Electron Dance
16Apr/162

Dabbling with… Event[0]

The ninth episode of a short series on games I discovered at EGX Rezzed 2016.

rezzed-event0

The most annoying thing about Ocelot Society's Event[0] is that I couldn’t figure out how to restart it so had to pick up from whatever situation the previous player had left me with. There were a few games on the show floor in conditions like this, where a simple restart seemed elusive or offered some had either unconventional controls coupled with a treasonous lack of direction (RK3000 was fun but sweet Beelzebub, the controls were an abomination for everyone who stopped by).

I already talked about how Rituals tickled my sci-fi B-movie bone. So if I tell you that Event[0] sees you stranded on a space station with a computer that you can talk to… well, there’s simply no hope for me, is there?

I was a big fan of Verde Station (Duelboot, 2014) a sci-fi Gone Home (Fullbright Company, 2013) on a much smaller scale but still stimulating. As I played Event[0] I was reminded of Verde Station. Especially as someone’s post-it notes were stuck on a wall with explicit instructions on how to open a door; Verde Station used post-it notes to great effect.

Whereas Rituals worked with simpler abstract graphics, Event[0] is high-fidelity. I couldn’t shake the feeling that every rendered cable had taken 24 graphics designers 17 days to create. But what makes Event[0] different from similar games though?

It appears you are forbidden to interact with the world except in one crucial way: you can interact with an AI on any computer terminal. When I say interact I mean type in free text, as if you’re playing a parser-based IF game. There’s no handle on any of the bulkhead doors so, to open them, I just asked the computer to OPEN DOOR.

rezzed-event0-2

Probably I’d get used to it if I played for longer, but I constantly fought the urge to “use” objects during my Rezzed trial. It was clear someone had been ripping out panels and trying to repair or hack the electronics, yet I couldn’t touch any of this stuff. Interestingly, whenever I looked at an item I would get a rough summary of what it was. I’m hoping the fact that I can’t touch anything doesn’t mean the final twist is YOU ARE ACTUALLY THE AI.

I’m not sure Event[0] was suited for an environment like Rezzed, because it seemed a slow, languid experience, where I was trying to piece together an understanding of what was actually going on here. But hey, I’m just glad I got the chance to try it out. It’s now scribbled on my list of games to watch.

Ocelot Society say the game will be released in the summer... hmm. Go visit the official site for more info.

Interested in the other games I dabbled with? Check out the series index!

Download my FREE eBook on the collapse of indie game prices an accessible and comprehensive explanation of what has happened to the market.

Sign up for the monthly Electron Dance Newsletter and follow on Twitter!

Electron Dance Highlights

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Yeah I didn’t get a chance to play this but it looked right up my street. The text parser was quite a surprise!

    I ought to check out Verde Station by the sounds of it. I’ve currently got Spirits of Xanadu installed which I’m hoping to start once I’m not feeling so groggy.

  2. Yeah it’s difficult to say too much. I was still trying to work out what I “could do”. I’ve spotted a very old video in which you end up in space, trying to make it into another airlock while the computer refuses to open the door. I don’t know what to make of it, but looks interesting to be sure. How much of the parser which actually be Eliza covering up a limited set of verb/noun combinations?


Leave a comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

No trackbacks yet.