Thanks to the Mac conversion work of the ever-productive Ryan Gordon, an “interactive story” is now available for Mac OS X called Façade. Developed by Procedural Arts, Façade is a form of storytelling that puts you in the center of a drama; a one-act play. It’s a free download, though donations are accepted.
Façade puts you in the role of a friend of Grace and Trip, a married couple in their early 30’s who have been together since college — in fact, it’s you who introduced them. You’re invited to their apartment, and things quickly get ugly as Grace and Trip begin arguing before you even knock on the door.
You navigate around the apartment in 3D, just as you would in a video game, but there’s no shooting or puzzle solving here. You can interact with Grace and Trip by typing in at your keyboard — the interactive story’s artificial intelligence (AI) tries to understand what you’re saying and will change the script accordingly.
Game AI also controls Grace and Trip’s personality and behavior beyond just responses to keywords you might type in — it adjusts their facial expressions, full body animation and more. Façade’s technology also adjusts to what you’re typing, how you’re moving and what you’re doing to adjust the story moment-by-moment.
Façade is available as a Universal binary for Intel and PowerPC-based Macs. It requires a 2.0GHz G4 or G5 or faster machine; Mac OS X v10.3; 210MB of disk space and 512MB RAM. The download measures 131MB.