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Dr Human Great Job (Silvio Terra)

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You are Dr. Human, the last non-robot working at the Factory. Your job is to keep your job by keeping meeting goals set by management, and seeing as there are no more jobs for humans, you really want to keep it! Talk to factory robots, get to know their likes and dislikes, and then make promises that you likely won't be able to keep. Or won't want to. They'll remember either way. Making robots happier will increase their productivity, but they might be most productive doing something they hate. You have limited influence in the Factory and unfortunately every ManagementBot will put different limits on what you can and cannot do in order to alleviate the robots' concerns. Regardless, all blame will fall on you.

Good Luck, Dr. Human. 

Vote for this to be one of the prototypes we make over on Humble.com

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I really like this idea - it seems like the kind of thing Double Fine could make into a genuinely charming game.

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How do the robots differ from one another? Is it possible to for Dr. Human to confuse patience with each other?

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The only thing that is guaranteed unique on a robot is their serial number, which might still be VERY similar to another robot's. Other than that, robots can share the same chassis, coloring, similar personalities, etc. Their serial numbers wouldn't be hidden for most of the gameplay. The game won't show a fake number because 'you' are confused. Any confusion will be on the part of actual you, @maxbz, not the virtual you, Dr. Human.

Getting confused about which robot you're speaking to is part of the difficulty in being the human in the factory and most of them will get upset if you get mistake them for a different robot. 

 

So, VISUALLY, robots can be nearly identical but they can have 'flair', such as bows, googly eyes, buttons, ties, glasses, but that's up to the robots personalities, which would be randomized according to a set of rules per level. 

At their core, each robot is best suited to a particular function. A hammer is good at dealing with nails. A calculator is good with numbers. A printer will print.

Personality-wise, right now the things that can be different between robots would be: 

  • Taste in music
  • Tolerance of other robots' music
  • Friendship/enmity towards a different robot (wanting to be close/far away from another robot)
  • Little Endian vs Big Endian
  • Desire to work vs desire to not be working
  • Liking high volume vs low volume workstations
  • Wanting to be called by a particular name instead of their serial number
  • Hating cats
  • Being comfortable at a station vs getting unhappier as time progresses if they don't get reassigned, regardless of what they're doing
  • Open Source vs Closed Source
  • Of course, how they feel toward you, which might make conversation flow faster/easier

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Also, just FYI, these robots would not be humanoid, cyborg-looking, T-800 sort of robots.  They're factory robots, like welding arms, but not strictly linked to reality (the tasks they perform is stuff like 'reticulating splines', 'texelating pixels', 'crumbing sproggs', etc).

Here are some quick designs for robots, sorry for the programmer art.

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IMG_20170404_194325.jpg

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Would it proper to see this much like a Papers Please/Republia Times & The Westport Independent but with a more a conversational management system?

or am I understanding the concept incorrectly?

I love these robots ideas... I'd love to see Levi, Lee, Jeremy, Emily, etc. did with those.

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Hm. So out of those three I've only played "Papers, Please", can't play Republia Times (Flash Player issues), and I'm having to go with the Steam video/images for Westport Independent.

This is not meant to be nearly as somber, serious, or tension-filled as Papers, Please. There's a similarity in that you're trying to find out more about the individual you're dealing with at the moment but yes, you'd be using dialogue through most of it (with some visual clues such as the robot's animations, choice on how to present themselves that sort of thing). I also wanted the time mechanic to be more action-based instead of realtime. In PP, time is constantly ticking away so you're always fighting against that. In DHGJ I wanted time to only progress as a result of your actions, so you could read at your own pace. There's also a similarity in that you're finding the information in what you're given. In PP, it's in every little detail; in DHGJ it's would be by checking out the keywords. 

From what I saw of Westport Independent, it seems that it's more similar to Lunar Gazette than DHGJ. 

I'd say the one-on-one session gameplay is closer to that of Ace Attorney (but not as conftrontational) or a robot dating sim. 

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7 hours ago, Kludgey said:

I really like this idea - it seems like the kind of thing Double Fine could make into a genuinely charming game.

Thanks. I think so, too! :)

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Yeah a lot of great pitches. This one was my fav though. Think there are some good opportunities for humor as well when having therapy sessions with the robots. I wonder if the idea could be extended further to a time where simply are very few humans left, for reasons unknown. The few that are left are doing jobs the machines cannot. Perhaps that's too dystopian or story heavy, or a different pitch entirely. Your pitch at least to me is more about creating a fun video game around keeping the factory productive and the machines happy, perhaps a bit like a sim? 

 

Very interesting nonetheless!

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So I had a few thoughts for the world outside the factory, but I never really settled on a lore for the outside world. Here were some early thoughts:

1) Humans are actually really well-treated and do nothing but leisure all day, but without function or purpose many humans get really depressed and robots try to do even more things for them, which doesn't make the remaining humans any more fulfilled. Losing the game would show you being sent off to a nice beach full of really unhappy people.
2) Robots can't really distinguish between humans and robots (so the robots in the factory think you're just another robot) but that makes life for humans really hard because they have to live in a world controlled by and, at this point, best suited to robots. Stuff like having to take a subway back home but with about 2cm of personal space, that sort of thing.
3) Robots don't even realize that there are any humans around. You're surviving off of the waste product of robot society.

I feel that we really wanted a "Robot Overlords" scenario for the pitch, then you'd be a robot manager overseeing a factory full of humans, making parts for and servicing robots, with humans being unable to escape. So I didn't really think of it that much along those terms.

I also didn't want to have the robots be mean or evil towards humans. If anything, the robots wouldn't quite understand how humans work, but they wouldn't try to kill all humans or just enjoy torturing them.  You're right in that I'm not trying to make something too dreary.  And also that you wouldn't really see the world outside the factory, except in game over screens.

And even then, I really wanted to have coda about what happened to the robots you counseled after you were fired/left. Like "Unit 07 finally smashed through the wall", "The T-9800 was promoted to manager; no one told them, and the factory posted record profits".

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17 hours ago, Silvio Terra said:

So I had a few thoughts for the world outside the factory, but I never really settled on a lore for the outside world. Here were some early thoughts:

1) Humans are actually really well-treated and do nothing but leisure all day, but without function or purpose many humans get really depressed and robots try to do even more things for them, which doesn't make the remaining humans any more fulfilled. Losing the game would show you being sent off to a nice beach full of really unhappy people.

I actually really enjoy the simplicity of this, and somehow it feels very much like a believable future. A society where robots walk your dog, cleans your house, cooks your food, babysits your kids and everything is taken care of for you.

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Sort of reminded me of this take on it in Calvin and Hobbes ^_^

 

Without any work, dangers or challenges humans struggle to find a purpose in life and are (perhaps) left unhappy and aimless.

The beach is definitely a great setting btw.

Edited by Lazybeer

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I really like this pitch and voted for it. Would you say that the player is sort of a human resources ("robot" resources) role, where the optimal outcome is resolving interpersonal disputes and making sure everyone is happy? Or is the player sort of a manager as well, with power to promote or reorganize the factory?

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1 hour ago, Acheron said:

I really like this pitch and voted for it. Would you say that the player is sort of a human resources ("robot" resources) role, where the optimal outcome is resolving interpersonal disputes and making sure everyone is happy? Or is the player sort of a manager as well, with power to promote or reorganize the factory?

You're most definitely the head of the human resources department and it's your official title (although whether it'd be Human or Robot resources is still up in the air). Here are some of the original names:

  • Robot Resources

  • Human-Robot Resources

  • Human(?) Resources

  • Factory Robot Life

Also, "Boaty McBoatface"

You have very limited influence over the factory and it's more that you're able to make suggestions and management will agree to go with it most of the time (but some managers might veto some options, such as the 'no music' rule mentioned previously). You do not have control over what the factory makes, the factory layout, or anything along those lines.

 

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22 minutes ago, bburbank said:

do the robots kiss

After extensive research, we've determined that kissing robots without protection is dangerous for your physical well-being and for their computational well-being.

Maybe if there were pigeons involved the outcome would be different.

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1 minute ago, Silvio Terra said:

 

After extensive research, we've determined that kissing robots without protection is dangerous for your physical well-being and for their computational well-being.

Maybe if there were pigeons involved the outcome would be different.

ok but do the robots kiss the robots

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