The globally distributed game studio Hidden Door is launching their first experience later this year. After only being established for two years the company is set to tackle, “the impossible problem of generative storytelling.” Gameindustry.biz reports that Hidden Door has accumulated $2 million in funding for their project. Companies and individuals that contributed to the soon-to-be-released project include Northzone, Makers Fund, Betaworks, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Homebrew, Dan Sturman (Roblox CTO), and Joshua Schacter(founder of del.icio.us). Hidden Door’s Hilary Mason talked to Venture Beat about their upcoming, “narrative multiverse.”
Hidden Door is aiming to create a game platform that is a social and shared narrative experience mediated by artificial intelligence (AI). As a reference for comparison Mason said, “We like to think of it as Roblox meets D&D, where you have the vibe of a tabletop RPG where you and your friends are telling a story together.” The game’s AI will act as the narrator, “who’s sort of like our AI dungeon master, who’s building a world out of the choices that you make as you play.” These worlds built by player and AI are expressed in a graphic 2D art style that you can see in the demo below.
A large portion of game design today is moving towards more expansive, immersive games and Hidden Door’s ambition is no different. “As you play, the world gets bigger,” Mason says. As the narrative world grows with your play, “you create artifacts out of that play that are uniquely yours. You can share them, and other players can take them and remix them into their own stories.”
Despite Hidden Door’s story leader being a machine the studio says, “We really think the creativity comes from the players. We haven’t built a machine to tell stories. It’s a machine that takes your ideas and riffs on them based on the wisdom of millions of stories.” According to Venture Beat, Hidden Door plans to launch an invite for alpha testing of their story worlds later this year.