Algorithms and artificial intelligence are equal parts terrifying and beautiful. It’s amazing what a long string of code can accomplish. One of the more entertaining coding phenomena is Nick Walton’s “AI Dungeon 2.”
“AI Dungeon” is… literally whatever you want it to be. It’s a text-based adventure game in the vein of the choose-your-own-adventure books, except literally anything is on the table. The algorithm processes whatever you type based on either a pre-selected prompt or a custom background scenario.
If you want to be a knight named Grumbus Fromplethump and you want to cave in Bill Gates’ skull with a panini press, go for it! Do you want to be a turkey that overthrows the U.S government on thanksgiving? Do it! The sky and the AI’s ability to comprehend what you’re saying are the limits.
There isn’t much else to break down about the game. There are no graphics, music, or story to break down here. You, the player, come up with everything you want to see and happen out of your own mind; and barring the occasional fatal error and misunderstood grammar decision, the AI does an excellent job of taking whatever you type and rolling with it. It can even be used to fix problems in code as well, as one user found out. There really are no limits as to what is possible for you to write about.
The game is completely free to play as long as you donate to Mr. Walton’s Patreon. Fun fact, this donation was only made necessary after a popular Youtuber gave a huge signal boost to the game which flooded the site with players and ended up crashing the server that Walton personally hosts out of his own pocket. It’s a really small donation and is incredibly worth your time.
There are plenty of copycat developers who’ve reduced the complexity of the algorithm to make it more flexible for mobile use, but these aren’t even close to the level of comprehension the original is capable of.
With the original game, you can have some great times with friends by suggesting things to say and do, or a very entertaining solo experience as well. “AI Dungeon 2” is a deceptively simple concept that speaks to the ingenuity of the human spirit and the technological advances of the modern age and is well worth the donation to get a hold of.