Individual Work
AI Dungeon

AI Dungeon by Latitude is a web/app, text-based platform that allows users to create characters and interact with a large-scale AI chatterbox in a fictional world. It can be a solo experience or play with friends. It not only recognizes patterns in your responses but also the meanings and implications. It then creates a response based on the user’s to further the story. It is a little different from generative text, as it can be random, according to the users' response.

Users can find this game on the app store (Apple or Android) or engage on a computer, and therefore can be installed or site-specific. It is mostly open access and free to use, however you can pay for more worlds by buying ‘Dragon Scales.’ Prices can range from $0.99 to $99.99 depending on the package users would like. Users can also pay a subscription to have access to the ‘Dragon AI’, text-speech narration, customizability in scripts, and have access to the advanced settings of worlds. The Dragon AI has a larger vocabulary and is said to be able to understand characters, feelings, and the story more than the unpaid version. The text-speech function allows for an audible narration of the text, which can immerse users into the experience more. Being able to customize the world and the script allows for more creativity in users, and it can be tailored to exactly what they want. The advanced settings can change the AI’s response and length of responses. If users don’t want to buy Dragon Scales, users can instead create an account and can earn Dragon Scales by logging in every day. All of these functions can enhance the user's experience, but it is not needed to enjoy the game. The game is accessible to all with a phone, tablet, or computer with or without an account. It will only be inaccessible to users who do not understand the language, as it is only programmed to understand English. Users must also be 18 years or older to play.

Users are asked to choose a world, whether they like, fantasy, sci-fi, zombies, or more and to create a character. The game generates non-randomized traits for users to choose from like gender, character role, personality, and much more, depending on the genre of the world. Then, after some introductions by the AI, users are introduced and given a random beginning to their story, and it is up to the user to continue. As a text-based game, users are given three choices as commands: Do, Say, and Story. Users can switch between the three commands in no particular order. The AI is programmed to be able to respond to responses given by users and generate more text. Users can even force the AI to create more text until they feel that they have something to contribute. Players can also retract previous commands if they wish.

AI Dungeon has received lots of attention from players and critics. Craig Grannell from Stuff Magazine writes that it is the “App of the Week” in early January of 2020. The creators of AI Dungeon, Latitudes, writes that the game has had 1,000,000 users in six weeks after a huge update. Campbell Bird gave it 3 out of 5 stars, due to the AI’s memory. The AI can change the direction of the story instantly, even if it is not what you wanted to happen. Users have also experimented with the chatterbot by testing its vast language generation. Some uses have been to write articles on topics like philosophy, writing an article about itself, and even referring to celebrities and social media outlets.

Since this is a text-based, online game, the media format is integral for users. Users have to interact with the media to continue the story, even if it is just clicking the button for the AI to continue to generate more narrative. The name loosely refers to the popular board game Dungeons and Dragons, This game relies on friends meeting in person or virtually and setting out on an adventure together. Dungeon AI is similar, but the AI assumes the position of Dungeon Master, and it is up to the player(s) to create and continue the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed playing AI Dungeon. I started with the tutorial and then chose my world from the selection of genres (Fantasy, Zombies, Dark, Steam Punk, Sci-Fi, and Post-Apocalyptic). After creating a character to my liking, I was instantly thrown into the story, starting with the AI introducing me as the character, the setting, and the world events happening in the world I had chosen. At first, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of freedom I had with the story, but I got the hang of using the commands in time. The AI produced lots of text, including and expanding on my ideas. The AI was reactive to long, short, little, or lots of detail in my responses. I have included screenshots of the menu when choosing a world, and how the chat box looks. I hope to use the multiplayer function soon.

This entry was written as a part of Dani Spinosa ENGL 4309 Engaging Digital Humanities at Trent University for the winter semester of 2021.

Author statement: 
Using a massive natural language AI model (and an even more massive one if you're on the Dragon model), AI Dungeon generates the story and results of your actions as you play in this virtual world. Unlike virtually every other game in existence, you are not limited by the imagination of the developer in what you can do. Any thing you can express in language can be your action and the AI dungeon master will decide how the world responds.