On somewhat of a lark, I decided to convert my Twitter account into a fantasy text adventure bot. I haven’t been the heaviest of user of the platform lately – at least not for crafting original tweets – so I thought I’d flex my meager programming and writing skills to bring what is essentially randomized Zork to social media.
Utilizing Zach Whalen’s excellent guide, I used a column-by-column randomizer to craft tweets that follow the standard text adventure format. My (now deleted) test tweet is indicative of the formula: “You enter an extravagant ballroom. A tiny sahuagin is sitting quietly on an oaken chair. An inconspicuous wand lies on the ground in front of you. Obvious exits are WEST and SOUTHWEST.”
The beauty of Whalen’s system is that you can edit your corpus easily through a Google Docs spreadsheet. New content can be added on the fly, without having to restart the bot or bring it down for maintenance. I’ll likely be fixing typos and creating additional content throughout the month of December.