A taste of Twin Peaks and The X Files in Virginia

I confess that I never really watched much Twin Peaks, but I definitely had a thing for The X Files back before the second movie.  And the first one.  If you have a thing for supernatural forces and small-town locales, a la Alan Wake and Deadly Premonition, then you should definitely be paying attention to Virginia.

The game is a first-person mystery title from Variable State.  The game’s premise surrounds an investigation of a missing boy. Now you would think this kind of a game would be both heavy on dialogue and puzzles, but Variable State says that’s simply not the case.

“In part, it was a practical decision,” says creative director Jonathan Burroughs in regards to the voice acting and dialogue.  “Virginia will feature quite a large case and, given that we’re only three developers, were we to pursue full voice acting, we were worried about the time we would have to devote to iterating on voice performance and making sure it was the best quality, in addition to wanting to put time and effort into the animation and physical performances.  But I was also worried about conversations slowing the game down.  Our story is told at quite a pace, and I genuinely think that dialogue between the player and other characters may have felt like an unwanted interruption.”

Likewise, Burroughs says that puzzles would simply pad out the game, “It is intentionally light on mechanics.  Our aim is that it is first and foremost a drama you participate in.  We’ve quite purposely avoided opportunities for puzzle-solving or exploration – anything that impedes the story or might be a roadblock.”I hate to have dragged you this far into the article to tell you that the developers themselves have described the game as a walking simulator.  That’s something that might instantly turn some people off.  However, I hold out hope, because walking simulators can still tell amazing stories and keep one engaged.The game features a very simplistic art style with characters that share a slight resemblance to Nintendo Mii characters.  The backgrounds are bright and colourful – at least in the images we’ve been shown so far.Virginia will be released in 2015 on PC.[Source]

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