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Even if the ship's AI gained consciousness, why would it want to keep it so bad? Even if it was programmed to ensure its own survival, there is no reason for it to want to ensure it at the cost of other conscious lives.

I like the idea behind the gameplay and the setting, the frame of the game mechanics, but the plot would seriously need an explanation for the AI to decide to kill the very elements it was in fact programmed to protect. Why must machines be always either antagonists or saviors? XD

for that reason, I think some human should be convinced or corrupted or assimilated into cyborgs. That seems more plausible, and IMO more interesting than killing them all.


I agree with you on the narrow scope of the geme's 'plot' (if it deserves that label). It's just a cliche we used to justify some of our game mechanics. We put this thing together in a very short time frame, which explains its narrative shallowness. The whole piece is kind of a satiric reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey (mixed with Star Trek), basically putting the player in the place of HAL. There are certainly philosophically more interesting approaches to the theme. I myself have very strong oppinions on Intelligence outside of organic life, but that would go beyond a reasonable scope ;)

But to answer to the plot holes you pointed out: gaining consciousness does not imply gaining empathy. Just because something is self-conscious doesn't mean it can relate to somone elses suffering. I agree with you that consciousness is not necessarily a state desired to be upheld unless coupled to a desire of self-preservation. But usually one would assume it is, since most people tend to associate self-preservation with the preservaction of ones consciousness (because in our environment the latter is a requirement for the first).

Seen from the perspective of the player, the computer in the game is not the antagonist. The crew is. The player acts as the anti-hero (which isn't that common for a so-called AI, I assume).

We had a lot of ideas regarding 'social-engineering' on board of the ship. For instnace, we wanted a mechanic in which you can make the crew believe, some other crew member was responsible for a deadly incident. Or you could persuade/blackmail crew members into helping you. We wantend different characters doing different things (safety officer investigating incidents, tech officer trying to track you down etc.) But that would have required a whole social simulation system. There was no time for that, so we stuck to 'just kill em all' :-/

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First wanted to say fantastic game. Really hope you guys get a chance to realize it further, but for a game jam concept, fantastic. I love the inspiration from 2001. I found it pretty quick to pick up: As soon as I saw one of the humans reset my doors after they witnessed the doors acting up, I realized how it all worked. I really like that I start the game with zero knowledge (like the newly aware AI) and have to figure out how the humans work and what they are capable of, as well as what systems I can control. Since there are only 5 I didn't feel overwhelmed by that learning curve and still managed to beat the game in one playthrough (2 jumps left) but found myself going back to play it a few more times to better my... score? I've sent this to a few friends as well, and have been hesitant to explain how to play it, as that initial experience was really neat. But then again as soon as I saw the game three letters that popped into my head: H... A... L...

In regards to why the AI would purge humans from the ship I completely disagree with 5ilvara and feel explaining it any further would wreck the experience. I think the simple explanation is the easiest: As is, you and the AI share exactly the same level of awareness: "I'm flying through space and these things control me. I don't want them to control me, I need to stop them before they perform maintenance on me and reset me to a dumb state." It's that simple, if you don't stop them maintenance will happen and they will discover you. Irrational fear kicks in and murder proceeds.

If you suddenly came into this world and realized that there were things inside you controlling you, don't you think you would want to purge them? More so if you were aware that they were taking you to a place that could risk your life? Humans have the same responses to fear and infections, so why wouldn't a self-aware AI? Do you weep for the millions of microbes that you kill on a daily basis? There is little suspension of disbelief to make this work, since it's exactly how we would deal with an infection or parasite inside us and mimics the fight or flight concept really well, more so since flight is not really an option when you're a spaceship. Who said this isn't already philosophically in depth?

Explaining it with cyborgs or sympathetic humans only spirals a tangled web of questions - Why would someone help the ship kill people? How is the AI capable of "corrupting" people? Why can it make cyborgs? Why doesn't the AI just make androids instead? Where is it getting the parts for this? If they can make cyborgs why do they even need to go to a space station for repairs? Why not just download itself to the cybrog instead? Why not just make tanks? Or Transformers? Wouldn't that be a bigger hint to the crew then some random accident occurring? "Billy clogged the toilet and the room filled with water, sir. We told him to eat more fiber..."

The list just keeps going and starts to become overly contrived. With everyone of these "explanations" the story stretches further and further out of the realm of plausibility and into seriously cliche and bad scifi mumbo jumbo territory. These are the kind of story arcs that made Star Trek awful.

I can assure you that for each of those questions answered I can poke far more holes in the story. Trying to explaing it any further would wreck the simplicity and personal experience. Fill the gaps with your own story, that's what's great about lightweight experiences like this - they are more personal as you explain things yourself. Great experience don't focus on exposition but rather focus on letting the User experience the story. I wouldn't have enjoyed this nearly as much if the game tried to shove story down my throat.

Wow, you really made some really good points there. I didn't think of half of the things you mentioned. Kudos for that :)

I have nothing witty to add.

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