Have you spotted anything new in the Groupees chat lately? Well, a pretty cool ChatBot has been developed and implemented by a fellow Groupees member, Cyanic.
Cyanic kindly let me ask some questions about ChatBot and here’s what they had to say:
Why have you decided to create ChatBot?
I think the idea of a chat bot was pretty spontaneous. I asked in chat “If I was to make a chat bot here, what features would you guys be looking for?”, and just went on from there. Before the chatbot, I wrote a bit of code wanting to do a standalone Groupees chat client, but I couldn’t really settle for a good graphical framework to use.
How does ChatBot work?
It’s pretty straightforward. The bot basically emulates what a web browser does when connected to chat. Then it just receives messages, processes them, and sends off a reply. I basically watched Chrome for a while, figured out what sort of requests get sent when I send messages, open PMs, apply superpowers, etc., then just try to send the same thing with the bot. One of the features I’ve implemented for support purposes is !seenstaff, which polls the online user list to check if staff are online, and if not, displays the last time someone from Groupees HQ was on.
If I wanted to use ChatBot, what commands can I use?
There are a number of commands. You can see them by typing !help in public chat. One of the biggest thing on the bot is the notes system, where any user can leave a note and retrieve it later. Another big feature is !seen, where you can find out when someone last sent a chat message. Some of the other features include !fortune and !gnn, which displays a random message from a collection, !roll for rolling dice, and even !tictactoe, for playing Tic Tac Toe against someone else. Just recently implemented was ‘Eliza’, because people wanted more than “<Witty remark here>”.
It’s recommended for people who are going to be typing a lot of commands to use !pmme, so they can do what they need to without disturbing general chat. The command tells the bot to open a private chat, so anything typed there won’t show up in general chat. Good for making secret notes too.
Can it work across all chat tabs?
It does work on any chat tab on currently active bundles. So you can use it on Just Chat, support, or any of the live bundles. For pre-orders, though, I have to manually add that in because they don’t show up in active bundles.
Are you planning to evolve ChatBot?
Of course. I’m always taking feature suggestions. Some people said they’d like to see some IRC games, and I’ll try my best to implement them. From the earliest chat in this system, the admins said they wanted a bot to handle some support requests, such as answering FAQs. I can implement that.
Do you code much? If so, do you have anything that you’d like to share besides ChatBot?
Most of the time I reverse engineer games, sometimes picking out bugs and fixing them. I’d love to make a game, but unfortunately I don’t have too many ideas or the art skills.
Do you have anymore Bots or other ideas for Groupees Chat?
I think one bot can cover everything, though if things get sophisticated, like maybe a MUD, I’d have multiple modules running in the background. One thing I’m looking for is for someone to actually host the bot. It’s running on my laptop right now, but I can’t always be online. Of course, my choice of programming language has made it a little difficult to find hosting, because it’s a .NET program, and you don’t see too much support for .NET outside of Windows. For chat, I hope to see offline private messaging, where you could leave a message for someone even if they’re offline, without them having to accept your invitation first. That would be very helpful for use with the trading system.
So there you have it folks. ChatBot really is worth checking out! For more commands, visit: https://gist.github.com/GMMan/1f18add15b90fe4f5709
Please give any suggestions to new features you’d like to see ChatBot include, using the comments section below or by using #GroupeesChatBot. Maybe you’d like to give ChatBot a name? Get in touch!
Many thanks to Cyanic for all the time and effort they have put into ChatBot and for allowing this interview to take place 🙂