In Bot Colony, you type or speak with intelligent robots - commanding them to manipulate objects, or to investigate a mystery. No two sessions are alike - robot behaviour depends totally on what you say or type. The only game supporting conversation to enable unprecedented interactivity.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (31 reviews) - 54% of the 31 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 16, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Bot Colony offers a truly unique experience integrating conversation with AIs into gameplay. You actually get to EXPERIENCE robot interactions that were just a sci-fi fantasy in movies like Her, Ex Machina, iRobot, Blade Runner and 2001 A Space Odyssey. Our emergent conversation-based gameplay requires major experimentation and tuning before release.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Bot Colony needs to stay in Early Access until our genre-defining AI conversation gameplay is sufficiently robust. In Bot Colony, we measure performance by the percentage of times robots understand your questions or commands. It's a daunting task: intelligent assistants from large companies like Apple [Siri] or Amazon [Alexa] can't yet match the kind of multi-step performance our robots have. And we still have a long way to go.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Our Early Access version, including the Intruder and Arrival episodes is a self-contained, robust game that will offer 6 - 10 hours of gameplay with lots of replay value - as you can have different conversations and try new things. We've added an Investigation mission on February 21, 2017, that takes around 3 hours to fully complete. Work is underway on the Riot episode.
For us, the 'full' version is measured not only by content, but by the quality of this content - which is defined by how well you're understood.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Intruder and Arrival are fully playable, and a new Investigation mission was added on February 21, 2017, adding 3 additional hours of play time. The game is robust, and we're hard at work improving it. Our planned upgrades are Achievements, more robust understanding in Arrival, and the Riot episode.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We have added 3 hours of content in February 2017 but did not increase the price of the game. In general, we don't want anything to be an obstacle to as many people as possible experiencing our genre-defining game.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“The community truly shapes our development priorities. Witness our future support for Achievements, that was required by a completionist group in February 2017. The community also confirms hunches we had about important features - like robots learning. By playing and reporting bugs and difficulties, you give us the input we need to prioritize our development.”
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Recent updates View all (10)

March 8

AMA on Bot Colony on r/games

You can ask any question about Bot Colony in the AMA ( Ask Me Anything) going on reddit r/Games as you read this - it just started this morning East Coast time.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/5y80in/were_north_side_creators_of_bot_colony_currently/




0 comments Read more

February 21

Bot Colony Investigation (Major Update)

THE FIRST REAL CONVERSATION GAME
While our new upgrade took (much) longer than anticipated, we hope it was worth the wait. Bot Colony now delivers on the promise to be the first real conversation game. We’re added 2 - 3 hours of unique content in the form of a new investigation mission. Bot Colony was originally built on the gameplay of commanding robots to manipulate objects. But we wanted to achieve more, and we’ve been hard at work on our language pipeline. The game has now evolved to the point where you can also investigate in a casual conversation style. This level of communication between the player and the game was much harder to achieve and required much better language understanding than just commands. Virtual assistants like Siri, Google Assistant or Amazon Echo aren’t yet able to carry the kind of multi-step conversations that you’ll have with Jimmy as you play the new mission. This said, we’re not claiming that Jimmy will understand everything you say – there are still many challenges ahead.

THE INVESTIGATION MISSION
You will need to discover how a secret prototype chip got into the house of a Nakagawa scientist and why the house was empty when you arrived. You investigate using your own words - not dialogue trees! If you ask good questions about what Jimmy observed, you’ll be rewarded with videos of his observations. There are 14 such videos for you to discover, and you get to see a few during training – so don’t skip training! You’ll practice investigating the events that took place over 48 hours, using questions like ‘what happened then’, ‘...next’, ‘...before that’, ‘...after that’, and editing the questions you asked previously and resubmitting them, so you don’t need to type too much.
We recommend that you play through typing. First, you’ll need to ask LOTS of questions, so you run the risk of getting hoarse if you play through voice. To support the investigation mission, our software needs to understand what you ask about people, places, times and dates. This is difficult enough as is – without having to also deal with the errors introduced by speech-to-text.

NEW FEATURES
As you play, you’ll see tangible proof of our commitment to take the Bot Colony conversational experience to the next level:
  • you can refer to what was said previously by scrolling the conversation window (F10).
  • the game will keep you informed of your progress discovering the story (green means you’re done exploring a time period, yellow means you need to keep going until it turns green).
  • many questions which Jimmy used to answer with "I don't know" now get answers, so you’ll be able to learn about the family members, their lives and relationships, and various events.
  • When an exact answer is not available, you’ll still get an interesting hint relevant to your question
  • With this upgrade, every robot in Bot Colony gets its own voice and accent – which adds to the texture of the experience.
  • A noticeable frame rate improvement
  • The game website www.botcolony.com was entirely redesigned. We added a new section on the background story and world design – a kind of a graphic story of how Bot Colony evolved. We’ve also published of all of Henry Fong’s concept work (Henry now works for Disney). Finally, the October 2007 original storyboard is online (the game is indeed ambitious – 2017 will mark the 10 year anniversary from the birth of the game!).
GOING FORWARD
In closing, a few words about our plans for Bot Colony going forward:
  • Following requests, we've committed to support Achievements in the next upgrade.
  • Robots in Arrival don’t understand what you say as well as Jimmy does in Intruder (and he could still do better :). We plan to improve this - it's the core experience of our game.
  • We’ve made progress on episode 3, Riot. We’ll post updates on www.botcolony.com/blog.
Stay tuned!

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Reviews

“Despite...my occasional exasperation with Jimmy, it turns out I enjoy the hell out of telling robots to do things and then watching them do things. When it works, it’s oddly satisfying. When it doesn’t work, it’s generally amusing.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“It’s not exactly Blade Runner‘s Voight Kampff test, but few, if any, games, offer this level of unscripted interaction. The game’s use of voice synthesis, which makes sense in this context, means that all the robots are fully voiced. Their pronunciation isn’t always dead on, though I still grinned like an idiot when I was able to get Jimmy to address me as Bruce Wayne. I spent a good hour picking through Jimmy’s recollections and even though we weren’t discussing anything deep, it was curiously satisfying. In its current state, Bot Colony definitely has promise, provided that the game’s developers build on the quality of ‘Intruder’.”
GameSpew

About This Game

It’s 2021, and Nakagawa Corp., Japan's leading robot manufacturer, asks for your help. Its South Pacific sanctuary, the island of Agrihan - known as Bot Colony - was infiltrated. Its robots are acting strangely. As Agrihan is a Mars testbed staffed by robots - you'll need to talk to them to investigate.
Bot Colony ( www.botcolony.com) is a unique game - currently the ONLY one to feature AI conversation. You need to type or speak with robots (in English) in order to catch the spy. Bot Colony will appeal to trailblazers who enjoy genre-defining games. If you enjoy challenges, exploration, commanding robots to move things, testing how well their artificial intelligence understands you, this game is for you. Bot Colony combines adventure, language and logic puzzles, simulation and RPG with a unique language-based gameplay.

You'll get to experience Artificial Intelligence that is currently in the realm of cinematic fantasy in Her, Ex Machina, iRobot, Blade Runner, 2001 A Space Odyssey. It's a challenging and entertaining experience - you'll realize how literal machines are when they process language, and how much we take for granted when we speak with people.

KEY FEATURES


  • Embark on a multi-episode quest to catch the spy before he destroys the island.
  • Travel across a spectacular South Pacific island fully-realized in the game's engine.
  • Speak freely and discover the story using your own words. Compare this to typical game storytelling, where canned dialog lines and selection trees are the rule.
  • Make the game your own: Teach robots about people and the world to get them to help you.
  • Command robots to manipulate objects and interact with the environment, and teach them new commands.
  • Game sessions are unique to each player: You control what is said and how characters react. Sessions of other players will have different dialog than yours.
  • Based on the Bot Colony sci-fin novel by Eugene Joseph, North Side's founder and high-tech entrepreneur.
  • Type or speak to play. You can use Microsoft Speech (included with Windows), to communicate with characters using a mic. You can combine speaking and typing according to your preference.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 64-bit [make sure you have 64-bit Windows!]
    • Processor: Dual Core 3.5GHz / Quad Core 2.40 GHz greater
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia GTS 240 (1 GB VRAM) or greater, ATI Radeon HD 4850 (1 GB VRAM) or greater
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Yes
    • Additional Notes: Internet connection required. A microphone is required if you wish to play through speech.
Customer reviews Learn More
Overall:
Mixed (31 reviews)
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