Mount & Blade II mod uses ChatGPT to procedurally generate dialogue
Generative AI combines with a custom story engineBy Daniel Sims
Forward-looking: The conversation surrounding ChatGPT has centered primarily on search engines and automated writing. However, one modder recently released a proof of concept for using generative AI text in video games. Early tests of the POC show the system has flaws but presents the idea that it could become viable for certain games.
Last month, videos from modder Bloc introduced a mod that uses ChatGPT to create dynamic dialogue in the game Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. It replaces the title's default dialogue trees to let players type queries and respond to NPCs, who then react appropriately. The system could become a neat upgrade for the RPG's already fluid character interactions.
For those unfamiliar, characters in Mount & Blade give players information based on the state of the mostly unscripted game world. They talk about what other characters have been nearby recently, which AI-controlled factions are currently at war, and so on. Bloc's mod tries to evolve that dynamic aspect of Mount & Blade.
The videos show a player conversing with various characters by typing in questions about their identities, professions, and the surrounding environment. At one point, a blacksmith provides a procedurally-generated explanation of his services, including prices and how long a commission takes based on the materials used. Another demonstration shows the player haggling prices with farmers and mercenaries, and another shows a bard composing a poem.
Bloc says his mod combines ChatGPT with a "custom story engine" that appears to generate names and histories for minor NPCs that Mount & Blade developer TaleWorlds Entertainment didn't write. Characters who usually have one paragraph of pre-written dialogue now tell their life stories depending on the subject the player mentions.
The biggest problem with the mod in its current state is that the AI responses take a very long time to load. Additionally, most of the dialogue sounds somewhat robotic, like typical ChatGPT query responses. There's some variation in how characters talk, but future mod versions could add more personality.
Generative AI probably isn't a good fit for every kind of game. Scripted stories from professional writers will be better for most genres for the foreseeable future. However, the idea behind this mod is a good fit for Mount & Blade's sandbox gameplay. Games based on dynamic events without linear storylines, like strategy or management simulations, could eventually benefit from generative AI text.