Incoming message from AI entity Kaizen-85…Event, the award-winning sci-fi narrative exploration game in which players must build a relationship with a lonely spaceship computer to get home, is coming to Windows PC and Mac via Steam and the Humble Store by Humble Bundle on September 14, 2016. New screenshots released alongside today’s announcement show off more of what players can look forward to in developer Ocelot Society’s story-driven spacefaring adventure.
Set in a retro-future inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris and Brave New World, Event is a game about building a personal relationship with a machine using natural language. As a player, your only companion is an insecure and unstable AI entity named, Kaizen, with whom you interact by typing messages on computer terminals throughout a desolated spacecraft. The game’s multi-layered story emerges organically as players communicate with Kaizen, freely explore 3D environments, gather information and solve hacking puzzles. Each player will enjoy a unique gameplay experience based on the way they choose to communicate with Kaizen, who can procedurally generate over two million lines of dialog and demonstrates a variety of different personalities, and responses, influenced by human input.
As in any relationship, there can be gratitude, disappointment or jealousy, and Kaizen reacts differently depending on its mood and the situation at hand. The ship, Nautilus, is essentially the AI computer’s body, and reacts to Kaizen’s mood by making different sounds, which can give the player subtle yet valuable clues. By working through the fears and anxieties of a virtual companion players can ultimately find the way back to Earth—while unraveling the cryptic history of the ship and the 1980s society from which it emerged.
Event is created using Unity Engine 5 and utilizes physics-based rendering and advanced lighting techniques to create richly detailed environments inside and outside the ship (players can leave the ship for breathtakingly scary spacewalks). Eschewing a traditional game score, all sound, including incidental music, comes from items in the environment.
Event began as a six-month student project before evolving into a full title under the auspices of Ocelot Society, which was founded by key members of the team. The indie game first drew attention as a concept demo that won multiple indie gaming awards, including Innovation at BIG 2015 and Student Award winner at EIGD 2014. Event is now backed by France’s CNC public arts organization and by the Indie Fund, a funding source for independent developers launched as an alternative to traditional publisher models.