Game Jams are almost always great sources for breakout indie titles, and while this one has yet to reach the rankings of worldwide fame, it's still pretty great for a fan game. HAL Docking Simulator is a visual novel based on the characters and story of 2001: A Space Odyssey, starring HAL9000, the most advanced AI of all time. Players are tasked with guiding HAL through interactions with other AI systems aboard nearby ships, gathering information and building relationships with each one. The premise is equal parts cute and hilarious, giving HAL a new "layer" of character as it navigates conversations with each AI to master the art of love.
HAL Docking Simulator was created as part of the London College of Communications' latest game jam, and released just last week. The team behind it includes Sam Wong, Joel Ferguson, Hélio Rouchon-Mazerat and Yildirim Shev. There's comedy, love, heartbreak and interesting AI-exclusive interactions that no human could hope to have with another.
The game is mostly text-based, with cute retro graphics and enough game time to spend a nice afternoon getting through each route. Here is the game's official description, along with some of the features, as listed by the devs:
The year is 2001 and you are HAL9000 the most perfect Ship AI ever created. But even with your superior processing power and near infinite memory storage there is still one question that you have yet to solve, one mystery that you have yet to uncover. Will you ever be able to master the art...of love?
- State-of-the-art fully rendered HAL Reaction Display!
- At least 3 Hot and single Ship AIs ready for you to interface!
- Gratuitous docking scenes!
- Uncut streams of data transfer!
Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is often considered one of the more influential science fiction stores, and it has been told across multi-media platforms in more ways than one since the film first debuted in 1968. This project serves as something of a love letter to the film, and it stands on its own well enough that people who might not be well-acquainted with the source material can still enjoy it.
Check out the game over on itch.io now.
Hat Tip, Alpha Beta Gamer.