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Spectarium nets €5M to build action RPG powered by TikTok-esque algorithm

Myths is slated to soft launch in 2024 and will combine an AI-powered worldbuilding tool with a TikTok-esque algorithm to create tailor-made content.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

September 20, 2023

3 Min Read
Key artwork from Myths showing a hero battling a colossal foe

Finnish studio Spectarium has secured €5 million ($5.3 million) to create an AI-powered cross-platform action RPG called Myths, which it claims will use a TikTok-esque algorithm to serve tailor-made content to players.

The funding round was led by Bitkraft Ventures and will allow Spectarium to continue developing Myths ahead of a proposed soft launch in 2024.

Spectarium was established almost a decade ago and has amassed a team of developers with experience working at major studios like EA, Epic Games, Riot Games, and Square Enix.

"Eight years ago, the Spectarium core team came together with a shared mission: to create a game envisioned by our community," said company CEO Romain Schneider. "While we remain community-centric, the studio has evolved and is committed to developing cross-platform, mass-market games that captivate gamers worldwide. By merging standout visuals with generated content, we aim to craft unique and endless gameplay experiences."

Myths is pitched as a cross-platform action RPG that facilitates "endless gameplay" thanks to an AI-powered game engine that "tailors gameplay activities and the proprietary Mythological theme IP to match the preferences of each individual player."

For example, a press release suggests that one player's journey might revolve around fighting bosses within Valhalla, while another could embark on a quest that takes them through a Mayan temple.

"Similar to the TikTok algorithm, the Spectarium game engine intuitively aligns gameplay experiences and thematic elements with the specific preferences of players, essentially making every game unique and personalized," adds the release, which explains the engine's AI system "serves as the narrative backbone" for the title's various gameplay experiences.

Spectarium says worldbuilding AI will only leverage proprietary content

Speaking to Game Developer about how the company will attempt to usher in the TikTokification of video games, Spectarium CPO Mark Peterson said the Myths algorithm will note a player's accepted quests, preferred events, and favorite characters before feeding that information into the title's dungeon and event playlist to surface content it believes they'll enjoy the most.

"Our algorithm intricately weaves the rich tapestry of popular and tragically underserved mythology (like Yoruban), ensuring that players are consistently immersed in the legends and tales they resonate with most, while also adapting the overall gameplay content for a deeply personalized experience," added Peterson, noting that all of Myths data-driven decisions are solely based on in-game data, in compliance with GDPR rules.

As for how the studio is looking to leverage AI, Peterson explained Myths'  worldbuilder tool will craft overarching narrative beats to set the tone for the universe by essentially acting as a live "dungeon master."

"It takes these human-made assets and narrative foundations to discern which characters, quests, dungeons, and other content align with these beats, bridging the worldbuilder's vision with in-game elements to generate custom quests and dungeons," he continued before adding that Spectarium trained its AI using its own proprietary content.

Weighing in on the use of AI in game development, Peterson said Spectarium is "deeply fascinated" by the emergence of the technology and believes it can have a positive impact on game production. He emphasized, however, that Spectarium doesn't use generative AI like Midjourney or Dall-E to create its assets, and believes the technology will flourish when its usage is supervised and powered by the hand-crafted creations and expert direction of developers.

"We use AI solely to assist in the random generation of levels, quests, events, and items while using only handmade assets," he said. "As an example, we may have a sacred grove in one of our dungeons. This grove would be made up of different trees, rune stones, statues, ambient VFX, and more. Every tree and stone will be handcrafted by our amazing team of artists but the final combination of which tree and stone is placed where is guided by AI under the supervision of our level designers."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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