Video games are on their way to becoming an increasingly immersive experience. Rival Theory’s first offering was RAIN, an artificial intelligence engine for the Unity game development ecosystem that counts a little over 7,000 active users. RAIN took a bit of a non-traditional approach to what AI means in the gaming world, which usually just refers to setting up the math functions or algorithms for controlling character behavior, animations and path-finding, says Rival Theory co-founder William Klein.
But its next platform, Sentio – which was demonstrated at the recent TechStars event in New York City – is extending Rival Theory’s work to use AI to give intelligence to individual characters, so that they can think, learn, remember, and even experience emotions. Sentio, which it began working on a couple of years ago, is a set of services and upgrades to its AI work to allow characters “to be more than they are today in games,” he says.