Hidden Door wants to turn fiction into immersive roleplaying experiences • TechCrunch


season one of “Dragon House“Just finished, and I find myself wishing for more. I’ve watched every episode twice already, read through beliefs, and even re-watched some ‘Game of Thrones’ episodes.” If I had the choice to immerse myself in this world and role-play as a dragon-riding Targaryen queen, you’d bet On your ass I will do that.

This is finally a vision hidden doora game studio that specializes in narrative AI and last week competed in TechCrunch Disrupt’s Startup Battlefield 200. Hidden Door wants to be able to turn any action of fiction into an immersive cooperative role-playing experience, where players can jump into the worlds of their favorite stories turned into dynamic graphic novels , with text and images created based on their choices.

Hidden Door is currently testing a file Quote from “The Wizard of Oz” Because the story touches on different age groups and the original script is “Very banana pants, perfect because they’re meant to be silly and fun,” Matt Brandwin, co-founder of Hidden Door told TechCrunch.

What the platform looks like is a mixture of Dungeons & Dragons and Roblox, having the atmosphere of a tabletop role-playing game that lets you and your friends “bring up” a story together – only with Hidden Door it doesn’t take four hours to get into character. The in-game AI dungeon master acts as the narrator and builds a world based on the choices you make while playing.

(The YouTube demo above is an early development preview, not the final experience, says Hidden Door.)

To set up the game, players can select the characters, items, locations, domains, and emotions they want to encounter and “it all come together like the dynamic back of a book, which doesn’t tell you everything that’s going to happen, but it gives you the kinds of things you’ll encounter.”

When players choose a character type, the AI ​​dynamically transforms into a simplified yet cute 2D cartoon character. So, for example, a character called “The Mischief Maker” might look something like Dennis the Menace in the Land of Oz.

Once you choose a character, the story begins and you are given a challenge to complete, which you can do in a myriad of different ways depending on how you choose to navigate the game. The AI ​​creates a responsive set of generated characters, items and locations, which can then be collected, exchanged and shared with friends to create new worlds and stories, according to Brandwein.

“It’s a metaphorical machine,” Brandwin said of his company’s narrative AI. “He’s been trained in two million stories as well as tuning into the author’s work. He knows the kinds of things that can happen sensibly, but also what’s implausible. And a lot of the work we’re doing right now is tuning it in to get the right level of surprise, level Fitting out of resourcefulness.”

Game studio Latitude last month released a similar type of game, AI Dungeon, who writes dialogue and scene descriptions using AI models to generate text. But the company has faced headwinds in both content and image creation.

Hidden Door says its AI has solved at least the content creation part, and not just because the model has been trained on millions of stories. The more you play the game, the bigger the world gets. Artifacts are generated from that play, which you can share with other players who can mix them into their own stories. Hilary Mason, CEO of Hidden Door, said gamers’ creativity combined with the machine’s ability to elicit those ideas represented a breakthrough in the impossible problem of storytelling.

The company’s next step is to work with dozens of “fairly famous” science fiction and fantasy authors who are interested in world building and want to define a world loosely inhabited by their fans in order to “make this community more collaborative,” Brandwein said.

“Besides, the vision we have for this is that one day, you know, if you’re on Amazon, or something like that, you can read the book, you can listen to the book, and then you can just play the book or whatever” Brandwyn continued. Or if you look at Netflix game strategyIt’s a very trivial free game. But why don’t you put yourself in “Bridgerton” and seduce the man? “

Netflix tried an immersive TV experience a few years ago with “Black Mirror: BandersnatchGiving players the option to choose their own adventure. This was pre-written, Brandwyn said, giving you only an A or a B at each moment.

The hidden door recently raised a file 7 million dollar seed round Led by Makers Fund with participation from Northzone and Betaworks. The startup is testing its current product with a group of nine to 12 years old, and is actively looking for authors to collaborate with for future stories, as well as other potential tech partners interested in generative AI.

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