FMV sleuth ‘em up Telling Lies will be in stores next week, asking players to unravel a mess of fibs told by four strangers in order to figure out the truth behind a “shocking incident.” I expect task number one will be learning exactly what that incident was, because the new trailer isn’t going to tell you anything beyond what it feels like to peek in on these ordinary people. Which is suitably creepy.
Mechanically, this is a follow up to developer Sam Barlow’s Her Story, the also-FMV game in which you picked your way through a police database in whatever order you liked to decide what you thought happened to a missing man. You’ll be trawling these strangers’ lives in a similar way, using your own search terms to hop from clip to clip of stolen footage obtained by the NSA.
Who exactly you are, and why you would do such a thing, is less clear. One may suspect you’ve been telling lies of your own.
Brendy spoke to Barlow at E3 this year. Conscious of spoilers, he was mainly allowed to see the “future-cop” UI that’ll let you scrub footage like a pro surveillance state civil servant, even if it’s not strictly accurate.
While designing the game he looked at screenshots of a real surveillance database for reference (the MI5 Optic Nerve snooping program revealed in the Snowden documents). But the state’s grasp of good UI left something to be desired.
“It is way uglier than this,” he says. “I was like, if I make it that ugly people will just think I’m cheap. I have to make it look a bit sexier and sleek.”
I love a sexy UI. You can get your hands on it, and start riffling through these people’s personal lives at your whim, when Telling Lies releases on Steam on Friday, August 23rd.