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Swiss developer explains his 'bio-inspired' game, says that 'AAA studios don't innovate'

Many of the booths at GDC represent the game development communities of entire countries. Maybe it was their friendly attitude (look at those smiles!), or maybe it was the chocolates they were handing out - whatever the reason, I shuffled over to the Switzerland booth to find out what was going on in the land of multi-purpose army knives.

What's going on, apparently, is a lot of innovation in the mobile and web-based games space. From titles like Gbanga Famiglia, a location-based mobile ARG, to the work of Alexandre Borloz (pictured on the right), Switzerland is bringing the new. I spoke to Borloz about HexaGame (a.k.a. m3n), his upcoming "bio-inspired" project, for several minutes, and while I still have very little idea of what he and the team at HexaDec are developing, I'm intrigued.

"We've created some special artificial intelligence," said Borloz. "Maybe you're in World of Warcraft, and you want to kill a big boss. So you take your team, and with this team you go kill this boss. And after you say, 'OK, I've found a solution to kill this boss, so I go on internet, and I write my solution.' And after, every team can take that, apply the same, and kill the boss."

"With our technology, the boss can learn what's happening in the past. So if one team comes and beats the boss with one technique, after that, another team must come and find a new technique, and you don't see that in any other game."

Borloz is currently looking for investors to help fund the development of the web-based game, which, as described by the company's website, is "a simulation of evolutionary artificial populations distributed in several environments, with the goal for the players to take the control of the universe of this game with his/her populations." Borloz expects to release a demo of HexaDec's technology by the end of this year.

"We are developing this in Switzerland, all Swiss," said Borloz, when asked if the company planned to outsource development. He later commented on the nature of larger developers, saying, "AAA studios don't innovate. We innovate."

Switzerland: a hotbed of chocolate and innovation. Sounds like the place to be, doesn't it? ...Or perhaps I'm just in the pocket of big Switzerland!?

Mar 2, 2011

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer