The two components of storytelling in Quantum Break, the next game from Remedy Entertainment, makers of Alan Wake, Max Payne, and more, will be connected by diverging paths that the player will chose to embark on, according to creative director Sam Lake.
Speaking to Gamereactor, Lake elaborated on how the gameplay and live-action elements will work together in telling the story of Quantum Break, a cornerstone of the game since it was announced at the Xbox One announcement in May of 2013.
"They tell two sides of a story,” Lake said. “There are two perspectives in the disc. In the game Jack Joyce our hero, and in the show you follow what's happening in the enemy camp, inside a corporation called Monarch Solutions."
More specifically, Lake said spoke on where the gameplay and live-action moments begin and end and how the player will affect each of them.
"So how the experience goes, you play through an act of the game. It ends in a special scene that we are calling 'a junction in time', where – because it's about time travel, because it's about alternate timelines – you see glimpses of two potential futures, you make a choice which future comes to pass.
"And then, immediately afterwards, we unlock the next episode of the show. We shot a lot of alternate content, so depending on your choice you get your version of the show. And then you watch more or less twenty-two minutes of network TV episode-length of show, you know, what's happening with the villains inside Monarch Solutions, teams, power play.
"As things roll forward time starts to break down and Paul Serene, who is the bad guy, the founder of Monarch Solutions, his empire starts to crumble down, and there is… people are trying to grab more power, some are just trying to survive. We follow that. And after watching an episode of the show, we go to the beginning of the next act on the game."
Branching narratives are not new to stories in video games, but with Quantum Break adding one more layer (the live-action component) to the mix and the added cost associated with producing what is essentially a feature-length movie on top of the main game, it begs the question of how many different stories and endings to those stories can be told in the game.
"The way we approach it is that it is one story, so the spine of the story stays the same,” Lake said. “That being said, there is… it gets wider and wider as we go forward and you have done multiple choices. So there are quite a few different versions of the last episode of the show already. So even if it's one story, you as the player determine the fate of quite a few characters in the ensemble cast."
Quantum Break will launch exclusively on Xbox One on April 5, 2016.