Machine Contact

Player Rating4.04/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 29 ratings since 10/13/2019
played 231 times (finished 32)

Story Difficulty3/8

"trek through the forest"

Play Length2/8

"So short yo' momma thought it was a recipe"

Maturity Level1/8

"appropriate for all ages"
Stories with this maturity level will not, by design, have any potentially objectionable content. An example of a type story with this rating would be a quiz on mathematics.

Mankind reacts to first contact with an interstellar machine intelligence.

Made by:
// Gabriel Staffen
// Gstaffen.com

Player Comments

The style of this game was rather odd; the narrative voice was really stiff, and you don't so much play a character as dicate the historical events that take place. You stand almost at arms' length from the world-changing events you are told about, which is a shame, because the events are really quite interesting.

There's no character you are playing; instead things are much more abstract--in fact, the game abstracts the choices so much that things like "Global cooperation" are *items* you pick up rather than narratively communicated. It's a very tell-rather-than-show game.

In fact, it's almost as if...an AI wrote this game and were trying to imagine what a human perspective on AI/human contact might be! (If that was the intent, brilliant! But I suspect it wasn't.)

Anyway, the choices are interesting--there aren't a lot of them, but they do branch, and they do make an effort to consider consquences and ramifications, although in the absence of any emotion or characters, it's hard to get any reader interest. It comes off as a *very good* sketch for a game, but not the game itself. If this game were fleshed out, it has the potential to be an excellent narrative, because it has the bones of a cool story. But in its current state of just bones, it's not that effective in being as cool as its premise suggests.
-- Gower on 10/19/2019 9:48:49 PM with a score of 0
This wasn't bad for a first story. In fact, I'd say it's a good start to the author for writing CYOA's.

The writing itself is decent. The author had a clear intent for this story game and followed through on it. There are 3 different endings based on how the player reacts to the events of the game.

I would like to see this author continue making story games. Adding characters and their emotions to the story would be an improvement for next time. While this story was decent, the lack of a main character made it impossible to fully immerse myself in the story. So my main suggestion to the author for their future endeavors is to bring in main characters to play as and others for them to interact with throughout the story. Explore their emotions and thoughts toward events and give readers that extra layer of storytelling.

Altogether I give this story a 4/8. It's short but has a clear intent, choices that matter, and multiple endings. On the negative side, it has no real characters and some minor grammar errors.

This author has promise. I'd like to see them write more stories and improve in the future.
-- simplesabley on 10/16/2019 9:09:41 AM with a score of 0
This is a short game about a machine intelligence making contact with the Earth, and how Earth responds.

Overall, it is written well. Some choices lead to plausible consequences, but others seem to require a leap of faith. There seem to be three endings (good, bad, and perfect.) It's a little cliche in parts, but hits the sci-fi political genre well.

The downside of this storygame is that it isn't really character based. There is no emotional connection to what happens. It's essential just summarized telling of first contact, and the player chooses the course of history. It's sort of like playing a textbook.

There are so many characters that could have made this a more meaningful story. E.g. a new diplomat who somehow was saddled with the task of managing first contact peacefully. A SETI enthusiast who the world thinks is crazy, but finally comes across the first message. A skilled lab technician put in charge of translation. Etc. It needed something more personal to make me care about whether or not Earth survives or we gain the ability to communicate with the machine.
-- Camelon on 10/13/2019 2:53:04 PM with a score of 0
Nice very good made my day
-- Anyone on 11/4/2020 3:04:18 PM with a score of 0
Short, but well made. Good work.
-- Maiq_The_Liar on 10/16/2019 2:31:34 PM with a score of 0
It is well written but it has not really anything that makes me feel attached to the story and not really plot I have 4 endings and all were really easy to guess three choices before the end. It follows absolutely all cliches about military bad scientific pacifism good. It really needs a more defined personality at least in The voyager.
-- poison_mara on 10/13/2019 7:09:41 PM with a score of 0
> CHARACTERS
Playing as a character in a great position of power is a refreshing change of pace, and your actions truly do affect the outcome of the story.
There is not much in the way of character development, but that is to be expected—the story does take place over a period of 30 hours, after all. Regarding realism, I'd say the characters were believable, but not very much like one would expect of humans. I believe it was a hit and a miss here. Overall, however, I was impressed.

> PLOT
The entire story takes place over slightly more than 30 hours. Within that compact timeframe, you have the option to do several important actions, but you don't have enough time for every action—that, combined with the short story length, allows for a replayable game.

> Setting
The story is a near-future sci-fi reality. There is no setting since the story revolves around the interactions between the two main parties. There is truly not much to say, but I feel like the lack of a setting only negatively impacts the story.

> Overall
All in all, This story was a refreshing take on the scenario, and for a story of this size, I'd say this ended up very well. I truly recommend adding more background details in your future works. Oh—and realism! That always helps! I look forward to seeing your next story.
-- castorgreatpoetguy on 10/13/2019 4:51:31 PM with a score of 0
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