With ChatGPT, Game NPCs Get A Lot More Interesting

Not only is AI-driven natural language processing a thing now, but you can even select from a number of different offerings, each optimized for different tasks. It took very little time for [Bloc] to mod a computer game to allow the player to converse naturally with non-player characters (NPCs) by hooking it into ChatGPT, a large language model AI optimized for conversational communication.

If you can look past the painfully-long loading times, even buying grain (7:36) gains a new layer of interactivity.

[Bloc] modified the game Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord to reject traditional dialogue trees and instead accept free-form text inputs, using ChatGPT on the back end to create more natural dialogue interactions with NPCs. This is a refinement of an earlier mod [Bloc] made and shared, so what you see in the video below is quite a bit more than a proof of concept. The NPCs communicate as though they are aware of surrounding events and conditions in the game world, are generally less forthcoming when talking to strangers, and the new system can interact with game mechanics and elements such as money, quests, and hirelings.

Starting around 1:08 into the video, [Bloc] talks to a peasant about some bandits harassing the community, and from there demonstrates hiring some locals and haggling over prices before heading out to deal with the bandits.

The downside is that ChatGPT is currently amazingly popular. As a result, [Bloc]’s mod is stuck using an overloaded service which means some painfully-long load times between each exchange. But if you can look past that, it’s a pretty fascinating demonstration of what’s possible by gluing two systems together with a mod and some clever coding.

Take a few minutes to check out the video, embedded below. And if you’re more of a tabletop gamer? Let us remind you that it might be fun to try replacing your DM with ChatGPT.

24 thoughts on “With ChatGPT, Game NPCs Get A Lot More Interesting

      1. Well, there is a game called Eve. She is online. Is there one called Adam out yet? I think they just make adult toys when they join together. Could be wrong though.

  1. One of the biggest issues with modern video games is that all of the assets for voices, music, textures, models, etc. are stored locally with minimal to no compression. The more detail and immersion, the more hard drive space you will need for the assets.

    Imagine instead that in the future, you can simply write a screenplay and a description of the game’s setting, and all of the assets are procedurally generated. No actors, artists, coders, producers, or directors. Just writers and their AI assistants making games.

    Hope you’ve all brushed up on your language arts proficiency. Your thoughts will eventually become your only worth.

          1. A “canned neural net” is a computer program much like any other, with the difference that it’s impossible to debug since nobody knows what it does.

            The ability to train the model as you go to incorporate new information is what makes it smart. For a game AI, that is pretty much a requirement, otherwise it’s just a script which the program has “rehearsed” to perform by its training. In order to train the AI, you need the script already. The same procedure that writes the script can generate all the NPC behavior and lines etc. so you don’t exactly need the AI at run-time if it’s just going to be a frozen algorithm.

  2. If anyone’s ever tried using ChatGPT as a DM, you’ll quickly realize this whole AI thing is, currently, just a gimmick. This is no AI. It’s not even intelligent enough to remember where the players are in the world. Nor can it actually map anything out in its “brain.” It is simply a neat trick, using computational power to reproduce human speech. Nothing more. Your job is still safe.

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