You know what they say, “the couple that plays together stays together.” Real life couple Bryce Dallas Howard and Seth Gabel are putting that to the test as they lend their voices for an upcoming gaming project. Graceful Decay and Annapurna Interactive’s upcoming puzzler, Maquette, will see Howard and Gabel, who are married with children, play a couple that guides players through the game’s story.
Maquette, a first-person puzzler, will have Howard and Gabel take on the roles of Kenzie and Michael. They are a couple whose relationship life-cycle is played out through spacial puzzles as the two narrate. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Howard discussed the role and what drew her to the part. While the relationship eventually falls apart, she says she was drawn to the role because it didn’t really paint one of the individuals as the villain of the relationship; “This is about a relationship that ultimately doesn’t work, but its not a tragedy in any way, shape, or form.” Instead, these two individuals simply impacted one another as they grew as people and then moved on.
After taking the roles, an easy choice for Howard and Gabel who were fans of Annapurna’s previous games, both were sent character bios before seeing a script. This outlined the relationship between the two characters in a “sort of Venn diagram.” This helped them grasp who the character’s were before having to work around dialogue.
When the time for recording came, Howard was sent a recording kit and did all of her lines in a single day from her house in New York while the director was in Nevada. She recalls the process as “fairly improvisational” where her and her husband really dug in to capture the essence of the relationship the game required.
While this is the debut game for director Hanford Lemoore at Graceful Decay, he has had the idea for almost a decade. He first came up with the concept while exploring the architecture of San Francisco years ago. He was inspired by the idea of creating a 3D game with physics; “Physics is so chaotic; with a physics simulation you can knock an object and know it is going to tumble, but you don’t know how it is going to tumble.” That concept led to the creation of a truly unique puzzle experience.
Maquette will launch for PC (Steam), PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 on March 2.
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