Wow. It’s been a crazy year in more than one way. I began working with GPT-2 in February of this year. One of the projects I worked on was thanks to a post from Janelle Shane; Dungeons and Dragons creatures, generated by neural network. Her post inspired me to see what I could get GPT-2 to create. As a LitRPG author, it was a perfect combination of my interests. I poured hours into the project, fine-tuning the 775m model of GPT-2 to get better and better fantasy RPG character backstories. And then GPT-3 dropped.
I kept working on my side-project while writing novels. GPT-2 was also helping me produce fiction content. I didn’t think I had a chance of getting access to such cutting edge technology. And that’s where I was wrong. I put together and email outlining what I’d done with GPT-2 for RPG character backstories and emailed Greg Brockman at OpenAI. To my surprise, he got back a day or so later and granted me access to the GPT-3 API. I quickly got to work, seeing how I could leverage the power of the language model for my RPG project.
The idea, at first, was to generate a ton of character backstories, collect them, edit them, and publish on Amazon. As I started working with GPT-3, however, its power really began to sink in. I started to think about AI Dungeon and how something like that might be improved. After scribbling some notes, I got to work throwing together a framework. Note that I hadn’t created a website in over 10 years. I quickly found out how much web technology had changed over the years. Undaunted, I started piecing together a web-based MUD or MMORPG powered by GPT-3.
I even had what I still think is a ground-breaking idea (beyond using GPT-3)…
As I worked, I knew time was quickly running out. OpenAI announced they would be charging for API usage beginning in October. I quickly decided to switch gears – slightly. As I shared the output from the content generators I was building, people kept asking for access. Yes, they were interested in the game, but they were interested in just creating monsters, magic items, and more by themselves. At this point I realized that the pricing structure might be a good fit for content generators – more than an MMORPG game.
So, I got to work creating the LitRPG Adventures Workshop. At that point, Is till hadn’t gotten approval from OpenAI for my project. Yes, very risky and possibly foolish. I kept joking with friends and family that I was old enough to know that what I was attempting was impossible but young enough to still foolishly think I could pull it off. The good news was that the Workshop was a lot easier than the MMORPG. Around this time, I also decided to implement a credit system in addition to my monthly subscription to LitRPG Adventures.
The idea was to offer a certain amount of credits to members who join the community. Each generation would cost one credit. Buying a credit would range from $0.09 to $0.12. A bit pricey. That’s when I decided to make all generations available to everyone. Not only would members get credits for custom creations every month, they would also get access to what has already become a collection of 1,000’s of pieces of RPG content. Like the game I envisioned, the Workshop could be used to grow a community.
I’ll likely do a post later explaining some of the technical details of this project, but I just wanted to get some of my thoughts down as I get ready to open this up to the public. There’s still a lot of work to do. We’ve come up with a lot of great ideas on Discord already. (For instance, being able to start your own WORLD and gradually fill it up with creatures, dungeons, magic items, characters, etc. Each generation could be tied to one of several different worlds.) I’ve got a few ideas of my own too that I plan on implementing.
For now, let me know if you have any questions about LitRPG Adventures (or me or even just LitRPG). Part of what I want to do with this project is introduce people to LitRPG, a book genre I’ve fallen in love with. (Actually, to be technical, it started when I read Guardians of the Flame in the 80s, but I digress!) In all seriousness, if you’re asking “What is LitRPG?” prepare to go down a wonderful rabbit hole!
If you want to know more, head over to the main LitRPG Adventures site and check it out. Subscribe if you’re a gamer or someone who is looking for great idea generation. We’re building something special, and you can be part of it.
Leaving comments helps motivate me to post here on the blog. Just saying! Small smile.
More soon! And Long Live LitRPG!