It’s summer and maybe some free time to explore space in the form of a game that caught our eye recently and explore how imagination works Artificial intelligence (AI) Solves problems in space. So of course we can’t wait to go live.
the game, “NoticeDeveloped by No Code and published by Devolver Digital, it was released for a few platforms in 2019 and expanded to Microsoft Xbox last year. space station in the near future.
Your job as an AI called SAM is to open doors, operate valves, and troubleshoot the astronaut Emma. You and Emma have pushed you to work together to create… Fire at the space stationThen Emma asks you to monitor the fire with cameras and sensors.
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Help astronaut Emma troubleshoot, survive, and find out what happened to her crew while working as AI Sam observing No Code and Devolver Digital. View Deal
By playing a few hours of the game, you can see why space is such a challenging environment for both astronauts and computers. You’re always trying to work things out, and the SAM-Emma dynamics simulate how crews work together to solve problems in real time. International Space Station (ISS). What we especially loved is the idea that you sometimes have to experiment with strategies to find the right solution, which is similar to what astronauts do during dynamic situations like a spacewalk.
In order to solve problems in the game, you must not only search the environment, but also shuffle the buttons in a specific order, similar to the sequences players used in the 2018 video game “Detroit: Become Human” where the rights of androids were explored. Fortunately, Observe is more forgiving than Detroit, and the astronaut often takes over if you’re struggling to find the solution.
The game is well suited if you love problem solving and pairing on the go, but if you are looking for quick actions and solutions, you will not enjoy the experience. Some intellectual puzzles require you to sit for a while, think logically, play from different angles of the camera, and enlist the help of one of your crew. But be patient, and the rewards will come.
Space.com spoke to John McKellan, No Code’s creative director, to learn more about the development process behind the game. This interview has been edited and shortened.
Space.com: What was the inspiration behind “The Watch”?
John McKellan: The idea came from an article I read years ago, [which described a thought experiment] Taking an antagonist from a movie and recasting the movie with him as a hero. The example cited is of foreign origin.alienFilm (1979). I had spent five years working on the survival horror game Alien: Isolation (2014) and was diving into Alien. It was great to see the movie from another world’s perspective. About a creature born in a hostile environment with a crew trying to kill it, and all it wants is to eat!
So I started thinking about other favorite movies and stories that could go through a similar process. jump right2001: space flight(1968) and I thought about what a HAL computer might go through—what it might be like to feel a sudden conscious, a sudden existential awakening—and that became the seed of the game.
Space.com: How similar or different is this game to other games you or your company have made in the past?
McKellan: We gave — and were in the process of signing — “hold” when we made an experimental adventure game, “Stories Untold” (2017). It took a while to sign! We even tested some gameplay concepts to “watch” in Untold Stories. Our primary goal has always been great interactive storytelling, interspersing player agency with character development. The gameplay in which we ask the player to participate is appropriate for both the moment and the characters, and believable in terms of presentation.
In the case of “observation” it is also about science. There is no secret path type puzzle to put gems into the statue. Instead, the game is about trying to install an experimental reactor and a miniature reactor, or dealing with airlock pressure between units. Everything is as grounded and believable as possible, while still being exciting and unknown to the public.
Space.com: What sci-fi perks and real-life experiences did it take to build the game?
McKellan: Most of the situational “issues” that a player encounters in the game stem from our theorizing about what can go wrong with the International Space Station and how to fix it. We’ve spent months researching reference materials and books about the station and its various systems to solve the many problems that can arise.
Either way, a library of films from the past five decades helped set the mood and tone. For matters that directly affect crew member Emma, we havegravity(2013), which shows well how the physical dangers of being in space can affect a person. As for the player character SAM, they were more famous like “Alien” (1979), “Event Horizon” (1997) and of course “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968). A big part of the game is that you see 90% of the action through the onboard CCTV system, so we often have to tell the story from a distance.” I found clips from movies like “Blair Witch” (2016) or “Europe” Report” (2013) is very useful for learning how to do this and taking advantage of the point of view.
Space.com: Who were the space experts you talked to when creating the game, and what did you learn from them?
McKellan: Unfortunately, we were unable to speak to many experts. It seems like trying to connect as a game studio is a lot more difficult than when you’re making a movie. We hope that this will change over time and that there will be more clear and standardized ways of communication between our industries. Thank God though European Space Agency And NASA has released so much great material for the public that we’ve had so much to refer to in building our world and our story.
We obviously had a supernatural or bizarre scenario, so we figured out what would change and moved on from there. For example, if the International Space Station were suddenly on another planet in the outer solar system, its solar panels would be much less effective. We weave this kind of science – and how to deal with it – into the story and gameplay
Space.com: Why did you choose to tell the story from a computer perspective?
McKellan: What made it great for me was the idea that the AI would “wake up” the moment the player took control. The player is the new consciousness. They introduce uncertainty, a human approach to problem solving, empathy for other characters, and of course the flaws, mistakes, and subjectivity that come with territory. This means that a SAM character can evolve in perfect synchronization with the player’s experience. SAM and the player have an identical view of the world, and – with only one exception that you’ll see while playing – SAM never says or does anything the player doesn’t expect.
Moreover, there is a layer of player movements that have a direct impact on the story. For example, as a player, it makes sense to switch to a camera in a room and listen to a conversation or open doors and explore. But for the crew in the game, this is very scary! This means that SAM’s innocent actions have a different meaning to the crew, making the player really think about their role in the story. This was the main motivation for the entire experience. The player almost plays the roles in the game without even realizing it.
Space.com: What do you hope players get out of the game?
McKellan: We put a lot of effort into finding depth in the story, background details, ambiguous languages, etc. I say the best way to think is to always think, “What is AI going to do?” Some of the puzzles are very simple, but others require you to change your perspective a bit. When we see a fire and are asked to put it out in a game, we tend to think about how to do it physically, perhaps as a crew member or something.
But here she plays another supporting role. You think about the steps needed to make that happen the way an AI can: connect to a system, turn it on, report the problem to the crew in the first place, that kind of thing. It’s – for us humans – a great way to experience and participate in an interactive story. It creates exciting moments from a whole new angle that only a game can do.
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