Keywords: Large language models, Code generation, Non-player characters, Games, Prompting
TL;DR: We use OpenAI Codex model to power a non-player character in Minecraft that is able to both converse with players and perform actions.
Abstract: Non-Player Characters (NPCs) significantly enhance the player experience in many games. Historically, players' interactions with NPCs have tended to be highly scripted, to be limited to natural language responses to be selected by the player, and to not involve dynamic change in game state. In this work, we demonstrate that use of a few example conversational prompts can power a conversational agent to generate both natural language and novel code. This approach can permit development of NPCs with which players can have grounded conversations that are free-form and less repetitive. We demonstrate our approach using OpenAI Codex (GPT-3 finetuned on GitHub), with Minecraft game development as our test bed. We show that with a few example prompts, a Codex-based agent can generate novel code, hold multi-turn conversations and answer questions about structured data. We evaluate this application using experienced gamers in a Minecraft realm and provide analysis of failure cases and suggest possible directions for solutions.