The mists are beginning to clear as regards Remedy's Quantum Break, perhaps the most mysterious of the Xbox One's exclusives, with the possible exception of Capybara's Below. Last week we learned that the game is a third-person shooter with cover elements, in which you can meddle with time for a tactical advantage. Now, head of franchise development Oskari Hakkinen has revealed a little more to Develop about how Quantum Break's narrative works.
If you recall, the game features lengthy live action TV episodes which unlock as you progress, and are all included on the disc. According to Hakkinen, the inspiration for this came both from Remedy's prior games and developments in the mainstream TV market.
"It was during that time that the big series started to come out with HBO and whatnot, Lost for instance was one where people were buying the boxsets, and then watching the episodes at their own pace," he told the site. "Some are binging through it, some are watching one a day, some are watching one every other day or once a week, but all at their own pace.
"The great thing about it was each episode had its own three act structure and ended on a cliffhanger, which kind of prodded you on to see what happened next. [Creative director Sam Lake] got the idea from that, that this would be a fantastic fit for a video game, especially a video game that has very strong narrative, because we're telling the story over ten plus hours."
Remedy tried this out for itself with cult survival horror title Alan Wake. The results were compelling, said Hakkinen. "With Alan Wake, having a very high completion rate was partly to do with the structure we built.
"What we read on our forums and from media and fans was that some people played through the whole experience from start to finish - the bingers - but some people, folks that didn't have the time to do that, they'd play one episode. It was a perfect cut off point, and they'd know that the next chunk would take an hour to an hour and a half."
The idea in Quantum Break is to alternate between episodes of the game and the TV show. "The game and the show are designed to be built as one experience, to be experienced as one package. So you play an episode of the game, then you can unlock an episode of the show, play another episode of the game, and unlock another episode of the show, and so on.
"Without telling too much, you'll be looking at two different sides of the coin from a story perspective," Hakkinen hinted. "In the game you'll be following the story of one theme, in the show you'll be following the story of another theme. These are meshing together to form the whole experience."
If you'd rather not view an episode immediately after unlocking it, you can view it later - or even on another device. "Obviously we are not naive to the fact that some people may not necessarily want to watch some linear media when they slot out their gaming time. So once it is unlocked, it's unlocked for you to jump in or experience whenever you then so choose.
"So it could be you catch up on it through your tablet device or your mobile device on the bus to work, and then you get home and you're ready for the next experience."
Intrigued? We're just getting warmed up. Quantum Break is one of OXM's most promising Xbox One games of 2014.