Sam Barlow, the creator of the hit 2015 game Her Story, has revealed that his next game will be another FMV mystery, this time called Telling Lies. Developed in conjunction with indie publisher Annapurna Interactive, the new game will have an "interactive movie format" similar to that of Her Story, according to Variety, but will be bigger, more polished, and possibly even feature Hollywood talent.
Barlow said Telling Lies will be a "spiritual follow-up" to Her Story, but will tell an entirely new political thriller-style story with three to four key characters. “Imagine Steve McQueen’s Shame mashed up with The Conversation,” he said. The 1970s, he added, "were such a golden age [for] exploring the intersection of government, society and individuals,” suggesting that Telling Lies could bear a similar aesthetic.
Barlow said the audience for games like Her Story and Telling Lies are "not necessarily people who play videogames," but are attracted to their unique kind of storytelling. "It’s the opposite of traditional cinema. Everything in TV and film is driven by the camera," he said. "In this, the audience is in control—we have space where the player can jump around. We can let scenes run and unspool. Some scenes very little spoken dialogue. It will create a very different experience than 60-minute TV show.”
Access to increased resources will presumably be good for Telling Lies, but the partnership with Barlow also helps cement Annapurna's reputation as a publisher of unusual but interesting indie games. The spectacularly good What Remains of Edith Finch was its first release, while its upcoming games include The Artful Escape, which was chosen as Best Indie Game at this year's E3, the stylish, open-world Ashen, Gorogoa, and something called Donut County, which I don't actually know anything about. I do like donuts, though, so I'm optimistic.
It's too early for a release date, but the report said Barlow is currently writing the script for Telling Lies, and shooting should begin in late 2017 or early 2018.