Grace and Trip’s Big Night In.

In exploring Façade, I found it to be a very interesting “game”.  From my first experience of watching Torren knock on the door and start to engage with both Trip and Grace, I was very intrigued by the typing recognition.  The fact that it is able to discern what you are saying by picking out different pieces of what you type is something that I haven’t before seen incorporated into a game or interface.  In exploring what they say and respond to, I had a desire to try to push its limits with words that I wasn’t sure it would recognize.  In asking for different types of drinks when he offers one and chatting with Trip about his trip to Europe, it was apparent that there definitely were surprising results and boundaries.

Sometimes the game would move on as though you hadn’t said a sentence and sometimes your sentence would stop him mid conversation to branch off into something that he wanted to talk about.  In a game ( I use the term loosely) that incorporates you into the way in which the plot pushes, I also wondered if it would be possible to recreate the same experience twice.  It seemed to me that there was a “web” that it followed as you trickled down into more specific experiences until you either got kicked out or helped them resolve their differences.  When Molly said that she was very nice the whole time and just asked about insignificant things around the apartment, they still fought.  It seems that the role the game asks you to play is mediator to the two of them.  You can either help avoid a fight, push for a fight, or do nothing and they still fight.

I think that this game opens up a new window and could easily be built upon to make the overall experience more immersive and less restricted.  Having won the Grand Jury Prize in 2006 at the Slam Dance Independent Games Festival, it certainly shows promise and the possibility of future inspiration.  Weird to think that soon enough computers will not only be able to recognize text but also understand what it says and respond with an answer.  Will the roles be switched someday where we are in the position of Trip and Grace and the computer acts as mediator?  Hopefully not!

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