I've always enjoyed stories and characters which have involved androids and other ai becoming more 'human' and interacting with people (Aigis from Persona 3, for example). I thought it would be fun to expand this idea in a more interactive form: a chatbot isn't exactly a traditional game as it's just a conversation between two 'people', it's more of an off-putting experience meant to get the user to think about their actions and become more aware of their definition of human. Is there a line drawn if you become concerned about something that isn't 'real'? When is something inhuman?
What it does
My current program is a prototype of what a narrative chatbot could be; it stores information about the user, and reacts and changes its behavior based on certain flags being raised as the user acts.
How I built it
Creating the chatbot was relatively simple, as I created the bot itself on a java file in eclipse, and then ran a separate main method. I am relatively inexperienced with JFrames and JPanels, so I made sure to make them central to the user's interaction with the bot.
Challenges I ran into
Unfortunately, due to the fact that I am inexperienced with JFrames and JPanels, I ran into issues with moving them where I wanted to on my screen. I was eventually able to make them visible, though I wish I had a bit more time to make it more aesthetically pleasing. I also had trouble organizing my code as I experimented, making me slower overall.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
While my product is a rather simple version of what it could be, I'm pleased that it is something that I will be able to expand upon in the future - the file itself is very easy to edit, and I can easily import the script to other formats. While this may seem odd, I'm also rather proud that I was able to spend most of my time working on my project as opposed to debugging the software with which I worked on it.
What I learned
On top of learning more about the use of Jpanels and Frames and how to use them more efficiently, I got a much better sense of how to keep track of data through my misadventures with losing and finding variables.
What's next for Conspicuous Conversations
I'd love to both expand the current 'game' along with creating a few more with different narrative tones. Once I get a sense for the systems and writing, I would like to begin to implement a machine learning chatbot into one of the games, making the story feel more organic.