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About This Game
It’s August 2021 and you're recruited by Nakagawa Corp., Japan's leading robot manufacturer. Agrihan, Nakagawa’s private island in the South Pacific was infiltrated. The robots are acting strangely. Agrihan ( Bot Colony) is a Mars testbed staffed mostly by robots - so you'll need to talk to THEM to investigate what happened.
Bot Colony ( www.botcolony.com) is unique in that it's currently the ONLY game on the planet relying on AI-based conversation as the main game mechanic. You speak in English with robots (or type) in order to advance in the game. Bot Colony will appeal to players interested in genre-defining games with novel mechanics. If you enjoy figuring out how to get through to robots, command them through actions and investigate - you'll enjoy Bot Colony. The game is played in an eerie South Pacitic setting where modern architecture and robots contrast with the jungle environment. It integrates adventure, simulation, RPG and puzzles into a unique language-based gameplay with a great atmospheric soundtrack.
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 that will make you realize how literally machines process language, and how much we take for granted when we speak with people.
- Type of speak freely and discover the story using your own words. The answers spoken by the robots is generated dynamically. Contrast with typical game storytelling, where canned voice acting is controlled by dialog trees.
- Experience the eerie atmosphere of a South Pacific island featuring ultra modern architecture and robots amid a lush jungle setting. The techno-romantic mood is enhanced by the original music soundtrack of the game.
- Play detective and piece together the events that took place in a house in a 48 hour period by exploring the robot's video observations.
- Work with the robots to scuttle violent sabotage attempts by robot-hating organizations.
- Game sessions are unique to each player: What you say controls how robots react and what they answer. Sessions of other players will have different dialog than your session. Every session is unique.
- Make the game your own: Teach robots new knowledge and new commands.
- Speak or type. The Microsoft Cognitive speech-to-text does an amazing job understanding what you say, irrespective of your accent. When speech-to-text makes mistakes, you can easily correct them. You can combine playing through speech or text according to your preference.
- Inspired by Bot Colony sci-fi novel, a near future industrial espionage thriller by Eugene Joseph. The novel ( available on Amazon Kindle) explores the verbal abilities of future robots and introduces the 5th law of robotics 'do as people do'.
Title: Bot Colony
Genre: Adventure, Casual, Indie, RPG, Simulation, Strategy, Early Access
Release Date: 16 Jun, 2014
- OS: Windows 7, 8, 10 [64-bit ]. Windows 7 has BAD speech recognition, recommed you type!
- 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.
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Come on! Is that Bot Colony maker seriious? I bought the game and I can't play it. Because I have to install the newest version of the game, and it's not automatic or daownloadable in any place you seach it. If you go to their website, my navigator tells me that is a not secure website. And I can't even have any support from Steam? So.. what do I do?. For a game that purports to be a speech-enabled game, you have to:
1> Move the mouse to the bottom right of the screen
2> Click the speech icon
3> Say a line
4> Then hit enter on the keyboard
for EVERY SINGLE THING YOU WANT TO SAY.
Until you can leave the mic enabled, and it recognizes the end of sentences (you know, when you stop talking), this is not at all good speech interaction.. 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. Great Story and Graphics,Nice Gameplay.Keep it going.:D. Quick Review: Bot Colony, while still a bit buggy, does some pretty amazing things with natural speech recognition, and even when the robots don't understand your commands it's generally more entertaining than frustrating. Although you currently can't purchase the game from the Steam page, the dev is still selling Steam keys to anyone who understands that the game will probably be shut down and unplayable after this month (March). If you don't mind this caveat, I wholeheartedly recommend that you try out this game before it's gone forever.
Long Review: I first played Bot Colony about a year ago before it was released on Steam. At that time, the robots didn't understand enough commands to make the game interesting. Solving puzzles was more about trying to guess which commands the robots recognized than it was about trying to deal with the robot's unique understanding of the world.
Fast forward a year, and I find out that not only has the game been released on Steam, but it is shutting down in a month for lack of funding! You see, every time you ask one of the robots a question, it sends that question to some language-parsing servers to analyze and reply to your question. Apparently the sales for Bot Colony have been so low that they could no longer afford this extra step, which would render the game unplayable as soon as the servers are shut down.
I was pretty disappointed because I really wanted to try the game one more time, but luckily the dev was still selling keys to those interested. I got the game, and the improvements over the last year were everything I had hoped for. While the robots still rarely do what you want them to, it's no longer due to the fact that they don't recognize certain commands so much as they take everything you say literally. For example, when I ask the robot to "pick up the cup", he asks "which one?" and then proceeds to list every cup in the house. Or, when I tell the robot to "put the block on the dresser above the blue drawer", he balances the block precariously on the very edge of the drawer. As a result, Bot Colony has changed from a rather boring "guess the right word" game, into a game where you really have to consider the inner logic of the robot's mind. At its core it's an adventure game, but the language element adds a really unique puzzle element that I've never seen in another game before.
Of course, the game is still an early access game, so there are a few rough edges as well. The walk speed seems a bit too slow for me, so I was constantly running everywhere in the game. There was also one bug that required me to restart the level (outlined below), but it was so funny that it's hard not to forgive it.
All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend this game even though it will likely be shut down next month. As long as you understand that the gameplay is about trying to get a somewhat overly-logical robot to follow your commands you should be able to get a lot of enjoyment out of the game within the next few weeks. Check the forums on the Steam hub if you are interested in buying one of the remaining Steam keys from the dev!
And because I like to have my cake and eat it too, here's the joke review that I originally wanted to post:
In the very first mission of the game you must complete an objective by giving commands to your prospective boss' house robot. I told the robot to pick up what I thought was a pepper shaker, but instead of going for the object I was looking at the robot went over to open a cupboard. Realizing that the robot was going to pick up the wrong object, I quickly said, "Stop!" and the robot froze in mid-action with the cupboard door half-open.
"Ok, now go back"
"I just froze you, didn't I?"
10/10 Would crash a multi-millionaire's robot butler again.
BUY button is back!:
To all the fans that bought keys directly from myself, or bought the Bot Colony eBook on Amazon to get Steam keys, a big Thank You!
We have assured Valve of our commitment to keep Bot Colony going (we did keep the servers going after all :), and the BUY button is back as of today. Your beloved Jimmy - and his cousin Kate - are now busy moonlighting - take a look at www.northsideinc.com - it's kind of neat that the technology powering Bot Colony found its way into other applications, I'm hoping we'll do better with that than we did with Bot Colony. Personally, I still hope to see this game finished, all 12 episodes of it!
We've made a big upgrade in January, the Robot Visual Memories. We plan to make additional upgrades to conversation with robots in the future, but I cannot commit to specific dates. Early Access terms apply - there are no promises of evolution.
We'd be very happy to work with developers interested to take on continued development of Bot Colony on a revenue sharing basis - this makes more sense now as the game seems to have more traction after it 'died' than it had before. If you know any sharp developers, pass the word around.
We have the assets ready for the next 3 - 4 episodes, as you can see from the 30 min video that tells the Bot Colony story using game assets (look for The Story Untold video on the Store page). If our new venture works out, I hope we'll find the money to finance continued development of Bot Colony - that's our heritage and that's how we got into Natural Language Understanding - and it would feel great to finish what we started.
Thank you again!. Patch: Last 2 achievements:
To build on the last announcement - now all the 18 achievements are functional, which means you can now get Investigation Training and Clue Removal Training.
IN THE SHORT TERM
- The feedback we received says the training is too long. We'll bring you shorter, more experimentation-based training. You'll learn by doing rather than have Miki give you a guided tour - it's more exciting to get a goal and figure it out yourself. The current training will be still be available, but we'll make it on demand. You'll get the two achievements above if and when you do it.
- We're thinking to let you chose the mission you'd like to start with in Intruder, or let you play both simultaneously (the software supports that). This way, you could then choose to do the training for the particular mission (Investigation or Clue Removal).
- In Discussions, there's a new thread about Arrival, we're watching it carefully and will react. We'll bring you more content in Arrival, and more achievements.
It's encouraging for us, the devs, to see some community engagement and people who care about our game. Finally, if you purchased the game on Steam, please review and Recommend if you like it
, we're still shy of 50 reviews we need to get more visibility in the store. Thank you!. Scheduled downtime and news
North Side (our studio) is moving this weekend, and as we're hosting the game on our servers, we need to take them down for at least part of the weekend.
Some time next week I hope we'll be able to release an update containing checkpoints for Airport, together with more background story - you'll be able to ask the robots what they saw or heard prior to your arrival.
Riot is coming along, and we'll post some shots from Riot development soon. Have a great weekened everyone!
UPDATE SUNDAY OCTOBER 1st: Servers are now up again. Enjoy Bot Colony!. Bot Colony NLU technology - featured post in Gamasutra
For those interested in the more technical side of Bot Colony, today Gamasutra featured my blog post containing quite a bit of technical information about the game's innovative Natural Language Understanding pipeline. The material featured in the article is the meat of our next update (should be available in the next few days). Take a look!http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/EugeneJoseph/20140626/219765/Natural...
. Checkpoints in Intruder - April 28 Upgrade
Since the game was relaunched on February 21, we worked hard to offer you a smoother game experience. The main feature in this version are checkpoints in Intruder. You no longer have to finish the investigation (2 hours) AND the object placement (1 -2 hours) in one session. Just EXIT and then CONTINUE at a later time/date to continue playing from the last checkpoint. We create a checkpoint
- after every 4 Jimmy videos. BTW: Jimmy’s videos you uncoverd are listed like this (Thursday HH:MM, HH:MM, Friday HH:MM). Green HH:MM means you’ve seen all the videos in that morning, afternoon or evening, yellow HH:MM means there’s still videos to discover around that part of day.
- after every 3 objects replaced.
A known problem we didn’t have time to address: if you’re in training and you restart from a checkpoint, training will restart from the beginning (Sorry!). For now, just Page Down to where you left off, or skip it if you finished it.OTHER IMPROVEMENTS
- Improved, shorter speech training ( got a earful about that :))
- Fixed hang on return to main menu from gameplay
- Fixed screen resolution configuration problem
- Fixed ‘Cannot start Vision Application’ at startup
- We now have automated server monitoring to improve uptime
- A quick reference guide available from Store page links
We’ll have another maintenance version soon to add checkpoint to Arrival, and make referring to objects easier.
Following community feedback, the next major updates will be:
If you enjoy the game and would like to help, please write a short review on the Bot Colony Store page and Recommend the game. This is really important to us! Your positive review will help spread the word about the game. Thank you!
- improved Speech-to-text quality
- better understanding in Arrival (it’s not yet at par with Intruder)
- the Riot episode
. Bot Colony Major Update
Sorry it took so long! We’ve made some significant improvements. Please read KNOWN PROBLEMS - we need your feedback! We made the call to give you something NOW, even if not all the polish we wanted is there.
NEW FEATURES. Patch: Good News and Bad News
: Bad news first:
our new speech recognition worked beautifully – but because of a misconfiguration with Microsoft Cognitive Services, it only worked for a very short period! We got over some hurdles with the configuration and just published a patch which will allow you to benefit from the more advanced technology, much more reliably. We urge you to download this patch ASAP.
Remember, hit Enter, speak, then hit Enter
again to send the text equivalent of your speech to our server. You’ll notice waves appearing over the mic icon when the game is listening. You can also click the mic icon, or click anywhere in the text box, to make the game listen.
And of course, you can still type :)Now, the good news!
-Players couldn’t complete all the 18 achievements, because it turns out only 14 worked. In this patch, the We’re a Great Team
and Clue Eraser Master
achievements are now functional. The Investigation Training and Clue removal training will work soon too – we’re on it!
-No more free rides. Some of you got the Baggage Handler
achievement just by asking Mike for the blue briefcase. Our new co-reference resolution code was just too smart. Now you’ll have to work for it :)We’d like to solicit some of your ideas regarding training.
How about making training just this: “Find out when the family ate together. Then discover the commands Jimmy knows, and get him to put two beers and some food on the kitchen table.” Essentially, you would learn by doing. The first thing will get you a video, the second – will get Jimmy moving and doing stuff (some YouTubers who covered Bot Colony recently didn’t realize the robot could be commanded :) We’d appreciate your feedback to this proposal!
In closing, if you purchased the game on Steam, please review and Recommend if you like it
– we’re still shy of the 50 reviews we need to be noticed on the store. Those of you who tried it when speech recognition wasn’t activated, do take it for a spin. It’s a whole new experience!
. Major Update: Checkpoints everywhere, Big Brother unleashed, robot personalities, improved speech-to-text
: This new update will be available December 2 at 2 PM EST, Ortwin [developer] will post under Discussions if available before
Checkpoints everywhere. MEGA UPDATE: New voice recognition, Achievements and more
With new speech recognition technology, Achievements, NLU improvements and more content in Arrival – this major upgrade is a real ‘game changer’. Even if you’ve played Bot Colony before – it's worth playing it again. You'll find it plays very differently - it’s a totally new, smoother, more immersive experience!
- We’ve integrated the Microsoft Cognitive Services speech API. No more speech training! Click Enter, start speaking, and click Enter again when you finish speaking. Check the text as it takes shape in the text box – you’ll find that much less editing is required. This upgrade is only available for Windows 8 and Windows 10 ( because Windows 7 doesn’t support websockets which is required by the cloud-based speech recognition, sorry!). More background here http://steamcommunity.com/games/263040/announcements/detail/2171147... - there's also a Microsoft-approved press release on this Monday morning.
- We’ve promised the next major release will have ACHIEVEMENTS. We're now delivering on this promise: 18 achievements, with more to come in the future.
- The game understands references to objects much better. You can now click on an object before you issue a robot command to put it in context.
- There’s more story to explore in the Arrival level.
was redesigned to chronicle the game’s evolution. If you enjoy the game, please review it on the Bot Colony store page.PLEASE HELP! We need to get over 50 reviews to be more visible in searches. Please Recommend Bot Colony to help us bring you more cool features :)
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