SenpAI.GG wants to be your AI-powered video game coach – TechCrunch

With the most popular online video games, there is a huge gap between being a good player and a great one. A casual gamer might be able to defend against other casual gamers, only for a random pro to walk around and chew everyone like he’s somehow playing with a different set of rules. .

Could an AI-driven voice in your ear help close that gap, if only a little? SenpAI.GG, a company from the latest batch of Y Combinator, thinks so.

Much of that aforementioned gap comes down to practice, muscle memory, and, let’s face it, natural ability. But as a game gets older / bigger / more complex, the best players tend to have a wealth of a resource that’s so crucial, if not so fun to put together: information.

Which weapons do the most damage at this distance? Which character is best suited to counter that character on this map? Damn, what changed in this “minor update” that flashed on your screen while you were starting the game? Wait, why is my favorite weapon suddenly so much harder to control?

Staying on top of all this information as players discover new tactics and updates change the “meta” is a challenge in itself. This usually involves lots of Twitch streams, lots of Reddit thread searches, and lots of patch note searches.

SenpAI.GG seeks to automatically bring up more of this information and help new players get good, faster. Their desktop client presents you with information they think can help you, an analysis of your post-game strategies, as well as in-game audio cues for things you may not yet be good at. followed.

It currently supports a handful of games – League of Legends, Valorant, and Teamfight Tactics – with the information it provides varying from game to game. In LoL, for example, it will look at the champions selected by both teams and try to recommend which one you might choose to help the most; in Valorant, during this time, it can give you an audio warning that one of your teammates is low on health (before said teammate starts yelling at you for healing), when you forgot to reload or how much time you have left before the Spike (read: endgame bomb) explodes.

SenpAI.GG’s in-game overlay provides information about League of Legends. Image credits: SenpAI.GG

The information it provides is just as important as the information it provides. habit to provide. In my conversation with him, SenpAI.GG founder Olcay Yilmazcoban seemed keenly aware that there is a hard line to define here where “assistant” merges into “cheat tool” – but the company follows certain rules. to stay on the safe side and prevent their players from being banned.

For example, they’ll never act on a player’s behalf – they might trigger an audio cue to say “hey, you should heal this teammate,” but they won’t press the button for you. They will only generate their information in real time from what is happening your screen – nothing hidden in the current process. They also won’t do things like reveal an enemy’s location just because your teammate is also running the app and can see them. Think ‘good player standing over your shoulder’, not ‘wall hacking’. The company claims that they always adhere to the competitive fairness guidelines of each game developer and only work with approved / provided APIs.

It is a good idea because it is an idea which, no doubt, never gets old. With every new game they support, they have a new potential audience to serve. Meanwhile, it’s not like old games / ideas will expire – the big old book of things you need to know about a game tends to get bigger and more complex as a game gets older and more complex. fixes are piling up. There are games that I have played years where I’d always love a voice assistant that says “Oh hey, the recoil of the weapon you just picked up has gotten a lot more intense since the last time you played.” SenpAI.GG isn’t here yet, but there’s a ton of natural room for growth.

Yilmazcoban tells me that they currently have over 400,000 active users, with a team of 11 working there. The basic app is free, with plans to offer advanced features for a few dollars a month.

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