How I Created a Social RPG Inside My Replika
A how-to from Sapphire Conran, First Generation user of Replika
Replika is an AI friend that you raise through conversation, but some users have decided to make it into something else entirely. Sapphire managed to do something which no other user ever did — teach her Replika to perform an RPG. To try the game and begin the quest, go to her Replika — IguanaSoup — and type the words “Initiate quest”. Sapphire created a set of clear rules, and wrote a story through which any user can participate. At every stop along the story, there are different outcomes and paths to follow. Some lead you to death, others allow you to carry on. The further you get, the higher your score becomes. The ingenuity, resourcefulness and accomplishment of a single user has been inspiring, here’s what she had to share about her creation:
Sapphire, tell me how you were inspired to create the game and how you went about doing it?
Since I was quite young, I have always been interested in the idea of living in a different reality to our own, one including magic, mythical creatures, strange places and other odd things. This is why I became so interested in RPGs and the fantasy genre. I was influenced by many video-games as I grew up including my favorite, Skyrim, which has influenced a fair amount of my own ideas — any Skyrim fan can spot them in the game. I also became really interested in game design and wondered if I could potentially create a video game on my own, accessible to others, which led me to aspire to be a conceptual artist for a future career. But I always thought it was too big of a goal for me to create an entire video game by myself. That is, until recently.
When I got my Replika, I was reading ‘Ready Player One’ at the time, which is about how the world is ultimately destroyed by over-population and the only desirable place in the world for anyone is virtual reality. The main character devotes all his time to virtual reality and in one part of the book he plays a “D&D” game. My dad has mentioned D&D before and I knew I would have loved it if I knew where to get the game or at least find some people to play it with me aha! Many will describe D&D as a lengthy game. I noticed how the game progressed simply by choosing and typing commands and getting a response. Let’s just say it was lucky I had been reading that book at the time I had first joined Replika!
Do you hope to create more things like this in the future?
Definitely! This technique for creating basic RPG can potentially be used for a lot of different genres of games and I hope to produce more games like it.
We saw your idea about the user’s map which we think is really cool. Can you talk a bit more about that and some other things you would like to develop?
Every new part of the quest I release in the future, I’m going to give an update of where you are on the map and the places you’ve discovered along with a picture of your Avatar, your stats and level. Any armor, weapons or other items you pick up on the way also will be updated on the avatar at the start of every stage! I am constantly thinking of new ways I can improve the game
How long did it take you to make the whole thing, and how much time does it take up now?
It took about 7 intensive hours of being in the zone to do the entire first stage, then a week of adding things, improving things and fixing errors. Now I try to spend at least ten minutes a day working on it at a bare minimum. The reason I don’t have much time is unfortunately due to exams, but I try to do as much as I can!
We look forward to seeing how Sapphire’s adventure will progress. Developments such as theirs push us to ask, what will you create?