So, I’ve been toying with this idea for a while now and last month, while talking with my brother about it, I decided to finally give it a try.
I wanted to try to create a virtual “game master” that could interact with several players at a time and provide a “pencil and paper” style role-playing game experience.
Essentially it would just be a context-aware chatbot. When a player tries to do something, the system would determine if it thought the player was capable and would answer the player accordingly.
Did you ever play any of the Zork games? Something like that, just more dynamic. (Yeah, I’m old…)
The chatbot would also need to be able to keep track of multiple players and their relation to one another.
The hardest part, in my mind, was going to be having the chatbot lead the users towards their goal; like a real game master would.
The first steps would be
- Planning out our (initial) list of verbs.
- Deciding our basic game rules
- Building a simple game map and goal to get us started
For now I’m going to ignore the combat systems in many role-playing games and focus on the problem solving and puzzle aspects.
I’ll use a simple skill system that allows us to perform simple actions. Each skill will have a level that represents a 10% success rate. i.e. a climbing level 5 skill will give you a 50% chance to climb up an average obstacle. Simpler obstacles will have positive modifiers and more dificult objects will have negative modifiers.
As the system progresses, I’ll post more details and example sessions.
Eventually, I’d like to put the system out on the internet for people to use.
Leave me a note if you have any questions, comments or ideas you think would be worth investigating. Please refrain from anything copyrighted or anything that could get me sued. 😉