity and technology, with a strong emphasis on maintaining the authenticity and unique character traits established by writers.

Narrative Director Virginie Mosser and Data Scientist Mélanie Lopez Malet lead the project. Mosser crafts detailed backstories for NPCs, infusing them with dreams and personalities, while Malet ensures the GenAI model faithfully replicates these attributes. The goal is to create responsive NPCs and inject a sense of realness and depth, allowing for meaningful player interactions.

The development process involves continuous iteration to align the NPCs’ responses with their predefined character arcs. The team meticulously conditions the GenAI model to prevent deviation from the intended narrative, ensuring NPCs react appropriately to player actions. Guardrails are also established to manage player inputs, distinguishing between constructive engagement and toxicity.

Despite challenges such as bias detection and the necessity of human-like performance, Ubisoft remains committed to the project’s vision. The team sees GenAI as a tool to enrich storytelling and player experience, rather than replace human creativity. With plans to showcase their progress at GDC 2024, Ubisoft is optimistic about the future of GenAI in gaming.