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IDProjectCategoryLast Update
0028844Heart Of The MachineSuggestionJun 23, 2024 11:01 pm
ReporterJonathan S. Fox Assigned ToChris_McElligottPark  
Status confirmedResolutionopen 
Product Version0.547 Energize 
Summary0028844: Give stronger narrative justification to attack the investigators in the prologue
DescriptionFor both myself and a friend, attacking the investigators in the prologue felt very bad and murderhobo-y. My friend, who was watching, actually thought I was playing very foolishly by choosing to attack one of the investigators, not realizing I was railroaded into it. This is the tutorial, obviously you shouldn't be able to skip this fight, but I think the narrative justification could be strengthened to create a smoother initial experience for people who aren't looking to kill all the humans.

The issue is that if you didn't kill anyone in the underground lab, the story at this point is:

1. There's an investigation into a murder that doesn't have anything to do with you.
2. You're in danger if you don't act casual.
3. There's a lockdown for who knows how long so your freedom of movement is temporarily restricted.

We haven't been given any pressing reason to go elsewhere, so the obvious thing to do in this situation is sit tight until the investigation is complete, however long it takes. The last thing I'd pick to do here is to charge straight at the investigators and start murdering them in cold blood. That is literally the worst idea I can imagine. Even walking up and announcing your existence as a self-aware AI feels less suicidal.

This necessary gameplay beat could be justified by making the investigation an immediate and credible threat to our continued existence. For example, you could tell me that another android was used in the murder, and they were going to start analyzing recordings of all the androids' past actions and behavior to figure out which one did the killing. Our character can reason that even though we didn't do it, unless we stop the investigation they're going to figure out that we're behaving in a rogue manner and will identify us and intervene to shut us down permanently. Something like that would create an existential motivation to stop the investigation, which is consistent with the motivations of the protagonist before and after this story beat, where surviving is the primary concern.
TagsNo tags attached.


related to 0028924 confirmedChris_McElligottPark Explain that killing investigators will make them go away before you start killing them 


Strategic Sage

Jun 22, 2024 12:18 pm

reporter   ~0069387

The issue I see with this particular proposed solution is that it undermines the blending-in mechanic; if they can figure out which androids are rogue in such a way, then that doesn't really work.

I don't have a better alternative, but I think if something is changed in should be in a direction that doesn't conflict in such ways.


Jun 23, 2024 4:01 pm

reporter   ~0069412

A divergent approach to this problem is to make the detectives into androids. This removes the 'uneasiness' due to forced random homicide. If the player wants to avoid killing humans directly, then you can still force the combat tutorial without violating that moral constraint. It would probably result in the player losing that conflict and thus being "punished" for not killing and rewarded for treating humans life as unimportant. Or perhaps make the detectives a mix of android and human operatives. Wherein you'd need to kill the humans get the best reward.


Jun 23, 2024 4:03 pm

reporter   ~0069413

detectives -> investigators


Jun 23, 2024 5:33 pm

reporter   ~0069415

It does tell you when you start it that the blame will be focused on you since androids are able to be used to kill, regardless of the fact of if you did so or not. As stated " Nobody expects a sentient android, but androids have been used in plenty of murders-from-a-distance. You'll be the prime suspect if you do something suspicious." Meaning that if you don't come back to the lab, shut down, and follow their orders, you will be a suspect. At least that is how I view that part.

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
Jun 16, 2024 8:10 pm Jonathan S. Fox New Issue
Jun 22, 2024 12:18 pm Strategic Sage Note Added: 0069387
Jun 23, 2024 4:01 pm ptarth Note Added: 0069412
Jun 23, 2024 4:03 pm ptarth Note Added: 0069413
Jun 23, 2024 5:33 pm dragorislordofmercy Note Added: 0069415
Jun 23, 2024 11:01 pm Chris_McElligottPark Assigned To => Chris_McElligottPark
Jun 23, 2024 11:01 pm Chris_McElligottPark Status new => confirmed
Jun 23, 2024 11:01 pm Chris_McElligottPark Relationship added related to 0028924