Me, Myself And AI: The Fall

The Fall, currently aiming to raise CAD$17,000 on Kickstarter, is the first Canadian Kickstarter we’ve featured. It’s the work of a solitary ex-Relic developer and is an impressive title to have waiting in the wings as the crowd-funding service arrives in the other True North*. Taking inspiration from both Super Metroid and Monkey Island, it’s a story-driven adventure, with tense combat and point and click-like puzzles. Rather than dragging a cursor across every pixel on the screen, seeking interactive elements, The Fall makes the protagonist’s flashlight the tool of discovery. Shine a light on an item and its functionality is revealed. Oh, and the player does not control the main character but rather an AI inside that character’s suit.

Being in control of the AI rather than the person could lead to interesting problem-solving, as the system’s coding will not allow it to perform certain actions. Logical detours must be discovered in order to break the rules of the programming:

The Fall’s story is designed to be integrated with its gameplay. As players work their way through challenges, they organically find solutions that imply a larger narrative. Through exploring their environments, players will help ARID overcome its own self limitation, unfolding a unique story of self-actualization that’s driven by the player.

As for the seemingly modest funds that Over the Moon are seeking?

The Fall has been designed from day one to be a manageable project, requiring relatively little in development costs, and able to sustain itself by providing players with reasonably sized, affordable episodes.

Here’s hoping that The Fall balances side-scrolling exploration with point and click puzzling more effectively than The Cave, where the two elements often felt like ill-placed cogs grinding against one another, which is exactly the sort of contraption that an adventure game would plant in the player’s path. If this game can tell its story without placing awkward barriers between the player and the experience, while still provoking thought and requiring intelligent interaction, we could be in for a treat.

*here is The Fall from the other True North


  1. VCepesh says:

    >Oh, and the player does not control the main character but rather an AI inside that character’s suit.

    When I read that, I hoped, that the role of the player would be to assist the protagonist on his journey through indirect means, such as attracting their attention to points of interest, waging electronic warfare, managing life-support and target-priority system, maybe even giving advice – but the soldier makes decisions and proceeds on his own.
    Slightly disappointing.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      That could be awesome. Kickstart it!

    • Emeraude says:

      Have you tried eXperience112 ?

      • VCepesh says:

        I remember trying it quite a while ago, though it wasn’t my PC and I didn’t get very far.
        If I remember correctly, it underdelivered on the promise of building a relationship and trust between the main character and the one behind the camera, but was quite well-received otherwise.
        Is it worth acquiring to finish it?

        • Emeraude says:

          I personally put it in the “good disappointments” folder.

          Very instructive design-wise. And you’re right, sadly under-delivering.

          I don’t know that I would recommend tracking it back if you weren’t convinced the first time – by now you probably know what to expect, and whether you’ll enjoy it.

          But it’s one of those games worth playing at least once I’d say.

      • mouton says:

        Interesting concept. Horrible, horrible execution.

        • Emeraude says:

          Yeah, between it and Lifeline, I couldn’t really find it in me to have any faith in the République Kickstarter.

          I am personally convinced we are simply not using the right tools.

    • narcogen says:

      Yeah, the distinction here seems to be academic. There doesn’t appear to be any difference between what one does in a game like this when one is the player, or an AI controlling the player’s suit.

      Context is important, to be sure, but it also would help underscore this as an innovative concept if there was a functional distinction as well.

  2. GernauMorat says:

    Anyone reminded of that story from The State of the Art (Banks)?

    • Lumberjack_Man says:

      Could potentially be right frustrating if it ended in the same way though!

    • meldaran says:

      Haha excellent :) I was about to post about that short story but thought I’d search through the page to see if anyone else had thought about it :D. The short story is called Descendant.

  3. Stevostin says:

    Oh, the cave was pretty good actually.

    This one looks promising for sure.

  4. InternetBatman says:

    They really need to automatically display other currencies, or let the user set a default currency. It’s time for Kickstarter to start acting like the multimillion international tech company that it is.

    In the case of this project, it hurts it, because sticker price looks higher than it actually is in USD and GBP.

    • slerbal says:

      Agreed – it would also stop the ghettoisation (oh god, did I just make that up?) of non-US Kickstarter projects.

      • InternetBatman says:

        You did not make it up. Although you have the first use with British spelling.

    • The Random One says:

      I’d hate to be in Kickstarter’s shoes when it does that and some bastard sues them because the £10 tier was displayed as $15 and they were charged $16. Or, you know, thousands.

      • Baines says:

        At the least, they could show the “real” currency the same as they currently do, but follow it with parentheses or braces holding the current conversion to the viewer’s currency of choice. At the big bold Goal display, include the disclaimer that all values in braces only reflect the current conversion, which may/will change by the time the money is collected.

        And preferably display what a person would actually be charged if the project were to close at exactly that moment. It is kind of pointless displaying a strict conversion if you leave out any conversion fees. I’m not sure how conversion fees get applied to such Kickstarters, because I’ve avoided funding anything that wasn’t in US dollars because I *don’t* know what I will be charged.

  5. Big Murray says:

    Limbo meets Isaac from Dead Space …?

  6. DrollRemark says:

    I hope the soundtrack is good. It looks like the perfect game to get Lost In Music to.

  7. Wisq says:

    the first Canadian Kickstarter we’ve featured

    I highly doubt that. They’re likely just the first to use the new CAD$ support.