OnceLost Games are new on the scene, but they’re making waves. Firstly, the founders have a serious pedigree. They include Ted Peterson, a writer and designer who’s worked on Elder Scrolls games, Vijay Lakshman who was the lead designer and producer on Arena and who has worked on games like Spyro the Dragon and The Lord of the Rings Online and there’s Julian LeFay who is sometimes called The Father of the Elder Scrolls.
Ian Phoenix joins as a marketing and video specialist who already seems to be proving his worth given how much coverage OnceLost has generated already.
OnceLost’s game has not yet been announced. Until we recently all we knew was that it’ll ben an open-world fantasy RPG. It’s expected to be unveiled towards the end of the year.
What caught my attention was a Reddit thread on a forum for traditional tabletop RPGs and LARPs that suggested OnceLost’s currently secret game would use an AI dungeon master.
I can’t find any evidence of OnceLost specifically making that claim, although I’ve not gone through every comment ever made on the Council of Wisdom, their Discord server.
What I can show you is a ‘reverse Q&A’ in which OnceLost Devs describe a Story Engine so intricate and smart you could believe someone would use the term “artificial intelligence” for it.
The Story Engine that the studio is teasing us with is smart enough to act as your DM. It would track the repercussions of your actions across the open-world game, it would have NPCs react and respond to your character in an evolving way, and it would not merely be a series of connected side-missions.
Hype is a dangerous thing in the world of computer games. New studios need an element of it to get attention and persuade people to take a purchase risk with them. On the other hand, hype also inflates people’s expectations so that the delivered game might feel disappointing.
Certainly, it feels both wise and right for OnceLost to be talking up the abilities of their story engine without using the phrases AI or machine learning themselves.
What do you think? Are OnceLost Games likely to be on to a revolutionary open-world computer game? Or is this bluster?