It’s 2021, and a devious spy has infiltrated the Pacific sanctuary of the Nakagawa robot company. This secret agent has re-programmed the island’s robots to carry out a terrifying scheme. With only three days left before Armageddon, your help is needed to root out the spy and save Bot Colony.
User reviews: Mixed (13 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 17, 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 makes unscripted conversation with the characters a pillar of gameplay. We've developed advanced Natural Language Understanding technology to bring you this new experience. In a nutshell, it means our in-game characters understand what you say – whether you speak it or type it. Merged with a classic adventure game design filled with twists and turns, Bot Colony’s innovative interaction has the potential to revolutionize PC games. This integration is novel, and obviously needs to be refined based on community feedback.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We plan to remain in Early Access while development continues towards a stable alpha version of Episode 3, Riot, for Early Access players. During this time we’ll also be adding more content and refinements to the currently playable episodes.”

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

“This will just address the Landfall package, our first complete season.
Bot Colony has evolved since its initial release, and will continue to evolve (see update history next). We are introducing the first pass of Robot Visual Memories, or RVM, in the Early Access launch build. With RVM you can ask a robot questions and get access to stored videos (and information linked to what the robot personally witnessed) of events in its memory. You can watch a new development diary of RVM in action in the media section.
In addition, we are actively developing more content for Episode 1, Intruder, and Episode 2, Arrival – the episodes you can play right now.
We will be integrating a new prologue and an expanded narrative that introduces more interactive elements, while incorporating new AI updates that feature deeper world knowledge and more expressive personality for our robots.
The first round of Steam Achievements and Trading Cards will also go live shortly after release.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“We've improved the game since its initial limited release: Alpha 1 shipped to testers on May 30, 2013; Alpha 2 on July 16, 2013; Alpha 3 on October 18,2013; and Alpha 4 (when our alpha sales went live) on December 13, 2013. Alpha 5 released on May 12 2014, and Alpha 6 – our Steam release – is now in Early Access. With each release we are improving our language pipeline and tightening up the foundation of the game. We invite players to try our free text-based web demo, 20 Questions with Jimmy, to sample a slice of the technology in a guessing game featuring full dialogue with an in-game robot.

As with any large piece of software that’s still in development, you can expect some bugs; we're working hard to squash them, and your valued feedback will make the difference.

Our key challenge will always be language understanding and common-sense knowledge. While we can’t guarantee that a character will always understand what you say, we promise that our robot AI will attempt to learn in the process.”

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

“The first three episode bundle launches at $15.95 (two episodes are available now and the third episode is a pre-order).
Thanks to Early Access, players can enjoy the innovative experience that Bot Colony offers without having to wait for the entire season to be completed.
We expect the price of the game to increase as more downloadable content is added.”

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

“We eagerly look forward to working with the Steam Community to evolve Bot Colony to its full potential. Bot Colony introduces unscripted language-based gameplay to an Adventure title, which presents serious challenges and enormous opportunities for innovation and a new level of immersion. We're ready to receive the community’s feedback to help improve all facets of Bot Colony going forward.

We're ecstatic to be on Steam and we deeply appreciate the early support of our game’s concept, world, and technology. North Side will remain committed to regular updates (whether it’s bug squashing or integrating new content) in Early Access.”
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Buy Bot Colony Season One: Landfall

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Recent updates View all (3)

July 10

Text-to-Animation video

We'd appreciate your feedback on the text-to-animation idea described here (spoiler alert: Intruder will be much easier once you see this! BTW, this was done through speech, and it shows game performance with a trained profile isn't bad at all):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pai63dfy04530gx/Text-to-animation.mp4

WHY THIS MATTERS?
In Bot Colony, you can command robots to do things. What if we made this available as a tool in which you could import your own characters, a setting of your choice, and you could command the characters using a text script? (as you do in Intruder). Add special effects and editing tools, and you'd have what it takes to produce your own CG videos. With appropriate controls to synchronize character behaviour and speech, you could also make your own games (so, a modding tool). The key idea is to create animation through language, which opens this up to anyone (today, it's only animators).
A new medium of creative expression. Thoughts?

5 comments Read more
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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

Season One: Landfall

Season One: Landfall is the initial Bot Colony core game featuring the Intruder and Arrival playable episodes, in addition to the pre-order and first access to Riot, this season’s third episode.

  • Intruder - The Nakagawa Robot Corp. requires your skills to investigate a potential case of espionage, but first the high-tech giant will test your sense of observation and situational awareness in the simulation of a crime scene. After you learn to interact effectively with robots using language and pass the multiple challenges of Intruder, Nakagawa will entrust you with the mission to track down the spy.

  • Arrival - As you land on the beautiful south Pacific island, you learn that something is amiss in Bot Colony. You'll need to use your skills to communicate with robots and get their help to overcome a life-threatening situation to proceed with your mission. Be prepared to hit the ground running and keep your eyes and ears open as you enter Nakagawa's world of corporate espionage and industrial terrorism.

  • Riot (available soon) - After swooping down on mutinous robots aboard a futuristic Hunter Bot aircraft, you land on an abandoned oil platform. There, you'll encounter robots operating under a new agenda, looking to purge any who question the mutiny. If you're caught, you'll have to prove that you're human in order to survive – by passing the Humanity Test. If you're incarcerated and turned into a human guinea pig, you'll have to find a way to escape.

About This Game

Bot Colony is based on a thriller novel involving a large Japanese robot manufacturer, Nakagawa Corp. It’s 2021, and a spy from KHT, Nakagawa's arch-competitor, has infiltrated the high-tech giant’s seemingly impregnable south Pacific sanctuary. The spy has re-programmed the island’s robots and is destabilizing Bot Colony, but this is only the precursor to a larger, more terrifying scheme.You have 3 days to catch him, and you'll need to rely on machines to get the job done.

In Bot Colony you have the opportunity to experience first-hand interaction with an Artificial Intelligence that, until now, could only be romanticized in science fiction novels and movies. It's a unique experience that will challenge your mind and entertain you; the ultra literal way robots understand language makes you realize how much we take for granted when we speak with other 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 Havok Vision 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.
  • 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 novel by studio founder and high-tech entrepreneur Eugene Joseph.

  • Note regarding Speech-to-Text: The game comes to Steam with support for Microsoft Speech (included with Windows), so you can set up a voice profile to play the game and communicate with characters by speaking into a mic. Remember that we also allow players to type messages, or you can seamlessly combine speaking and typing according to one’s preference.
  • We do not offer a Dragon version of the game on Steam, but we're pleased to offer full speech-to-text support for players who already own Dragon NaturallySpeaking
  • .

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
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Yes
    • Additional Notes: Internet connection required. A microphone is required if you wish to play through speech.
Helpful customer reviews
17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 27
Early Access Review
The game itself is still rough and the voice recognition can be frustrating at times, but the understanding of the bots in Bot Colony is fascinating. Highly recommend picking it up if you're a robo-nerd like me. It's an exciting look at human-machine interaction in games and beyond.
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14 of 20 people (70%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
Early Access Review
I had high hopes from the trailer, but was really dissapointed.

The game is so buggy and finicky it's essentially impossible to get through the tutorial, even if you're not using voice recognition. Often you'll tell the robots to move things, and it'll turn out that that was the wrong thing to do, it's completely irreversible, and you need to start the game over. I restarted many times and eventually gave up.

The natural language understanding that was supposed to make this game so awesome seems like it's on par with text adventures from the 80s... not much beyond "VERB NOUN."

It's too bad; the concept is good, and it sounded like the story could be great as well.
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34 of 62 people (55%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
Early Access Review
This game man, wow
(Noted: this is a Early Access Game just giving the run down on its current state.)
Going into this game people talked this thing up like it was a legit game that worked as shown in the video but guess what spoiler alert it doesnt. when you first start the game you must read a long list of scripts to "train your account" which inturn doesnt fully comprehind you in plain, monotoned, english. this might take you 30 mins to a hour depending on what you use to speek through; me, i used a high def mic and that took me close to a hour. then when you get started thats when things go south even more. after all that i do the tatorial and at first it didnt seem that bad, pretty cut forward and dry. well then you try to use voice recigniontion to get stuff done. well thats when you realize you sound like a inbred to the game and the robot you talk to is just the same. when i bought this game it looked like it had alot to offer and now i realized its a game that cannot even stand on its own two feet. aside from all the problems, here are the few things i liked: telling the robot that shut up means the same as stop talking, every once and a while getting the robot to do excatly what i want, and most of all reading the interesting story at the voice training (at the very beginning).

sorry all who believed this to be an amazing game where you interact with the game by talking to the game but, you would have better luck trying to talk to relitives from the other side.
if you want this game for other reasons you may have more fun with it than me but for me i seem to have felt a little cheated in my thoughts on the game.
when my group asks if they should buy the game I will tell them and show them excatly what the game is like.
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41 of 63 people (65%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
Early Access Review
For an early access game, it is pretty solid. I really enjoyed the interaction process and figuring out what to say next. Plus there are tons of more interactions that can be explored in each level (I can see that from the achievements list) so theres a lot of replayability there. Can't wait for the next level to be released. Keep up the good work!!
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9 of 19 people (47%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Early Access Review
In its current state, I've had no problems running this game on my iMac running Windows 8.1 via Bootcamp. I usually do not purchase Early Access games, but I'm a total nerd for Asimov's Robot books and this game's notion of robots seems pretty reflective of Asimov's characterization of robots and their interaction with humans. I'm also a computational linguist, so the inclusion of NLU (Natural Language Understanding) had me very curious as well. NLU is complicated to achieve since meaning needs to be derived from an utterance, which sometimes means inferences must be made, but I think it works pretty well in this game, especially for the game being Early Access. I'd love to see the NLU improved and extended to other genres of games. But I think the first implementation--dealing with robots that don't always understand pragmatics--is a perfect first implementation.
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2 of 6 people (33%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Early Access Review
{Update: August 29th 2014 -- Is this game going to be updated? Not a peep? Experiencing detachment and regret...}


Okay, I'll give this a shot. In no particular order:

Post-buy reaction: I don't regret picking up Bot Colony while it was on special.

First Impressions: Bot Colony provided me and my girlfiend with a solid 2 hours of entertainment and goofy times. That first experience alone was worth the purchase. I think the off sale price is a little high TBH. We had a good time messing around with Jimmy and the house in the first episode. It's really quite unique as a game idea.

Reviewer Profile: I'm a shooter player, action game player, and RPG player. I was drawn to this game by the Early Access section and the sale price, and the visuals and videos sold me. I love the idea of an experimental island that people live on, but it's mostly run by robots of a big robotics firm.

Stability: This game is in alpha, hence the Early Access. You can get a sense for where the polish and tweaking will go. My game downloaded, installed, and booted up well on Windows 8, 64-bit. One of the negative reviews is a guy who couldn't run the game on his 32-bit Windows. 64-bit is listed in the specs. My frame rate was solid, and the game looks pretty good (stylised art, not hyper-real). I had a crash to desktop when loading a level.

Fun Factor: I think the 'fun' is in discovering how to deal with the AI. It's interesting how you can lead them down a chain of discussion sometimes. [Spoiler-ish] Jimmy has some pretty detailed information about the house and what happened in episode 1. The bots in episode 2 aren't as unique (but visually they're distinct), and the airport robots all share some neat background info about the bad guy and various organizations.

- The character you start controlling in episode 2 is pretty sluggish (and the male character runs like he has a cucumber up his ♥♥♥♥), but it's manageable. The mechanics seem like they will need to be polished.

You can complete episode 2, but I think the level is missing some characters and gameplay, because if you look around there are a few areas that look like they're supposed to be used for something.

One thing I found cool and I didn't see the tutorial explain it: When you get your PDA you can open it and use Robot Info when talking to a robot to 'download' the robot's specs/model info to the PDA.

- Speech Options: The first time I played Bot Colony (and had a fun, wacky session), we didn't even use the mic. We just typed our messages or questions and listened to Jimmy on speakers. I only went back much later and bothered to create a speech profile and do the training. Even then, I still like to type most of the time. Generally speaking, speech recognition still isn't quite good enough.

- In any case, you can SPEAK and TYPE in the same area of the interface, at the same time, and correcting if needed.


Weak points:

- It's an alpha that gets you two early completable episodes and the third one included as pre-order (coming later).

- It's a bit rough. Sometimes, the dialogue jumped between robots. I had some weird behavior with that patroller robot outside.

- The UI and Hud visuals are a bit too minimal sci-fi. I suppose this is a subjective thing.

- The Splinter Cell guy that you control for a bit in episode 1 is sketchy. It also feels like it's missing something outside. Maybe this is just a hopeful alpha observation, or it's only the police patroller outside.

- Not enough marketing for this game before early access. I would have probably supported it earlier, just to see where it goes.

Bottomline: Buy it on sale if you're curious about an experimental speech-driven adventure game.
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 25
Early Access Review
The game tells me at the start i'm not online. Of course I am or I wouldn't connect to steam or access the demo online. Is there a trick to recognize that I have a server? That's what I don't like about the game so far. It won't let me play it.

If I actually play it, I'll give a review.
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0 of 4 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 29
Early Access Review
so unawarte of my speech to text has to be in english and i do not have a windows 7 ultimate or enterpise wich makes it total unavble for me to play this game the proper way unfortunalyt but oh well another plenty's of money out the window guess i can't play it that's really bad

pro's : looks like a very good game
con's unable to get it to work because my pc is not in english therefor unable to work this should bee said more up front like a warning not every one is a geniusd on everything abbout windows

on a side not it's strange my pc can't work since endwar was also speech to text but that did't care for my langues was not in english ...

it looks like a sweet game but want to play it but can i no , not if 'ive buy a whole new win 7 ultimate wich is kinda foleish .. oh well
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0 of 5 people (0%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Early Access Review
Pretty fun game. It's a little hard for myself because I can not pronounce some of the words, but luckily you can type instead. So overall, I am excited to see where this game goes in the future.
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9 of 24 people (38%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
Early Access Review
I cant even load the game, I get to the mainmenu and it says "cannot connect to server" or something like that
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23 of 60 people (38%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
Early Access Review
well i got this game thought it would be really fun to play......then the problems started it would boot and go through the into just fine. when it got to the loading screen to go into the mission it just crashes out. i ran a trouble shoot and it says that its not compatible with windows 8 i thing they should have put that in the information about the game so people didnt waste there time. i hope there will be an update that will help with this problem.
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3 of 24 people (13%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
Early Access Review
Okay game sounds fun...I CANT EVEN GET PASSED THE CURSED TUTORIAL! I try get it do commands nothing seems work and the help just repeats i mean be simplier if the help say say this or something i given up at this point i cant even move on from tutorial. All i get to trying fixed a ♥♥♥♥ing cushion that dosnt even work. Making the commands simplier probably be helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
Early Access Review
I felt this game have something progress, so interested in. For example I'm from out of language of the english.
so sometimes I can not type word soon, but I could "what is this?" to ask Robot and they did answer.
it was very fun thing, but seem has some bug still on it. anyhow good progress on the game.
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