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Jul 30, 2005, 8:24:22 PM7/30/05
to Interactive Drama Façade Forum
Okay, I won't beat about the bush here and at the risk of being
lambasted for giving only harsh criticism instead of the constructive
kind, I have to say, after playing the game several times, that I
really think I'm missing something.
Granted the program is FREEware but I can't, no matter how hard I try,
see any developmental advances after those "years" spent on the
project. Apart from the fact that the program is unusually memory
intensive, greedy for drive space and CPU time, fussy, to say the
least, about hardware configurations - despite all the claims and
assertions that the programming techniques are a great leap forward I
still found that I was simply triggering a series a rehearsed scenarios
not a million miles away from programming I was doing on the old Z80
based machines in the '80s, in less that 128K RAM I might add.
The subject matter turned me off also. The shallow ramblings of a pair
of self obsessed young urban professionals just stuck in my craw to the
point where I would disagree with everything Trip said and continually
embarrassed Grace until I was asked to leave. Really guys, this isn't
the future of gaming - an esoteric curiosity maybe and sadly that's all
it will ever be in the current climate of software development and as
much as it is good to see people trying to be different I really have
no qualms about deleting the program and saving my $5 PayPal "donation".


Aug 5, 2005, 4:18:53 PM8/5/05
to Interactive Drama Façade Forum
I agree entirely, except even moreso. Regardless of the current
climate of gaming, this is no breakthrough in A.I.-it's not even a good
showing compared to stuff 10 years ago. I don't know what's going on
under the hood, and I imagine it's quite complex, but all the trouble
just creates behaviour that's below primitive. The only thing they'll
properly respond to is "yes" or "no" when typed immediately after "I'm
going to ask you a direct yes or no question" prompt. I've desperately
tried to HELP the AI for a whole scene to get the game to "work", but
it fails completely nonetheless.

I don't agree that the premise (arguing yuppies) is flawed, but in this
execution it's grating. Especially when I'm the only one in the room
with any wit or skill at directing a conversation, but I'm being
completely ignored. It's only entertaining to read the log afterward
and it becomes a comedy about some sarcastic jerk visiting a couple of
whining losers who mostly ignoring him.

My tip to the developers: get the scene working in TEXT ONLY first,
then worry about the graphics and voice recording. I'm pretty
confident that even in plain text this experiment fails the turing test
in a matter of seconds.

If we want games to start getting smarter and more interesting--and I
certainly do--then someone definitely needs to make a much better show
of it than this.


Aug 17, 2005, 9:45:24 AM8/17/05
to Interactive Drama Façade Forum
I agree as well. It's a nice idea, but it just doesn't come off as 5
years worth of work. (At least not 5 modern years worth). Maybe the
gears under the hood are far more advanced than my little mind can
comprehend, but to me, it's just lacking.

There's so many things wrong. Like when they switch topics, they just
bar you from commenting on anything that was just said. And it's a
scenario with only two possible outcomes, essentially it's like a very
long dramatic coin toss. The user interface obviously encourages you
to be succinct, but there's no succinct way to effectively interact
with a relationship. How would an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
or 90210 go if each character could only say 6 words at a time, and
those words could not in anyway be connected to the last series of

>From my standpoint, each action I take or phrase I say is stamped on
some unseen score card "Stay Together / Break Up", and I'm just waiting
to see which column I got the most checks in.

The only semi-fluid part about it seems to be which details about their
relationship / past / parents will be loaded and unveiled to you each
time you start it.

But what I say or do doesn't really seem to affect the flow of events.
Grace and Trip frequently barrel on forward in conversation seemingly
ignoring me.

I'm glad the developers put in the work they did, and maybe it's a
stepping stone towards a truly interactive game in the future, but
right now it seems a lot like A.L.I.C.E. but with sound and graphics.

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