Jessika is set to give players a modern glimpse into a bygone style of game with gameplay built around full-motion video (FMV) featuring real actors and actresses. There was a certain amount of cheesiness built into the FMV games of old - a B-movie (at best) aura that permeated them. That said, TriTrie Games went out of its way to find the perfect match for the game’s titular character, settling upon German actress Lisa Sophie Kusz to give legitimacy and life to Jessika.
TriTrie Games and publisher Assemble Entertainment launched the behind-the-scenes developer diary on casting Jessika via Assemble’s YouTube channel on August 18, 2020. The video showcases what the team was looking for in casting for Jessika, how Kusz ultimately stood out and claimed the lead role, and her energy going into the role. A huge part of it was finding a person who could give Jessika a normal and level start. Not dramatic, troubled, or frantic, but realistically sensible before the events of the game shift her towards something sinister and tragic.
Ultimately, you begin the game believing Jessika had killed herself, but peeling back the layers of the story reveals something more than initially meets the eye. The developers at TriTrie were impressed with the scope Kusz brought to Jessika, embodying not a psychopath from Jump Street, but a rational, arguably normal person who slowly becomes unraveled in raw emotional depth.
“We already knew when Lisa came into the room and read the prepared text that she was one of our favorites,” said TriTrie Games Founder and Artist Seren Besorak. “We quickly agreed that Lisa embodies this raw rage and exposed, hurt woman without making Jessika look insane.”
With such an intense subject matter, casting and delivery is something that TriTrie and the studio knows that it simply cannot afford to get wrong. Fortunately, the game seems in good hands with a solid connection between its designers and Lisa Sophie Kusz taking the reins of the starring role. With a release date just around the corner on August 25, it will be interesting to see what Jessika brings and how this intense FMV narrative game plays out.