I likely won't play again. The ending I got... is my ending. Like it or not. This is the one path my story led to. I love this game and its concept idea, delving into a possible interaction between biological and artificial intelligences. Trying to understand "love" while the human tries understanding "statistical analysis"... something witty, charming and somehow sweet about it. I sing high praise.
And as for those questions...
1. Did believing you could play this only once impact how you made decisions?
Yes, it did. I legitimately sat at one of the questions for a whole minute because I wasn't sure if I wanted to lean fully into emotionless bot, or one that could slowly open up and actually learn and/or at least appreciate human emotions.
2. What do SAL and Ash look like in your mind? Did you mentally assign a gender to either or both characters?
When I first read about them, I had an immediate mental image... and it made little sense that it came so quick, but there it was. Ash is a tall, broad-shouldered man with a bald head and a scruffy, slightly itchy stubble one day after shaving. SAL was female. Normally I would hope to read a homosexual romance story, being homosexual myself, and yet SAL was automatically made female. The exposed wires make "her" essentially look like a prototype synth from Fallout 4. And yet at the same time, she sounds and looks so beautiful. And so human.
3. What choices did you make? How did your game end?
Primarily I was focusing on trying to ignore emotion or act as I would assume an AI would, purely logical and statistical. And yet even as I say that, my very very first choice was to tell Ash that yes, indeed, everything is fine. Lie to him. But in a sense, perhaps that's also logical. The truth could hurt him and thus pretending to be "ok" would better help his emotional state?
Anyway. The ending essentially stated that the two would attempt this relationship, but that SAL wasn't quite sure how they "felt" yet. Thus Ash left with the promise to come back tomorrow.
4. What did you like and dislike about this game?
Legitimately no dislikes. Brilliantly written, a seemingly well thought-out storyline and narrative pathing, interesting characters and character dynamics. It's beautiful.
5. How did this game make you feel?
Sad, intrigued, confused and a little excited, all at once. Good job!
6. Do you want to see these characters again? What would you want to see in a follow-up?
Yes, definitely! I would hope for them to speak to others, eventually, about these feelings. Whether separate or together. Have a therapist speak to both artificial and biological mind, then attempt to compare them to each other and explain in both logical and emotional ways what everything means. Perhaps also go to some neurosurgeon or some special scientist to understand how the human emotions are controlled by brain waves, certain neurons firing, different chemical imbalances... hell, theoretically, if SAL or any other AI knew exactly what the makeup was for that emotion, they could either replicate it for themselves or at least understand it much better. "Your heartrate has elevated and there is more activity in (this) section of the brain. This leads me to believe you are either angry, or excited... I have checked your blood sample and I can see an increase in Norepinephrine brings me to a high certainty you are angry. What have I done to upset you?" Something of that sort, see?
7. What predictions do you have for SAL and Ash's relationship? Where do you see it going?
I want to hope and say it will lead to something beautiful. Perhaps, somehow, Ash can take her out of the room and show them the world. They may have seen images or even videos of places if they were allowed to browse the internet, but seeing a stream in real life or the stars or watching someone- in this case Ash- actually dancing silly before you. That live experience might somehow mean something. But at the same time, I have to truly wonder if it is failed to crash. Will Ash be understanding about the lack of physical feeling of emotion, or will basic understanding of them be enough?
8. Any other things you want to mention?
Keep being awesome~ keep making games and art and... whatever you call all this. An experience? I can't wait to see more! (And I mean that immediately. I just found this game, now I'm curious what else you've made)