We caught up with Dontnod Entertainment co-founder Jean-Maxime Moris to talk about Life is Strange just prior to the launch of episode 1. He confirmed that each episode is set to launch roughly six weeks after the last one (meaning we'll see episode 5 this summer) and that all episodes are in production in parallel.
"We went for a realistic setting, says Moris. "There are supernatural things, but they're only there to be a metaphor for what is going on inside the characters. Their inner conflict. It's universal, it's realistic. Everyone can relate to those themes, to those high school years, those kind of choices that you make, every day life choices."
"We're very much influenced by independent movies in that respect and I think anyone of us have had a friend that we kind of forgot for a few years. Then saw, or didn't see again. And everyone has that friend in the back of our minds that we never saw again, but we looked him up on Google. Are we going to reconnect at some point? Rekindle our friendship - you never know. But everyone has that. And I think that's why you find it interesting. That's why we find it interesting as a story to be told."
As for the setting, that of a small town in the Pacific Northwest of America Moris had this to say:
"We did Remember Me. This was 2084. Future Neo-Paris. A huge city. We wanted to do something completely different and we ended up with Arcadia Bay, Oregon, small town America, small community. And in between those two a lot of choices were made. And so those choices involved wanting to tell an intimate story. So it was this close to being based in Seattle, but we thought Seattle was still too big and you know, Seattle is not in Oregon but it's the same kind of mood."
"So we wanted to have this smaller community where your choices are actually going to impact in more meaningful ways a small amount of individuals, but that impact is going to be very sizable. The second thing is that we wanted a setting that carries this sense of nostalgia that there is in the game. I guess that's us as 30-35 year olds looking back on the high school years. We always thought of the game, so if the game was a season it would be autumn. You still have the feeling of the summer behind you, but there is a sense of melancholia and the light is very specific. That's why we went to Oregon, because in many ways it reflects that feeling. It has a very poetic feel. The light is very specific. The huge forest and the general colours very much lend themselves to that nostalgic and also mysterious atmosphere."
We also have a gameplay clip from the start of the first episode (this section will also be released as a free trial version) where Max learns to use her new ability to rewind time.