Today was Sunday.
After Chen Yize sent the game file to Li Xinyi yesterday, she finally noticed it today.
[Xinyi, I have developed an application by myself these days. I call it Choice of Robots. Could you help me test it? Try to find some bugs in it and then report back to me so that I can fix them.]
– Chen Yize –
The email also attached a file. Supposedly, it was the so-called application Chen Yize had mentioned.
Although Chen Yize said he wanted Li Xinyi to help test the game, he also had another purpose.
He wanted to ask for a credit, let Li Xinyi see his ability, and raise his salary.
He might even get promoted to a higher position so that he could have more power to do things in the company, not like an ordinary programmer that he was now.
After all, he didn want to wait for someone else to enter the company and be his boss, forcing him to work as a programmer day and night until he was bald.
Chen Yize didn know that all of this was just his imagination that would never happen because Li Xinyi wouldn allow it.
Back to the present, Li Xinyi looked at this email sent by Chen Yize with doubt in her eyes.
Although she knew Chen Yize had been using her companys computer these days, she wasn interested in learning what he would do.
Most of the time, she stayed on the first floor while Chen Yize rushed to the second floor every time he came to the company.
In the end, she didn expect that Chen Yize would secretly develop the application these days all by himself without telling her.
And Chen Yize only spent less than two weeks developing it. Who wouldn doubt it?
She didn doubt whether Chen Yize was lying to her. After all, she knew that this guy was still an honest person.
She just doubted whether Chen Yize could finish it in this short time. It was less than two weeks, you know?
Even if he could finish it, she doubted whether he could develop it well.
Anyway, it was of no use thinking about it more. It was better to download and check it directly, whether it was good or not.
With this thought, Li Xinyi clicked to download the application Chen Yize had sent before.
Hmm, the size was 20 MB. It was relatively low among many computer apps.
Opening it, the first thing Li Xinyi saw was the first page of the game with the text with lots of words.
[The robots you design will change the world! Will you show them the true meaning of love, or conquer Alaska with your robot army?
Choice of Robots is an epic xx0,000-word interactive sci-fi novel by Chen Yize, where your choices control the story. Its entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.
The text here was similar to the games description of Chen Yizes previous life except for the authors name (original: Kevin Gold), the number of words contained in the game, and the number of achievements.
After all, the game Li Xinyi played now was the Chinese-translated version of the original game. It was natural to have a different number of words from the original.
There were also the games title, the authors name, and four different buttons that appeared above the text.
The four buttons were [Show Stats], [Restart], [Achievements], and [Menu].
Clicking the [Show Stats] first, Li Xinyi saw what it looked like to be the data of many things.
The first one was the year. It showed that it was 2019.
The second one was about the 24-year-old Unnamed Protagonist with humanity at 90%. And gender was a question mark, fame and wealth were 0, and romance was none.
The third one was Your Robot. Autonomy was 0, while Military, Empathy, and Grace were 1.
And the last one was Relationships. It showed 8 bars with a question mark and 50% each.
When Li Xinyi looked back at the four buttons above, there was a new button [Return to the Game] that had replaced [Show Stats].
Clicking it and Li Xinyi returned to the previous page. She seemed to understand what this button could do.
Next, Li Xinyi tried to click the [Restart] button. The pop-up appeared and asked if she wanted to start over from the beginning.
Li Xinyi didn start anything yet, so why should she start over? So, she chose to cancel it directly.
Then, Li Xinyi clicked the [Achievements] buttons. There was the text that read [You haven unlocked any achievements yet…].
And there were more than 60 achievements. From the description on the first page, Li Xinyi guessed that she might be able to achieve these things later.
Finally, Li Xinyi clicked the [Menu] button. And the game changed to a page with many choices for her to choose, such as [Return to the Story], [View the Credits], [Share this game with friends], [Make the text bigger or smaller], and [Change the background color].
Li Xinyi learned how to choose very quickly. She just needed to select one of them and click the large button with the word [Next] below.
Then, Li Xinyi played with the [Menu] for a while.
When Li Xinyi chose to [View the Credits], she saw the game changed to the page with the credits.
The writer was Chen Yize. The art was outsourced and used the name of the outsourcing company. The beta testers were Chen Yize and Li Xinyi. And the version of this app was also there.
There were also [About the Author] where Chen Yize described himself briefly, The [Acknowledgements] where it thanked the outsourcing company for the art, and Li Xinyi for the test, and [About Xinyi company] where there was the text that asked Li Xinyi what she wanted to fill in there.
Somehow though, the one who held the copyright of this game was the Xinyi company, not Chen Yize.
Li Xinyi didn understand why Chen Yize chose to do this. She must ask him for a reason later, she thought.
After Li Xinyi played with the [Menu] for a while, she returned to the first page and prepared to start.
There was a text below that read [You can play the first two chapters of the story for free. Purchase the rest of the story below.].
And there were still two large buttons like before that read [Buy It Now for RMB 20.00] and [Play Now for Free].
Without thinking, Li Xinyi clicked to buy directly, which resulted in the next page showing the text [This is just a beta version for the boss to test the application. How could I, a humble person, dare to ask the boss to purchase with money.].
Rolling her eyes, Li Xinyi continued to click the [Next] button to start the game.
After she had finally started, Li Xinyi saw the first page, and it asked her [Where are you?].
There were four choices for Li Xinyi to choose.
[In the court of the Egyptian god Anubis, answering for my sins.]
[On a war-torn battlefield, with a robotic Statue of Liberty.]
[On a cliff in Ireland, watching the sun set with a robot companion.]
[On a utopian beach ruled by a godlike cloud of robots.]
Looking at these four choices that were so abstract, Li Xinyi didn know which one to choose for a while.
And in the end, Li Xinyi chose the third one because it looked the most romantic, which also interested her the most.
On the next page, it read [Sitting on a seaside cliff in Ireland, watching the sunset, is the robot companion you always wanted.].
For the choices, Li Xinyi hesitated between choosing [He proposed to me at this very spot.] and [He and I travel the world together, exploring.].
When Li Xinyi finally chose the first one, the next page also came up instantly.
Looking at the text [(++Empathy) (+Grace)], Li Xinyi thought of something and immediately clicked the [Show Stats] button above.
And sure enough, the robots stats had changed. Empathy turned into 3, and Grace turned into 2.
When Li Xinyi returned to the games page and finally had time to read the rest of the text, a part of the text caught her attention.
[ ”I hope I didn keep you waiting, ” you say.
”Actually, Im still waiting, ” he says with a slight smile. ”For you to build me. ”]
So, is this the robot she will create?
Li Xinyi could only guess about the future plot.
Clicking [Next], what appeared on the page became the philosophy.
[Some things are in our control and others not.
Picking up her mobile phone to search for information about him, Li Xinyi discovered that this guy did exist in history.
He was a Greek Stoic philosopher who came up with many philosophies.
As Chen Yize had discovered before, the history in this world was still similar to his previous world before World War II. But after the start of the war, things started to deviate from his previous life.
Therefore, a person like Epictetus, who died before World War II, was still famous in this world, so Chen Yize didn need to replace him with another person.
Putting down her mobile phone, Li Xinyi continued the game.
Li Xinyi looked at it and discovered that the large button below had changed from [Next] to [Chapter 1: Assembly]
So, if there is chapter 1, it should also have the following chapters. Right?
With that thought in mind, Li Xinyi clicked to start chapter 1 directly.
The text showed that it was the fall of 2019. Li Xinyi played as a twenty-four-year-old graduate student in the Ph.D. program in Computer Science at Stanford. And then, she could decide the gender.
Of course, Li Xinyi chose to be a girl without hesitation.
Then, Li Xinyi could still choose her name and surname. And she typed them for herself with her real name and surname without much thinking.
And after making two more choices, Li Xinyi in the game finally came to the time when she made her first robot.
After finishing making her first robot, Li Xinyi continued to make many choices that appeared during the game while also facing many problems that sometimes made it hard to make a choice.
Li Xinyi didn notice that she seemed to be immersed in the story unconsciously. She spent two and a half hours and finally reached the end where she and her new robot married each other and lived happily ever after.
Li Xinyi was still sitting there motionless and closing her eyes. Now, she just wanted to immerse herself in this beautiful journey, and the story was like a magnet for her.
She recalled what she had experienced during these two and a half hours.
Sometimes, it was heartwarming, while sometimes, it was solemn.
Sometimes, it was full of humor, and she burst into laughter.
Sometimes, it looked sweet, yet it filled her heart with bitterness.
Sometimes, it was thought-provoking, making her contemplate.
In the end, it also filled her heart with joy and satisfaction.
”What a surprise. ” Li Xinyi murmured.
Opening her eyes again, Li Xinyi first looked at the email Chen Yize had sent.
Her eyes now looked very calm. Yet instead of the previous doubt, there was a hint of admiration in her eyes.
It was remarkable that Chen Yize could come up with many ideas, all of which were worth studying.
This app allowed the users to have control over the story.
Chen Yize also added the stats and the achievements to the app without making her feel any conflict. They fitted perfectly well with it.
Li Xinyi believed that no one had ever thought of these ideas before. Even if there was, there was still no one who successfully implemented them.
With this thought, Li Xinyi sent her first reply back to Chen Yize.
[It was a good novel. Keep working hard.]
[As for the [About Xinyi company] in the credits, just say that…]
Yes, Li Xinyi still regarded this application as a kind of novel called an interactive novel. These words were mentioned in the description at the start before.
As for now, Li Xinyi tried to convince herself that she would continue replaying this application to find bugs for Chen Yize.
It wasn because these achievements made her feel very itchy and want to unlock all of them.
As a result, Li Xinyi replayed the game repeatedly until the day had passed and the night had come.
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