Junlin Li: riding the AI wave towards a gaming revolution
Before Everything Started
In January 2023, I received an unexpected phone call from Zaiyun. He spoke of a grand idea, born in a time when chatgpt was yet to become a public sensation. The age of AI, he passionately proclaimed, was arrived, and we could make a revolutionary game out of it. Intrigued and excited, Zaiyun, our mutual friend Zhaohan, and I embarked on a journey to create an AI dungeon-style game for our amusement.
Discovering a golden opportunity
As we delved into the game's creation, we discovered a potent desire burning within the gaming communities - a craving for more immersive experiences. They yearned for lifelike Non-Player Characters (NPCs), as the current NPC performances served as barriers to truly immersive experiences.
This revelation struck a chord within us. We recognized a fascinating opportunity nestled in this challenge. With our combined expertise - Zaiyun's and my game designing skills honed at NYU, and Zhaohan's deep-seated computer science knowledge - we were equipped to tackle this head-on.
From Gaming to AI Revolution: The Birth of ONTO
With our newfound perspective, we decided to change our development approach. Our focus shifted to the interactive performance of multi-agents, and after three months of intense work, our project evolved remarkably. Our once simple game had morphed into a potent tool called ONTO. A Large Language Model (LLM)-based AI NPC engine that focused on creating intelligent, controllable NPCs with natural language.
With ONTO, developers could effortlessly create AI-NPCs, define various aspects of their game world, and deploy these NPCs into any game development environment via an API. Though gaming remained our primary focus, our ultimate vision was to create a comprehensive AI-agent design platform.
Eight months of tireless effort saw us grow from a trio to a seven-member team, now on the stage of securing our first seed funding. Our entrepreneurial journey had led us down an unexpected path, but we were filled with pride as we embraced the groundbreaking solution we had brought to life.