Thomas Was Alone narrator and super-successful author, filmmaker, and actor Danny Wallace returns in indie dev Mike Bithell's next game, Volume. Wallace stars in the stealth game as a companion AI, or as Bithell directed it "the Microsoft Office paperclip as a military training program." Wallace's character is the sidekick to the protagonist, a thief by the name of Robert Locksley who has plans on becoming a modern-day Robin Hood.
In an event held today at the ridiculously apt setting of Nottingham Castle, Bithell also unveiled online personality Charlie McDonnell as the voice of Locksley. McDonnell has 2 million subscribers on YouTube, making him an interesting choice for a Robin Hood-like criminal who wants to broadcast simulations of robberies against the rich to show to the poor. The game's third cast member, playing the main antagonist, has yet to be revealed.
Despite the top-down game's modern trappings, deliberately reminiscent of the original Metal Gear Solid games, Bithell sees Robin Hood as a very natural fit for a stealth story. Speaking to Joystiq, the indie designer listed numerous qualities of the folklore character, including his precise aim and his fondness of disguises, that make him a strong fit for a stealth game.
"Every time I made a decision, or I was looking at a stealth mechanic and going, 'Is this Robin Hood?', I just kept finding references and reasons in the original stories and all the adaptations of it that supported it," Bithell explained.
On bringing Wallace back to one of his games, Bithell said, "We've kept in touch since Thomas Was Alone. We both enjoyed working with each other. Honestly, I was just trying to work out where he fitted into this universe.
"What's interesting is, again, the legends give us an example, and that's a character, kind of lesser known, one of the merry men: A guy called Alan-a-Dale, who's basically a minstrel, a storyteller basically. That's Danny, the idea of introducing an AI who likes to tell stories, and maybe a thematic link to Thomas Was Alone, which is nice."
Volume is due on PS4 and Vita in "mid-to-late" 2014, and then PC and Mac a month later.