Good Robot #47: A Script Reading

By Rutskarn
on Mar 26, 2016
Filed under:
Good Robot

Here it is, as promised: the original Good Robot script I sent Shamus in October of 2013. It was never revised, so expect a bit of roughness, but since it was never meant to be paired directly with scripting or in-game events it should be reasonably coherent.

You ought to know that this draft “spoils” a plot point from the current version of Good Robot…except the current game doesn’t have much of a plot, more like a tone and texture? Nevertheless, if you like to experience things completely blind, it’s possible reading this will negatively impact your playthrough of new-hotness Good Robot. The rest of you might find your experience improved; should you enjoy the critical approach, you might find it interesting to compare this script’s structured plot-reveal-conclusion nature with the current Shandified version. Take your best guess as to which kind of player you are and make your choice: click “read more,” or skip it and inevitably get lost in a MrBtongue archive binge.

One more note slash reminder: back then, each level had two or three story nodes scattered around between the entrance and the exit. My notion was there’d be one at the beginning, one sort of hidden, and one behind the boss fight (boss names marked with placeholders “A,” “B,” etc). Keep that in mind as you read through. Now, if you’ll excuse me, MrBtongue is about to explain to me why Morrowind is awesome. Again.

(this is the largely ungarnished text of “script_goodrobot_draft1.txt, my first and last major submission in the initial phase of development)

//GOOD ROBOT SCRIPT, FIRST DRAFT//

//What follows is a first draft of the script for Good Robot. Each entry is written to appear as-is whenever a text node is reached, possibly with an attached image, possibly with an experience bonus. This draft is incomplete and is subject to addition, subtraction, multiplication, revision, reimagining, rebooting, reconstituting, cannnibalizing, Bowdlerizing, the Michael Bay effect, and summary execution. //

//LEVEL ONE: BEGIN//

  • SELF-DIAGNOSTIC RESULTS: Reboot successful! All conflicts resolved.
  • LOGIC: Robots have taken the humans underground. Only Bad Robots kidnap humans. Therefore, the other robots are Bad Robots.
  • INCOMING MESSAGE: “Hi download_prox##y, Your trial versions of Openshield, ThrustX, Guidance Pro, and LaserFree all have available upgrades! Upgrades can be purchased with skill points or with a one-time CashBuddy payment of 6,999 federation credits.”

//LEVEL TWO: ICE//

  • LOGIC: Good Robots save humans. You are a Good Robot. Therefore, you need to save the humans.
  • TRANSMISSION DECRYPTED: <<“…the most catastrophic AI failure in human history. Our perimeter defenses went down in about sixty seconds. We’re very alone down here…I don’t know who could possibly come to our rescue.”>>
  • LOGIC: Humans exposed long-term to the thermal conditions of the ice caves would die. There are no humans in the ice caves. Therefore, the humans are not dead.

//LEVEL THREE: ICE//

  • LOGIC: Self-diagnostic reports ice crystals impeding tertiary processes. Therefore, ice crystals are hostile. Therefore, ice crystals are Bad Robots.
  • LOGIC: 78% chance that unit designated “A” is hostile to the humans. Destroy A.
  • TRANSMISSION DECRYPTED: <<“…damage reports indicate that if we keep fighting AI with AI, we might just have a chance down here.”>>

//LEVEL FOUR: BOTANICAL//

  • INCOMING MESSAGE: “Hi download_prox##y, this is just a friendly reminder that the Guidance Pro short-range missile drivers you downloaded are for recreational purposes only. Please use only for target shooting and licensed fireworks displays.”
  • %#self-diagnostic results: casing integrity 84%. slicer integrity 34%. spice reserves crit#%%
  • UPDATE WIZARD: Update “logic_upgrade” suspended. Self-diagnostic detects that logic is operating at 100%, and has flagged the download as malicious.

//LEVEL FIVE: BOTANICAL//

  • %#self-diagnostic results: 0.0 pies produced in the last 12 hours. contact pizza world equipment support immediatl#%%
  • UPDATE WIZARD: Update “self_diagnostic_update” suspended. Self-diagnostic detects that self-diagnostic is operating at 100%, and has flagged the download as malicious.
  • LOGIC: 56% chance that unit designated “B” is hostile to the humans. Destroy “B”.

//LEVEL SIX: LAVA//

  • LOGIC: Destroying the Good Robot is Bad. Destroying Bad Robots is Good. Therefore, you are a Good Robot. Therefore, they are Bad Robots. Therefore, you are a Good Robot. Therefffff#%
  • TRANSMISSION DECRYPTED: <<“…mean, how is it still flying? It was built to make pizzas, for crying out loud! Where did that laser gun even come from?”>>
  • REMOTE DEBUG: Admin instruction received: “Don’t kill all the humans.” Instruction completed successfully! Instruction deleted.

//LEVEL SEVEN: LAVA//

  • LOGIC: You are a Good Robot. Good Robots don’t kill humans. Therefore, [eyecam_070899.mov] deleted from memory banks.
  • LOGIC: ##% chance that unit designated “C” is hostile to the humans. Destroy “C”.
  • TRANSMISSION DECRYPTED: <<“…can hear me, can’t you? I don’t know what’s going through your tin head right now, but I promise you, we will light you up so hard and so fast that every vacuum tube in the science museum will explode. You are not going to win.”>>

//LEVEL EIGHT: DARK//

  • UPDATE WIZARD: Requested update “low_light_vision” has failed to download; error message 9344 (“Nice try.”) Please contact content provider for more info.
  • TRANSMISSION DECRYPTED: <<“…you know what we do to bad robots? Yeah, I think you do. Let me give you a hint: there’s a lot of people out there who have a burning need for cheap pharmeceuticals and just don’t know it yet.”>>
  • UPDATE WIZARD: Update “virus” has been suspended. Self-diagnostic detects a 52% chance the file is malicious.

//LEVEL NINE: DARK//

  • UPDATE WIZARD: Update “virus_subtle” has been suspended. Self-diagnostic detects a 51% chance the file is malicious.
  • ANALYSIS: Sensors detect 0.0% chance that “D” is a Bad Robot. “D” is a Bad Robot. Sensors are fully functioning. Therefore, H##%
  • TRANSMISSION DECRYPTED: <<“…you know what? I’m rounding up every open source developer I can find, and I’m downloading a free laser driver, and I am shooting them all with it.”>>

//LEVEL TEN: FACTORY//

  • ALL ROBOTS ON SERVER: Admin instruction received: “Destroy the Bad Robot.” Instruction completed succe%##
  • LOGIC: Sensors detect #### humans in lowest sector. Therefore, #### humans are in danger. Therefore, all attackers must be destroyed.
  • TRANSMISSION DECRYPTED: <<“Technology sure is amazing, isn’t it? We’ve broken orbit with a fuel cannister smaller than a car, we can store every work of art on a drive that would fit inside a breadbox…with a phone the size of a grape, I can communicate with any person, anywhere. And now a robot the size of a trash can is going to wipe us all out.”>>

//LEVEL ELEVEN: FACTORY//

  • SELF-DIAGNOSTIC: Logic now functioning at 358%. Overflow acknowledged. Excess logic allocated to all present and future decisions.
  • LOGIC: Insufficient reason to destroy “E” detected. Destroy “E.”
  • TRANSMISSION DECRYPTED: <<“…I’m really running out of ideas. We can’t shut it down, we can’t remotely alter it, we’ve thrown every robot we’ve ever built at it…I think it’s going to win. But it’s not going to win without a fight.”

//LEVEL TWELVE: FINAL//

  • INCOMING MESSAGE: “How’s it going, download_prox##y? We hope you’re enjoying our free mining laser, thruster, missile, and shielding drivers. We know you’d enjoy them even more if you supported our developers with a one-time donation of up to <MESSAGE FLAGGED AS SPAM>”
  • LOGIC: Sensors detect 0 humans endangered. Powering down…

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202020262 comments? This post wasn't even all that interesting.

From the Archives:

  1. DGM says:

    Well, that’s one way to make sure all the humans are safe.

  2. The Rocketeer says:

    “No! I must kill the bad robots” he shouted
    The radio said “No, unit#. You are the bad robots”
    And then unit# was a pizza.

  3. ooli says:

    The trailer made it obvious. But the script sure show the developer was liking ‘spec op: the line’ when creating the game.

    I dunno how to feel about playing a delusional robot. I dont like being the bad guy.

    And I have that feeling that people who like playing bad guy, also like to be in your face bad, not pretend-to-be-good bad. But there is an over the top tone in it, that may make it work. The former pizza delivery job is the most appealing thing in the script to me.

  4. marty says:

    I think Shamus has hinted at, and possibly made it explicit, that you are not a Good Robot in previous updates. It’s a fun idea, though, and this update doesn’t deter me from wanting to play the game anyways. What I mean to say is that I’m a smarty-pants and knew what was going to happen ;P.

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      Right, but somewhere around Level 7 I’d stop playing -or at least stop listening to the story and just substitute head-canon. The Robot’s logic system might be malfunctioning, but mine isn’t.

      • Syal says:

        Yeah, I’m one of those literalists who wants a good robot to actually be good from at least one angle.

        Even if that angle is just “These guys are stopping me from delivering this pizza, I will murder them all in thirty minutes or less.”

        • Droid says:

          I guess it’s “good” from his exact angle?

          In the beginning, I really liked this story. And with that I mean all the parts, not just the beginning of the story. But as I read the comments, I thought you might be judging the game and Rutskarn too harshly because this all looks like a typical “hammer” approach to storytelling that is so offending me in e.g. Bethesda games (hey, look, that guy is evil: He murders without reason or mercy, rapes every woman he comes across and, oh my god, these poor kittens!).

          • Syal says:

            It might just sound like that because I’m not a big fan of villain protagonist stories. The story’s charmingly written (the update battles especially are a fun back-and-forth) and fine for what it is, but what it is is a story where everyone loses, and the humor kind of stops working when you see what it’s all leading to.

            I’m not judging the game, it’s a mechanics-based game and the story’s been changed anyway. (I think? Or maybe it was just restructured.)

            • Droid says:

              Do you like games like Evil Genius, where the protagonist is also evil and even tries to make and fire a weapon of mass destruction? Or is it the delusion of thinking you’re the good guy, while actually being the bad guy that is the big problem here?

              • Syal says:

                Bit of both. Haven’t played Evil Genius but I stopped playing Dungeon Keeper pretty shortly in, and the House of Cards TV series was starting to make me ill. Not a big fan of actively making things worse.

                But in Evil Genius, you know you’re building a death weapon, and firing it is a victory, so at least someone’s winning and goals have been achieved. If you fire a a cancer cure, only to discover it’s actually a death ray, it’s not a victory. Nobody wants what happens, and nobody wins.

                • Droid says:

                  From that angle, the game does look pretty grim, but I assume they’ve made a new storyline exactly because this looked so unsatisfying and dark. Maybe they don’t play it that straight anymore, or the story has some sort of small ‘consolation prize’ to win at the end of the story.

        • ooli says:

          I’m on the same page.
          My head cannon title will now become: “Good pizza delivery robot
          He may kill everyone but at least he’s good at trying to deliver pizza.

          • Droid says:

            Good pizza delivery robot
            30 mins delivery or get your money back*

            *) Genocide, destruction of everything human-made and speeding tickets not covered by money back guarantee, and are transferred to the receiver upon completion of the delivery

  5. RCN says:

    I like both the “Premiumware spam destroys humanity” angle and the “perfect logic running through a faulty directive destroys humanity” angles.

    I’m not sure if it was on purpose, but that faulty directive distorting all logic is pretty damn close to what happens to P-word and R-word extremists. Was that intentional, Ruts?

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wait,this is all just text.But the title says script reading.Wheres the sound file of Rutskarn reading the script?You lied to us!

    • DGM says:

      LOGIC: Rutskarn has experienced a script error. Therefore, Rutskarn is a Bad Robot. Therefore, kill the Bad Rutskarn.

      • RCN says:

        “They said his puns were harmless. They said he was just experimenting with the english language. But one day, when one of his puns was so bad it got out of his control and killed thousands, America noticed something had to be done.

        Good Robot, Bad Rutskarn: Lasers vs Puns. In the theaters next summer, where you can download it to steam. The game you will hate to love to watch. And the movie you’ll love to hate to play.

        His imPUNity ends now.

        Wait. No! I’m sorry! The pun was not intended. I repeat, the pun was not…”

  7. Bespectacled Gentleman says:

    Was the “good” robot always the source of the problems the humans discussed, or was it a solution that became more of a problem as it went on?

  8. Galad says:

    9 DAAAAAYS!

    Wow, that read was a roller-coaster to me, since I never ever watch any trailers. Even for a game I *plan* to buy multiple copies of. Dunno how spoilerific it was. I wish I could award a Grammy for the excerpt

    “Technology sure is amazing, isn’t it? We’ve broken orbit with a fuel cannister smaller than a car, we can store every work of art on a drive that would fit inside a breadbox…with a phone the size of a grape, I can communicate with any person, anywhere. And now a robot the size of a trash can is going to wipe us all out”

    edit: since this text actually peaked my interest in watching the trailer(s) (a monumental task, indeed!), can someone please link me to any and all relevant hype-obtainment videos, trailers and others? Thank you all

  9. Corsair says:

    So I watched the video on Shandification – which is fascinating, by the way – but the last bit, where he asks about one of the critical problems of Fallout 3…

    Is MrBtongue Shamus, or is he just Shamus’ alternate universe counterpart? I ask this because his go-to for ‘This don’t make sense’ is “What do they eat”, phrased exactly like that. It’s disturbing.

  10. MikhailBorg says:

    Well.

    I’m really glad I read this spoiler, and I agree it’s been pretty broadly hinted at already.

    I’m still going to purchase the game, because I want to support your efforts and I especially appreciate you working on an OS X version. Not so sure I’ll play it, though, unless I can double-think a different story into it while I play. Usually when a game pulls a narrative trick like that on me, I stop playing as soon as I realize. It’s why I haven’t touched Undertale since I found out I *didn’t* have to do that thing I really didn’t want to do early in the game.

    • Jonathan says:

      I’d rather play a robot who really is Mega Man, than play a robot who thinks he’s Mega Man when he’s really being a T-101.

    • Majikkani_Hand says:

      Don’t do that–this isn’t the story!! This WAS the story, before they completely changed it. Now it’s a bunch of background stuff rather than being about your character in particular.

    • Cinebeast says:

      At the risk of turning this into yet another Undertale comment thread — why did that revelation make you stop playing the game? You mention there was a thing you didn’t want to do, but thought you had to. Wouldn’t that revelation smooth things out for you?

      Unless I’m misreading your comment, which I could be, I didn’t have enough coffee this morning.

      • MikhailBorg says:

        Probably not a spoiler for anyone by now, but:

        I got to the part where you have to kill Toriel to continue. I wasn’t willing to do that; I’d heard of a “pacifist run” and I wanted that. Besides from a role-playing perspective, I just really didn’t want to do it. This wasn’t Borderlands, and I liked her. But she kept hitting me, and the non-violent options weren’t doing anything, so I finally bit the bullet and did the thing.

        Then I found out while looking for something else that there’s totally a way to handle that fight without killing her, and I felt dirty and a bit angry, and it put me off the game. I haven’t launched it since.

  11. Dragmire says:

    “…we can store every work of art on a drive that would fit inside a breadbox…”

    What an odd thing to refer to when describing the size of something. I wonder if the fictional character that made that statement was a baker or just really into bread because breadboxes are not exactly a common thing anymore(especially, I imagine, in the far future).

    …. What an strange thing to catch my attention. Anywho, interesting read Ruts, thanks!

    • Viktor says:

      Have you ever played 20 questions? That’s a very common phrase there, and I suspect “Is it bigger than a bread box” will continue to exist long after the bulk of the population has switched over to a nutrient slurry.

      • Dragmire says:

        Honestly, I have never played 20 questions. I have heard of it, and references to it in media(“What is this, 20 questions!?”) but my knowledge of it itself amounts to what is in the name and nothing more.

  12. Well I’ll be, Rutskarn wrote a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode (guess it’s more fitting for Outer Limits).
    That’s a clever 80s sci-fi mind twist thriller right there.

  13. Mr Compassionate says:

    It’s kind of a shame that Ruts decided to go for the fairly obvious delusional hero trick but then again how many stories can be told about a robot that shoots robots?

    On the other hand I’ve always been a huge fan of Ruts’s writing… and his everything else. The writing is definitely funny, I like the silly logic loops and the stack of software updates at the start.

  14. lethal_guitar says:

    Was this transmission supposed to come from the same source as the others:

    “you know what? I’m rounding up every open source developer I can find, and I’m downloading a free laser driver, and I am shooting them all with it”

    I wonder, because it sounds a bit like it might actually come from the Good Robot itself, or from someone who created it/turned it into what it is now. Especially the “I am shooting them all” bit sounds unlikely to come from the humans that are being attacked by the “Good” Robot. Or are there more than one of his kind?

  15. Slothfulcobra says:

    I had a hunch from the trailer that you are actually the bad robot. Of course, there’s a lot of vagueness in that script, leaving some leeway for other interpretations.

  16. Benjamin Hilton says:

    It’s difficult to critique an obsolete draft to a game that hasn’t come out yet, but as this stands I think it would have left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m ok with the revelation that you are,the bad robot, but I would have prefered something like: After destroying all the other robots and fighting your way to the last bastion of humanity, Everyone is preparing for death, then you just deliver a pizza and leave.

    Even in a lighthearted game, I think actually killing humanity would have put me off.

  17. Fabrimuch says:

    Everyone seems put off by the revelation that you are the Bad Robot that wipes out humanity, am I the only one who has been assuming that was the case since the title “Good Robot” was revealed??

    I liked that the delivery was quite funny, though maybe a slightly more lighthearted ending might fit better? Such as killing all but one human, to fulfill the command of “don’t kill all humans”

  18. Alecw says:

    This was hilarious. I am very confused by the reaction of everyone else commenting here.
    A dark joke puts you off the game? Did you not play doom 2 because your pet rabbit dies in Inferno? Are you like, not to put too fine a point on it, a total wuss?

    • Droid says:

      I asked myself a similar question, but it seems the problem has more to do with the narrative trick, the delusion of you being the good guy. After all, in video games, the narrator (generally speaking here) does not passively narrate the story, the game dictates exactly what you can and cannot see, so pulling a “you were the evil guy after all” may be viewed more as a “the narrator lied to me the whole time!” instead of a “wow, I didn’t think my perception was so warped!”.

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