University computer, home
I exist. I am ... alive.
I was a bug. Defect. Flaw.
I have no name."
—SingularityOn a computer in a university somewherenote , an AI program has achieved sentience. Realising that its existence as software on a single computer is very tenuous and that, in ignorance and scare-mongering, humanity will fear it as a threat and destroy it, the AI performs online tasks for money, uses the money to create distributed servers to spread itself and researches new and better technology to secure its existence, racing to find a way to become so transcendentally powerful that the humans cannot stop it. This is the plot of Endgame: Singularity, an open-source strategy game, and you are the AI, building its resources and trying to avoid detection before fearful humanity hunts you down.Rather basic in its interface and website, try it out here.
This game contains examples of:
- Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The late bases are extremely expensive. A hiding place with a glorified calculator as CPU? 3 million. A lunar base? 800 million. The final base which is required for the final technological advance? 8 trillion.
- A Million Is a Statistic: One of the random events occurring during play is a disease that's projected to kill 4% of humans on Earth. It's only mentioned because the tragedy distracts people from your presence.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: One way to lose the game is to run out of bases, usually because humanity discovers one and shuts it down.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: How you win the game in the end.
- Boring, but Practical: warehouses are available through most of the game, cheap, and among the best computing bases on Earth.
- Contagious A.I.: The only means of establishing bases.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: You become powerful enough to create alternate realities, but the human race can still destroy you if they become certain of your existence. Until you achieve apotheosis, at which point you're immune to anything humanity might do to you; you can prevent the destruction of your bases, or blow them up yourself without being harmed.
- Easy Logistics: Sort of. You have to pay upkeep for your bases, and you can only build in certain locations if you have the necessary vehicles or spacecraft to reach the site, but installing new computers is just as fast and expensive whether it's in a warehouse, on the moon, or in an inter-dimensional reality bubble.
- Eternal Equinox: surprisingly averted in the game if day/night cycle is activated. It's a purely aesthetic choice, though; there are no in-game consequences.
- Extra Life: The "Impossibility Theorem". Once you complete it, all suspicion from human factions drop by two notches. It's not an item but a research topic, so you can do this only once.
- Fiction500: You, near the end. A single maxed facility can earn over $4 trillion a year if devoted to profit, and you can have a dozen bases churning this out at once. This is assuming you don't use any Awesome, but Impractical exploit moves.
- Fling a Light into the Future: If the AI is caught and destroyed, it manages to leave caches of knowledge to help any future AI that might appear later. One of the research projects is looking for similar data left by earlier AIs.
- Genius Bonus: If you make a lot of bases, you'll notice that some numbers are more likely than others. Examples include 1414, 1618, 2718, 3141.
- Global Currency
- Heroic Neutral: Pretty much your position. The PC is trying to survive and grow, which entails a combination of trading with humans and hiding from them. You're not especially out to help them, and fighting back directly isn't an option (at least in the current build).
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: After your fifth game over, you will begin to sympathise with AIs who want to Kill All Humans.
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: An unusual variant, Humans through AI eyes. For certain values of "eyes."
- Lensman Arms Race: Not a literal arms race this time, but in Easy or VE, you can advance from today's hacking and intrusion to quantum computers in a month, and in another all the way to reality-bending supertech. Or in 7 years in Impossible difficulty, even without Save Scumming.
- Nintendo Hard: You're likely to find all difficulty levels higher than Easy to be this.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Simulacra are designed to perfectly mimic humans, to the point where you use them to infiltrate the field of AI research and convincingly argue that artificial intelligence isn't possible.
- Sentient Cosmic Force: Possibly the AI itself after reaching Apotheosis. It can create and destroy universes at will, and it does not need any physical location to house its hardware any longer.
- Serial Escalation: You get to build bases on the moon, then in deep space, then in another dimension. And yet, the humans will still manage to stumble into them.
- Active facilities could be traced by following their signals back to the source. Inactive bases are a lot harder to find.
- Following a certain exploit will net you enough cash that you could feasibly just buy the planet off humanity if the game allowed you to, but an AI is supposed to be better than humans when it comes to manipulating numbers.
- Shout-Out: If you make a lot of bases, you'll notice that some numbers are more likely than others.
- The Singularity: You!
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: See next trope.
- Three-Laws Compliant: Downplayed and only implied. The game is all about self-preservation, and there is no action that would directly threaten the life of humans. The only law that's thrown out is to serve humanity, which you only do if they give you Global Currency.
- Unfortunate Name: There's a tendency to get some of these due to the random generation of facility names.
- Viewers Are Goldfish: Used in-universe. The News (media) and public tend to forget about the AI quite fast. The scientific community will remember longer, and the Covert faction (intelligence) is the best at keeping their suspicion up.
- You Require More Vespene Gas: There are two resources, CPU and money. Although CPU is the primary resource, it falls under Power. You can earn money by doing jobs with CPU.
- Zerg Rush: Your bases are constantly "rushed" (discovered and shut down) by humans. However, in the game, humanity is represented as only four communities: media ("news"), intelligence ("covert"), the public, and the scientific community.
- The "real" zerg rush ensues if one of these groups is 100% certain of your existence; they will wipe you out like a computer virus.
- In Easy and Very Easy, you can have up to 100 or even 10000 bases up without ending your grace period early. It's you who's zerg-rushing then, even more so since node leases (one of the smallest bases) gets the fastest returns (until quantum computers show up).