Narrative-driven adventure fans are getting some fresh blood with experiences like The Council and State of Mind currently available, but there's one on the horizon that is delivering a pretty unique vibe. Gregory Louden has a handful of experience with high-profile triple-A games like Quantum Break and the upcoming PS4 exclusive Control, but he's branching out with a smaller indie studio for Stone, hip-hop stoner noir with a koala detective lead.
“Leaving a stable AAA job in pursuit of my dream project Stone certainly wasn’t easy, nor has it become any easier, but knowing our small team at Convict Games faces almost no artistic restrictions is worth it – we have no obligations, no stakeholders, just the freedom to create whatever we want,” said Greg Louden in the press release for the new reveal. “Stone is the interactive story I’ve always wanted to tell and play. I wrote, direct, programmed and produced the entire project, and it feels incredibly liberating to break free from publisher restraints and to release Stone completely independently.”
The new Australia-based studio is called Convict Games and Louden is serving as writer, director and Chief Convict for Stone. Louden also previously worked in the film industry on movies like World War Z, Gravity, and Prometheus and his experience with the medium will likely lend to Stone's narrative. It is already influencing the game directly with full-length classic films Night of the Living Dead and Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages included in the game.
“Stone may not be for everyone, but we hope it's wild, artistic nature, and Australian influences resonate with those craving a narrative unafraid to ‘go there,’” said Louden. “We’ve been working on Stone for nearly two years, tapping into the influential works of counterculture icons including Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson and Thomas Pynchon, classic stoner noir films such as The Big Lebowski and Inherent Vice, and other narrative-driven games including Firewatch and Grim Fandango.”
When players get their hands on Stone, they'll control the koala detective as he dances, drinks, makes beats, and more. The music in the game will feature licensed tracks from upcoming indie artists around the world and each song contributes to the "myriad moods in Stone's story" and "explores diverse genres such as hip-hop, stoner metal, house, and more." The Steam page for Stone is live right now and shows that the development team is aiming for a Fall 2018 release date. Also, check out the official Convict Games website and stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates.