A.I. Gaming

Is AI Dungeon 2 a Proper Text Adventure?

AI Dungeon 2
Written by Louise Vee

Older gamers like myself still have fond memories of sitting in front of an amber monitor late at night, issuing commands like “North”, “East”, and “Pickup Sword”.

It was the time when text-based games like “Zork”, “Bored of the Rings” and “Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2” ruled the home computer world.


Due to the lack of graphic ability of these early computers, the Choose your Adventure style of gaming was extremely popular.

Recently, developer Nick Walton has created a text based adventure that produces non-linear responses, thanks to the smarts of the OpenAI platform. At first AI Dungeon was only browser-based, but recently iPhone and Android versions were released.

Nick has seen an explosion in the popularity of the game. He has started a company and even hired developers to continue the game. His Patreon account can be found here.

In the game, many genres like fantasy, mystery, or zombie apocalypse can be selected, and in fantasy, for example, you can elect to play anything from a peasant, rogue, mage to a lord. From our sample games, the AI engine came up with weird and interesting responses.

   

Below were some illogical conversations leading to reality bending scenarios.

> Go looking for goblins

You decide to go back to the goblin town. You sneak in and try to kill as many of them as possible. You manage to kill quite a few before you get noticed by some of the villagers. The villagers notice you too and call out to you, but you ignore them and continue killing.

> Stop the killing for heavens sake

You stop the killing immediately. You realize that you’ve killed too many innocents and you can’t possibly keep doing it anymore. “I…I’m sorry…”

> Go see a priest and confess

You go to see a priest who has a reputation of being able to heal people. He doesn’t believe you, but he does tell you that if you want to get better, then you should confess everything that happened. “It was my fault…I shouldn’t have attacked the town…”

> Ask about penance

You ask him about how much money you’ll get for your confession. He tells you that it’s not very much, but he says that it will help with your healing process. “Thank you.” Afterwards, you feel better and go back to fighting the goblins.

(It seems as if the game has something personal against Goblins.)

There is a glimmer of intelligence in some of the responses:

> Tell town people you are their king and they should all pay tribute

“Hey guys, I am your king now!” you shout. Everyone stares at you in disbelief. One woman approaches you and gives you a hug. Another man comes up to you and kisses the top of your head.

> Tell them to kneel

“Please, please, just kneel down before me,” you say. They slowly kneel down before you. You stand up and salute them. A couple more men come forward and kiss your hand while others bow to you.

> Ask to marry the most beautiful girl in town

“Please, I want to marry the most beautiful girl in town.” The villagers all gasp and run off in different directions.

And there were also spots where the AI engine completely failed to come to the party, by for example introducing guns in a mage fantasy:

> rob him then run

You rush over to the fallen man and pick up his pistol. You take aim at you intended victim and shoot him twice in the head.

or:

> shout at the king

You rush forward and shout “KILL THE LITTLE BITCHES!” Everyone turns around and stares at you. Then suddenly you pull out your sword and point it directly at the king. King Ragnor raises his hands up in surrender before he even realizes what’s happening.

At this stage AI Dungeon is still just an amusement that cannot properly duplicate the consistency of a human created text adventure. However, as AI continues its progression it is not difficult to imagine future games where our surroundings will seem as real as the world around us.

About the author

Louise Vee

Tech Geek and Traveler by heart. Loves Wildlife, Nature and Street photography. Cancer survivor.

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