Inanimate Alice Episode 6: The Last Gas Station is a narrative game told through media-rich 3D. You must have a computer capable of running 3D games to get it working. Games-capable computers usually have a dedicated (rather than integrated) graphics card. What’s the difference?
Integrated graphics: an Integrated Graphics Processing unit (GPU) doesn’t use its own RAM; it utilizes the system’s memory instead. Integrated graphics cards are perfect for people doing everyday graphics processing. This includes watching or editing videos, 2D gaming and general word processing. It doesn’t mean you won’t be able to play 3D games, but you will have to turn down the graphics settings or you’ll experience in-game slowdowns.
Dedicated graphics: a dedicated, or discrete, GPU has its own independent source of video memory, leaving the RAM your system uses untouched. If you have a video card with 2GB of video memory, for example, that memory is completely separate from your computer’s 8GB of system memory. Dedicated cards are perfect if you are into gaming or want to experience rich multimedia.
Our recommended spec requirements are: a computer or laptop running a dedicated graphics card, 8GB RAM+ and speakers or headphones.
If you have trouble downloading the Last Gas Station you can try the following direct link:
Note that your virus protection software may wish to examine the downloaded file before you install it. Should you be prompted to do this, simply follow on-screen instructions. If your browser claims that “this is not a commonly downloaded file and could be dangerous”, click the arrow next to the message and select “keep file” (or similar).
On PC, double click on the EXE to launch the The Last Gas Station installer wizard. The project requires around 850MB of free drive space to install successfully. You may be prompted to download a newer version of the Episode, if one is available.
On Mac, double click the downloaded DMG file to open the applications menu. Drag each episode into your Applications folder.
Note that you MUST have Administrator permissions to install new software onto your device, especially if you are doing so within a school/university setting, Please ask your IT technician if you get stuck.
MAC GATEKEEPER ISSUES
Newer Macs have a security system installed by default called Gatekeeper. Inanimate Alice is digitally signed with an Apple ID but sometimes still struggles to “get past” Gatekeeper. You may need to lower your Gatekeeper settings temporarily to accept files from “anywhere” as well as Apple trusted sources. Once you have installed The Last Gas Station, you can reinstate the settings to maximum security again.
For help with Gatekeeper settings, see the following article: https://its.uiowa.edu/support/article/4038
By default, The Last Gas Station will attempt to launch at the native screen resolution of your computer’s set up. Depending on your hardware’s capabilities however, you may wish to specify a different screen resolution/size and adjust the quality settings. When the work first launches, you should see the following dialog box:
If you are experiencing a slow frame-rate or the project does not launch at all, try adjusting these settings. Note that reducing the graphics quality setting below “Awesome” may slightly alter the intended look of the project
The Last Gas Station uses standard “first person” gaming keyboard controls in most scenes to allow the reader/player to freely roam around the work “in Alice’s shoes”. You can also optionally use a gamepad such as an X-Box 360 controller, although movement will not be as smooth as using the mouse and keyboard. The controls are as follows:
W (forward), S (back), A (left) and D (right) will move Alice through 3D space. Alternatively you can use the ARROW KEYS.
The MOUSE will allow you to look around. LEFT CLICKING when you have some objects in the centre of the screen will allow you to pick up or use or otherwise interact the objects (such as carrying a barrel, picking up a sheet of paper, or fixing a glitch in Alice’s game.) A small green circle appears centrally on screen to indicate which parts of the Episode are interactive.
In the Gas Station scene, when holding an object, HOLDING THE RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON will allow you to ROTATE objects by moving the mouse simultaneously. Picking up and looking at objects will sometimes trigger Alice to reveal her thoughts about them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I download this page as a PDF for printing out?
A. Yes you can. Here you go –
Q. The Last Gas Station crashed! Or, I found a bug! Who do I tell about this and/or send the crash log file?
A. The Last Gas Station is still in its first release and, although it’s been extensively tested, access to the sheer number of possible hardware and software platforms/configurations it might be run on make it difficult to predict every possible problem. So, if the work crashes on you, or you find that something just isn’t working right, please drop me an email: email@example.com saying exactly when the crash happened or what the bug is. Be as detailed as you can. Even send screenshots!
Q. When I get to the ‘Subway Glitch Fixing’ section, the episode crashes!
A. This is a random bug that seems to affect some readers/players. To get around it, load the episode, choose ‘Scene Selection’ and then ‘Subway Fix’. This will restart the scene from the beginning which has been known to help.
Q. The episode plays really slowly or staggers a lot when I move around.
A. As described above, you must have a dedicated graphics card in your computer, otherwise you’re highly likely to have a very laggy experience moving through the episode and it just won’t be much fun. If you’re absolutely *sure* you have a dedicated graphics card in your computer, try reducing the screen resolution of the episode on the configuration screen to something like 1280 x 768, or even lower if necessary. The episode will look a bit less beautiful, but may very well run quicker!