Mount & Blade II mod uses ChatGPT for procedural dialog generation

Perspective: The conversation around ChatGPT was mostly about search engines and automated writing. However, one modder recently released a proof of concept for using generative AI text in video games. Early POC tests show that the system is flawed, but gives an indication that it could become viable for certain games.

Last month video from modder Block introduced a mod that uses ChatGPT to create dynamic dialogue in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. It replaces the default dialogue trees to allow players to enter requests and respond to NPCs, who then respond accordingly. The system could be a great upgrade to an already smooth character interaction in an RPG.

For those unfamiliar, Mount & Blade characters provide players with information based on the state of the largely unwritten game world. They talk about what other characters have been around lately, what AI-controlled factions are currently at war, and so on. The Bloc mod attempts to develop this dynamic aspect of Mount & Blade.

The video shows the player talking to various characters, introducing questions about their personalities, professions, and environment. At some point, the blacksmith provides a procedurally generated explanation of his services, including prices and commission time depending on the materials used. Another demo shows the player trading with farmers and mercenaries, and another shows a bard composing a poem.

Block says his mod combines ChatGPT with a “user story engine” that apparently generates names and stories 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 based on the topic 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. In addition, most of the dialogue sounds somewhat robotic, like typical responses to ChatGPT requests. There are some differences in how the characters talk, but future versions of mods may add more personality.

Generative AI is probably not suitable for every game. Scripts by professional writers will be better for most genres for the foreseeable future. However, the idea behind this mod is well-suited to playing in the Mount & Blade sandbox. Games based on dynamic events without linear storylines, such as strategy games or management simulations, may ultimately benefit from AI generative text.

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