About the project

Our goal

Our goal is to create a computer game that uses AI to expand the story for the player. The format of the game will be a classic single-player story rich RPG with a 3rd person point of view. This is only a "short" introduction. To get more information about used technology or world lore, visit appropriate sections of this website.

The Story

The world lore, characters and rules will be introduced by a Frozen By The Sun book (Game book) in seven acts and a lot of appendices. The first six acts take place before the beginning of the game itself. They focus on the adventures of a young elf named Rea Lenos. She leaves her home and safety of the Elf kingdom to live amongst humans. Rea endures a lot of hardships, but also meets a lot of people that later become her loyal friends during her travels and adventures. And by doing so, she inadvertently changes the course of history of the human world, hopefully for the better.

But a new danger encroaches the world of men and elves alike. This new adversary is introduced in the seventh act. At this point, the player takes control of Rea and through her begins to learn about the world’s dark and almost inevitable destiny.

The book with the first six acts will be distributed to all patrons in a digital form. The seventh act will remain unreleased until after enough players are able to defeat the arch enemy.

The Game

The game itself will be programmed in Unreal Engine 5. The game world consists of one large continent that stretches all the way from the south to the north. It is encircled by an endless ocean from all sides and as far as people know, this is the only continent on the whole planet. The planet itself is Earth-like, with the same dimensions, year and day length and axis tilt.

The areas of the continent near the equator are covered in a dense tropical vegetation. In both directions from there, the vegetation is subdued by deadly scorching hot deserts slowly changing into temperate forests and then ice. This continent will be modelled in scale as an open world for the player to explore. Several modes of transportation to cover the long distances like high-speed flying and teleportation will be available.

The player will control Rea directly. She can be joined by her friends and colleagues and form a party. Other party members cannot be controlled directly, but it will be possible to set strategies for them and switch between the strategies mid-fight.

C’mon, get to the interesting part

Everyone is probably interested in the AI that will be responsible for actually developing the story for the player. All details are described in a separate page. In short, we will utilize existing large language models and create a layer, that will lay between the game engine and the models. This layer is called a BMD processor and it will be responsible for creating queries in English (and/or tokens), that will be fed into the language model and then parsing results, modifying the game state and make characters in the game react appropriately to the players’ actions. This will make NPCs appear alive, make role-playing more engaging for the player.

Today’s large language models are very good at finishing sentences and even writing articles, that are basically indistinguishable from human creations. We are going to use these models to “finish” the short stories for us. Every short story will start with a description of some NPC, character or enemy, their current mood, goals, itineraries. It will continue with a description of a current environment like the weather, surroundings, time of the day. The last part of the story will contain observations. Then we will ask the model to tell us, what happens next. Believe it or not, if using the right query, these models can generate a continuation of the short story that makes sense. It will not only tell you what the character should do next, but how their mood changes, and will also include some other interesting details.

Our BMD processor, the focus of our development, will become extremely good at creating right queries and then at understanding and applying an output it gets from the model.

We won’t be developing our own large human language model. There would be no point to it. A lot of companies with much larger budgets are already doing that. We plan to test most of them and then just license or implement the most suitable one. Once the correct language model is chosen, we will train it using our Game Book. Only the fast and much simpler model will be developed by us and trained only on public domain data, so there is no legal issue with distributing it to players. And that is how we plan to create a living and evolving world full of surprises for the player.

From what we have heard and read about the latest developments in the human language model field, new generation of models will be even more revolutionary than the previous ones. Meaning, once they are out, our game can easily switch to them, and the world will become even more living and realistic.

Schedule

The development should start in February 2023. We are already in talks with most of the talent we require to develop the project.

A digital copy of the Game Book will be distributed within the first 12 months of the project - every act as soon as it is done with the editorial process.

The development of the first “alfa” version should take approximately 18 to 22 months. This alfa version will contain:

  • Full scale map, but not completely populated. Some areas may be still empty. The scale, shape and important regions should be close to the final state.
  • Attack/magic/battle system in a playable state
  • 3D models of the main characters should be present, including most of the animations
  • Language model will be trained using the first six acts of the Game Book. The final enemy will be omitted completely for obvious reasons. Still, the world will evolve based on the player’s actions.

The first closed beta will be released 6 months after the alfa. It will contain:

  • Map should be very close to the final version, some minor objects may be missing, or some bugs (collision, placement) may still be present
  • Attack/magic/battle system will be finalized
  • All character models should be finalized, including animations
  • Language model should be better optimized. The final act of the Game Book will be omitted.
  • Own dedicated beta server that contains full language model will be released – under the condition that it is actually possible, and the license allows it.

The closed beta should turn to the open beta within two months and the final release is planned shortly after. Whole development should take 26 to 30 months.

Motivation

We have been using machine learning and several other approaches, like genetic algorithms, that are generally referred to as “AI” by the general population. AI field has grown a lot in recent years, and we are extremely excited about all the new developments and achievements. As out current project started to reach completion, we were looking into a new challenge and AI field seemed right.

We are all fans of computer games, love AI and are creative people – some team members make music, others like to write stories, or create whole fantastic worlds to explore with their friends. At the moment, we don’t have any visual artists in our team, we are all technical people – developers, scientists, engineers.

This looked like the right challenge. We know, that we will need really talented artists to create a real game. But, since our game is so AI centric, why not use it to kickstart our project? We have decided that we are going to use one of the AI programs that creates images based on textual description. To make things more interesting, all the pictures will be used without any human post-processing. AI all the way. Not even clipping or color correction.

If we would have been able to create a concept art for all the important characters, world locations and some other topics, like magic and a world map, that fit with the descriptions in the book and at the same time look good enough to be presented to the public, that would encourage us to move forward and give us confidence, that AI route is the right one. It took thousands upon thousands of queries, but in the end, we were successful. Please, check the concept art section and see for yourselves. All images used for this whole webpage are generated by AI without any human post-processing. Specifically, by Midjourney.

We have also tested several human language models, built a prototype game to get familiar with Unreal Engine 5. We all believe we are ready to start. We are just missing one single detail – finances. If you believe in what we are trying to do, please, support us and help us make all this become reality.

Possible future development

On top of the console ports and multiplayer for up to 8 players, we have plans for future development after the game is released. It will all depend on the popularity and funds.

Instead of creating a new game, we would like to expand the world while strictly adhering to the existing lore. We plan to add scientific and cultural evolution in the future, so the player can help steer the world away from the dark ages towards enlightenment. See humanity become educated, more peaceful and free.

The human language AI models will also evolve, so even replaying the game form the beginning may be a different experience in the future.

FROZEN BY THE SUN - Single player story-rich AI generated game

Disclaimer: This site and product is in no way affiliated with OpenAI or Midjourney