"The GamesMaster AI will have a library of partially scripted adventures and story elements that it can bring in to liven things up whenever your character is having too easy a ride. These adventures are templates with slots to accommodate friends and enemies you've picked up in the course of your travels.
"For example: you take a bounty hunter's job and go hunting bandits. You round up most of the horde but the leader, Black Nat Varley, escapes. Later, while implementing a random attempt on your life, the AI fills in the assassin's identity as being Black Nat. If Nat survives your second encounter, he'll eventually show up in another encounter and so on. (Maybe NPC adversaries who survive more than three encounters are classed as "dear foes" and have their own level increases tied to yours so as to always give you a good battle.)
"And the GamesMaster AI will also take account of your character class, deity, etc, when introducing new missions and encounters. It can also randomly generate adventure locations as needed, spicing things up by adding special elements so that they never seem just random. This means that every campaign will be unique."
We looked at Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folktale for patterns the GamesMaster AI could draw on. The idea was that it would throw in plot twists and tropes, applying them with common sense. So having a storm at sea might be an interesting random event when you were setting out on a quest, but if you'd completed an adventure and were sailing home to deliver the princess back to her father (or vice versa) then it would realize that a potential shipwreck would just be an irritating distraction.
Fast-forward 25 years and the AI is nearly there. Game developer Hidden Door is working on a platform that effectively creates gamebook-style text adventures on the fly. So when I was talking a little while back about AI-generated covers for Fabled Lands books, I might have been a little too unimaginative. Pretty soon you could have endless open-world adventures whenever you want them, right there on your phone. Not just text, either. This is the current state of play with text-to-video:
This entire movie was generated by AI. Every single pixel you see here is fake 🤯— Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) April 28, 2023
RIP Hollywood ⚰️pic.twitter.com/VlIIv8zb5g
By the end of the year, who knows where we'll have got to. Nick Henfrey and I are using AI artwork for our boardgame A Thunder of Dragons (details on the Flat Earths gaming blog) and maybe by the time we've finished that it'll be time to think about a videogame.