How Per Aspera makes you feel like an AI

Dealing with the fallout from artificial intelligence was one of the first things science fiction did as a genre. However, most science fiction books, movies, and games explore these ideas from a person’s perspective, whether we’re ditching SHODAN in System Shock or talking to Cortana in Halo. This is something that Per Aspera developers, Tlön Industries wanted to change. From their offices in Buenos Aires, the team of about 12 people have spent the last few years trying to figure out what it will be like in the mind of a newly awakened – newborn – artificial awareness.

The result is Bear Aspera, A strategic city-building company that has players working to reshape Mars as AMI. You are a non-gender supernatural genius capable of doing incredible things, but you are also an effective child without perception of society or social interaction.

(Photo credit: Tlön Industries)

Developer Javier Otaegui told me in a call: ‘What we wanted to do with Per Aspera was make you feel like you really are the AI.’ “How do you feel when you are an AI? How do you feel when you wake up and discover that you were created for a specific purpose? You have free will, but you are kind of a slave.” The AMI story is primarily related to the Per Aspera campaign mode. AMI’s first thoughts are small and basic incentives about its mission – building a mine, expanding the power grid – and effectively shaping Per Aspera’s tutorial.

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