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Bot Colony
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Genre: Adventure
Platforms: PC
Languages: English
Players: Single-player
Posted:
Updated:
Jul 17, 2013 @ 8:14am
Nov 12, 2013 @ 10:46am
Recent Announcements View All (8)
We've launched on Early Access on June 17, 2014
Subscription No Longer Required
Pre-order Bot Colony

By pre-ordering episodes, you get access to the current Alpha episodes NOW, upcoming episodes when they become available (Early Access), and you lock in the final release episodes at a lower price!

You get to play the world’s first episodic adventure game using Natural Language Understanding technology, and you help steer it. You’re also becoming part of an international community of players, with whom you can exchange on the Forum.

Episodes can be purchased at the single episode price of $6.95.

There will be 3 packages available for pre-ordering (we'll be on Steam Early Access next week, and the prices may be rounded slightly to conform to Steam guidelines - below are our own website prices):
- Episodes 1 – 3 for $14.85, a saving of $6.00
- Episodes 1 – 6 for $29.70, a saving of $12.00.
- Episodes 1 – 12 for $59.40 , a saving of $34.00 (the Bot Colony novel is included).

Dragon Nuance will be available as an optional add-on for $18 (one year), $27 (two years) and sold off our website (we can't sell it through Steam as it will be subject to commission). Customers will also be able to purchase the Dragon NaturallySpeaking product, and use it in the game as well as for other applications.

Description
Release date: First episode was released to Alpha test on May 30, 2013
BOT COLONY PRESS QUOTES

GamingBlend
Bot Colony is what Kinect's Milo should have been.

Gamasutra
...a tropical island full of robots, all of them capable of conversing with the player on a ground-breaking level.

WIRED
It means abandoning those conversational pick-lists that blight otherwise state-of-the-art games.

Coolest Gadgets
Like playing Myst, but instead of clicking on things to get further along in the game, you will have to ask the right question.


What's Unique and Different about Bot Colony ?
Bot Colony is the first game to incoporate dialog into the gameplay. You speak to a character in English, and the character answers to the point. You can also command robotic characters to manipulate objects, so you have a lot of freedom to interact with the environment. Every game session is completely unique - you control what is said, and how the characters react. Nothing is hardwired. In other story driven-games, you traverse the game on a pre-determined path that was designed ahead of time by the game writer.

The Mission
You play Jeff Philips, a robot cognition specialist called in by Nakagawa Corp. to find three prototype sensors that went missing. These sensors enable robots to smell, to taste, and to touch - opening the huge consumer market for the corporation. There are signs that Nakagawa’s arch-competitor, the Korean KHT, succeeded in infiltrating Nakagawa’s operation - a sanctuary in the island of Agrihan, in the Northern Marianas in the Pacific. You must track down their spy before it is too late. This won’t be easy: the island is a testbed for robots that must operate autonomously, in preparation for deployment on Mars. You will have to interact with them to track down the spy.

Why Play It?
If you want to have a feel for what interacting with an intelligent machine is like (think HAL in The Space Odyssey, I, Robot, or Blade Runner) - you can now experience this first-hand in Bot Colony! It's a very unique experience - nobody spoke to an alien yet, which probably comes closest. It's an experience that will challenge your mind and will entertain you - the ultra literal way robots understand language makes you realize how much we take for granted when we speak with other people. Bot Colony trailblazes a new way of interacting with games: while current story-telling is based on dialog trees - you click on canned dialog lines written by someone else - in our game you discover the story and you orient yourself using your own words. This novel ability to speak freely with the characters increases your immersion into the game, and truly makes you part of the story.

Play to Learn
The game attracted Alpha-test signups from a widespread international community – people from 176 countries signed up for the game to practice English conversation. In Bot Colony, the player actually speaks using speech-to-text with the characters, so non-native English speakers get to practice everyday English as they play the game – a fun way to learn. You'll have the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world in the Bot Colony Forum.

Features
  • Embark on a multi-episode quest to catch the spy before he destroys the island. The adventure begins with the Intruder mission and takes you through a rich world, full of jeopardy and adventure.You'll walk, fly, sail, and ride across a spectacular South Pacific island fully-realized in the Havok Vision engine.
  • Experience a new, natural kind of interaction: Forget the scripted dialogue trees and canned responses common to other games.
  • Bot Colony offers a credible experience of communicating with artificial intelligence using your own words, instead of pre-arranged dialogue.
  • Make the game your own: Teach robots about people and the world to get them to help you. Your ever-evolving teaching database will enable you to compete your robot against other players' robots in a Jeopardy for robots MMO, planned as a sequel to Bot Colony. You'll also be able to adopt a robot as your personal assistant - and have it help you with various tasks in the real world, using a cell phone. Like Apple's Siri, but with an avatar, and better understanding what you say. Take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoaeliZXLbE
  • The game is based on the Bot Colony novel by lead designer and high-tech entrepreneur Eugene Joseph. The novel will be available as an eBook in the near future (currently it's hardcopy only).
  • Built and optimized for a PC gaming audience, with a Mac version coming soon.

Milestones
Intruder, the first episode of Bot Colony shipped to a special invite Alpha on May 30, 2013. Alpha2 shipped July 9, 2013. We still accept players to the closed-Alpha test, see http://www.botcolony.com/alpha/ for details. The second episode, Arrival, will go to Alpha-test in August.

Why Is It An Online Game?
The North Side dialog pipeline supports unrestricted English conversation about day-to-day life. The characters are able to clarify your objectives and assist you using plain English. The dialog is situated in the 3D world - you can talk about anything you see in the game with a robot. The characters can manipulate the objects in the world based on your commands. Compare this with a game like The Sims, where animations are cut-scenes. In Bot Colony, you have an unmatched level of control on the environment via the game's intellgient characters. This level of real-time natural language understanding requires very powerful computers and gigantic databases. That's why Bot Colony has a client-server architecture. The Windows client (your PC) communicates with the language AI servers through the Internet. The response time is quite good, often faster than what you'd experience when speaking with a human (sub 2 seconds).

For more details about our Natural Language Pipeline and its integration with the 3D scene, you can read the Bot Colony technology paper at: http://www.botcolony.com/game/technology/
Popular Discussions View All (4)
8
Aug 15, 2013 @ 2:09pm
Tone of the trailer
Roamin
6
Nov 8, 2013 @ 11:50pm
Plans for a Linux version?
Dr. Edison
4
Jul 23, 2013 @ 4:22am
PC specs, performance
Gunthak
288 Comments
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-PEves- Mar 31 @ 9:06pm 
Cool. Sounds good.
BotColony  [author] Mar 31 @ 6:33pm 
A few days, hopefully (this week?). The devs have already submitted a few release candidates, but we don't yet have one that's cleared QA.
-PEves- Mar 31 @ 5:08pm 
Any rough ideas when the early access stuff will be going into motion? I have been waiting to get the steam version. I look forward to it. :)
BotColony  [author] Mar 31 @ 9:52am 
(reply continued)
Finally, one of the updates we plan for Intruder (Intruder Sandbox) will be to get Jimmy to mess up the house, make videos of it and post them – this has great potential for players to get creative and have fun!
We'll be selling a core game package that includes Intruder (playable) and the first two story episodes, Arrival (playable) and Riot (pre-order) when moving to Early Access in the near future. Our story episodes will feature a wide variety of experiences.

Remember, we're still in Alpha so there's a good chunk of content, polish and new gameplay to come, as we ramp up.

Also bear in mind: the version of Intruder you are playing will be updated soon. Yes, even the training mission will improve :)
Thanks for your feedback about the tablet and camera position!

BotColony  [author] Mar 31 @ 9:51am 
This has been one of the challenges with making Intruder publicly available, or when it's been featured in trailers:
Intruder is the game's communications training level, where you don't play as your own third-person avatar in a story episode yet. Later this week we will put gameplay trailers up on Steam, and you’ll see the expanded training level, where you also conduct an investigation. Arrival and Riot are completely different in terms of gameplay. To form an impression about ‘the game’, you need to play the first story episode, Arrival.

Intruder is about learning the basics of robot communication and how to interact in the game using words. Instructing a robot to re-assemble a crime scene after a theft is part of this training, but there's actually more to discover about the background of the family's house (and more to come in future updates!). You can also teach the robot new commands in Intruder.

Nepoxx Mar 30 @ 11:31am 
So, I've bought the first episode of Bot Colony and tried it yesterday. Here's a summary of my experience: first of all, I spent more time downloading and installing the game than I did actually playing the game. Oh, and I use the term "game" very loosely here.

The game uses Dragon Naturally Speaking to transform what you say into text for the game. Dragon works just fine, however talking doesn't add ANYTHING to the game as you can simply type instead of talking (it works way, way better).

In any case, the game itself is horrible. I mean-stabbing-myself-in-the-eyes-with-a-rusted-knife terrible. The tutorial is aweful... you start by looking for a tablet which is right BEHIND you when you start. I mean, what the hell, why would you put the objective right behind where the player starts?! In any case, once I spent way too much time setting up the voice recognition, the real "fun" began.
Nepoxx Mar 30 @ 11:30am 
(comment continued)
I had to chat with a robot that would recognize very few pre-programmed sentences. Then I had to find misplaced objects (basically a game of comparing two pictures) and then tell a robot to repostion them. Yup, the game is about cleaning up a house, in the most awkward way possible. It would have taken me 20 seconds to click the items and reposition them, but by telling the robots what to do, it would have taken 45 minutes to do so (not exagerating one bit). And that's all yout get for your money: 45 minutes of impossible compare-the-two-pictures gameplay that doesn't work.

The idea might be good, but talking to a game does not work. It's not fun by any measure of "fun". You could use this "technology" (which has been around for decade now) to make a language teaching software, a multimedia tool, but not a game. This is simply not fun. It's the opposite of fun. Too bad for my money :(
-PEves- Feb 19 @ 5:52pm 
Right on! I have been anticipating this game since we discussed it on Kickstarter. Thanks for all of your feedback by the way. I appreciate it, and I am sure other people do as well.
BotColony  [author] Feb 19 @ 10:26am 
I can confirm your payment did not go through. The problems with the registration and purchasing funnel have been fixed. We should be on Steam Early Access sometime next week with Alpha 5 ( a new version of Bot Colony ),
-PEves- Feb 17 @ 11:20pm 
After trying to make my payment the page after loaded as a white page and it decided to hang there. I don't believe my payment went through though. Once it gets onto steam I know that will be a good easy way to purchase it. Perhaps I will wait for that.