Sleepers are humanoid machines with the digital consciousness of a living person. They were created by Essen-Arp to exploit a loophole in the intergalactic laws prohibiting sentient AI, for the purpose of labor. Essen-Arp encoded their organs to rely on a code that interacts with their emulated mind, which slowly deteriorates, requiring constant maintenance.
Sleepers are created via a host accepting an agreement with Essen-Arp. They are then put into cryo-sleep and their mind is copied into a Sleeper body, at which point the body is a fully sentient version of its predecessor. The process of emulating a mind leaves behind many of the memories of their host. Sleepers commonly experience their host's memories when they are dreaming.
The Sleeper is the main character within Citizen Sleeper and also the character which the player plays as throughout the stories and their Questlines. When a player begins the game, however, they must chose from one of the three Operator classes available; these classes affect the initial point distribution afforded to skills for the player.
- Note: These descriptions are lifted directly from 'The Art of Citizen Sleeper' by Gareth Damian Martin, and Guillaume Singelin.
A Machinist repairs and modifies automated systems used in industrial resource extraction. Sleepers assigned to Machinest work are usually diligent, careful, and structured people.
Machinists are tinkerers, diligently keeping AI controlled tech and drones working in the field. While under Essen-Arp this means endless, exhausting repairs, an escaped extractor has the skills to modify the world around them, even modify themselves.
An Operator works with drones and high-precision remote machines to perform complex tasks from a distance. Sleepers assigned to Operator work are usually cerebral and precise people.
The Operator is the Sleeper who is closest to the digital world of emulated minds and AI protocols. In Citizen Sleeper I wanted this to feel like an almost paranormal space, as opposed to just a digital network, and so operators are the game's mediums, in touch with the "other world" of data and ghosts. This also means a frailer body, and less focus on their physical survival.
Extractors work on resource, often in hard vacuum environments. Sleepers assigned to Extractor work are often confident, self-sufficent and have a high level of endurance.
Extractors are the Sleepers who, in particular, spend a lot of time alone in dangerous places.