A new psychological adventure has appeared on the horizon for 2014. The first commercial game from fledgling developer Curiosity Studios, FOG: The Story of Jacques Matthews is the story of a shipwrecked fisherman who finds his crew missing and himself washed up on a mysterious, deserted island shrouded in dense fog. The game tells his story, from meeting an enigmatic girl who claims to be of help to him, to his attempts at solving the island’s mysteries and revealing the truth behind it.
Far from being merely window dressing, the game’s eponymous fog also serves as the primary inspiration for several of its design choices. In keeping with the constantly shifting nature of fog, the game has been designed from the ground up with replay value in mind, giving level placement, visuals, audio, and even story elements the ability to randomly change from playthrough to playthrough. The developers acknowledge that such a plan will make it “difficult for us to create a long campaign…which is why we are focusing on providing plenty of bonus content and great replayability.”
An example of what this means involves Jacques stumbling across the beached hull of another ship. By examining objects within the environment and collecting audio logs, players may be able to piece together the tragic story of a captain who forfeited his life in order to save those of his crew before the inevitable shipwreck. Alternately, another playthrough may yield quite a different story, that of a captain who has slaughtered his own crew on his descent into madness. As the devil is in the details, and much of a game’s impact relies on its sense of mood, this feature could be a wonderful addition if implemented correctly. There will also puzzles for players to solve, though no mention has been made what form these will take.
Curiosity Studios has placed a big emphasis on gamer input. After a recent online survey asking gamers what features they’d like to see in the final product and what issues were of greatest concern, the developers have started directly addressing the wants and worries of the gaming public by redesigning specific aspects of the gameplay, interface, etc.
The team has begun work on a concept demo for the game, and expects that a Kickstarter campaign will be likely at a later point in the development process. Ultimately, players can expect to get approximately 3-5 hours of game time per playthrough on either PC or Mac. For further updates about the game’s production, visit Curiosity Studio’s website.