18 November 2019

Discord Game Bots: From Video Back To Text?

So, I've sort of managed to switch from playing MMORPGs to... discord bot games. Honestly, I didn't even know these existed until now. And no, I'm not talking about the games you play on discord like counting to infinity.

Why Discord

Discord has grown to be a favorite software for many gamers and non-gamers. It combines the ability to talk to people on a server like on Teamspeak, with the ability to share and post information and have private chats like on Skype. With features, such as reactions, embedded audio, images, and videos, and more, I can't deny that I love it myself. The developer interface makes it easy to create your own bots and connect them to your application. This allows for all kinds of abilities such as news, user commands, easier moderating, administration, or... games. With gamers on discord, is it far fetched to have discord bots that feature games?

My Experience With The Bots

So, the three bots I looked at are called OwO, Yui, and Tatsumaki. Each provides some similar, some different, and some completely different commands. I'm not gonna focus on the other ones besides anything related to the game. This means currency commands, game commands, and quests or dailies. The order in which I'm going through these will be from the lowest to highest content.

Yui

Screenshot of the Yui
 Profession Commands
 on Nyaa Langs/kiss Lingo Discord
Yui is a Discord bot written in Java. It features a daily giving you currency as well as commands to level up different professions such as mining, fishing, and chopping. Using it is pretty straight forward actually. Unfortunately, the currency has no use except for a leaderboard. The profession commands give you some respective "Experience" as well as money. Leveling up a skill, thereby increases experience and currency gained by 1%. After a while, the word "Depleted" will be contained in the bot's message, which decreases the chance for higher experience gain and seems to make it impossible to get currency. As much as I would like to get into more detail... this is pretty much it. So, let's move on to something more complete.


Screenshot of the Tatsumaki
Tamagotchi like game
 on Nyaa Langs/Kiss Lingo Discord

Tatsumaki

Tatsumaki is a Discord bot written in Javascript. It contains a lot of features such as experience and leveling by chatting, reputation, searching on the internet, and managing roles. Most prominently, it has a Tamagotchi like game called Tatsugotchi. You start off by entering the  " t!tg " command. This will give you the next command to buy your first one. If you repeat the last command now, you will see the room some status bars and your pet. Thanks to the hint you're shown then, you will know that you have to feed, play, and clean it. It's not necessarily intuitive that the command is the same but with the respective words behind it. (e.g. "t!tg play"). From here on out, it's pretty much just take care of it and train it to level up. You can use the daily currency you get to buy a new one, with the chance of it being rarer. Or use it to have your Tatsugotchi being taken care of automatically. There are also quests you can do each day but are really simplistic. At first, I assumed it would be necessary to have a scale on those bars. Later on, I found out entering the commands takes care of the whole bar making a scale unnecessary. That's quite nice, but let's look at something bigger.

OwO

Screenshot of an on-going
 battle from OwO
on the Nyaa Langs/Kiss
Lingo Discord
Now we're entering the RPG category. Do you like Pokemon? What about RPG? You might love this. The premise is quite simple. You hunt for animals that are put into your zoo. From there on out, you can create a team, sacrifice, or sell them. There are six stats, multiple items, different roles, different weapon bonuses, and - of course - leveling. I'm not going into the detail oh how to play it because that would be worth its own blog post. I have noticed myself, however, that playing this game is tedious if you don't know all the commands. Figuring them out is difficult, and there's no introduction. The website doesn't mention all and how to use them. It actually feels like a step back from what we have learned about game design over the years. This gives OwO a high entry curve. And yet it is still a full-fledged round-based Discord RPG. As there isn't much information about this one, it seems like a good topic for a future theorycrafting post.

Conclusion

So, through the Discord API and interface, we can have players interact with these bots. This is quite interesting and asks questions like, in which ways can the user interact? How can we show information? Which stimuli can we give the user? Where are the limits? And much much more. For now, I'm gonna leave this as is.


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I'm a junior game developer and software developer and I created this blog to share my ideas, thoughts and whatever I'm working on or doing.