Moore's Machine

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sasquatchii
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Moore's Machine

#1 Post by sasquatchii » Wed May 27, 2015 12:40 am

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Moore's Machine
Moore's Machine was written by SlipBetweenTheCracks (reddit username), and adapted by me.

This story features a scientist named Dr. Moore, who gets a little more than he bargained for when he makes an unusual request of an AI.
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I finally finished my first game, YAY!!! While it's nothing fancy, I am really super proud and happy with the results :)

I wanted to challenge myself to use a minimal color palette, vector illustrations, and a game without any faces or people's portraits. I also had a blast experimenting with sound, but wanted to tear my hair out a little when it came to implementing the GUI (since its only the second time I've done one in Ren'PY!)

This game has mild language, so it might not be suitable for younger folks or people who aren't fond of pottymouths!

I don't have any particular questions for you guys, but if you could play it and offer up any of your thoughts, ideas, & criticisms, I'd really appreciate it!

This game is super short; I'd guess it take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to play through!

Statistics:
The game contains 24 dialogue blocks, containing 508 words and 3,036
characters, for an average of 21.2 words and 126 characters per block.

The game contains 0 menus, 8 images, and 13 screens.


Last edited by sasquatchii on Sun May 31, 2015 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moore's Machine

#2 Post by Steamgirl » Wed May 27, 2015 3:28 pm

I really liked the look and style of this, and the soundscape! I played it through twice because I wasn't entirely sure if I had been "tricked". I have to admit I don't really get the story - not entirely sure what happened. But perhaps that feeling of being perplexed is exactly what it's meant to evoke, given that the protagonist probably feels that way? Well-written and I liked the animations.

Anyway, congrats on your first finished game!! It's a really exciting moment!!

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Re: Moore's Machine

#3 Post by sasquatchii » Wed May 27, 2015 9:09 pm

Steamgirl wrote:I really liked the look and style of this, and the soundscape! I played it through twice because I wasn't entirely sure if I had been "tricked". I have to admit I don't really get the story - not entirely sure what happened. But perhaps that feeling of being perplexed is exactly what it's meant to evoke, given that the protagonist probably feels that way? Well-written and I liked the animations.

Anyway, congrats on your first finished game!! It's a really exciting moment!!
Thanks so much for playing, and also for the kind words!! Apologies for the abrupt/confusing ending. I did want to end it abruptly (as a cliff hanger of sorts) but if it was confusing, then that's my bad! It could probably be reworked to be less confusing. This was originally written to be pure fiction (by SlipBetweenTheCracks), and I liked it so much didn't change the story at all, just created illustrations, sound, & GUI for it.
Dr. Moore makes a "request" of his AI, asking it to choose a name for itself, unaware that his request would inadvertently reveal the true nature of existence to the machine.... which in turn created a self aware AI.

I also liked leaving the ending open ended (learning that Moore's Machine became sentient) because I wanted players to imagine what would happen next. I think people fall into 2 camps when it comes to self-aware, sentient AI.

There is the optimistic view, that sentient AI would be a good thing, and ultimately a companion/friend to humans. (ie; Data from Star Trek, The Terminator, Bicentennial Man, A.I. Artificial Intelligence (movie), Jane from Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game book series, Bender from Futurama, Chi from Chobits, Aigis from Persona3)

Then there is the gloom and doom camp, which basically thinks that sentient AI would result in an enemy/nightmare to the human race, and that we would probably be at war with each other. (examples: Every other robot in the Terminator, Hal 9000 in the 2001 a space odyssey, Glados from Portal)

So, I also liked that the abrupt end of the game also prompts the player to think and begs the question: Which camp are you in? Do you think that everything will be alright (and maybe even better for humans) with sentient AI? Or do you fall more into the gloom and doom camp?
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Re: Moore's Machine

#4 Post by Mad Harlequin » Wed May 27, 2015 9:26 pm

Ooh, downloading! I'm glad it's short---I still have to get through a bunch of other games in my queue! :lol:
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Re: Moore's Machine

#5 Post by Steamgirl » Thu May 28, 2015 9:58 am

sasquatchii wrote:Apologies for the abrupt/confusing ending. I did want to end it abruptly (as a cliff hanger of sorts) but if it was confusing, then that's my bad! It could probably be reworked to be less confusing.
So, I also liked that the abrupt end of the game also prompts the player to think and begs the question: Which camp are you in? Do you think that everything will be alright (and maybe even better for humans) with sentient AI? Or do you fall more into the gloom and doom camp?
I think what did it for me is that the front-end and the in-game are the same? Maybe if you had a fade-to-black at the end before it pops you into the front end menu, or credits, or something like that, it would be clearer? I thought that I was still in the game but had been "tricked" by the AI into thinking it was the main menu. ;)

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Re: Moore's Machine

#6 Post by paradigmshifty » Thu May 28, 2015 10:23 am

Congrats on finishing your first game! I just played it and enjoyed it a lot. Stories about AI are something I can easily get into - I love how this theme really makes you think about the here and now.

If it wasn't for the note about it being very short (approx 5 mins) I would've been expecting it to keep going a bit more. I like the game design and some of the quirky aspects
like the abrupt ending
.

Sound and visuals were very engaging and no bugs or issues encountered (win 8.1 does come up with all the warnings and such when you first load - but players of indie games are used to this i'm sure!). You forgot the main person in the credits though - you! :D
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Re: Moore's Machine

#7 Post by Smudgeed » Sat May 30, 2015 12:48 am

Visually this game was stunning. Everything worked together really well, all the sounds and visual just fit. I liked playing it a lot and while the (is this spoilers? I'll put it under the tag just in case)
open ending
did leave me wanting more, I think this game was very well made in all aspects! I agree with what Steamgirl is saying though, I think a fade to black or something would have added more.

Great job on this amazing experience :) And congratulations on finishing your first game!
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Re: Moore's Machine

#8 Post by Steamgirl » Sat May 30, 2015 6:33 am

I played this again today as it lingered in my memory and I was again impressed by the really really slick, high production quality! Yes it's only short story-wise, but what's there is top notch!

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Re: Moore's Machine

#9 Post by Donmai » Sat May 30, 2015 10:57 am

The great pun
of the programmer being annoyed by the "stupid" system being incapable of recognising its name, although it was already intelligent enough to apologize for that,
was very funny. If I could find a little flaw on this visual tale it would be the confusion already mentioned, created by the abrupt final and the main menu suddenly appearing with the same visual of the story. I'd suggest putting the credits after the final, so the surprised reader can understand that, yes, that was the end of the story (now think, reader). Very good concept and artwork! Congratulations.
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Re: Moore's Machine

#10 Post by sasquatchii » Sat May 30, 2015 11:35 am

Wow, thank you all so much for trying out the game and also for the encouragement and enthusiasm!! All of the comments and feedback have really made my week! And they have also given me the energy and motiviation to keep pushing forward with my other projects :) So thank you all for that, it has been awesome and humbling that you guys were willing to just try it out and give feedback (which has been so super helpful!!)
Steamgirl wrote:I think what did it for me is that the front-end and the in-game are the same? Maybe if you had a fade-to-black at the end before it pops you into the front end menu, or credits, or something like that, it would be clearer? I thought that I was still in the game but had been "tricked" by the AI into thinking it was the main menu. ;)
Smudgeed wrote:I agree with what Steamgirl is saying though, I think a fade to black or something would have added more.
I have just added a fade to black type screen that says "The End" right after the game, so hopefully the ending will be less confusing! It's not a perfect solution, but I think at the very least it will signal to players that they have reached the end of the game!
Donmai wrote:I'd suggest putting the credits after the final, so the surprised reader can understand that, yes, that was the end of the story (now think, reader).
I love this idea!! I honestly never even thought about doing a rolling credits screen :) Now all I need to do is figure out how to implement such a thing!
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Re: Moore's Machine

#11 Post by Donmai » Sat May 30, 2015 11:53 am

sasquatchii wrote:I honestly never even thought about doing a rolling credits screen :) Now all I need to do is figure out how to implement such a thing!
Leon created a cookbook recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=22481
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Re: Moore's Machine

#12 Post by sasquatchii » Sun May 31, 2015 2:38 pm

Donmai wrote:Leon created a cookbook recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=22481
Thank you so much!! That was a lot easier than I thought it would be, I was thinking I'd have to attempt it from scratch :)

I've updated the game download to include Leon's cookbook recipe credits, and I think it'll help immensely with the confusion as to whether or not the game has ended!
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Re: Moore's Machine

#13 Post by YossarianIII » Sun May 31, 2015 4:27 pm

I downloaded the Mac version, and something isn't working quite right. I've restarted a couple times and it always crashes after the line of dialogue that starts with "At that thought, Dr. Moore let out..."

I'm sorry, but an uncaught exception occurred.

While running game code:
File "game/script.rpy", line 108, in script
c "{size=+2}{font=cour.ttf}Checking code... {p}No syntax errors {p}No type errors {p}No logic errors {p}Executing command [[Name]... {p}... {p}... {p}... {p}Success{/font}{/size}"
Exception: Could not find font u'cour.ttf'.

I tried clicking "ignore" to keep going, and that works, but similar error messages pop up later in the game.

Unfortunately, I don't know enough about Renpy to recommend a solution. The art in the game looked cool from what I played, though!


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Re: Moore's Machine

#14 Post by sasquatchii » Sun May 31, 2015 5:09 pm

YossarianIII wrote:I downloaded the Mac version, and something isn't working quite right.

While running game code:
File "game/script.rpy", line 108, in script
c "{size=+2}{font=cour.ttf}Checking code... {p}No syntax errors {p}No type errors {p}No logic errors {p}Executing command [[Name]... {p}... {p}... {p}... {p}Success{/font}{/size}"
Exception: Could not find font u'cour.ttf'.
Ah, that was my bad!! I'm so used to using a PC and having courier new as a default font already installed, I completely forgot to add it to the game!

I've added it to the site in the Mac Download, hopefully it will work now?! I use a Mac at work but haven't been able to play test it on one yet.

Apologies that you weren't able to play the game because of it! But I very much appreciate you pointing that out, (or else I wouldn't have realized) thank you!!
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Re: Moore's Machine

#15 Post by YossarianIII » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:21 pm

Yep, it's working now, thanks!

Cool game. I like the minimal interface. The story makes a lot more sense with the courier new text, lol.


More on the story:
I will say I'm still a little unclear about the mechanics of the world in the story. It sounds like you're saying (in your explanation post) that in the story the name-generating program leads to the computer gaining sentience? I guess that maybe my confusion was that when I think of name-generators, I don't necessarily think of them being sentient. It's definitely an interesting theme, though, and one that suits itself to a lot of different interpretations, like those examples you mentioned. And, of course, the 2001: Space Odyssey paraphrased quote at the end was appropriate. :)


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