"Human vs Robot" by Ray Hung

"Human vs Robot" is a hide and seek game. This game describes a future that human beings start making "not so smart" AI robots because they believe that robots will dominate the world if they are too intelligent. However, a robot evolves itself and figures out human's plan, and it thinks that humans are too dumb to rule the world. In order to take over and make this place better than ever, the first thing this robot has to do is to escape from surveillances. On other hand, human scientists find out the abnormality of the robot, so they decide to destroy it before it runs away.

This game is inspired by A Coffeehouse Conversation on Turing Test by Douglas R. Hofstadter. A Turing Test is an experiment that tests if a machine can think, or a machine will ever think. However, there is a chapter that describes a experience of Turing Test in reverse. A Turing Test in reverse is to test if human masqueraded AI can fools a actual human. This part really intrigues my curiosity. Hence I started thinking of a interesting way to realize this idea. Then I came up with two corresponding questions: "What if a player can mimic a robot and fool another one?" and "How a player figure out if there's a fake AI". In order to achieve these two, I decided to make this a mini game.

There were some changes since I started developing the game. At the beginning, I developed a prototype that applied a similar mechanism to rhythm game. An AI would gives out orders and other AIs and the player have to match the instructions or s/he fails. However, it was hard for me to program and manually design rhythms. Also I found out that it lacks of playfulness and interaction. Moreover, it only realized one point of my goals. Hence I thought of another way to achieve it—make it a multiplayer game. I was inspired by an online hide and seek game which players have to catch other players who are mimicking and mingling with NPCs. Instead of making complicated Internet connection, I determined to make it standalone for 2 players. And players can observe each other which creates a space for direct interaction and could be more interesting. Thus I built a warehouse where stores a bunch of robots. And one player would control one of them and another should figure out which one is the player. Other robots are pre-programmed to move randomly—they can move four-ways and stop themselves as well. The player who controls a robot has to play as a robot to win. But another player who plays as a human can trick the player because humans act differently. So there would be some fun interactions during the play.

Hope everyone can have a good time playing this game!

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