Independent games studio Transitional Forms wins GDC Best In Play, nominated for Best Video Game at the Canadian Screen Awards


Little Learning Machines, the innovative debut game from Toronto’s Transitional Forms, launched on Steam Early Access at the start of March, winning critical acclaim.

Launching out of Early Access earlier this month, Little Learning Machines, an innovative simulation game from studio-lab Transitional Forms, has been awarded “Best In Play” at this year’s Game Developer Conference (GDC). Recognized by a panel of conference organizers and editors, the “Best in Play” award highlights “unique and fascinating video games that show off the industry’s future.”

Offering players the ability to train AI companions in real-time, Little Learning Machines is the debut title from Transitional Forms, a studio lab pioneering new forms of entertainment using creatively integrated artificial intelligence. Having completed its Early Access phase, Little Learning Machines is now officially released. Core to the Transitional Forms team’s philosophy is the belief that storytelling is humankind’s great connector and chose the medium of video games to take its storytelling into the future in the form of Little Learning Machines. Little Learning Machines is a live simulation game where players train their AI companions to solve challenges together across whimsical islands. The abilities and personalities of each AI companion can be shaped as they grow, all through the game’s no-code AI system.

The Transitional Forms team will be at GDC in San Francisco, which gets underway March 18th. Little Learning Machines will be displayed at the Canada Booth at GDC on Friday, March 22nd from 12-2PM PDT, so attendees can demo the game. Technical Director Dante Camarena and Art Director Nick Counter will speak at GDC. Titled ‘AI Summit: ‘Little Learning Machines’ Postmortem: A Game About Training Neural Networks, ’ the co-directors will be presenting Little Learning Machines as a case study for real-time, player-driven game reinforcement learning.

In addition to the GDC Best In Play award win, Little Learning Machines was nominated for Best Video Game at the 12th Canadian Screen Awards, a category previously won by I Was a Teenage Exocolonist. Often referred to as the equivalent to the Academy Awards and Emmy Awards in the United States, the prestigious Canadian Screen Awards are given for artistic and technical merit in Canadian media. The awards will be held as part of Canadian Screen Week from May 26–31, 2024.

Art Director Nick Counter says: “Being honored with the ‘Best in Play’ award at GDC for our first game, “Little Learning Machines,” is a profound privilege. This achievement is a testament to the passion and dedication of everyone who contributed their talents to this project. It highlights Transitional Forms’ commitment to pushing the boundaries of storytelling within the gaming industry.” He adds: Being nominated for Best Video Game at the Canadian Screen Awards will invite a broader audience to engage with Machine Learning systems on a more accessible scale; we aim to foster a greater comprehension and sensitivity towards technologies that are becoming ever more integral to our lives.”

Little Learning Machines is now available on Steam and boasts  ‘Mostly Positive’ reviews from Steam users. The game is playable in English, German, Korean, and Simplified Chinese. More information on Little Learning Machines can be found on the official website.