A Prequel For Spira (Soloing ChatGPT 3.5)
I'm really enjoying not only playing with ChatGPT's free version (3.5), but also I'm enjoying experimenting with it. It seems to me that even this simple AI can make an RPG game out of just about anything with minimal errors and weirdness, but more importantly, it can make one that is actually satisfying to play.Sure, it's not perfect, but it is close enough to perfect that I'm ready to donate the whole stack of Choose Your Own Adventure books I've been collecting over my lifetime to the local lending libraries in my area because they've basically become dead weight. I have quite a few, from D&D "Endless Quest" books to Fabled Lands books, so it's a serious stack. They're fun as solo adventure experiences, but they aren't open, sprawling worlds like the ones that ChatGPT, even with its free version, can create for me to explore and play in. This is a whole other level beyond those. Even more compelling, ChatGPT's quality of writing and narrative precision are actually better than that of some of the authors of these books (eek!)
So, for this session, I decided to try something new. It seems like, for best results, one should choose a world to play in that has a lot of weight in terms of internet content. The more freely available data ChatGPT has to draw from, the richer the experience it can create for gameplay. Also, the universe which you choose to play in must be something with some age to it. Much to my dismay (regarding the steady onward march of time only) a little game called Final Fantasy X came out almost twenty-five years ago, and when it was new, I was obsessed with it. It is a good example of a universe that is broad enough that ChatGPT can use it to flesh out a sandbox to play in.
As part of my experiment, I decided on a game I wanted to play within Final Fantasy X's world of Spira that would intrigue me while being a good test of ChatGPT's capabilities. To this end, I gave the chatbot instructions to run a game that would be a prequel to the events of Final Fantasy X. I wanted to roleplay out the story of one of the more minor background characters in the game. I wanted to see Spira through the eyes of Yuna's father, Lord Braska.
If you know the game, you probably know who Lord Braska is and what happened to him. If you don't, suffice it to say that he made a pilgrimage across the known world with two other much more important characters of the game, namely Auron and Jecht. We learn pieces of their journey as we play FFX, but I wanted more. I wanted to experience Spira from Braska's perspective, so I defined what I could and jumped into it.
ChatGPT actually did pretty well with the instructions I gave it. As far as RPGs go, it was a pretty calm experience, but still interesting, even if only maybe from the perspective of a fan of Final Fantasy X. Sure, the AI referee made mistakes (mostly by using minor characters from the game as if they were the same age during Braska's pilgrimage,) but those mistakes are totally understandable given what information ChatGPT has to work with and what I was trying to do with it. I'm actually quite impressed. The transcript is long, so I'm linking it here instead of copy/pasting the whole thing as I have done with the Ellie V and the Valkyries content thus far, but I invite you, whether you are a fan of FFX or not, to give it a read so you can see not only what I did (in terms of programming, if you can call it that) but also what ChatGPT did with it in the course of play. At the very least, perhaps seeing the way I kickstarted the game will inspire you to create your own game with your own set of instructions that will be perfect for you. Also, if this is what a n00b like me can do with ChatGPT, imagine the games that actual programmers with better AI models will be able to make for us moving forward from here.