Dota2 Homie: Voice & Text Chatbot
Dota 2 Chatbot: Homie
DotaHomie is a voice assistant chatbot designed to assist new players in starting their journey in Dota2.
As one of the most popular MOBA(multiplayer online battle arena) games in the market today, Dota2 is facing a decline in players due to its level of difficulty and worsening community environment for beginners.
For this project, I developed a chatbot that is targeted at new users and beginners.
How can we make one of the most toxic and aggressive games more welcoming to new players?
Provide quick assistant when users are unfamiliar with the interface and provide guidance to help players to adapt the game faster.
Provide in-game assistant so the gamers don't waste time looking for what they need or distracting teammates.
Quick Demo of Final Prototype
Using Google Form with 9 questions | Total of 47 participants
Recruit from: Pratt listserv, Dota chatbox, friends, Linkedin,
play with friends
train to improve
play game often
communicate with teammates
think chatbot is useful tool for their game
Observe a group
I collected the players’ feedback from Reddits, in the game, DotaFromZero, and reviews. All reviews and feedback are by the Dota players. There are a lot of great feedback from Steam’s Dota review because it also displayed the amount of time the players have played. I also observed the DotaFromZero forum to understand the questions that are most often asked by the new players. I participated in the game to fully grasp the gaming atmosphere to know how players communicate with others and the pace of the game.
Interview (1) Dota player in-person for the insights of the game with 3 questions
Dota2 does not attract as many new players as for example its competitor League of Legends due to the incredibly difficult entry and underwhelming new player experience.
Fans have criticized the lack of a good introduction and better tutorials for years. The community partly tackled the problem themselves, giving beginners a platform to learn with projects such as the Learn Dota 2 League or DotaFromZero, where they could gather, play against other newbies and get help from more experienced players.
Many players comment that the game itself is a good game but the community is not friendly, especially if you are not that good at it.
Meet our Homie
DotaHomie is a chatbot that is designed for Dota2. The goal is to assist beginners to quickly understand the game and provide recommendations both within the game and out of the game; also, a quick information-gathering tool.
It is a very intense game; the chatbot is there to provide a quick solution for beginners and those who are unfamiliar with the interface.
The assistant is very streamlined. There is not much option but confirmation.
It’s always around for new users to use when they are in or out of the game.
Before the prototype, I created a series of scripts, utterances, and slots for intents, and prompts.
intent: purchase an item
I want to purchase Monkey King Bar
Okay, Monkey King Bar. Got it!
Recommend an item
I need an item
I don’t know what to get
help with an item
pick an item for me
help me pick an item
what should I buy
What should I buy now?
Item to improve 
Need the item to help me survive
Can you help me pick an Item
I am confused
I want to buy but I don’t know what to buy
Set my quick buy for recommended items
I want to buy the item
Need to buy something
Help me buy
Can I get [Item]
I want to purchase [Item]
I want to buy [Item]
Get me [Item]
I want [Item]
How about [Item]
Do I have enough money to buy[item]
Your experience will serve you well, but there is still much to learn. I can help you buy an item or recommend items. Which one?
Ho-ho! You found me! What do you like to purchase?
I need something to immune spell
Based on your hero, lane selection, and items you purchased so far, I suggested the following items. Does that work for you?
*Items pinned at quick buy*
no or I don’t want to go this route
*Item unpin, quick buy clear*
Okay, Other popular items for your hero. right-click to add to the quick buy.
*Recalculated items, shown above quick buy*
Black King Bar, good choice. But you do not have enough gold to buy the set. I get you the Ogre Axe or Mithril Hammer, which one do you prefer?
Ogre Axe, Got it! Can I take 1000 gold from you?
(*Cashier Sound)Unpurchased base items for Black King Bar are pinned at your quick buy, you can just click and purchase.
I documented a flow diagram as a map for my prototype.
I created this prototype using BotMock.
Prototype Style Interactive
Test Conducting Methode (4) Asynchronous + (1) Synchronous
Recruit (3) friends and (2) Dota2 players
Using GoogleDoc with 9 questions for feedback after users have tested the prototype.
I also feedback directly by phone when they are doing the test
In-person feedback and observation for synchronous method test
*This chatbot is designed as a voice assistant Chatbot, but due to the technical restrictions, we will test it using text.*
You are new to Dota2 and are playing Dark Seer right now. You are in your 30 minutes of games, have 3,654 gold.
Scenario 1 You are going to purchase one of these items:
Black King Bar, Blink Dagger, Lotus Orb, Guardian Greaves, Shiva's Guard
Scenario 2 You would like to purchase an item to restore health/health regeneration.
Scenario 3 You are looking for recommended items.
Fun things you can try:
Say “no” to the bot
Use item attribute to purchase such as armor, strength, more hp, health regeneration, tanky, immune to spell, shoe for health regeneration, intelligence, more punch, debuff, position, and etc
Use synonyms such as buy=purchase
Please pretend the all the voice is DotaVoice, not Alexa…....
Use “back” to go back
Feel free to play with it
❗️Users tend to be creative when responding
➕ Added more synonyms for values such as can you show me an alternative and other options
➕ Add the attributes to the recommendation to narrow down the selections
❗️ Users often want to override Bot, for example, ask for a recommendation when they are in the process of purchasing an item.
➕ Added additional paths for the user to access recommendation or purchase at any point.
❗️ User do not know how to react when there’s an error
➕ Add instruction to the error message
➕ Auto direct back to home after a 5 seconds
From this project, I learned the concept and the development behind a chatbot. It was quite interesting.