It’s time for a more personal approach – let’s talk about you and where your life is going. Broken Window Studios, developers of the upcoming Reflections, are looking to examine just that.
In this different approach to storytelling, the content is determined purely by player decisions. Most of the factors are undetermined on purpose – the location, the protagonists name, etc., in order to immerse “you,” the player. The game picks up just at the start of adulthood – getting a job, moving out, and building relationships.
Reflections is presented in a bleak, colorless 3D environment with lots of everyday objects to play and throw around. The player can play with a horseshoe or a basketball for fun, fix a sink, and grab or pick up many other objects. Some of them might have much more sentimental value, like a photograph frame with a significant other that can be taken to work.
As the items are acted upon, they fill with color, symbolizing a bigger importance for the player. The Storyteller engine acts under the hood of Reflections, taking into account even the smallest of actions. Interactions with items affect the story as it goes, which is split into three acts in distinct areas in life, interconnected by the decisions made. Along the way, there’s a host of NPCs to create relationships with that may transcend all acts.
Similarly to its previous horror title, Grave, Broken Window Studios built Reflections with support for the Oculus Rift in mind. The concept for the game arose around 2012 in a game jam, but the studio didn’t consider it particularly marketable. Since then, the industry has seen many experimental, exploratory games, bringing Reflections back into focus. One form of tangible proof is the Greenlight status on Steam, achieved within one week.
Broken Window Studios is aiming to release Reflections in April of this year for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The game also received approval for console releases, with planned ports over the Summer for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.