Late night Browsing, and Fighting Fantasy!

Tonight I saw a pretty interesting story about an engineer who wrote a twitter-bot. This bot would search the network for messages on a given topic (in this case, running), and post them as if they were its own. Until one day the bot posted a message about hurting its foot, and people started asking it if it was okay.

These kind of programs that try to act like people (Elisa being one of the earliest examples) are something that always interested me. One prospective researcher from Brazil approached me with the intent of working in a project like this here in Tsukuba, but that unfortunately ended up not working out. However, I was happy to note that one essential component for bots to actually act like people is that these bots must somehow copy/learn from how people act to a certain extent.

After making games, I always had a slight desire to make a software butler for myself :-) I wonder if one day I can shuffle that into reality.

Today we played Fighting Fantasy, in my weekly Daydream RPG meetings. We have been playing this system for a while, and it is a neat little one.

Fighting Fantasy was the name of a series of “choose your own adventure”-like books written by Steven Jackson. For those who don’t know, CYOA is an “interactive book”, where on each page there is a small paragraph and a choice, such as “you see a door. If you want to knock on it, go to page 167. If you want to just open it, go to page 73”. By following your choices, you may succeed or fail in the adventure.

The RPG system follows the same “style” of the books, with very simple rules, which leads to an extremely fast paced game. I don’t know how well the simplistic system would hold out against a lengthier campaign, but for the short dungeon that we are playing right now, it has been quite fun.

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