Its not just the bears you have to watch out for.
Following The Red Lantern‘s announcement at the Nindies Showcase, Gameinformer sat down with the game’s director Lindsey Rostal to find out more about their narrative adventure game. The game is set in a tough, procedurally generated Alaskan wilderness, where the player gets lost while training for the Iditarod dogsled race. The Nindies trailer only showed a brief snippet of the terrible dangers that players may encounter, when a bear suddenly attacks and brutally chomps down on one of the sled dogs.
According to Rostal, this is but one of many things players will have to watch out for, including running low on medpacks, getting crushed by a moose, and apparently, getting killed by a squirrel. The possibilities are meant to keep things unexpected and exciting, so as to create a more immersive and dynamic narrative experience.
“We have a strong narrative background. I’ve made branching games and I wanted to find a new way to have a more dynamic narrative. Something that worked more in a streaming context and for a larger variety of audiences. It’s a fun way to write. You don’t know what’s really going to happen. There’s likelihoods and there’s relationships between animals in the environments and everything like that, but things are changing all the time. The unexpected nature of the world is really exciting. You’re like, ‘This is likely to happen, but [then again] this squirrel might murder me… It can happen.”
To help with that immersion, the game’s protagonist “The Musher” will be voiced by Ashly Burch,who is known for her work on other famous titles like Life is Strange and Horizon Zero Dawn. The Musher plays an important role by giving players context as to what is going on, even talking for the dogs in most situations. Describing the tone as “darkly comedic”, Rostal hopes that the unexpected scenarios combined with Burch’s narration will make for an “entertaining and weird” experience.
Finally, Rostal also talked about the possibility of additional features to help make the game more immersive. One of the ideas thrown around by the team was a “screensaver zen mode” where players can just enjoy looking at the environments using gyro controls. When asked about potential compatibility with the Labo VR kit, Rostal had this to say:
“You never know! If they give me a parka version I’m in.”
While The Red Lantern currently has no set release date, it is slated to launch sometime in 2019.
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