A new company called Branching Narrative has announced its first gaming title: a new take on Deathtrap Dungeon, the classic Fighting Fantasy gamebook by Ian Livingstone. Showcasing the company’s new Interactive Fiction engine, the game stars British actor Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs and Shaw, Deadpool 2), who will act as narrator and guide in a high-quality interactive video production that faithfully recreates the beloved fantasy book.
Formed in 2019 by Games Industry veterans Mark Ripley and Matt Spall, Branching Narrative is a brand new business concentrating on building interactive experiences around branching video. Working with both existing and new authors the company will develop and release a slate of titles not only for entertainment, but is also considering potential uses for the engine in education, medicine and training.
Deathtrap Dungeon, arguably the most popular book in the Fighting Fantasy series, was originally released in 1984 and challenges the player to survive the Trial of Champions that takes place in the labyrinth of Fang, full of fiendish traps and deadly creatures set by the devious Baron Sukumvit.
Branching Narrative’s Deathtrap Dungeon will be delivered as a video stream that prompts the user to make choices and direct the flow, offering enhanced gameplay over other recent high-profile ‘interactive movie’ offerings, fully utilising the mechanics from the book.
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Matt Spall, Branching Narrative, said, “Our innovative take on Deathtrap Dungeon is a choice-based adventure, presented as an interactive video storybook with the fantastic Eddie Marsan narrating the story and guiding players as they find their way through Baron Sukumvit’s treacherous corridors of power.”
Ian Livingstone said, “Deathtrap Dungeon has consistently been a fan favourite, so I am excited about the approach that Branching Narrative is taking in bringing my book to a new generation of players in a new format. Eddie Marsan is brilliant, and with the storytelling being an interactive rather than passive experience, this ain’t no Jackanory!”
Fighting Fantasy fans will be able to meet the Branching Narrative team and see an early prototype of Deathtrap Dungeon at Fighting Fantasy Fest 3, taking place Saturday 31 August at the University of West London.
Deathtrap Dungeon is due for release on PC, Mac and Mobile later this year, commemorating the 35th anniversary of the book’s original publication, with other formats including console to follow in 2020.
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