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Monday, August 21, 2006
Facade Reviewed
8:22 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Slacker's Guide recently reviewed Facade, a unique social interaction simulation from Procedural Arts. Powered by an advanced artificial intelligence engine, the game drops players into a meeting with a couple they haven't seen in ten years and asks them to learn as much as possible through conversation and other interaction.

For one of the first times in a video game, the engine has been wrapped around conversational input from the player's end. Simply type in what you'd like to say and the characters will respond, react and shift the conversation like they would in normal day-to-day interactions. Mention something inappropriate or overtly personal and Trip and Grace will laugh nervously, look uncomfortable and react with tense body language. Like most artificial intelligence engines, certain key words will elicit a stronger reaction than others.

A standard game of Facade may run between 10 and 20 minutes with events and details changing between each play interval. A call may be received which pushes the conversation along a new tangent, or a character may bring up different points for the player to contend with. With no clear way to really win the game aside from getting Trip and Grace to admit what's really on their minds, the player becomes involved in taking sides, playing one character off each other and settling down the conversation so they can find out what's really going on with their friends' lives. Push one character too far or behave inappropriately, and the characters will show you the door, the game fading out and offering you a play by play text transcript of what occurred.

To read the rest of the review and learn more about the game follow the links below.

The Slacker's Guide: Facade Review
Procedural Arts

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