Game News I Played the Narrative Management Video Game Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos Will Hate, Flat Eye
Published on 27/11/2022 at 07:55
Running your own gas station has never been one of your dreams? With Flat Eye, you will review your plans since it is in your futuristic service station that the fate of humanity is at stake. Between exploitation at minimum wage and technology exceeding the limits of decency, welcome to the Iceland of Eye Life.
I admit that when I came across Flat Eye during the Steam Neo Fest, I was a little puzzled. Attracted by its DA, I nevertheless found it difficult to let myself be carried away by its very particular futuristic universe. It must be said that by dint of eating dozens and dozens of demos a day, it is difficult to be completely open to this kind of proposal. Because the least we can say is that Flat Eye stands out. The bet is daring: to offer us a management game in which narrative mechanics are added. If the goal here is to grow your service station, it goes hand in hand with a history full of questions about technology and the future. Suffice to say that the pitch intrigued me enormously. Add to that the fact that Flat Eye was imagined by French developers (the Lyonnais of MONKEY MOON) and that Raw Fury (NORCO, Dome Keeper…) is in charge of the edition and here I am even more curious. When I left, I decided to persevere and spend an hour in the world of Flat Eye. And finally, his very particular approach managed to grab me. This is why today I suggest you discover this atypical narrative management game. Come with me, I take you to the futuristic Iceland imagined by Eye Life in order to “enhance (or, if you are not vigilant, doom) the future of humanity”.
This is an indie review on JV:
There’s Wanted, your new column about quirky and fun indie games, and there’s this column. It is dedicated to the games that we want you to discover, in a slightly more personal register, like a ticket and with a few video extracts.
Like at Amazon
It’s my first day as a manager at the large Eye Life family. The new CEO welcomes me in the best possible way: by sending me a welcome message on 6Birch. In this society where technology has taken up so much space, there is no longer any need to go to the office. Each manager manages his station from home thanks to the small camera that allows him to monitor his employee and give him orders. With children, this is ideal for us and we can only thank Eye Life for this incredible opportunity. Well, Justin still has a little trouble. It must be said that he found himself managing a Parisian station. Since he hates the French language, for him it’s a nightmare. Me, I was given the coldness of Iceland, and I admit I got used to it. I appreciate its snowy landscapes and it must be said that its land is rich in geysers, the best energy asset to grow my little resort. Because hey, I don’t get paid (minimum wage) for doing nothing. I will have to develop my resort, offer more services, welcome more customers… In short, generate as much dough as possible so that the big boss is happy and can line his pockets along the way. I say that because I don’t really see the color of this money and even less my little clerk (that’s what we call the little hands of service stations at Eye Life). But act as if I hadn’t told you anything, not sure that we appreciate this kind of ramblings on the side of superiors… So let’s move on!
Want to know what a day in my sneakers looks like? So it starts early in the morning of course, as the sun gradually coats my gas station. First stage : find a clerk. No because the previous one left the post. It seems that he was not happy, not paid enough and did not have the right to enough breaks for his taste… It does not matter, because people to take over the position, there are a shovelful of them . At the same time, you don’t need great qualifications to fill shelves and collect customers. In a pinch, fixing dangerous machines without getting killed may require a little skill or two, but hey, nothing insurmountable, right? Whereas to supervise everything from a computer… Yes, put it like that, it seems easy, but not at all in fact! No because if the clerks are the little hands, we are the brains. Without us, they can do almost nothing. It is possible to concentrate on our office, answer emails and read some paperwork by letting them manage the shop for a few minutes, but no more, otherwise the fiasco is sure to happen. Because there is lots of things to think about. Without ever letting customers wait too long in front of the cash register, it is necessary to ensure that the stocks are stocked, the toilets in working order, the generators in good condition, to build the machines necessary for the proper functioning of the station (source of electricity, nuclear, etc.), connect them to the new facilities planned for customers (dispenser, toilets, fortune-teller, etc.), all while listening to customers, their requests and their habits so that their satisfaction is always met. you (and make sure that the expenditure/income balance is profitable of course)! And if I’m magnanimous, I can even take advantage of the most opportune moments to invite my clerk to relax a little. It would be a shame if he also resigned…
That’s something to watch out for. In addition, the pressure is very present since at the end of the day I have the right to a mark. The better I am rated, the faster I rise in rank and have access to new information and structures to unlock. And as if that weren’t enough, Eye Life’s AI tracks my every move. To move forward, she will also have to increase her confidence in me. I admit I don’t understand what she wants from me at the moment, but it seems important. Especially since she is very useful to me when it comes to interacting with VIP clients. It’s true, I forgot to tell you about them. And yet, they are the ones who make my days a little less monotonous. As soon as one of them lands in the station, all the alarms are red: it is imperative to welcome him and find out what he wants. The least we can say is that they have rather atypical profiles, and I will probably remember all my life my meeting (from a distance) with one of them: Janet. Claiming to be from the future, she appeared in my station and simply killed my cleric. Admittedly, he didn’t really put his heart into the work, but still, not enough to take a bullet in the chest. That’s when I started to think that this service station management was going to be more mysterious and important than expected.
No Elon, technology is not all good
This strange AI has indeed told me a very strange prediction: the human species is doomed to extinction. The reason, I do not know it yet, but a priori I would perhaps opt for the overexploitation of the energies produced by our planet by dint of opting for everything technological. To see if my little theory will be confirmed in the future. In any case, I should quickly find out since the AI has told me that it needs me very much. I am part of a great experiment on which I will have to report to the AI. She wants to bypass the Eye Life system (a system she created) in order to save the human species. I admit that all this leaves me a little perplexed. Why create such an empire to go against it then? Why do you want to save humanity when we have participated so much in its robotization? So many unanswered questions, but the advantage of this kind of questions is that they make you want to move forward to find answers. And VIP customers will help me learn more. From the casual hacker to the slightly elevated contemporary artist, passing by the young enthusiast working for the competing company, they all have colorful profiles. With them, there is no need to cash in but to listen. I can even tell my clerk the answers I want him to give or the attitude I want him to adopt. Or, I let him choose, but that’s at my own risk. Some of these VIP customers will only come to me if I have this or that module. To move forward in this sordid story, I will therefore necessarily have to develop my station. Everything is connected ! But the further I go, the more the merits of Eye Life no longer seem so certain to me. And the discussions I have with my clients on emerging technologies make me go in this direction.
Technology is fantastic, isn’t it? Going into space to colonize I don’t know which planet, develop super-powerful AI, develop robots that look just like human beings… Except that in most works of science fiction that went wrong, it started there. But it seems that some big billionaires don’t care. And that’s how I find myself build artificial wombs, cloning booths or even memory modifiers in my station. The future offered by Eye Life is beautiful, isn’t it? My little finger tells me that this is all going to end badly. In any case, we will have to make choices and work for a good ten hours before hoping to reach the outcome of this story.
Flat Eye is a narrative management game that brings a new approach to the genre. Dystopian and sarcastic at will, it will appeal to both management and committed game enthusiasts. If this is your case, open your computer and prepare for an experience as interesting as it is atypical. Flat Eye is available on PC.