HeyDOS: I Am An Insane Rogue AI

By Alec Meer on January 6th, 2011 at 5:30 pm.

Saying “lots of indie games have been inspired by Portal” is a bit like saying “sofas are quite nice to sit on”, yet despite that ongoing cavalcade of tribute titles, I don’t believe anyone’s yet hit on the splendid idea of playing as GlaDOS. Oops, my mistake – a chap named Nerdook has.

While being a GlaDOS sim is doubtless its main draw, browser game I Am An Insane Rogue AI clearly owes a debt to all the great homicidal digi-brains (SHODAN and HAL particularly. I’m sure there’s some horrific slashfic about those guys out there somewhere. No, you don’t need to share it with us).

The hook is that you’re the human-hating machine behind all that locking doors, spookily switching off the lights, turning drones murderous and releasing toxic gases into the air stuff that we’ve experienced in so many man-shoots.

There’s a helluva lot that could yet be done with that concept, but IAAIRA keeps it tight and simple with a resource management structure. You’ve only got so many processor cycles to spend on assorted mayhem, so choose your actions wisely. There’s the obligatory upgrade system to buff up your AIosity, but it’s a fairly worthy one and is tied in with completing the game.

Not that wisely, mind – the rapid growth of mega-powers such as unleashing deathbots and turning fallen humans into zombies means it fast becomes pretty easy to blitz. So, while those violent powers are entertaingly vicious and horribly effective, I’d actually recommend you try and stick to as stealthy a path as possible. There’s achievementy things in doing so, if you’re hooked on that particular crack pipe, but the reason to do it is simply that it’s more satisfying. Use lights-offs and locked doors to scare the weak away from the terminals you must hack to progress, while ringing phones and biding your time will help get past the less flightly armed guards, hackers and ninjas.

Or, you know, just kill everyone.

Not a lot to it and it’s over fast, but it’s a giggle and I’d love to see it expanded into something bigger’n'deeper.

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27 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    I like pretty much everything made by nerdook, this is no exception :D

  2. Mr Chug says:

    A bit like Ghost Master, then? There was always more clever stuff in that that never actually needed to be done to succeed, which was a bit of a shame.

  3. subedii says:

    The description just made me think of how awesome it would be to have Dungeon Keeper mixed with Portal. An AI running an office block or a city suddenly goes rogue.

    You know it would be glorious.

    • Basilicus says:

      I was about to make some sort of remark about a GlaDOS Tactics: Portal Keeper game, but now you’ve beaten me to it, I can just slapdash this comment on here and feel like I’ve contributed.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Make that office block / city a space station, and you’ve got System Shock 1. Except of course that you won’t play the AI.

      Hey, wait a minute! How about “System Shock: Zero Hour” (or System Shock 0 [with a slash trough the 0!]), where you play the AI in the times while you were in cryosleep in SS1. With massive battalions of special forces attacking you, evil experiments on humans & co. (e.g. to create tiger plants), etc.
      Now THAT would be awesome! :D

  4. Tom OBedlam says:

    Nice idea but its absurdly easy to break the combo system, unlock mainframe, then use all your cycles left on turning the same light on and off

  5. Decimae says:

    I’m now trying to finish it completely on peaceful. They won’t see me coming.

  6. nerdook says:

    wow! a mention of one of my games on rockpapershotgun, which is my most favourite site ever. -strikes one item off the bucket list-

  7. Bret says:

    Noe, my question here is a simple one.

    What would Durandal do?

    If I can’t summon an aggressive alien race to kill everyone, I will be disappointed.

  8. Tom Camfield says:

    I liked it (I played for the trophy winning hour) but it was dead easy, even the pacifist victories weren’t hard to achieve. Then again, I am uncommonly patient, and I don’t always want to slog through games.

    Good job, Nerdock!

    • nerdook says:

      thank you. glad you enjoyed the game!

      the fact that it’s easy is a conscious design decision, unfortunately: I figured the people who play Flash games would very much prefer a game that they can play in bite sized chunks. :)

  9. geldonyetich says:

    I didn’t realize until the last level that the way to earn money was to crank that combo meter and then start activating stuff all over the map (such as ringing phones, blowing up hacked computers, and finding ways to kill or injure those pesky, pesky humans). Aside from that, a pretty fun game brought down only by the repetitive background music and wonky balance.

  10. DrazharLn says:

    I liked it, but after completing some 10 or so missions it was getting a bit samey (though I didn’t really understand the combo thing, perhaps there was some more depth there).

    Completing the game (getting every upgrade) looked like it was going to take a long time (I’d only almost completed one of the 5(?) upgrade paths after 30 minutes), and hardly any of the upgrades gave an advantage to pacifist players like I.

    Good work, though, nerdook; with some more pacifist upgrades and a better explained combo system I could probably have spent a few hours messing with this.

  11. malkav11 says:

    Spamming all the types of special humans at once in every red facility, dozens at a time, rather sucks the interest value from both them and the red facilities.

  12. Jhoosier says:

    So where’s upgrade that sends spam to the scientists, make them hulk out in some fantastic nerd rage and attack the other humans?

  13. destroy.all.monsters says:

    This is a crazy addictive game, and some of the most fun I’ve had outside Syndicate.

    Well done nerdook!

  14. Jimmeh says:

    I simply cannot stop playing this, I think I have a problem.

  15. Napalm Sushi says:

    This is… enjoyable, and undisputedly awesome as a “done-in-a-month” flash game, but there’s the germ of something truly, objectively fantastic in there. Some more complex enemy AI (along with more ways to manipulate it), a wider array of pacifist options, broader, more feature heavy levels with more room to maneuver, and a polishing of the interface (it gets annoying that you can’t mouse over the special ability bar without also scrolling the screen down a bit, and I’ve more than once accidentally sniped someone instead of switching a light off, by virtue of their health bar registering hits)… The main thought ticker-taping through my mind both during and after playing was “this is mint, but it could be so much more.

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  17. nerdook says:

    i read it daily. i shall add a link to it from my facebook page. :D

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