Item #: SCP-1633
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: One copy of SCP-1633 is to be stored on a standard DVD-ROM in a secure storage locker in Site-15, along with all supporting documentation and ancillary materials. Individuals wishing to run tests on SCP-1633 must submit a request in writing to head researcher Dr. Berger. Testing will only be conducted with on-site computers which meet all requirements laid out in document SCP-1633-HS-01.1 These computers may be used for extended testing periods (up to six (6) months), but the hard drive must be wiped and all components destroyed at the conclusion of testing.
No individual save file may be played beyond the end of act three in the game storyline without specific authorization by Dr. Berger. Prior to this point, the save game and accompanying .ptd file must be erased.
Description: SCP-1633 is a computer game created by the now-defunct independent game studio ███████ █████. The copy in Foundation possession is a beta version of the game. The core gameplay is relatively complete, but there are numerous incomplete aspects: certain art assets are missing, there are various graphical issues, the music is either missing or just "placeholder" music, and so forth.2 As this version of the game was compiled two days before the Foundation raided the ███████ █████ offices on ██/██/201█, it is presumed this is the most complete version of the game in existence.
The source of the anomalous properties of the game, as well as a major selling point in the game's pre-release advertising, are its so-called "tactical heuristic algorithms." After a player saves their game and quits, a background process will begin running on the player's computer.3 When the process completes, either a new file is created in the same folder as the player's save game, with the file extension ".ptd," or an existing .ptd file is updated.4 When a player loads an existing save game with an associated .ptd file, enemies in the game will be more intelligent and effective, with the increase approximately proportionate to the total amount of time spent playing.5 Initially, this will result in a more challenging game experience, with the enemies adapting to a player's preferred weapons, strategies, and overall play style. However, given enough time, enemies become aware of the existence of the player and begin to attack him or her, rather than the characters in the game.
Typical progression is as follows:6
|Total time||Enemy intelligence|
|0-2 hours||Enemies lack even basic strategic intelligence and will charge the player characters regardless of weapon equipped, environment, the presence of cover, etc.|
|2-5 hours||Enemies begin adapting their tactics to their environment and the weapons they carry. For example, enemies with short-range weapons will attempt to move closer to the player characters before attacking, and in engagements at long range they will seek cover. At this stage, enemies are roughly equal in skill to an untrained civilian.|
|5-8 hours||Enemies begin to counter an individual player's preferred strategies. For example, they will attack a player who uses long-range weaponry from cover with grenades or "splash damage" weapons, to force them out into the open. They will use environmental features offensively and defensively: for instance, laying traps at chokepoints or setting up ambushes in "killbox" zones. At this stage, enemies are roughly equal in skill to a trained human soldier.|
|8-12 hours||Enemies begin using tactics which affect the player instead of the characters. At some point, enemies seem to become aware that the player characters are being controlled by an "outside" intelligence, and adjust their strategies accordingly. Rather than attacking the player characters, enemies may instead position themselves to block the player's view. Enemies have been seen acting in a "glitched" manner (repeatedly walking into walls, performing the same actions again and again, freezing in place), waiting until the player dismisses them as a threat, then attacking. In one play session, enemies used multiple "dayflash" spells7 in every engagement, varying the pattern and timing each time. Eventually they developed a "strobing" pattern which was highly disorienting to the player and ultimately caused her to suffer a grand mal seizure.|
|12+ hours||Enemies begin attacking the player psychologically. Specific modes of attack have varied widely, as the game tailors its attacks to each player's psychological makeup. Facing a player who micromanaged his characters with a fine degree of control, enemies used attacks which did little or no damage but caused the characters to become "dazed," a state which temporarily disrupts player control. However, rather than attack the "dazed" characters, enemies simply surrounded them in a crowd, continually using "daze" attacks to prevent the player from doing anything. The subsequent near-total loss of control had a noticeable effect on the player's ability to focus. In another example, enemies "kidnapped" one of the player characters and quickly dragged them off-screen. Later in the level, the player discovered the corpse of this character on a makeshift "altar," being continually attacked by a group of enemies. This had no further effect, apart from a continual "blood spatter" graphic being applied to the room's floor and walls, but visibly disturbed the player.|
No major improvements in intelligence have been noted beyond twelve hours. It is theorized this represents the upper level of ability for the game's enemies, unless they are directed by a sentient entity. (See Document-1633-DX-12 for further information.)