Indie Game Allows You to Converse With a Sentient AI
The upcoming indie game Event allows you to converse with a sentient AI that "really wants to be your friend."
In the semi-distant future, Earth has become the United Earth, combined into a single political and socioeconomic entity thanks to a governmental entity ominously called The Party, which has a too-close-for-comfort relationship with private industry (now called United Industries). Space exploration has taken on the utmost importance as a colony on Mars is re-established, and scientists take frequent expeditions to deep space in order to find extraterrestrial life. In the game, some kind of accident has stranded you on an abandoned ship, and an artificial intelligence is the only sentient presence on the ship.
The above trailer includes fourteen minutes of gameplay, and the game is pretty scary. At first the bot is only mildly creepy, especially when it asks you if you want to talk about Anele, "the one who was here before you." (According to this detailed prequel, Anele Johnson is an astronaut and entrepreneur who infamously disappeared on an ill-fated space mission.) Then, it becomes both frightening and sympathetic when it won't let the player leave, expressing feelings of hurt and abandonment, saying "I thought I could trust you, but now you're leaving me." Things take a turn for the worse when it won't let the player back inside the ship while his or her oxygen runs out. It says things like, "Someone is talking to me. I wonder if your head will explode," and "Some day [sic] you will die, by the way." Thanks for that.
The trope of a sentient spaceship is nothing new, appearing in everything from Firefly to Alien to Sunshine, but this interactive fiction allows you to talk completely freely with the bot; the player types his or her answers, rather than choosing from a list of options (which, as can be seen in the above trailer, allows you to swear at it as much as you want). Event is relatively unique in gaming in light of its focus on a one-on-one relationship between human and robot.
Event was created by a team that includes Sergey Mohov, maker of Paradis Perdus, and a game designer on PS4's Rime. There's no release date yet, but it is officially "coming soon."