I’m really interested in voice as a form of interaction in games. It’s probably the most transparent interface there is: no buttons, no joysticks, no manual to wade through. You just talk.
But making things that simple takes a lot of complex technology. Charisma.ai is a platform that uses speech recognition and AI to create realistic conversations between you-the-player and an on-screen character – maybe even a character from your favourite TV show.
It’s smart stuff, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing what Charisma could do when I had the chance to write an interactive screenplay for Vertigo Films and their blockbuster cop drama Bulletproof, starring the magnificent Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters.
Bulletproof Interrogation puts you at the centre of the story, as Detectives Bishop (Clarke) and Pike (Walters) need your help in preventing a series of murders. To quote the Sky TV press release:
A suspected serial killer has been arrested and will only talk to you. They have lined up three potential victims and what you say will affect who is spared and who is not. It’s a race against time to get the information Bishop and Pike need from the suspect. Act fast, and you’ll be able to save each of the victims, but who is really interrogating whom…?
The killer himself has a dynamically generated synthetic voice made by Resemble AI, giving him the ability to respond with a very flexible range of vocabulary and emotions depending on how you treat him.
The browser-based game is available here. It was written and filmed in an era before people habitually wore face masks or shouted at their laptops, so now feels creepily prescient.