This 3D visual novel presents you with choices that matter… just not in the way you think.
It’s become something of a trope associated with interactive narratives in games: supposedly, to be good, every decision the player makes should have a radical impact on the story itself. If not, some people go so far as to pretend that the choices “don’t matter”, which leads to an unsatisfactory experience. We think about that a lot when we design the shipwreck, and decided to try to go with something hopefully a little more subtle.
The conflict we had to resolve was this: on the one hand, we wanted to tell a concrete story, of resilience, redemption and flowering, in which a character who starts from the worst possible situation makes his way to a well-deserved comfort. But on the other hand, we also wanted to make a game that was reactive to player input, giving them answers to their questions, and convincing them that they had a role to play in the story we were telling.
The first tool we used was to give the player access to the thoughts of Junon, the main character. Every time something crosses his mind, his thoughts are displayed on the screen for him to read. Better: when she’s faced with a dilemma—for example, when she’s not sure how to react to her sister Diane’s suddenly serious tone—it’s you who chooses a strategy on her behalf…and You force her to face the consequences.
Those “thought choices” aren’t crucial in the sense that they won’t completely redefine the story. At best, they will shed some light on an aspect of Junon’s personality that, until then, has been kept secret. But they allow a strong connection to be formed between the player and our main character. Because you are literally in her head, and because she will think the things you want her to think, you gradually become more and more attached to her and involved in her destiny.
Additionally, influencing Junon to think of something will open up new dialogue options to choose from, so the player also influences the conversation Junon has with the NPCs in the game. That is where the shipwreckThe narrative of becomes non-linear: each encounter is made up of several different stretches of dialogue, but we wrote them in a way that is plastic enough that you can find them in many different orders. Once you’ve completed an encounter with an NPC, we’ll make sure you have all the information you need for the overall story to unfold, while still getting the impression that their influence on Junon is real and direct.
Take a look at those flowcharts: as Junon progresses through the “levels” of the game, the story structure gradually becomes more complex. And yet, to the player it feels fluid and linear, like there’s no other way to get to the game’s inevitable conclusion. Of course, this design choice is risky, as some may complain that the choices they make don’t seem to have enough impact. But we hope that for most players, this concern doesn’t weigh much in comparison to the strong bond they’ve gradually developed with Junon and his desire to know how his redemption story ends.
For every thought the player infuses into Junon’s mind, they are rewarded with a new nugget of information. They learn a little more about why he is the way he is, what traumas he hides, and how he is progressing in his fight to get his life back on track. Through your choices, you commit to your relationship with her, and when she can finally remember a crucial and dark part of her history that redefines her entire relationship with her mother, you are familiar enough with her to help her make the decision. final choice. The only one that really matters.
This last choice will lead you to three very different endings that will redefine the tone of the shipwreck completely. Usually, when games do that, it can feel a bit clunky: there’s the ending that feels natural, “canon”, and then there are the other, “minor” ones, that you may even regret ending. We really wanted to avoid that. That’s why this last option isn’t about how the story will end; in fact, the story ends just before.
In fact, this choice, this last commitment of you, the player, is about what Junon will do with everything that happened to him. By choosing one of those three possibilities, he defines the type of woman he will become. You invent a new Junon, one that is ready to start living again as soon as you turn off the console. And that is only possible because, choice after choice, you invested in getting to know her.the shipwreck is available today on Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One S, and X.
At 36, Junon’s life is in pieces: her career has stalled, she’s emotionally numb, and her personal life is falling apart. Things come to a head when she is called to the ER to find her mother separated from her in critical condition. This is the most important day of Junon’s life, and unless something changes, it could be the last. Relive the Past. She experiences Junon’s memories and pieces together the history of her past, including the tragic secret that lies at the core of her. Alter the Present. Use your understanding of Junon’s trauma to change the way she navigates her day, unlocking new dialogue options and healing broken relationships. Embrace the future. When you’re at the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. Help Junon find peace with herself and discover the humor, beauty, and hope found in even life’s bleakest days.