AI Escape 2.0: Build a Bot a Body

During one of those moments after just having woken up it occurred to me that I could easily Mod The Resistance with the AI characters and concepts I’d been developing before. After so much research into the artificial intelligence cyberculture, the concepts and characters seemed like a veritable mask I could wrap around all sorts of games. I am still determined to fashion a game upon which they can stand on their own however, due to time constraints, this Mod is fully developed enough to offer it in my dossier.

AI Escape 2.0 will act like an expansion on The Resistance and/or Avalon iterations. As such, I will only need to supply a deck of 16 cards – 10 character cards, 1 virus card (optional expansion that works like the Inquisitor or Merlin card), and 5 team tokens because the guns and Camelot shields seem inappropriate. The 3 score tableaus will be available for free download print-n-play as printing an individual playing mat will be highly expensive. The tableau seems secondary; the cards held in a player’s hands are quite easily produced and should feel somewhat authentic to the playing experience.

There is the option to produce an entire game on its own. The variety of components – tokens, markers and tableaus – would increase costs that, at this stage, can’t be justified.

Specific production costs:

  • DriveThruCards – low volume, standard stock comes to 8c per card ($1.28 USD) + shipping
  • PrinterStudio – 1-5 decks of up to 18 cards in standard stock $6.90 + shipping
  • PrintNinja – minimum of 500 units *keep on dreaming* + shipping
  • MakePlayingCards (popular amongst Kickstarter games) – $11.60 ffor 1-4 decks (doesn’t say how many cards in a deck) + shipping
  • TheGameCrafter – 1 sheet (18 items) for $1.66 + shipping

Sourcing ethical printing companies is something I would consider for the future if the game were to be successful.

Part of this Mod includes a variation on the concept of “missions”. Instead I have opted for the goal of building robots based on 5 key components: memory, ethics, skills, communications and appearance. Each “mission” is to acquire one of these components for the robot body. The Resistance’s “good guys” will be the AI characters and the “spies” will be technophobic humans. The Resistance “fist” and “loyalist” graphics may be reused, however the fist will symbolise the humans (spies) and vice versa. This is an overall subversion of the humanist beliefs that humans are above all other things, including AI. Hopefully, by putting players into the position of being an AI they will be prompted to discuss the ethical issues facing us all in light of the Singularity drawing nearer along with intelligent machines.

The core characters I have revisited were first seen here: Alpha, Beta, Sierra & Omega. I plan to include bots and smart phone PAs in the larger group of characters such as Tay, Siri and Google Now.

As far as marketing is concerned, I propose a Facebook page and some reviews to be linked to on Board Game Geek. If it gains traction I will consider opening a Kickstarter to fund a full version of the game’s production.

As far as research into game mechanics, I think this review has it perfectly: “It is important to remember, however, that THE RESISTANCE is primarily a game about having lots of lovely arguments with friends.” Lack of elimination in this game makes it a sort of cooperative experience, even if you don’t necessarily know with whom you’re cooperating.

The last thing to remind myself of other points of analysis Elysse and I previously identified in our post-playthrough discussion video below.

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