Proteus designer Ed Key has revealed the next game at his studio Twisted Tree Games as Forest of Sleep, "an experimental storytelling/adventure game inspired by Russian fairytales."
Forest of Sleep will follow the exploits of three children as they travel between kingdoms helping folks out and gallivanting around the countryside as fairytale children are wont to do.
"Playful interactions with characters and objects lead to reactively-generated stories - ambiguous but with a strong sense of pacing, coherency and drama," said Twisted Tree on Forest of Sleep's official site. "The game features no text and relies on a cinematic language to suggest and communicate situations and relationships."
Forest of Sleep's aesthetic by animator and illustrator Nicolai Troshinsky is inspired by late 20th century eastern european traditions, particularly the works of Janusz Stanny, Stepan Zavrel and Yuri Norshteyn who used an amalgamation of live-action props with computer generated imagery.
It sounds like the narrative branching will be based on resource management and choices, ala 80 Days or Oregon Trail before it, but it will also take a page from Heavy Rain and use failure as a plot point rather than a conclusion.
"There's a simple resource management system involved in traveling around the map, but rather than being a do-or-die mechanic, this is more about creating a rhythm to the journeys and steering you through the possibility space of the story," the developer explained. "You'll want to do well, but depending on the situation, passing out from hunger is more likely to be an excuse for the game to move the story forward in a new way rather than a simple 'game over'."
"The aim is to combine ideas of plot structure and pacing with emergent associations to create playable 'dynamically improvised' short stories with recurring characters and motifs," Twisted Tree continued. "Using a cinematic language of juxtaposition, framing and 'skipping the action', we're hoping that the game can show you just enough so that a fun part of playing is filling in the gaps with your own interpretation."
Twisted Tree has been developing Forest of Sleep off and on for over a year and hopes to have it ready for PC and tablets by "late 2016".