Quantum Break took ample inspiration from TV dramas for its narrative structure.
Remedy Entertainment is no stranger to introducing cinematic flair into their games, as evidenced by the Max Payne franchise. For that matter, it can do drama and bizarre mysteries as well, as Alan Wake has proven. But what inspired the need for Quantum Break, the studio’s latest title that will be releasing exclusively on the Xbox One, to become both a game and TV series?
Speaking to Develop, head of franchise development Oskari Hakkinen explained how the idea first came about. “It was during that time that the big series started to come out with HBO and whatnot, Lost for instance was one where people were buying the boxsets, and then watching the episodes at their own pace. Some are binging through it, some are watching one a day, some are watching one every other day or once a week, but all at their own pace.
““The great thing about it was each episode had its own three act structure and ended on a cliffhanger, which kind of prodded you on to see what happened next. Sam got the idea from that, that this would be a fantastic fit for a video game, especially a video game that has very strong narrative, because we’re telling the story over ten plus hours.
“With Alan Wake, having a very high completion rate was partly to do with the structure we built. What we read on our forums and from media and fans was that some people played through the whole experience from start to finish – the bingers – but some people, folks that didn’t have the time to do that, they’d play one episode. It was a perfect cut off point, and they’d know that the next chunk would take an hour to an hour and a half.”
Quantum Break’s TV episodes will be featured on the game disc itself and you’ll view them on the basis of the choices you make in-game. There will also be “Junction Points” wherein you can shift from the protagonists to the villain’s perspective, offering another perspective on the game’s events.
“The game and the show are designed to be built as one experience, to be experienced as one package. So you play an episode of the game, then you can unlock an episode of the show, play another episode of the game, and unlock another episode of the show, and so on.
“Without telling too much, you’ll be looking at two different sides of the coin from a story perspective. In the game you’ll be following the story of one theme, in the show you’ll be following the story of another theme. These are meshing together to form the whole experience.”
Quantum Break is currently rumoured to be releasing in 2014.