"Fully-Realized Interactive Drama" Facade is released

From indie game studio Procedural Arts comes the first game in which you communicate to NPC (non player characters) by actaully speaking with them as opposed to picking from a selection of conversion pieces. The AI is supposed to be smart enough to recognize what you say and interact accordingly. From the press release,
Façade is unlike games to date in that the player is able to drive the story through direct, Holodeck-style interactions, including conversing with the characters in natural language, and moving and gesturing freely within the first-person 3D world of Grace and Trip's apartment. And unlike interactive stories to date, in Façade the computer characters actively perform the story without waiting for you to click or enter a command. AI controls Grace and Trip’s personality and behavior, including emotive facial expressions, spoken voice and full-body animation. Further, the AI intelligently guides the story based on the player's moment-by-moment interaction and what has happened in the story so far, while still satisfying an overall dramatic arc. An innovative text parser allows the system to avoid the "I don’t understand" response all too common in text-adventure interactive fiction.


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