Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN] (Update August 06)

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Sapphi
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Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN] (Update August 06)

#1 Post by Sapphi » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:11 am

Image
A lonely programmer attempts to create an A.I. capable of loving him - or at least, appearing to do so. The story is narrated from the computer's point of view. Even I'm not sure whether I should call it a happy or a sad story. It's... something...

Okay, so... Rather than outline the story for you guys, I'm just going to upload what I have to the forum. As of now, the story is basically complete at 3k words. At this stage, I would really like honest feedback and critique. I tried to follow a certain literary model to keep myself on-topic (the bane of my existence as a writer; my default thought pattern is digression!) and to hopefully provide some drama and impact. Your feedback on whether or not this "works" would really be appreciated.
(Old script removed to prevent confusion. Thank you to everyone who downloaded and commented while it was up! :))

I'm asking for critique now because I had this idea that I would like to display the exchange of dialogue between computer and programmer like Evangelion did occasionally; words on a black screen. At first I was like "Oh, I'll center the text" but then I realized I could have a lot more fun actually creating images and modifying them to look more distinct. A different image for every sentence of dialogue is a lot of images that I don't want to make and then have to change during critique time. So please bear with me and try to imagine this script unfolding with "silent movie" dialogue screens that alternate with illustrations, and normal say text narration.
Examples:
how-are-you.png
i-am-doing-fine.png
Also, to aid with your imagination of the illustrations when Twelve gets her robot body, these humble scans of her from my literary embarrassment of a comic:
scan1.jpg
scan2.jpg
Other things you should know... um...
There will be fairly melancholy music playing. Possibly this. I am not sure that I can use that since I have the Japanese comprehension level of a toddler and google translate is confusing, but I think this says that work that isn't a collaboration and which is available for download on the site, is allowed to be used... someone who can, could you please verify this for me?

Other questions... ah...
1. Does something like this need a bookmark/save slot?
2. Have I accidentally plagiarized any science fiction stories? (I sincerely do not know where my ideas come from anymore, could be something I read as a child)
3. Does this have any potential?
4. Why am I shaking so much?

Ah, and, disclaimer, people who want to play the Kinetic Novel shouldn't read the script! Only people who feel they have sufficient background in writing or in the subjects addressed by the story should peek at the script. You don't want to be spoiled, do you? Of course you don't! Good readers!

Oh, and, speaking of spoilage, I don't mind if any further comments on the story aren't spoilered. It's my story and all, so I already know what happens. Besides, spoilers are annoying to read... And since WIP threads are mostly for dev talk, it seems weird to use spoilers... but I mean, you can if you want to. I mean, in any case, just do what you want! XD

*runs away*
------------------
Update 8/6/13:
Lately I've been struck with the needed inspiration to complete this, and I'm hoping to release sometime in Fall 2013.
The script (having grown in length and depth over the past year) is very close to being finalized, and I'm currently working on the placeholder sketches in order to help finalize the script. I apologize for the long wait, and I sincerely thank anybody who has been waiting for this. I'll try very hard not to disappoint!

The hope of a Fall release this year means I'll need beta readers as well as a dedicated editor soon. If you're interested, let me know :)
Last edited by Sapphi on Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN]

#2 Post by CheeryMoya » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:24 am

Ah, it's about time you got one (of many?) of your projects out there. I'll definitely check the script out when I'm rested >_>
4. Why am I shaking so much?
Shh shh, you'll be fine Sapphi.

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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN]

#3 Post by ThisIsNoName » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:48 am

Well, I read it, and I liked it. A lot.

I'm not really sure how to describe reaction to it. Part of it is that my mind is still processing the story, and fitting all the pieces together.
Before I read it, I was reluctant to show you this, but I think it goes really well with the theme of your story: One man's tale of robot love It's kind of cool how a lot of the things in the story match up with real life.
One of the things I really liked about the story is the fact that it didn't use human logic, like so many other "robot learning to be human" stories do. For the most part, every reply 12 used was directly influenced by the master's input.

Overall, I have to say I can't wait for the full thing.

Good luck.

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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN]

#4 Post by saguaro » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:03 am

This is pretty damn cool. The Comic Sans thing is brilliant.

On the text images... I like the idea. Would parameterized text meet some of your needs? Because I think you will save yourself a lot of time and it will be much easier to make changes as necessary.

About the "Master" thing. I think it's good the AI constantly addresses him, because people don't really talk like that and it makes her voice very distinct from his, but I think the substitution of a real name over "Master" would work better. The fact that he programmed her to call him "Master" instead of his name seems a little weird to me.

Anyway, this story reminds me of chatting with the ALICE chatterbox. I like the contrast between the AI's "voice" and the more natural human's voice.

1. Does something like this need a bookmark/save slot?
I'm gonna say no. This is short and engaging and I think most people will devour it in one sitting.

2. Have I accidentally plagiarized any science fiction stories? (I sincerely do not know where my ideas come from anymore, could be something I read as a child)
You haven't plagiarized anything I've read, which is mostly classic SF. There's nothing wrong with having a similar concept to something published, since you're obviously doing your own thing with it.

3. Does this have any potential?
Yeah, this is cool.

4. Why am I shaking so much?
You know why. Just say no, Sapphi!

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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN]

#5 Post by Anna » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:56 am

I read it and loved it. Twelve was adorable, the story was laid out well and foreshadowing and everything was fun to read. The writing was really good too. Finish it, please :)!

I like the text images idea for the first part of the story too, as it fits. And about your other questions:

1. Does something like this need a bookmark/save slot?
Nope, it's a kinetic novel of ~3000 words, doesn't really need it, only if you feel like it.

2. Have I accidentally plagiarized any science fiction stories? (I sincerely do not know where my ideas come from anymore, could be something I read as a child)
Not as far as I know, but you really shouldn't worry about this. No idea is really unique anymore and that's fine, because we only look at the way you use it.

3. Does this have any potential?
Yes, yes, yes! It's very nice.

4. Why am I shaking so much?
Don't worry so much, you're doing fine ^^.

The only thing I didn't get:
why couldn't he answer why she had a cat-like body and not human-like?

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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN]

#6 Post by Egressus » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:16 pm

I love the idea and your execution *A* I can just imagine it coming together really well.
Gimme some time as I search for the rpy file... @__@
Hiatus of hiatuses

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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN]

#7 Post by Sapphi » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:08 pm

CheeryMoya wrote:Shh shh, you'll be fine Sapphi.
Th-Thank you... OTL
ThisIsNoName wrote:One man's tale of robot love
It's kind of cool how a lot of the things in the story match up with real life.
Oh boy, wow. I guess my story isn't really science fiction, is it? :lol:
ThisIsNoName wrote: One of the things I really liked about the story is the fact that it didn't use human logic, like so many other "robot learning to be human" stories do. For the most part, every reply 12 used was directly influenced by the master's input.
This was my goal so I'm very happy you felt I did it well. I am often disappointed by those stories, because they tend to over-humanize the bots in favor of presenting the audience with a happy ending. As I tried to touch on in the story, though, it is very easy to see inanimate objects as human anyway - so I don't think this over-humanization is necessary for readers to feel empathy towards robot characters. (At least, readers like me, who regularly talk to their cars, feel guilty and apologize to loaves of bread at the store for not buying them after they've picked them up, and assure the bread that someone else will buy it.)

That being said, if you have any recommendations for change in this aspect, that would be good... for the most part like you said, I think I kept Twelve from jumping to unrealistic conclusions or behaving in ways she wouldn't, but I'm not a robot... or even a very logical person. :lol:
saguaro wrote:This is pretty damn cool. The Comic Sans thing is brilliant.
I'm glad you thought so. I thought it was funny. XD
saguaro wrote: On the text images... I like the idea. Would parameterized text meet some of your needs? Because I think you will save yourself a lot of time and it will be much easier to make changes as necessary.
By parameterized text, what do you mean, exactly?
I am pretty sold on the images though, mostly because they will allow me to do that awesome old school glowy effect, but also because I can make multiple copies of each, change the text position just a little bit, and get some good old fashioned "film jitter" in there too. At least, that's the plan. I know it will be a horrendous amount of work, but I am fully willing to do it if I can get the effect I want. It might result in a large file size, but I'll take pains to keep the sizes of the images low, and hopefully the end result won't be any larger than a regular (longer) kinetic novel.
saguaro wrote: About the "Master" thing. I think it's good the AI constantly addresses him, because people don't really talk like that and it makes her voice very distinct from his, but I think the substitution of a real name over "Master" would work better. The fact that he programmed her to call him "Master" instead of his name seems a little weird to me.
Ah, you make a good point. I didn't think it was weird he would have her call him Master, at least in the beginning (people have weirder tastes...). I think he finds it flattering, and since I find it cute, I think it's not a far stretch to believe he would also find it very cute. And I didn't really want to specify his name, mostly because I felt that it would put a distracting degree of specificity into the story - right now I like it because it is very universal. You don't need to know who he is, just that he is a lonely person. However, since he wants to make believe she is a real person, he would probably at some point want to ask her to stop doing that. I wonder if maybe he can ask her, and she will respond, "No. I like calling you Master. You have always been Master to me." and it will become more of a term of endearment. What do you think?
saguaro wrote: Anyway, this story reminds me of chatting with the ALICE chatterbox. I like the contrast between the AI's "voice" and the more natural human's voice.
I'm glad it comes across well :)
I tried to keep her from using contractions except for the very last lines. I don't know if that is a good or bad decision yet.
saguaro wrote: 4. Why am I shaking so much?
You know why. Just say no, Sapphi!
:lol:
Anna wrote:I read it and loved it. Twelve was adorable, the story was laid out well and foreshadowing and everything was fun to read. The writing was really good too. Finish it, please :)!
Aw, I'm glad you thought she was adorable. That's what I was going for :)
And I will finish it, no matter how long it takes... I will finish it because I made a promise to someone very special!
Anna wrote: 2. Have I accidentally plagiarized any science fiction stories? (I sincerely do not know where my ideas come from anymore, could be something I read as a child)
Not as far as I know, but you really shouldn't worry about this. No idea is really unique anymore and that's fine, because we only look at the way you use it.
Heh, I know nothing is original anymore, but still I couldn't help but wonder after I wrote it. "Hm, her logical progression and subsequent choice came to me too easily... what did I subconsciously lift this from?" So I worry not because it might be similar, but because I don't want to accidentally re-tell a story I already read somewhere else and think it came from my brain.
Anna wrote: The only thing I didn't get:
why couldn't he answer why she had a cat-like body and not human-like?
I'm going to refrain from answering this for the moment until more people comment. I want to see if it's just a case of it not clicking for you, or if it's a problem on my end. I might not have handled it well enough for the reason to be apparent to the readers.
"It is [the writer's] privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart,
by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride
and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past."
— William Faulkner
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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN]

#8 Post by wakagana » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:37 pm

So, I wasn't able to download the script correctly, so I'm in the dark as to how the story/script goes. BUTTT. I will give you my words of advice.

In a situation in which the main character is trying to program something to love him, (which I would assume he could love back) has different phases of realisation.

First - Strange and Tabooness/self doubt in the fact that its a good idea ( Trying to program a computer to love you is a bit absurd to most people, and unless the main character is insane he'd probably think 'god, what am I doing with my self.' )

Second - Falling for something that doesn't exist/isn't possible. (( BOY HAVE I HAD THIS HAPPEN TO ME. - So what I mean by this is that as the story progresses the MC may find them selves feeling closer to Twelve. maybe even falling in love or convincing him/her self that they are friends with this thing that they created themselves. Over time a void would fill in their heart subconciously at the fact that this person/thing/program means so much to them, but will never be in the flesh, with him/her for real.

Third - Defeat, and Moving on/Insanity, Going further. - So. In most cases, people will give up on the prospect of making something like Step 2 work, and will space them selves from the relationship they have with said thing. IN SOME CASES however. The MC may be unpleased enough and lust to take their creation to the next level and actually make a robot or 'living' being that they could interact with. ( Sort've like some people have manikins as wife's/husbands instead of real human people. )

Regardless, I'm looking forward to this :o and I wish you luck in getting it all sorted out. I hope my thoughts can help a little bit with making the MC more believable as a character.

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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN]

#9 Post by Sapphi » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:01 pm

wakagana wrote:So, I wasn't able to download the script correctly, so I'm in the dark as to how the story/script goes. BUTTT. I will give you my words of advice.
It's downloading alright for me. What problem are you encountering?
wakagana wrote: I hope my thoughts can help a little bit with making the MC more believable as a character.
Thanks. I think we have similar thoughts about how it would play out.
Since it is written from Twelve's point of view, though, the amount of characterization I can give her programmer is limited. Everything we learn about him, we have to hear from Twelve. If he tells her certain things, it might upset the flow of the story because she will begin to form other conclusions and the story will begin to take a different direction than how I wanted. It's kind of hard to explain what I mean if you haven't read it, so I hope you can get it to work. :)
"It is [the writer's] privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart,
by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride
and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past."
— William Faulkner
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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN]

#10 Post by saguaro » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:05 pm

Sapphi wrote: By parameterized text, what do you mean, exactly?
I am pretty sold on the images though, mostly because they will allow me to do that awesome old school glowy effect, but also because I can make multiple copies of each, change the text position just a little bit, and get some good old fashioned "film jitter" in there too. At least, that's the plan. I know it will be a horrendous amount of work, but I am fully willing to do it if I can get the effect I want. It might result in a large file size, but I'll take pains to keep the sizes of the images low, and hopefully the end result won't be any larger than a regular (longer) kinetic novel.
Parameterized text allows text to be rendered as an image-like displayable. The game I'm working on has a series of dictionary definition screens and I was originally going to use images, but then I stumbled across PT and found it convenient. I'm not sure if/how you could apply a jitter-type animation like you mentioned to parameterized text, though.

http://www.renpy.org/wiki/renpy/doc/ref ... erizedText

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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN]

#11 Post by CheeryMoya » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:25 pm

Read the script and...
brb sobbing shlfaf ;A;

It's a short and simple story, and the way the characters' identities were kept vague adds to the impact. This is a story that can happen anywhere at any time with anyone, and that me gusta.
I want to say it's similar to my NaNo project, but yours was better IMO :C
1. Probably not, most people probably wouldn't even check it.
2. It's a vague enough story (not a bad thing!), I don't think so.
3. I would definitely give this a read once all the images and effects are in.

I also find it odd that Twelve didn't comment on her cat body, or Master for that matter. He could easily have told her that the body his friend gave him was like a cat, so that's why she didn't have a human face. Are you planning to have images besides the text?

I'm sorry I don't have much to say, the story's already polished :C The tone of Twelve is very robotic, and that provides a sharp contrast to Master's words. It's too bittersweet D':

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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN]

#12 Post by Sapphi » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:44 am

saguaro wrote: Parameterized text allows text to be rendered as an image-like displayable. The game I'm working on has a series of dictionary definition screens and I was originally going to use images, but then I stumbled across PT and found it convenient. I'm not sure if/how you could apply a jitter-type animation like you mentioned to parameterized text, though.

http://www.renpy.org/wiki/renpy/doc/ref ... erizedText
Ah, I see.

Well, it looks like the jitter animation might be a moot point, because when I tried to set one up, I found that my computer couldn't alternate between the images fast enough and it resulted in an uneven animation that was a little bit nausea-inducing. But I think I'll still be going the image route for most of it because I just gotta have that glowy effect. :P
CheeryMoya wrote:
I want to say it's similar to my NaNo project, but yours was better IMO :C
Your project peaked my interest and I still have yet to play it... actually one reason I put off playing it was that I was terrified it would be too similar to this :lol:
CheeryMoya wrote: I also find it odd that Twelve didn't comment on her cat body, or Master for that matter. He could easily have told her that the body his friend gave him was like a cat, so that's why she didn't have a human face. Are you planning to have images besides the text?
Yes, there are going to be images. I think once Twelve gets her camera eyes, the images will begin... although that leaves an awful lot of black space in the beginning, so I might try to get creative and fill those spaces with nondescript backgrounds.

And yes, that's the easy answer, but it doesn't explain the real question of why you would give a cat body to a robot who you wanted to act human, which was the question Twelve was asking him.
CheeryMoya wrote:It's too bittersweet D':
Bwahaha, just the reaction I was looking for! XD
-------------------------------------------------
Comments on the script are still welcome and very much appreciated...
Meanwhile, I have a design-related question.
I sampled the green from a photo of a P1 monitor and it's considerably brighter than my mock-up green. In addition, because I want the final resolution to be 800x600, I see a lot of green on my screen with images like this:
create-me.jpg
Does it hurt your eyes to look at this? Not all the text is that huge; I'm kind of playing around with alternating sizes and positions for artistic effect, but when I was making these images I kind of got a headache and I don't know if it was just me or if the colors are really too bright. I think on a TV this would look alright, but I'm worried about it being on a monitor (I sit about two feet away from mine).
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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN] (Looking for critique!)

#13 Post by Arelune » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:55 pm

I haven't read the script -no I don't want to be spoilered :O - so I'll just comment on the last question.

The colour seems fine to me, it isn't bright at all on my screen and perfectly readable. The fontsize seems a bit too big, though. If it just a few screens it won't bother, but otherwise I think it will be too much.
Also, the kerning/letterspacing seems a bit wonky. I don't know if this is a conscious choice, but I just wanted to point that out.

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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN] (Looking for critique!)

#14 Post by Sapphi » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:09 pm

Arelune wrote:The fontsize seems a bit too big, though. If it just a few screens it won't bother, but otherwise I think it will be too much.
I think you might have a point. It might be okay in 640x480 but overkill for 800x600. I'll take that into account as I play around with it.
Arelune wrote: Also, the kerning/letterspacing seems a bit wonky. I don't know if this is a conscious choice, but I just wanted to point that out.
It is purposeful. I'm not sure if I'm going to stick with it, but I really love the effect. :)
"It is [the writer's] privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart,
by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride
and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past."
— William Faulkner
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Re: Twelve [Sci-Fi][KN] (Looking for critique!)

#15 Post by TheTourist » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:05 pm

Hi! Also: wow!

After seeing the scans of a wide-eyed cat girl, I admit some amount of, um, trepidation. The story, however, was sweet and clever and fairly well written. In fact, transferring the AI's consciousness to the animal's body was a downright inspired twist. Over all, it's a wonderful series of vignettes about the weirdness of love.

Some critiques, though: you're doing this from the AI's point-of-view, so what we know about the programmer we can only glean from his inputs. I totally agree with your choice, but sometimes Master's dialogue was too on the nose. We don't need the programmer to say "I am lonely." Master, after all, programmed a robot to love him. We can guess at a few of his motivations. And besides, when Master talks about the real cat later, it quite obviously reflects himself.

Some of Twelve's observations, too, dwell too obviously on its love for Master. Clearly, it's supposed to be in love, and was programmed to love, but hitting us over the head with (barely sexual) childlike love again and again is sometimes too much.

Originally, also, I was going to critique the easy definition of love that Master offers, but looking back on it, it sets up the ending well. So: NICE.

(By the way, did you mean for the AI's "Master" label for its creator to be that creepy and unnerving?)

That's the most I can critique it, though, for what it sets out to accomplish, it achieves. I like the idea of having the game's graphics evolve as Twelve does. Green text at first, then rudimentary images, than cat-eye-o-vision or whatever. :)

Looking forward to a finished product!

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