Hidden Door is a new technology studio at the crossroads of machine learning and immersive entertainment. It has started with the lofty ambition of developing the world's first narrative multiverse – a platform for generating and sharing endless stories. The firm is founded by AI entrepreneurs Hilary Mason, and Matt Brandwein has raised $2 million in a pre-seed round headed by Northzone, with Makers Fund, Betaworks, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Homebrew, and angels Dan Sturman (CTO of Roblox) and Joshua Schacter participating (founder of del.icio.us).
In the storytelling style of a table top roleplaying game, players can improvise limitless adventures with responsively produced NPCs, artifacts, and settings, including a playful AI narrator. Hidden Door's objective is to inspire creativity through artificial intelligence (AI), employing natural language, vivid art, and engaging social narrative experiences. The initial product is a social game platform that allows users to tell stories with their friends in a range of shared creative universes.
"We connect by sharing stories.” "It's finally possible to design machines that make the story computable, allowing anyone to tell their own stories." We feel we've succeeded in designing a system that can improvise alongside creative individuals while directing different and safe story experiences."
-Hilary Mason, co-founder and CEO of Hidden Door
Hidden Door's platform features millions of stories, proprietary language, and expandable art models. Developers can use its APIs to create online experiences for dynamically improvising new stories with groups of players while adhering to strict content and safety guidelines. In addition, it will allow authors to automatically modify old works for this new medium in the future.
Jay Chi, founding partner, Makers Fund said, “We invested in Hidden Door due to their vision for a playful and dynamic narrative platform that brings people together around magical storytelling.” “Hidden Door is well on its way to solving what previously appeared to be an unsolvable problem: building an AI that can have realistic dialogues with players while inventing a narrative. They're a distinctive group that combines storytelling, machine learning, and interactive entertainment uniquely. We're excited to see how the community comes up with new ideas and stories to add to the story."
Players will be able to explore an initial assortment of original playable environments when the game launches. Players aged nine and above who enjoy role-playing games or inventing stories with friends will be able to join the invite-only alpha in early 2022.
"We often characterize technology and humanity as in opposition when thinking about AI,Hilary and Matt are creating a machine that truly enhances human collaborative creativity, and we're thrilled about Hidden Door." That's not just impressive, but it's also the kind of universe we'd like to live in."
-Wendy Xiao Schadeck, a partner at Northzone.