spiel.jpg The folks at Grand Text Auto have linked to a mini-article in The Economist about game AI which features them talking about Facade, but even more interesting, for us, is a hint about the game Steven Spielberg is making at Electronic Arts with design veteran Doug Church.

Neil Young, general manager of EA Los Angeles, is quoted toward the end of the article, and notes: "Tellingly, Doug Church of Electronic Arts, who gave the keynote speech at last year's AIIDE conference, recently started work on a game with Steven Spielberg where “the focus is on building an emotive relationship at a story level and a gameplay level between the player and another character,” says Mr Young."

So, is this going to be anything like ICO's compelling human relationships, as recently explored by Katherine Isbister in a fascinating book extract on sister site Gamasutra: "In ICO, the player-character (the young boy carrying the stick) finds a trapped princess very early on in game play. From this moment forward, the player takes care of her. The princess (Yorda), is not really able to defend herself and is not as agile as the player-character. She must be led by the hand to ensure that she tags along, and she needs help over obstacles. When the player ­battles the shadows that threaten her, she will stay close by (within social distance)"? That would be interesting indeed.