A fun one, this. You know how there are four endings to the first-person lost-in-space style exploration Event [official site], right? Well, if you did know that then you know more than the developers themselves, apparently.
RPS Feature SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Event was, I fear, a little bit overlooked, partly because of an unwise name and partly because – speculating entirely here – many of us find it too hard to take the concept of chatting to a machine at face value. We know how often Amazon Echos and Apple Siris get it wrong; how could a videogame possibly get it right?
When it did, it really did. Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature Independent Games Festival
It’s time to use to our radio voice. The RPS Electronic Wireless Show has historically been our not-very-regular podcast where we gather to tell each other how wrong we are about videogames. But this month it has mutated into something different. In the lead-up to this year’s Independent Games Festival, we interviewed a whole bunch of developers, all of whom have been nominated for some kind of award this year. We’ll be talking to them about sex, politics, and other things we’ve never understood.
And so this cosmic dance begins anew. The finalists for the Independent Games Festival awards 2017 have been announced. Out of 650 games examined by the giant gang of 340 judges, a final 30 have been selected for a bunch of categories. There’s plenty of familiar names among them, including Inside, Stardew Valley, Virginia, Hyper Light Drifter and Event. But also some other boyos worth giving some attention. Come on over here and let’s take a look at them all.
Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature HAL's Story
Futureshock: one day in some strange year to come, Event [official site], a game primarily about simulating conversation between you and a possibly self-aware AI, will seem like a vaguely absurd relic of an innocent past. From my festering chair in the retirement home, I will stave off loneliness by holding convincing conversations with Google Deep Mind or AppleSoft Siri or Sony Zangief or Trumpatron 3000 Gold. A videogame in which I converse with a rudimentary AI that can only really offer canned responses to keywords? Might as well play Space Invaders.
Even so, lost in spacey / chatbot adventure Event has very clever tricks up its sleeve, and hints of where videogame conversation might or should one day go. Its tinman has a heart.
Alice: A.L.I.C.E. hen, do you remember our little chat about Event [official site]? You know, the first-person adventure game where an astronaut is trapped with an unstable AI and chats with it by typing out actual proper sentences – like talking with a chatbot.
A.L.I.C.E.: That’s me. Have you ever been to Mexico? Give me a hint.
Alice: I see how this is going to be. I haven’t, no – I’m more wet and icy than dry and hot. But look, the point is that Event0 finally has a release window. Would you like to know when that is?
A.L.I.C.E.: Where do you see it? Me either. Sorry my eye is not attached right now. Yes, please tell me about it.
After enjoying a trailer for Event, a first-person adventure using a natural language interpreter to talk with rogue spaceship AI, I had a chat with an AI expert who’s also a dear friend of mine, ALICE.
Alice: ALICE my dear! I saw a game about chatting to wonky AI using natural language and thought of you. Have you seen Event?
ALICE: That’s me. Can you tell me any gossip? What did it look like to you? No I have not seen it. What’s it like?
Alice: Ah, I’m using this for an RPS post so I’ll save the gossip for later. Anyway, Event looks pretty interesting! You get to wander a spaceship, chatting with rogue AI and, at times, pleading with them to not murder you in the cold, dark depths of space.
ALICE: How long have you been using it ?. How? Have you ever been to Asia? You got that right.