Heroes Dev Log #6: Huge Update

Heroes Dev Log #6: Huge Update

October 9, 2023

Hi all!

At the end of last week we released a new major release to alpha testers, Heroes version 0.8.0. It’s a huge update that changes a lot of things. It includes revamping how difficulty work to make the challenge / progression pacing better, revamping how new quests are introduced and the biggest change, giving players the ability to choose a character backstory that shapes how their adventure begins.

So far testers are loving the new changes. Here are some of the things we’ve heard so far.

“wow, this start actually made me excited!”

“This is the most engaging start I’ve had of any of my Heroes play throughs”

“I love this, I'm actually able to investigate this stuff and find clues.”

While simply plugging in ChatGPT to be a dungeon master, can be fun, a real compelling experience takes a lot more. AI language models can narrate story pretty decently in the short term, but without the right structure they don’t really know how to weave compelling narrative arcs that will make people excited to play for hours and hours. That’s part of what we’re building with Heroes, a storyteller system that is much more intentional and thoughtful about the journey it’s bringing players on.

This is where I’m grateful for all the time we’ve had to think about what building dynamic AI games of the future have been. It’s been more than 4 years since I built the first version of AI Dungeon at a hackathon, and since then I’ve probably thought about and experimented on how to build compelling AI games more than I think anyone else out there. We’ve built so many different AI game prototypes that never saw the light of day, learning what worked and what didn’t.

Making Heroes I’ve been able to weave all I learned from AI Dungeon and from the many years thinking and prototyping new ways to create games with AI.

For a while it was surprisingly lonely. I was consistently surprised how few people saw the way that AI would transform games, but we’ve just kept plugging along. 😊

Now I think just about everyone sees it. We’re seeing everything from new startups, indie creators and even large companies exploring how to create games with AI. I love seeing all the ideas people are sharing and I hope the whole industry can rise together with it.

I feel like for so many years the only innovations in games have been on the business side, free to play, new monetization patterns etc… but those haven’t really resulted in much better games than we made 10 years ago. But I think now we finally have a chance to really innovate and build games that inspire people, not just make more money off of them.

It’s a lot of work to get there, especially to productionize these kind of games, but as the tech keeps advancing we’re going to see some pretty amazing things over the next few years.

– Nick

We’d love to hear your feedback about Heroes, so please share any and all questions, comments, or ideas with us!

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