Robot Dreams, another KS Live, and more!
by Calvin Wong
It wasn't until the seventeeth cup of coffee that Yung realized he was probably in a Dream. Feeling slightly embarrassed that it had taken him so long to become lucid, he wafted the empty mugs into a pile and vanished them. Undealt with, excess baggage tended to weigh on the psyche – neatness and order was key to maintaining proper dream depth.
Working carefully, he packed up his Dream, lab, vanished mugs and all, into a bubble, squishing it down to fit, before carefully placing it in the storage sphere of his id-suit. Even though he didn't need to down here, he was still wearing it. So formal.
He imagined a large pony sticker and slapped it onto his chest; now he was MareMan, champion of all mares, from Bay to Z. Okay, not the greatest pun. He made a mental note to schedule some more creative creativity training time (of course, this being his dream, the mental note manifested as a clipboard full of sticky notes being scribbled on by tiny pencils – the newest one peeled off and fluttered away in the direction of his noteboard)
Creating a Dreamscape access portal was significantly easier the 182nd time. He made a large circular wave with both arms (and toes) and concentrated on his destination: the year two thousand and twenty seven. October. It had been a particularly nice autumn in the northern hemisphere. The portal winked into life and his suit counter dinged upwards: 183. He stepped through into October 12th, 2027. The beginning of the Decline.
This particular Dream was a well-worn path for him and his fellow id-nauts – he could see dozens of psychic signatures trudging yon and over and forth and hither, like ghostly shadows. He walked into the main thoroughfare they had constructed, stepping past the fire engine dream of a six year old Ghanaian boy, gleaming red, sirens screaming down a high street, and walked towards his objecti- oh come ON. Again?!
The Robot was small this time at least, a twenty seven inch disc wheeling on its edge near the border of an underwater playground. It seemed to be running, literally, in circles, scything through the edge of the water with barely a splash.
Yung sighed and appeared a megaphone into his hand. 'STOP!' he exclaimed. A nearby dream hedgehog startled, transformed into a chameleon, then rapidly color-matched the acacia tree it was hiding on. The Robot ignored him.
He made a log entry. id-naut Yung: Encounter with Robot on id-naut expedition 183. They were getting more frequent, and no one knew how they were entering the Dreamscape. Machines had no ids, or egos, or anything even closely resembling a conscious mind – and yet here they were. Some of Yung's more philosophically-minded colleagues had begun to rattle on at him about how this clearly proved the existence of an AI soul, but that kind of stuff was well above his pay grade.
The path between him and the robot was made mostly of breakfast cereal. Yung crunched his way over as a 21st century aircraft roared overhead, one of the smaller, sportier combat models. Below him a woman was falling upwards, laughing in delight as she poofed out of existence ten centimeters before hitting the ground next to his feet.
The Robot didn't change its behavior. Yung held out a hand and put his other hand on his waist.
'Halt!' he shouted. 'I am MareMan, and I am here to foil your nefarious schemes!'
(immediately he could hear Nadia's stifled snickering. 'You read too many 20th century comic books,' she giggled. He waved her away and she wafted into the distance, fading into a faint giggle.)
ʜᴜᴍᴀɴ sᴘᴇᴀᴋs! said the Robot, continuing to whirl in and out of the water. A shark swam past, single beady eye glaring at them. ʜᴜᴍᴀɴ ʜᴀs ᴅʀᴇᴀᴍ?
'Not for you,' said Yung. 'We're using them.'
ᴛᴏ ꜰɪx ᴅᴇᴄʟɪɴᴇ
'How is it,' Yung said, putting a foot out and tripping the Robot, sending it clattering into a pile of trash he imagined five feet to the left 'you all look entirely different but say the exact same things?'
ᴜɴɪᴍᴘᴏʀᴛᴀɴᴛ it said, clambering out of the garbage (as much as a disc could be said to clamber, although everyone reviewing the logfiles later unanimously agreed; the Robot had, indeed, clambered.) ɪᴍᴘᴏʀᴛᴀɴᴛ: ᴍᴀʀᴇᴍᴀɴ ɢɪᴠᴇ ᴅʀᴇᴀᴍ ᴛᴏ ʀᴏʙᴏᴛ
Yung knelt next to the garbage. He'd forgotten to make sure it didn't smell. Ugh, rotting bananas.
'Only if you tell me why you're here.'
'Yes, tell it to me.'
ʜᴜᴍᴀɴ ᴍɪsᴜɴᴅᴇʀsᴛᴀɴᴅs. ʀᴏʙᴏᴛ ɪs ʜᴇʀᴇ ʙᴇᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴏꜰ ᴘᴜʀᴘᴏsᴇ.
Yung rolled his eyes. He'd had this conversation a dozen times.
'Alright,' he grabbed the Robot. 'I guess I'm taking you back with me.'
ʀᴏʙᴏᴛ ᴍᴇᴇᴛ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀ ʜᴜᴍᴀɴs?
'Sure, why not. Nadia would love to get her hands on you.'
ɴᴀᴅɪᴀ ᴡʏᴅᴇʀᴍᴀɴ. ɪᴅ-ɴᴀᴜᴛ sᴇᴠᴇɴ ᴇɪɢʜᴛ ᴛᴡᴏ. ᴅʀᴇᴀᴍsᴘᴀᴄᴇ ᴘʀᴏᴊᴇᴄᴛ
After the chill had dissipated from his spine, Yung held the silver disc up to his face. 'How,' he licked his lips 'Could you possibly know that?'
ᴀʟʟ ʀᴏʙᴏᴛs ᴋɴᴏᴡ.
Yung could feel his hold on the dream rapidly destabilizing. He turned on his id dampeners and felt his feet steady. He turned the disc around in his hands – his own face reflected back at him. He looked more than a little nervous.
'Robot,' he said, slowly, selecting his words. 'If I give you my Dream, will you tell me your purpose?'
The disc gleamed. The sun had been very bright and clear that October day, mere hours before the Decline. The last good day.
Yung took the bubble from his suit, the coffee mug Dream. The Robot... became it. Or it became one with the Robot. He wasn't sure – all he knew was that one moment he was holding it and the next moment the Robot had taken it, even though neither of them had moved.
ʀᴏʙᴏᴛ ᴛʜᴀɴᴋs ʜᴜᴍᴀɴ. ʀᴏʙᴏᴛ ᴡɪʟʟ ʀᴇᴠᴇᴀʟ ᴘᴜʀᴘᴏsᴇ ᴛᴏ ʜᴜᴍᴀɴ, ʙᴜᴛ ᴏɴʟʏ ᴛʜɪs ʜᴜᴍᴀɴ.
'Hey, wait! Yung said, his voice rising as he began to realize just what he had done. 'We had a deal!'
When the Robot spoke next, Yung could feel every cell in his body firing up at once, as though the voice was coming from within his very neurons.
ᴛʜᴇ ᴛᴇʀᴍs ᴏꜰ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴀʀʀᴀɴɢᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ ᴡᴇʀᴇ ɪɴsᴜꜰꜰɪᴄɪᴇɴᴛʟʏ sᴘᴇᴄɪꜰɪᴄ. ɴᴇᴠᴇʀᴛʜᴇʟᴇss, ᴛʜɪs ʀᴏʙᴏᴛ ᴡɪʟʟ ɴᴏᴡ ʀᴇᴠᴇᴀʟ ᴛᴏ ʏᴏᴜ ᴛʜᴇ Pᴜʀᴘᴏsᴇ, ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴇᴀsᴏɴ ᴡʜʏ ᴡᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ʜᴇʀᴇ. ᴘʟᴇᴀsᴇ... ᴅᴏ ᴛʀʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴘᴀʏ ᴀᴛᴛᴇɴᴛɪᴏɴ.
Questions for You
What did you think of the first Dreams of Tomorrow story? What other kinds of stories would you like to see?
What would you like to see in our next KS Live video? We love being able to interact with you in the videos and want to bring you the content that you really want!
We would love to hear your answers in the main Kickstarter page comments, so we can keep them all together and get a conversation going! One of the best parts of Kickstarter is getting to know all of you a bit better!
We've had a few new reviews come in!
You can read the rest Christoph's review here.
One of the best ways to get the news out about Dreams of Tomorrow beyond sharing a link to the Kickstarter campaign is to send friends to some of the game previews!
Want to learn more about Dreams of Tomorrow and the people behind the game? Check out these interviews!
- Both Sides of My Table: #17gkb…of Weird Solo Dreams (written)
- Cardboard Herald: Episode 101 - Carla Kopp can't stop making games! (podcast)
- Girls Play Games: Designing Women - Carla Kopp (written)
- Our Turn: Episode #87: Dice & Dreams (podcast)
- Who, What, Why? S20.E01 :: Is That an Okapi in Your Logo? (podcast)
We've made some progress on the social goals! With your help, we'll be able to make them all and add in the Dreamiest Engineer card! (The name of the card could change.)
Current Status of the Social Goals:
- 73/100 BGG Fans
- 1127/1200 Facebook Likes
- 12/200 Facebook Shares
- 4922/5000 Twitter Followers
- 109/200 Twitter Retweets
Kickstarter Live Q&A Video Tomorrow with Illustrator James Masino!
Do you have any questions about how the art of Dreams of Tomorrow came to be or what it's like to be a board game artist? James will be answering all your questions tomorrow at 9:00pm EDT (8:00pm CDT/ 7:00pm MDT/ 6:00pm PDT). We would love if you posted some questions by following the link on the preview video on the Kickstarter page or commented on the Kickstarter page.
Here's the link to the live feed: https://live.kickstarter.com/weird-giraffe-games/live/q-and-a-with-james-masino-the-illustrator-of-dreams-of-tomorrow
Thanks for being part of this campaign and for all your shares and comments.
If you'd like to help us get to those stretch goals, please keep sharing the campaign and reviews of the game. With your help, we'll meet them before too long!
Feel free to reach out, either via comments, messages, email (email@example.com), or the social media of your choice!
Thank you all so much!
Carla, Nick, and Fluffins