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Conversational Interactions with NPCs in LLM-Driven Gaming: Guidelines from a Content Analysis of Player Feedback

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Chatbot Research and Design (CONVERSATIONS 2023)


The growing capability and availability of large language models (LLMs) have led to their adoption in a number of domains. One application domain that could prove fruitful is to video games, where LLMs could be used to provide conversational responses from non-playable characters (NPCs) that are more dynamic and diverse. Additionally, LLMs could allow players the autonomy to converse in open-ended conversations potentially improving player immersion and agency. However, due to their recent commercial popularity, the consequences (both negative and positive) of using LLMs in video games from a player’s perspective is currently unclear. On from this, we analyse player feedback to the use of LLM-driven NPC responses in a commercially available video game. We discuss findings and implications, and generate guidelines for designers incorporating LLMs into NPC dialogue.

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  1. 1.

    Note on terminology: An “NPC” can be thought of as an embodied conversational agent that a user interacts with in a virtual environment, and a “player” can be thought of as a user that talks to said conversational agent.

  2. 2.

    “poetic” review here.

  3. 3.

    “enigmas” review here.

  4. 4.

    As confirmed from both private correspondence with the game development studio, and a Steam forum [developer] post here.

  5. 5.

    See Discord thread for player confusion surrounding existence of location.

  6. 6.

    See Discord thread for inconsistent fingerprint responses.

  7. 7.

    See screenshots in Discord for contradictory NPC responses regarding knowledge of murder victim.

  8. 8.

    See second sentence of Steam review here.

  9. 9.

    See for such an implementation.


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We would like to thank Alex Mitchell for discussions regarding video game design literature and our generated design guidelines, Ashraf Abdul for their assistance in thematic analysis, and Bumblebee Studios for being friendly and open in answering queries regarding Vaudeville.

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Correspondence to Samuel Rhys Cox .

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Cox, S.R., Ooi, W.T. (2024). Conversational Interactions with NPCs in LLM-Driven Gaming: Guidelines from a Content Analysis of Player Feedback. In: Følstad, A., et al. Chatbot Research and Design. CONVERSATIONS 2023. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 14524. Springer, Cham.

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