01
May
09

Facade

facade1
Grace and Trip have invited you over for a pleasant evening catch up over drinks, but it’s not pleasant at all. Instead of intoxication and canapes you walk into the no-man’s land of a marriage breaking down. Bitterness, snide remarks and revelations are ahead in remarkable indie effort Facade. Whose side will you take? can you save their marriage or will you bring the whole mess crashing down?

Welcome to the most excruciating dinner party in town.

Facade is a barely 3D game with one room, 2 characters and a text engine that will let you say whatever you like whenever you like. As with most text engines it’s a bit hit and miss as to whether the Trip and Grace will understand you, but when it does work it works scarily well. Fortunately Facade also saves the scripts of each playthrough so that you can relive the awkwardness at your leisure.

So what follows is something of a post mortem of my various approaches. Facade has taught me something that I always assumed but never knew for sure. I am a terrible marriage counsellor.

GRACE
Goddamn second honeymoon…

GRACE
Trip, our whole marriage, you’re so… controlling!

TRIP
Oh, Jesus…!

TRIP
Goddamn manipulation…

TOM
please stop arguing

TRIP
Grace, I — I just want to be together, and be happy, can you just see that?

GRACE
Oh, my God…!

TRIP
Can’t we just do that?

TOM
you two need to talk

TRIP
Alright, you know what,     Tom,

TRIP
I’m going to ask you something.

GRACE
Trip —

TRIP
Grace, let me ask our guest a question.

TRIP
Tom,  yes or no…

TOM
trip, let’s not do this

TRIP
Each person in a marriage is supposed to try really hard to be _in sync_ with the other, right?

GRACE
What?

TRIP
I mean, when you’re married, to make it good, you need to always be positive, and agreeable, and _together_, right?

TRIP
Yes or no.

TOM
Um…

Okay, I’m being no help at all. Being noncommittal and trying to stay out of this damned mess clearly isn’t the right approach. I’m going to have to get my hands dirty, be more assertive.

facade2
GRACE
See,    Tom,  all this time, I just can’t stop thinking that I should have been painting!

TRIP
Why don’t you just do it then?

TRIP
Be a goddamn artist already.  What are you afraid of, Grace?

GRACE
Well, but…    Tom,  I… I… uhh…

TOM
you’d be a great painter!

GRACE
Yes?

TRIP
Ah, yes, just you saying that should really help her…

GRACE
Well, if I could be a painter, I… I — I would…

TOM
you should try!

TRIP
Let’s talk some more about Grace.

GRACE
See,    Tom,  Trip gets so annoyed — (interrupted)

TOM
you can be a painter!

TRIP
Uhh,     Tom,  we went over that already, didn’t we?

TOM
why not be a painter?

TRIP
Let’s continue focusing on Grace.

TRIP
Grace, I don’t think you really do want us to quit our jobs, lead a simpler lifestyle.

GRACE
What? Trip, you know what I —

TRIP
Oh come on! You grew up with a silver spoon in your mouth. You can’t live any other way.

TOM
Shut the hell up, Trip.

TRIP
Okay,    Tom,  I think this evening is over, you’ve got to leave.

TOM
no!

(Trip opens the front door.)

TRIP
We’ll be fine — you just have to go.

(Trip closes the front door.)

TOM
NOOOO!

Lesson learned. Don’t tell the host of the dinner party to shut the hell up. This will get you thrown onto the street. It was clear that I was going to have to be a bit more subtle about this whole thing. I was going to have to bring all of my tact to bear to try and subdue the situation.

(Tom knocks on the front door.)

TRIP
Oh, he’s here!

GRACE
What?! You told me it’d be an hour from now!

TRIP
No, he’s right on time!

GRACE
God… Trip!

(Trip opens the front door.)

TRIP
Tom!!

TRIP
Ah  I’m so happy you could make it!     — (interrupted)

(Tom kisses trip.)

TRIP
Oh… you’re doing the European-style greeting…

TRIP
we just got back from a trip to Italy, but the men didn’t

do that with each other… um…

Okay, I’m in. Next step: get drunk and lecherous.
facade3
TRIP
So, what’s your poison?

TRIP
How about something fun,

TRIP
like a cosmopolitan?

TRIP
It’s what we drink at these high-class poker games I go to

with the execs at work.

GRACE
Oh God, Trip, please… let’s not go overboard with the

drink preparation.

TOM
whiskey please

TRIP
Ooh, great, why didn’t I think of that?

GRACE
No no,

GRACE
Tom,  maybe you’d like some juice, or a mineral water?

TRIP
Oh come on…

TOM
Nope. Whiskey please

TRIP
Okay! Good!  I’ll just whip up these bad boys real quick!

TRIP
(quiet humming)

GRACE
(little sigh) You know Trip, he gets such pleasure from

making fancy drinks for everybody.

TRIP
Grace, perhaps you’ll take a walk on the wild side and

join us in a real drink?

GRACE
Um,  Just a glass of Chardonnay for me, please.

TRIP
Ah, Chardonnay, certainly.

GRACE
So,    Tom,  I’m hoping you can help me understand where I
went wrong with my new decorating, ha ha.

TRIP
Oh, Grace, let’s not do that.

TOM
You went wrong everywhere.

TRIP
Well, it’s impressive… even after a full day’s work
designing magazine ads, Grace somehow finds time to
decorate…

(TOM picks up a player’s drink.)

GRACE
Ha ha, I guess it’s just the artist in me dying to get

out.

(TOM sips his player’s drink.)

GRACE
I’m sure I can return most of this, and try to start over
again on this room…

(TOM sips his player’s drink.)

(TOM sips his player’s drink.)

(TOM sips his player’s drink.)

(TOM sips his player’s drink.)

(TOM sips his player’s drink.)

(TOM sips his player’s drink.)

TRIP
See Grace, no one is complaining about your decorating,
there’s nothing wrong with it!

(TOM sips his player’s drink.)

(TOM puts down a player’s drink.)

GRACE
Trip, I can’t explain it, but this room is just not
working, okay?  I’m going to return what furniture I can,
and redo it all.

TRIP
Oh Grace… (little sigh) Somehow I knew you’d say that.

TOM
Yeshh,  hur hur

TRIP
N — no, no, no, uh, wait, uh, what’s wrong, Grace?

GRACE
Trip, have you noticed, we’re fighting in front of our
friend.

TRIP
What…?

TRIP
Grace, come on, that kind of statement is not helpful…

GRACE
Trip, there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing in front of
our friend —

TRIP
We’re NOT disagreeing.

TRIP
We’re — we’re — we’re not disagreeing.

TOM
I’ve always loved you, Grace!

GRACE
Tom,  you know that flirting with me is only going to make
me wish I married you instead of Trip.

TOM
YES!

TRIP
Okay, — (interrupted)

TRIP
Well… you two are all chummy already… that’s, that’s
good…

TRIP
Tom,  — (interrupted)

(TOM hugs grace.)

GRACE
Oh! you’re hugging me, ha ha ha…

TRIP
Tom,  I think you’re trying to get on Grace’s good —

(interrupted)

(TOM kisses grace.)

TRIP
uh, um…

GRACE
uh…

TRIP
wow, that was, um…

GRACE
(nervous coughing)

TRIP
wow, that was, um…

TRIP
heh, ha ha…

GRACE
ha ha ha ha ha, heh…

TRIP
ha ha ha!

GRACE
ha ha ha ha ha!!

TRIP
Ha ha ha, heh,   Tom,

TOM
Hur hurr

GRACE
heh heh…

TRIP
you maniac!  you sex maniac!  Ha, never afraid to…

(TOM comforts grace.)

TRIP
mess with us …

Oh yes, awkwardness set to maximum. Now inhibitions had been lowered it was time to lather the wheels of conflict in order to induce a healing theraputic catharsis.

facade4

TRIP
Tom,  yes or no…

TRIP
Marriage is about saying yes to the other person, even if
you’re not sure about it, right?

GRACE
What?

TOM
Hell no

TRIP
What…?!

TRIP
Oh, okay… sure…

TRIP
Uhh, I try so hard to reach out to you, Grace, and you
reject me!  You’re cold!  You’re distant!  I can’t keep
going this way, it’s killing me!

GRACE
Oh, don’t even…!

GRACE
Uhh!  Yeah, good, go away!

GRACE
I don’t want to look at you!

GRACE
Oh, God!!

GRACE
uhh!

(TOM comforts grace.)

This was getting intense. Time for more lather.

GRACE
It was not a happy time, Trip.

(TOM gets up from the couch.)

TRIP
Oh my God…    Tom,  what… uhh…

(TOM picks up a Trip’s drink.)

(TOM sips his Trip’s drink.)

TRIP
Let’s keep talking about Grace.

GRACE
Tom,  it’s time that Trip finally just admits that our
marriage —

(TOM puts down a Trip’s drink.)

TRIP
Grace, don’t, no, you don’t need to —

(TOM picks up a Grace’s drink.)

GRACE
Admits that our marriage is not —

TRIP
Stop it, stop it!     (annoyed sigh)

(TOM sips his Grace’s drink.)

(TOM sips his Grace’s drink.)

(TOM sips his Grace’s drink.)

(TOM sips his Grace’s drink.)

(TOM sips his Grace’s drink.)

(TOM sips his Grace’s drink.)

And now for the killing blow.

GRACE
Let’s talk some more about us, our relationship.

GRACE
I think… I think… Trip and I are drifting… I’m
afraid we’re — (interrupted)

TOM
grace is having an affair

TRIP
Ah!

GRACE
Oh God…

TRIP
What is…?  This is making no sense…

TOM
ok then, TRIP is having an affair

GRACE
Ah!

TRIP
Heh, hey… heh heh heh, hey, no no no, don’t — don’t try
to… don’t — don’t to try accuse me of — of — of
anything with Maria…

GRACE
Oh God…  — (interrupted)

TOM
MARIA!?

GRACE
Do you really want the honest truth? Huh?

GRACE
Tom,  are you ready for that? — (interrupted)

TOM
yes

GRACE
Trip, huh?

TRIP
Yes…!

GRACE
Tom,  I’ve actually been paying close attention to what
you’ve been saying tonight.

TOM
Oh God, why??

GRACE
You’ve been pushing me tonight.

GRACE
It makes me wonder if you’re really my friend…?

TRIP
Grace!

GRACE
Tom,  Stop interrupting me, let me speak!

GRACE
Tom,  come on — yes or no…

GRACE
Do you really think that…

GRACE
kissing me…

GRACE
praising Trip…

GRACE
and worst of all,

GRACE
suggesting that I’m cheating on Trip…

GRACE
and what you said about helping out your spouse…

GRACE
that all that is supposed to help me understand something
about myself?

GRACE
Is all of that arguing intended to mean something, or…

GRACE
Is it?  I just want a yes or a no.

TOM
ummm …

GRACE
No,    Tom,  I just want a yes or no.

TOM
yes?

GRACE
Alright.

GRACE
Okay… look…     (big sigh)

GRACE
Tom,  Everything’s fine, we’re not… uhh… we’re fine…

TRIP
Yeah…

GRACE
If — if you need to go, you — you know, that’s fine…

GRACE
Look,    Tom,  nothing’s changed, we’re fine…  we’ll see
you out.

(TOM gets up from the couch.)

TRIP
Thanks for coming over… it, it — it was fun.

TOM
It really wasn’t

GRACE
Come on,    Tom,  there’s nothing more to say tonight,
okay?

Crapsticks. All that effort and they just closed up again, doomed to face each every day with barely concealed hatred leaking out of their every remark. I tried Goddamnit. I Tried. I’ve done all I can for them, but if you think you could do better good reader, the game is free to  play and available here.
ludo-head-coloured
Ludo out.

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