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Remember Me creative director: 'It was misunderstood'


Remember Me launched in June 2013 to mostly mediocre reviews. Our own critique called its animations "stilted and poorly portrayed," and found the overall experience disappointing. That following January, French developer DONTNOD entered "judicial reorganization," meaning the studio wasn't keeping up with its debts.

"First of all, we're extremely proud of Remember Me," Creative Director Jean Maxime Moris told Joystiq at Gamescom. "I think it was not perfect by any means, but to some level it was misunderstood. It was our first game. We got totally buried under the hype for a very big game that came out directly after. These are not excuses because it was not perfect, it had flaws. But people are still writing about it today. Every once in a while we see a piece popping up and people actually showing the game some love."

Gallery: Remember Me (2/14/13) | 53 Photos

Now, DONTNOD has funding and support from Square Enix for the narrative-driven point-and-click game Life is Strange.

"Even the announcement of Life is Strange, we've seen many comments about DONTNOD as a studio, about Remember Me," Moris said. "So even though right now our life is Life is Strange, we're definitely happy to see Remember Me live on in people's memories. That's great." Ten points to those who catch all of the clever turns of phrase in that statement.

Life is Strange follows Max, a teenage girl returning to her hometown in Oregon, reuniting with her former best friend and discovering she has the ability to reverse time. It's an emotional, episodic coming-of-age story set in 2013. That's not exactly sci-fi, but Life is Strange and Remember Me, published by Capcom, share at least one characteristic – they each star a female protagonist. But it goes a little deeper than that, Moris said:

"There's definitely some shared DNA. They're different games, but – well, Michel [Koch] was the art director of Remember Me, and you can definitely see the quality of the visuals also shining. Memories and identities are really at the core of it, so Remember Me might have been a sci-fi action adventure game, where memories and people's personalities were digitized, and this is a game that takes you back to a period of your life where you were building that personality. The memories, they're not really digitized at all." He held up a few Polaroids pulled directly from in-game photos in Life is Strange. "There are some similarities."

The Life is Strange Gamescom demo room was a white box mocked up as a teenage girl's bedroom, the walls plastered with magazine pages and profanity, a bed in one corner, a bookshelf packed with classic novels and Iron & Wine CDs, a desk, and a TV on a giant wooden spool serving as a table. All of this was set up by Square Enix.

I asked Moris how DONTNOD's relationship with Capcom was, now that Remember Me was done and a new publisher had stepped in.

"We're not attached to a particular publisher," he said. "Right now we're very happy to be working with Square. If you look at just the work that they did on this room, it's fantastic. That was them. All we did was scribble when we arrived."

[Game images: Capcom, Square Enix]

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