ai sp@ce – Official Release
Yesterday was the official release of ai sp@ce, a 3d virtual world where you can interact with bishoujo characters. The 3 companies involved are key (CLANNAD), Circus (Da Capo II) and Navel (SHUFFLE!). Headlock (ECO) is developing the virtual world and Dwango will support the infrastructure. Promo videos are posted on Niconico and you can register using your Niconico account.
Basically, you get a create your own character of your gender of choice and dress up as you wish. Then you get a girl chara doll and you can customize her, from hairstyle and hair colour to clothing and accessories. You can make her cosplay and dance, or just chat with her to pass time. There is an AI built into each chara doll so that they will remember what you like and will respond accordingly.
Everyone lives in the tentatively-named “Akihabara Island”. People can interact and talk with others just like in any MMO setting. You can also chat with other people’s chara dolls too. It has been announced that there will be events held and Niconico videos are incorporated directly into the virtual world. You can also have your own room to share with your chara doll.
My thoughts and testing after the jump!
I don’t know what to think about this. I had originally heard about ai sp@ce back in April and had to check if it was April Fool’s Day. As one who has played eroge, specifically Da Capo II and SHUFFLE!, as well as the all-ages CLANNAD, I was really excited about the prospect of being able to meet them in a virtual world. The idea is just really interesting. However, the more I think about this, isn’t it just like a virtual girlfriend? And she’s 2D!
I decided to take a look around the main website. I was talking to Zen while checking out the features and a lot of them are pretty intriguing. When you enter the world, you get one chara doll. Then, you can… buy more! Harem end!? They say that there’s an AI build into the chara doll. What happens if you choose the wrong option too many times? There’s no saving and loading here since it’s not an eroge. Maybe she’ll leave you for someone else… I can just imagine a hikki killing himself over losing his chara doll. Actually, maybe they won’t do that.
Speaking of chara dolls, that’s such an odd name for them. They make me think of dakimakuras. Except not as touchy-feely. I do like how they’re done though. Looks really cute! Ok, I’m sold. There’s so many characters I like from these series: Nagisa, Nanaka, Sia, Yume, Kaede… How am I supposed to choose just one!?
So I downloaded the client and patched it, which took a while.
Seems like you have to be at least 20 years old or have parental permission (LOL). By the way, despite the eroge link, you cannot have overly intimate relationships with your chara doll. I think. I really hope not.
Starting it up!!! ドキドキ！
What!? I can’t get in! So I spend a few minutes trying to figure out why and registering another Niconico account and applying for entry to the site since I forgot my registration number somewhere from the last time. In the end, it so happens that they were only letting the first 53,000 people who registered in. First-come first-served sucks. Guess I’ll have to wait a bit.
When I can log in and look around, I’ll post again. In the meantime, here’s some videos.
KOTOKO sings the ai sp@ce OP “U make ai dream”:
Also, I know they wouldn’t add any more game characters in at this point in time, but I’m wishing for the following companies to be added too, since they would fit nicely in the setting:
- August: Fortune Arterial, Hani Hani
- Circus: Da Capo
- F&C: Canvas2
- HOOK: _summer, HoneyComing
- key: Little Busters, Kanon
- Leaf: ToHeart, ToHeart2
- Marmalade: con-neco, Lyrical Lyric
- MoonStone: Gift, Clear
- YuzuSoft: Bra-ban!