An image of one of Convai AI's Smart NPCs

It seems as though complaints about wooden acting and poor NPC dialogue will become a thing of the past as gaming development continues to use more and more generative AI in its processes. We aren’t there yet, but by the end of the year, we will probably have our first game with NPC characters generating their own realistic dialogue depending on what you ask them.

For gaming realism, this could be a game changer, and while it is unclear where it may actually lead us, Unity and generative AI company Convai are keen to give us a sneak peek into the future with the release of Project Neural Nexus – a demo “game” which will feature smart NPCs and Unity’s MUSE behavior tool.

“Step into the world of Neo City, a cyberpunk theme city where danger lurks at every corner. You wake up at a hotel and are being chased by the police and killer robots. Your objective is to make out of the hotel filled with assassins – alive. But you are not alone. You have help from your AI companion, who can equip you with weapons, teach you how to shoot, guide you at every step and is helping you get out of the hotel. Your decisions change the storyline but be careful, one wrong step and it’s game over. The game is powered by Convai’s smart NPCs where you can have open-ended conversations, make decisions, perform actions, interact with various environmental objects, and are guided by an AI companion. Welcome to Neo City. Your survival story begins now.”

That’s how Convai is positioning PNN and is more of a tech demonstration of where gaming could be headed and headed quickly. The problem will be if an NPC can talk to you about anything, and you can ask it anything, how do you keep the story on track? The idea of an NPC answering questions more realistically is appealing. What we see in demonstrations like this is the “game” being played the way the developers intend. The general public will not necessarily play as nicely.

When you watch the video there is no doubt it is exciting and impressive in equal amounts. Text to Speech might not still be quite there yet when it comes to vocal emotion and some of the dialogue sounds a little stilted but the potential is there for all to see. Especially as we move along towards a world that has GPT5 in it.

You can sign up for early access now and it should be released later in the year. Interesting times ahead

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