The expo floor at GDC this year was a bit sparser than usual – and no surprise, as this was one of the first in-person industry events since the initial COVID-19 outbreak led to two years of virtual meetings and working from home. But one game we did get to look at during this year’s show was Flat Eye, a management game that goes small on scope but big on narrative. It’s about the way new technology enters our lives nowadays – usually offering some free convenience while gathering data for purposes we can only guess at.
On its face, Flat Eye is a simple enough game. You’re the newly hired and sole attendant at a fuel station somewhere in Scandinavia, and it’s your job to take care of your customers by providing them with the latest and greatest in convenience tech. Starting with clean energy generation and a couple simple shelving units, you’ll gradually add self check-out aisles and nicer restrooms.
Things get a bit sinister, however, when you build your first AI-driven surgery suite, which can patch patients up after trauma but also offer enhanced lifespans to select customers. All of this is governed by an artificial intelligence – that’s the eponymous Flat Eye – who has their own goals and motivations, and access to a hell of a lot more data than you do.