The American south is becoming an increasingly popular adventure game destination following the success of Kentucky Route Zero. The next stop is Cypress Knee, Florida, home to an upcoming new adventure series called Knee Deep.
A murder mystery set in the swampy backwoods of Florida, the game will let players control three unique characters, the “cheeky blogger Romana Teague, beleaguered local newspaper reporter Jack Bellet, and cynical private investigator K.C. Gaddis” as they investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding the apparent suicide-by-hanging of a washed-up Hollywood actor. Taking a cue from such like-minded games as Telltale’s episodic adventures, indie developer Prologue Games is placing emphasis on dialog choices rather than traditional puzzles, though some of the latter will be present. How players respond and interact with other characters has an effect on how the game unfolds, and some decisions could lead to drastic differences down the line.
Inspired by the spectacle of live theater performance, Knee Deep is presented as a melodramatic stageplay unfolding on-screen in front of the player. The story will be told in three distinct acts, all interconnected but each also telling its own tale with a beginning and end. Locations are designed with the trappings of stage and audience in mind – set pieces change as backgrounds are appropriately lit and put in shadow, players are privy to the director’s stage notes along with the on-stage dialog, and information is presented in a manner that makes it accessible to all in the audience, i.e. a large screen backdrop serving as a cell phone display, so spectators can follow exchanges via text messages.
The first episode of Knee Deep, entitled Wonderland, will release concurrently on PC, Mac, and Linux this summer. In the meantime, you can follow the game’s progress at the official website, where you can pre-order the discounted season pass for all three episodes.