Annapurna Interactive and Her Story creator Sam Barlow appeared on-stage at the PC Gaming Show to show his next FMV game, Telling Lies. Sam Barlow is hoping to expand on his wheelhouse of game development: the investigative FMV thriller. This means moving from just one character in Her Story to more than 30 speaking roles for Telling Lies, and also massively expanding upon the content and game world. Barlow thus promised up to ten total hours of footage to discover in Telling Lies. There was no release date revealed at the show, but Barlow promised that it will be playable via Steam “very soon.”
As the player character in Telling Lies, you’ve stolen a hard drive from the NSA, and must now navigate through its strange data architecture systems to unlock more stories and secrets. Covering two years of memories and clips of four different characters, you must navigate through video messages in order to unravel mysteries behind four strangers, and figure out how their lives are intertwined. By zeroing in on specific words or phrases in video clips, you will unlock further references and clips, much like in Orwell. Thus, you will construct a web of phrases and clues in order to unravel whatever mystery you’ve discovered. Barlow played the central conceit of Telling Lies close to the chest, in order to keep the mystery itself a secret.
While FMV games may no longer garner top billing for major developers, indie studios making the best of the oft-maligned technology. From the high-stakes heist action in Late Shift to the goofy mystery investigation in Contradiction – Spot the Liar!, smaller studios are perhaps best equipped to make use of their writing talent in unique ways. Barlow too is riding the wave of FMV popularity after his successful release Her Story, and hopes to get our hands on Telling Lies before long.
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