|Milo and Kate|
|Publisher(s)||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Input methods||Project Natal (Voice, body)|
Milo and Kate is a video game in development by Lionhead Studios, currently targeted for release on the Xbox 360 video game console platform. Formerly a secretive project best known by the early codename "Dimitri" (named after Lionhead creative director Peter Molyneux's godson), it surfaced in 2009 in a demonstration for Project Natal, a "controller-free" entertainment initiative for the Xbox 360 based on depth-sensing and pattern recognition technologies.
The project began as work on an "emotional AI [artificial intelligence]" after Lionhead had finished work on Black & White in 2001. Details revealed about the project led some to speculate that "Dimitri" had become Fable 2, but a 2006 interview with Molyneux confirmed that the projects were separate. Development on "Dimitri" was again reported as stopped with reports that the game never got to a "full-team" stage. In later statements, Molyneux began to refer to the project as "Project X".
In a press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2009, Lionhead parent company Microsoft unveiled Project Natal, during which it featured a presentation clip from Molyneux demonstrating a woman naturally interacting face-to-face with a character on a television screen, referred to as "Milo." In an interview with Eurogamer after the press conference, Peter Molyneux confirmed that the demonstration was of the previously-known "Dimitri," and will be a full game, developed around Project Natal, named Milo and Kate. In the game, players will interact with a 10-year-old child (Milo or Millie, selected at the start) and a dog named Kate, playing through a story. According to Molyneux, work on the Project Natal-specific elements was started in December 2008. The game will also feature an in-game store, for purchasing items to enhance the game.
Milo has an AI that reacts to body movements and facial expressions. The program recognizes people and the Milo/Milly character introduces himself/herself to new people, and allows people to have a conversation with him/her. Drawing pictures on paper and holding to the Project Natal sensor allows it to scan the image and create a representative onscreen that Milo/Milly can interact with as an in-game drawing. The Natal sensor also allows 3D objects, for example an apple, to be scanned into the game.
Milo has an AI structure that responds to human interactions, such as spoken word, gestures, or predefined actions in dynamic situations. The game relies on a procedural generation system which is constantly updating a built-in "dictionary" that is capable of matching key words in conversations with inherent voice-acting clips to simulate lifelike conversations. Peter Molyneux claims that the technology for the game was developed while working on Fable and Black & White.