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Introducing Fourth Wall

Sophia Xing
July 28, 2023
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In the interactive world of video games, players often find themselves stepping off the edge of the map and into alternate time periods or entirely different universes. These kinds of bold adventures require a level of immersion that engages gamers’ sense of wonder. That means no encounters with anything from outside that world that could take them out of the experience.

AI-powered Non-Player Characters or NPCs are meant to increase believability by adding dynamism and interactivity, making the world's inhabitants feel real. However, it’s critical for AI NPCs to remain true to their in-game universe. Slight deviations, such as mentioning something that doesn’t exist within the game's world, can instantly disrupt the experience.

Imagine your in-game medieval companion casually remarking about the latest smartphone... it may be humorous, but it could also potentially compromise the player’s emotional and mental connection to the game world. Luckily, Inworld’s fourth wall feature helps avoid that. 

In non-gaming-related use cases, fourth walls can be useful for bringing to life historical characters, beloved entertainment franchise characters, and even brand mascots.

Inworld’s Fourth Wall feature 1.0

Our Fourth Wall feature was designed to make sure your AI NPCs and AI characters always say a world-appropriate response – no matter how often players try to get them to trip up.

We can tailor-make Fourth Wall solutions for enterprise customers that cover a variety of fourth wall concerns such as:

  • Locations
  • Inhabitants  
  • Social constructs
  • Objects
  • Professions
  • Historical events
  • And more!

This means that whether your NPC is an intergalactic traveler or a denizen of the modern world, their dialogue will be entirely consistent with their reality, resulting in a more cohesive and immersive gaming experience.

To showcase the capabilities of our Fourth Wall feature, we created a demo showing how we transitioned a character from one that lives on Earth in the near future to one that lives hundreds of years in the future on another planet. Watch as she goes from understanding common concepts to being oblivious to them with our Fourth Wall implemented.

Non-gaming use cases for our Fourth Wall feature  

Our Fourth Wall feature can enhance the believability of AI characters in other experiences. For example:

  • Brand mascots that live in different universes 
  • Historical figures  
  • Entertainment IP set in different worlds or times
  • Brand ambassadors that don’t know about your competitors  

How this fits into our Contextual Mesh

Our Fourth Wall feature is part of Inworld’s Contextual Mesh. Our Contextual Mesh is one of the three main layers of our product. Its focus is on ensuring all interactions with characters remain in-context and in-world. 

Our Contextual Mesh includes these key features: 

  • Configurable Safety
  • Relationships
  • Player Profiles
  • Fourth Wall

This custom feature can currently only be implemented as part of our Enterprise Plan.

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