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If only they'd thought to use facial motion capture in the early 90s.

“I’m not going to take any more of your nonsense! Tell me where the girl is, or so help me I’ll file a strongly worded report about you.” I’d make an amazing interrogator. No criminal could resist my unique combination of good cop/bad cop into one person: average cop. But enough about my secret police work, this is a post about By The Numbers. It’s a one room adventure game, in which you interrogate a kidnapper, looking for the location of his ninth victim.

Well, it’s sort of a game. In reality your only role is to click through choiceless conversations, and then make a one-in-three choice at the end. However, this is worth checking out for a number of other reasons.

Firstly, it’s made using AGS, but in an incredibly smart way. Using the retro tech, they’ve created 3D models of human faces. And a step smarter, they’ve then used motion capturing to present some remarkably accurate facial expressions and head movements, despite the relatively primitive graphics.

It’s also fully voiced, in part by the one-man team behind the game, Aki Ahonen, who also wrote, designed and scored the game, as part of the One Room One Week competition at the end of July. And those conversations do have a sweary leaning. You don’t often see conversation options like this:

The tech is fantastic, and it would be really fun to see it used for something embracing a bit more of a game. With dialogue trees for the investigation, letting you make choices that affect the direction of the interrogation, and your possible success or failure, would make for a really fascinating one-room game. This one is perhaps slightly more of a tech demo for the concept.

Thanks to IndieGames who spotted this.

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John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, they killed me out of jealousy. I now run

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