The new game studio Variable State is releasing a game called Virginia, an “interactive drama” involving the murder of a child in rural America. Designer Jonathan Burroughs, spoke at length with The Verge about how their love of 90’s mysteries like Twin Peaks and The X-Files shaped the feel and look of the game.
Exaggerated and strange as the characters were, they were very human. You could empathize with their motivations and admire their strengths, feel sympathy for their weaknesses. I’ve always enjoyed science fiction and dark or wry humor. I think these shows embodied both of those things.
Virginia, like the recent indie hit Gone Home, will follow the same narrative for every player, and will last about as long as a movie. Burroughs and his partner Terry Kenny left gaming giants EA and Rockstar Games to form this small studio so they could work on “more personal” games. Burroughs has lofty goals for Virginia, hoping it will make players “feel something a game has never made them feel before.” (Photo: Variable State)