A lot of games make grand promises of player freedom and nigh-infinite possibility… and then there’s AI Dungeon 2. Utilizing an advanced generative language model, AI Dungeon 2 responds to whatever text adventure inputs you give it and responds with shockingly coherent bits of story. Today, AI Dungeon 2’s creators have made it available as a mobile app, and it’ll be free until the end of the year.
AI Dungeon 2’s creator Nick Walton and developer Braydon Batungbacal completed the iOS and Android versions of the game this past weekend. On the official website, Walton notes that the server costs for AI Dungeon 2 have skyrocketed since it was released earlier this month—for now, the apps are free, and Walton has launched a Patreon to help with the hosting and fund continued development on the game.
You can play AI Dungeon 2 like it’s a straight-laced fantasy adventure game, but the real appeal is that you can give it whatever wild or mundane inputs you wish and the game will roll with it. Walton himself documented a run where he joined a band of orcs as its drummer and then tried to forge a lasting peace between the orcs and the kingdom’s human emperor. Game designer Liz England told AI Dungeon 2 she was reading a romance ebook on a tablet, and it told her it was written in the style of Twilight. The limitations of AI Dungeon 2 can also lead to unorthodox game mechanics, like time traveling by way of mentioning various bits of pop culture.
AI Dungeon 2 update!You can time travel by just enjoying different media.(though singing 1985 will place you in the year itself, not the year it was written) pic.twitter.com/eJJh1B5cAT
— Colin Lenzen (@TriumphantBass) December 7, 2019
AI Dungeon 2 is built on Open AI’s GPT-2 language model, which was trained on 40 gigabytes of text scraped from the internet. To further refine AI Dungeon 2’s output, Walton and his collaborators also trained the model using text adventures found on chooseyourstory.com and tweaked it so that it repeats worlds less often than standard GPT-2 (though it seems endless, deadend loops are still a possibility).
For comparison’s sake you can still play AI Dungeon Classic, which constrains your actions to generated responses and uses a more limited version of GPT-2 as its basis. OpenAI initially said it wouldn’t release the full version of GPT-2 that AI Dungeon 2 runs on for fear it’d be used to synthesize convincing propaganda—maybe we’re on the cusp of a dangerous wave of AI-generated misinformation, but at least we got a kickass game out of it?