Toby Palm: Hello, and welcome to the Square Enix Twitch stream for Life is Strange: Before the Storm. I am Toby Palm, the community manager for Life is Strange, with myself I have Chris Floyd from Deck Nine Games. Hello, Chris.
Chris Floyd: Hi, Toby.
Toby Palm: Chris is the co-game director for Before the Storm. And we'll be doing a run-through of some gameplay and also answering a lot of fan questions that we've seen bobbling up, you know, over the past few days, as well as any Twitch chat questions that we may see. It's great to see so many of you already in the chat, a lot of regulars I see, a lot of people from the Life is Strange community, the Reddit Guys, the Blackwell Academy, I can see a lot of regulars, people who tune in to Square Enix on a regular basis as well. So thank you very much for tuning in! It's good times to be here.
Chris Floyd: Absolutely.
Toby Palm: Good times. So, we've been working on Life is Strange for, I think, just over a year now?
Chris Floyd: Yeah, a little over a year.
Toby Palm: It's been absolutely amazing, it's, you know, it's been really difficult, particularly for me, because I live in the online space, to just sort of "keep quiet" and not be able to say anything (laughs), because I see so many people who said, you know, "please give us another story with Chloe and Rachel" and, you know, "please give us more Life is Strange", and then to finally be able to show that, and reveal that.
Chris Floyd: Yeah, at the Microsoft Conference, the other night, Sunday night, we got to show everybody that trailer that you just saw a moment ago, and "let Chloe out of the bag", as it were (laughs), for everyone to know, all the fans to see that we are working on Before the Storm and we're gonna be going back to Arcadia Bay! It was a great feeling, just knowing that there are so many fans out there, just waiting for some word, and finally being ale to let that out.
Toby Palm: Oh yeah, exciting times. We had a (...) in the conference itself, and you know, goosebumps all around. So yeah, so Before the Storm, good stuff, so like I said we are doing a run-through of the gameplay, I know there's a lot of questions, we'll try and answer some of them as we're going along. I know particularly some big ones that you do have. We will, we do have about fifty minutes at the end of the gameplay session, on which we'll focus specifically on your questions, and just, you know, answer as many of them as we can. So, we'll jump into the gameplay in a minute, do you want to set the scene?
Chris Floyd: Yeah, let me give some of the basics. Before the Storm is a three-episode standalone game. It's set three years prior to the original game, so we're going back to a sixteen year-old Chloe Price, and if you're a fan, you know that this is a troubled time in Choe's life. Her father died just a couple of years before in a tragic accident; Max, her best friend, has left town and lost touch. Chloe really feels alone, alone against the whole world. Well, enter Rachel Amber, right? So, Rachel Amber, the "perfect student", the most popular girl in school, really she's everything to everyone. She's very different from Chloe. And we're going to get to see how these two girls meet, how their relationship develops. We'e also going to find out that, maybe, the perfect girl Rachel Amber's perfect life isn't so perfect.
Toby Palm: Is anyone's? That's right.
Chris Floyd: And, they're going to lean, to learn how to lean on each other, to deal with their problems.
Toby Palm: Awesome.
Chris Floyd: Cool.
Toby Palm: Well, let's jump into the gameplay then! It is, we are starting off in a new environment, I believe?
Chris Floyd: That's right, yeah, we're starting off in the abandoned lumber mill outside of Arcadia Bay. There is an illegal, underground concert going on. Chloe has talked her way in.
Toby Palm: We've got a question - your favorite band?
Chris Floyd: My favorite band? My favourite band actually is a band called Lost in the Trees, they are fantastic, orchestral, very artsy band. So here we go, we've walked, we've found our way into the abandoned mill.
Toby Palm: Right.
Chris Floyd: Chloe's favourite band Firewalk is playing on the other side of that wall. She really wants to hear them play.
Toby Palm: It's an interesting name of course.
Chris Floyd: Of course (laughs), a little hat-tip there that people recognize.
Toby Palm: Cool cool cool. So yeah, so we are, we're starting off in the mill, this is very towards the beginning of the game you say?
Chris Floyd: Yeah, this is very close to the start of our story.
Toby Palm: Alright. Cool. So yeah, so, chat, let us know if you'd prefer to like, hear more audio from the game, or, you know, if you want to have a bit more insight as to what's going on, totally, we can adjust that on the fly.
Chris Floyd: As with any environment in Life is Strange, there are so many things to interact with, people to talk to. There's a guy selling t-shirts here, Chloe would like that one. Chloe has been a lot of fun as a protagonist, because they are so different from Max (laughs), the way she'll solve problems and the sort of things she'll try to do are a little bit different, a little more brash, then with Max it would be.
Toby Palm: Oh yeah, definitely, I am remembering like, in Season 1, you know, you have a puzzle, you have to rewind time to move something back or teleport it almost. (laughs) You're literally trying that guy, boarding him over is actually right?
Chris Floyd: That's right. Yeah, compared to Max, Chloe is not nearly so timid or cautious, she's kind of a wrecking ball, she doesn't care how much damage she does as she pursues her goals.
Toby Palm: Yeah. So, someone, I just saw on the Twitch chat, someone just asked if this is after the car crash of Chloe's dad dying...
Chris Floyd: It is, yeah.
Toby Palm: ...which is not a spoiler, because that's just..,
Chris Floyd: That's just the way it is, yeah. This is two years after William died, but compared to the first game, that is a lot fresher in Chloe's mind, she's still really grappling with all of that, the loss of her father.
Toby Palm: Alright. So, we've just nicked a bit of money, I see.
Chris Floyd: Yeah, we just had Chloe steal some money which she (...) the t-shirt. She will also take the vendor's cash at the same time. It'll likely come in handy later. Obviously choices, consequences, super important in Before the Storm, just as they were in Life is Strange.
Toby Palm: Yeah.
Chris Floyd: A lot of new characters in this environment, but also some familiar ones.
Toby Palm: Oh, over there. His beans! (laughs) his beans!
Chris Floyd: (laughs) His beans! That's right. Frank's going to take a little bit of different role, he was very much the antagonist in the original game, he's still very rough around the edges here.
Toby Palm: Right, of course.
Chris Floyd: But when we're talking about Chloe, she has her own perspective on the other characters, we've got to see how she fits to the same characters as opposed to Max.
Toby Palm: (...) and there's also, you know, a different point in their relationship with Chloe as, versus where they are in Season 1, you know, so Frank, you know, in Season 1, I believe, Chloe's owes Frank a lot of money and he's actually, you know, not, well, not violently disposed, but you know, he's in a different place (...), he's right here where he's (...) chilled out.
Chris Floyd: That's right.
Toby Palm: Like, I know Frank was one of the favourites from Season 1 for his beans in particular.
Chris Floyd: Of course (laughs) He was eating those beans.
Toby Palm: Yeah, he was eating those beans, I mean, what was he doing? And I'm really happy that, you know, that he's one, you know, what happens with Frank, how we engage with him throughout the game, there are really coo opportunities there for you guys, and where you have shown how much you know about the first game,and how big, you know, how big fans you are.
Chris Floyd: We are really fans first too. You know, we wanted to play the next Life is Strange game, we didn't imagine we'd have the opportunity to make the next Life is Strange game. So, as huge fans, we strive every day, honestly, every day, to remain true to the original Life is Strange. It means a lot to us to do that. We're going to see an example here of a new take on an old feature. Instead of Max's photography, Chloe makes her mark on the world with her big black magic marker. So you'll get to choose sometimes what you want to say at these different points in the world with what you can, that you can mark.
Toby Palm: Sweet. And that's going to be linked to achievements, right, as well.
Chris Floyd: That's right. So that's linked to the achievements and trophies, just like photography in Season 1.
Toby Palm: Can we reveal if there's a platinum trophy?
Chris Floyd: There will indeed be a platinum trophy for the season, so...
Toby Palm: For the full season. Great. I'm a big fan of trophies.
Chris Floyd: All you trophy chasers can go after that. Chloe's trying to get into the backroom here, got in a little bit of trouble.
Toby Palm: So I'm seeing a lot of questions, you know, flowing through the chat, keep calm guys, we'll try to answer them towards the end, of course, when I've gathered them all up.
Chris Floyd: A couple of new characters here, hassling Chloe little dude.
Toby Palm: So, you know, of course Life is Strangewas all about choices and consequences, you know, whatever you do, and with Chloe in particular, she's a very certain character, right, you know, she's not quite the Chloe from Season 1.
Chris Floyd: True.
Toby Palm: But, you know, her reactions, and, you know, what she says, so in here we just apologised, and there's still a little bit like, you know, snarky Chloe (laughs).
Chris Floyd: That's true, that's very true. She has an attitude that Max definitely doesn't. And of course another big difference is - she doesn't have the rewind power. In the previous game, we were given the opportunity to, maybe, roll back and try that conversation again. For Chloe, she's going to be stuck with her choices, players are going to be stuck with their choices, we're really doubling down on those consequences, so fans better be ready.
Toby Palm: Yeah, deal with it, sunglasses.
Chris Floyd: (laughs) That's right.