Blackstorm Labs is launching an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot for its EverWing game on Facebook Messenger’s Instant Games platform.
The chatbot is part of the rich new features that Facebook is enabling today for Instant Games makers, which generated more than 1.5 billion plays in their first 90 days. Facebook has more than 50 games out on the platform, and with it, you can jump into games on Messenger without having to download an app.
EverWing players can now communicate with a “Gamebot” directly on Messenger. Facebook Messenger also announced the launch of other rich platform features, notably in-chat messaging between the game and groups of players. These have been integrated into a new crop of EverWing game features designed to push growth and engagement on this new platform. Blackstorm cofounder Ernestine Fu will talk about platforms at our GamesBeat Summit 2017 event today in Berkeley, California.
The team at Blackstorm developed the EverWing Gamebot in collaboration with Facebook, which helped to build the new applications programming interface (APIs) necessary to connect Messenger’s AI chatbot functionality to the inner workings of the Instant Games platform.
Facebook announced these platform APIs at F8 this year, and Blackstorm showed off EverWing as the example of a beta gamebot integration.
Andrea Vaccari, Messenger Games lead and product manager, said in a statement, “When it comes to Gamebots, Blackstorm was as excited as we were from the very first day. Our teams worked closely together to find new and unique ways for players to interact with Instant Games, and we’re so excited to see what they’ve built on their first try. For example, Everwing’s Gamebot makes it easy to track and manage side quests, and elegantly complements the main in-game experience. We think players will love this new type of interaction, and we expect other games to start integrating these best practices soon.”
More than just notifications, players can message the EverWing Gamebot in the same way that they might message a friend, and even more, they can also control certain game mechanics and actions directly through the chat interface.
Michael Carter, co-founder and CEO Blackstorm, said in a statement, “The new AI chat bot in EverWing is going to completely revolutionize the way that players are able to interact with the game. Messaging and gameplay — which are typically separated across two completely different worlds — have been fused together to create a whole new user experience that our players love. I’m thrilled to have been able to work closely with Facebook to develop these new features. The whole Messenger team has been a great partner and together we’ve pushed each other to expand what is possible for EverWing, and Instant Games.”
Currently, the EverWing Gamebot has a few roles: narrating adventures, boss raids energy, and social power-up awards. When narrating adventures, the EverWing Gamebot can send rich, chat-based updates to players that describes the details of their quests, and allows those quests to be claimed and managed simply by chatting with the Gamebot.
With boss raids energy, the EverWing Gamebot updates players as their energies refill and also allows them to see all their raid bosses at once. The EverWing Gamebot also can help players to share social power-up awards, which enable users to share a special ability with their entire Boss Raid group, allowing players to coordinate their timing, skills and special abilities to more effectively take on bosses.
Besides the Gamebot, Blackstorm is also launching another feature: Group Shopping Sprees. In order to help players to try to obtain expensive items, like the game’s valuable Legendary Dragons, EverWing helps players post a short-lived but significant bonus for all other players in the group, enabling them to purchase more items with the gold they’ve collected (something studios will enjoy for monetization).