Twin Mirror is a three-episode narrative adventure from French developer Dontnod (best known for Life is Strange and Vampyr), and we caught up with narrative producer Hélène Henry, lead writer Matthew Ritter, and producer Fabrice Cambounet for a chat about the intriguing mystery we're tackling in Twin Mirror.
"Actually, we want to make a more mature, darker game than Life is Strange," says Cambounet. "It's still a game where you make choices that are very important for the development of your character and your interaction with other people in the game, but it's more set in a modern world, there are no fantasy or supernatural elements. What happens in the character's mind is his mind palace, it's basically his capacity to reconstitute what happens around him, it's not a supernatural thing it's something you can do really in today's world."
The main character, Sam, is a 33 year-old journalist who after a recent break-up comes back to his hometown of Basswood, West Virginia, to attend the funeral of an old friend.
"The theme of what it is to be an adult, what is adulthood, and coming back, we've all experienced these kinds of things," says Henry. "We all come with a past, with luggage, and this is really something we wanted to explore. You know the kind of horrible question: 'How have you been all this time?' And sometimes you don't want to answer, sometimes you want to be really blunt about it, sometimes you want just to escape it, and this is the kind of choices you can make. And it will help you build the characters the way you want."
There is a true story though, so you're not shaping past events with your answers.
"There is something that clearly happened to Sam, and it happened just like that," says Ritter. "But there are times when people are asking you like 'how have you been for the last couple of years?' and you don't have to be honest. Your character can say: 'oh, I know I just broke up with my girlfriend, but I've got a new one, it's fabulous, it's going great'. And that's not necessarily true, so that is an option. Both the backstory is set in stone, and you don't always have to be truthful about it."
The first episode of Twin Mirror is set to launch next year on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.