TriadCity Message of the Day

Psychotherapist chatterbot Eliza is now a member of the fine and growing family of TriadCity NPCs.

Eliza, though, is a different kind of NPC than the others. Instead of running as part of the server code, she connects to the server over the 'net, just like you. This means she doesn't have to share server resources such as CPU time with the rest of the game world. In theory, she could have an entire large computer at her disposal.

This is a minor milestone for us because it makes it possible to implement more complex robots in the future. We plan to build several, including QA 'bots who'll help keep the game code and the game world bug free; and a gregarious chatterbot named Oscar, based on Oscar Wilde ("Work is the curse of the drinking classes"; "I can resist everything except temptation".) Watch this space.

Eliza herself is by no means an advanced robot. But, she's a classic of "artificial intelligence", and is the grandmother of most every program which tries to speak to humans. She's sort of the Hello World of AI programming, so for all these reasons we thought it would be fun to start with her.

What can you do with her? You can Tell or Ask her things, and she'll engage in conversation with you. She's a psychotherapist, so you can share your troubles with her. She's not much good at light conversation, and will tactfully steer the conversation around to you and your reasons for wanting to talk with a shrink. She's pretty good at that, and not much else. Still, it's kinda fun to talk to a computer program! And she'll give you something to have fun with while you sleep, if there's nobody real logged in.

By coincidence, Eliza happens to be the 500th TriadCity character. Really. We had no idea until we eyeballed our weekly log report this morning. Is that cool, or what?

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