What is Fašade?
Why is Fašade free?
Who created Fašade?
What's new in Fašade
How did you make Fašade?
Can I use the Fašade
tools and authoring system?
Q: What is Fašade?
Fašade is a prototype of interactive drama, a
new genre of character and story-intensive interactive
entertainment. Fašade is freely downloadable at
interactivestory.net. In Fašade, you, the
player, using your own name and gender, play the
character of a longtime friend of Grace and Trip, an
attractive and materially successful couple in their
early thirties. During an evening get-together at their
apartment that quickly turns ugly, you become entangled
in the high-conflict dissolution of Grace and Trips
marriage. No one is safe as the accusations fly, sides
are taken and irreversible decisions are forced to be
made. By the end of this intense one-act play you will
have changed the course of Grace and Trips lives
motivating you to re-play the drama to find out
how your interaction could make things turn out
differently the next time.
Q: Why is Fašade
Fašade is an art/research project, that we're
hoping will also serve as an example prototype for an
interactive drama commercial product. We could charge
money for it, but we'd rather make it easier to get Fašade
to as many people as possible. We figure that if enough
people play it and like the experience, we'll be in a
position to make an even bigger and better interactive
drama in the future, as an actual product.
Q: Who created Fašade?
Fašade was created over a period of 5 years
primarily by two collaborators, Michael Mateas and Andrew
Stern. We are each designer-programmers focused on
researching and developing artificially intelligent art
and entertainment. The production was an almost entirely
self-funded, industry-academia collaboration: Andrew has
10+ years of game industry experience as a designer and
AI engineer, and Michael creates AI-based art and is an
Assistant Professor at the Georgia Institute of
Technology. You can read about us, our research papers
describing Fašade and our other work at
interactivestory.net. Also we regularly discuss
interactive story, games, poetry and art with several
others at our group blog, Grand Text Auto - we'd love to hear your thoughts on this new
field, so please join in the discussion there!
On Fašade we collaborated with some very
talented voice actors, Chloe Johnston and Andy Bayiates,
who supplied the voices for Grace and Trip. They are
actors and writers perhaps best known for their work with
the Neo-Futurists in Chicago. We also received volunteer
contributions from several talented folks from all over
the globe, some who created the soundtrack, and some who
created additional art, animation and programming.
Q: What's new in Fašade
- It's now 167MB, instead of the original 800MB! Thanks
to speex.org for the better audio compression. (The Mac
version is 131MB because Macs are guaranteed to come with
Java, so we didn't need to include it in the installer.)
- You can turn subtitles on now.
- The 1.6GHz CPU restriction is now turned off - although
Fašade will still run poorly, or not at all, on
computers slower than a 1.6GHz Pentium 4.
- We fixed the installer limitation that required
installation to the C: drive.
Fašade version 1.1 for Windows was released
February 16, 2006. Version 1.0 for Windows was released
July 5, 2005. The Macintosh version was released August
Q: How did you make Fašade?
Fašade is designed, programmed and written from
scratch by Andrew and Michael. It required years of hard
work developing an array of new design and AI
techniques and technology, including building upon some past research at
Carnegie Mellon University.
We very much want to share what we learned during the
process, to help seed a new genre of interactive
entertainment. We'll have released a document called
"Behind the Fašade" that includes detailed
descriptions of how Fašade works, plus hints
for players of how to see all of the variation in the
drama. Additionally you can peruse our somewhat technical
research papers, freely downloadable at
Q: Can I use the Fašade
tools and authoring system?
Over time, parts or all of the Fašade technology
will become available for others to use for their own
art, research or industry projects. We have formed a
studio called Procedural Arts to own and distribute Fašade
and its technology. See our technology page.