SQUARE ENIX AI Tech Preview:

This software is an educational demonstration of Natural Language Processing (NLP), an AI technology, as applied to the text adventure game “The Portopia Serial Murder Case” (created by Yuji Horii and first published in Japan in 1983).
At the turn of the 1980s, most PC adventure games were played using only the keyboard. In those days, adventure games didn’t use action menus like more modern games, but simply presented the player with a command line where they could freely input text to decide the actions that characters would take and proceed through the story.
Free text input systems like these allowed players to feel a great deal of freedom. However, they did come with one common source of frustration: players knowing what action they wanted to perform but being unable to do so because they could not find the right wording. This problem was caused by the limitations of PC performance and NLP technology of the time.
40 years have passed since then, and PC performance has drastically improved, as have the capabilities of NLP technology. Using “The Portopia Serial Murder Case” as a test case, we’d like to show you the capabilities of modern NLP and the impact it can have on adventure games, as well as deepen your understanding of NLP technologies.

Technical Features

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Natural Language Processing is a technology that allows computers to glean meaning from natural language—the kind of language that we use in daily communication. Deep learning conducted on a large set of text data makes it possible for the system to understand complex text input (NLU) and to generate responses comparable to those written by human beings (NLG).

Natural Language Understanding (NLU)

Natural Language Understanding is an area of NLP research that aims to make computers correctly understand natural language, where the meaning can often be ambiguous. In this tech preview, NLU is used to help the junior detective understand the player's instructions.

Speech-to-Text (STT)

Speech-to-Text, or Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), makes it possible to convert voice input to written text. Using this technology, players can give instructions using their own voices rather than a keyboard.
(Please note that a CUDA-capable GPU and a large amount of VRAM are required for a satisfactory experience.)

Natural Language Generation (NLG)

This tech preview originally included a function based on Natural Language Generation technology, where the system would generate natural replies to questions that did not have a pre-written response. However, the NLG function is omitted in this release because there remains a risk of the AI generating unethical replies. We thank you for your understanding.
(We will consider reintroducing this function as soon as our research succeeds in creating an environment in which players can enjoy the experience with peace of mind.)

Now Free on Steam®!

This tech preview is now available on Steam® as a free download.
Please check the system requirements on the Steam® page before downloading.
(Please note that this tech preview requires the use of a keyboard.)
Platform Steam®
Genre NLP Adventure
Players Single-player
Publication date April 24th, 2023
Price Free
Language English, Japanese
(Offline play only. An internet connection is not required.)

About the Developers

We are the SQUARE ENIX AI Division, who focus on research and development into AI technology.
We plan to bring you further playable AI-powered tech previews in the future.
Check our official website and official Twitter account to stay up to date with the latest developments.
There are more details about this tech preview on our website!