NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hidden Door, a new technology studio at the intersection of machine learning and immersive entertainment, has launched with the ambitious goal of building the world’s first narrative multiverse – a platform for creating and experiencing infinite stories together. Founded by AI entrepreneurs Hilary Mason and Matt Brandwein, the startup has closed a $2M pre-seed round led by Northzone, with participation from Makers Fund, Betaworks, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Homebrew, and angels Dan Sturman (CTO of Roblox) and Joshua Schacter (founder of del.icio.us).
Hidden Door’s mission is to inspire creativity through play with AI, using natural language, vibrant art, and playful social storytelling experiences. The first product is a social game platform for playing stories with friends across a variety of shared creative universes.
In the game, friends team up to remix story worlds styled as interactive graphic novels. With the storytelling vibe of a tabletop roleplaying game – including a playful AI narrator – anyone can improvise endless adventures together with a host of responsively generated NPCs, items, and locations. These, in turn, can be collected, traded, and shared with friends to remix into new worlds and stories. In the future, the game will expand to include a marketplace for content from professional writers, artists, and other players.
“We connect by telling stories together,” said Hilary Mason, co-founder and CEO of Hidden Door. “It’s finally possible to build machines that make story itself computable, giving anyone the power to create stories in unique ways. The challenge is to design a system that can improvise alongside creative players while guiding diverse and safe story experiences, and we believe we’ve done just that.”
Hidden Door’s platform is built on extensible proprietary models of language and art, based on millions of stories. Through its APIs, developers can build online experiences for interactively improvising new stories together with groups of players, while adhering to rigorous content and safety standards. In the future, this will enable creators to automatically adapt existing works for this new medium.
“Our investment in Hidden Door was driven by their vision for a dynamic and playful narrative platform that brings people together around the magic of telling stories,” said Jay Chi, founding partner, Makers Fund. “Hidden Door is well underway with a solution for what long seemed to be the impossible problem of creating an AI that can have realistic conversations with players and invent a narrative along the way. They are a standout team blending storytelling, machine learning and interactive entertainment. We can’t wait to see how the community generates new ideas and stories to further the narrative.”
“When thinking about AI, we often frame technology and humanity as in opposition,” said Wendy Xiao Schadeck, partner at Northzone. “The reason we're so excited about Hidden Door is that Hilary and Matt are building a machine that actually empowers human collective creativity. That's not only powerful, it's also the multiverse we would want to live in.”
At launch, players will be able to experience an initial collection of original playable worlds. The invite-only alpha will be available in early 2022 for players ages 9 and up who love role-playing games or improvising stories with friends. Sign up here to pre-register.
To follow Hidden Door’s progress and receive early announcements, join the mailing list at www.hiddendoor.co and follow on Twitter at @hiddendoorco.
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About Hidden Door
Hidden Door is building the narrative multiverse at the intersection of machine learning and immersive entertainment. Launching in early 2022, our first product is a social game platform for playing stories with friends across a variety of shared creative universes. Our mission is to inspire creativity through play with AI, using natural language, vibrant art, and playful social storytelling experiences. Join our community at hiddendoor.co and follow our progress on Twitter at @hiddendoorco.
Northzone (northzone.com) is an early-stage venture capital fund built on experience spanning multiple economic and disruptive technology cycles and has over $1.7 billion under management. Founded in 1996 and with a team spread across three main hubs, New York, London and Stockholm, Northzone has to date raised nine funds and invested in more than 150 companies, including category-defining businesses like Spotify, iZettle, Avito, Kahoot!, Hopin, Klarna and Trustpilot.
About Makers Fund
Makers Fund is a global interactive entertainment venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments. Makers is dedicated to furthering growth and innovation in the interactive entertainment industry. With more than 80 portfolio companies to date, Makers provides founders strategic value that is deeply catered to companies across the value chain in the industry. For more information visit www.makersfund.com.