Tell us a bit more about Forgotton Anne’s main character. How did the concept of the character emerge and what kind of personality did you want her to embody?
Anne is the main focus of the game and we wanted to balance her personality with the players’ choices, as we have branching conversations and consequences of actions and so this has been one challenge throughout development. As mentioned earlier, she was conceived as a ‘princess’ of sorts with an authoritative status in the Forgotten Lands and later on she developed into the character of Anne the Enforcer, who still has a similar status in terms of authority, but carries with her a bigger burden of responsibility as she is tasked with keeping order in the realm. Meanwhile, her Master Bonku is working on the Ether Bridge inside a tower — his goal is to bring everyone home.
Our lead writer, Morten Brunbjerg, and our lead game designer, Valdemar Schultz Andreasen, really helped flesh out the character during development, as we tackled with Anne’s inner conflicts as someone growing up in the Forgotten Lands never having known the human world. She is dutiful, loyal and can be harsh towards others, but always justified in her own optics.
Then we have her more vulnerable side of which we get glimpses of at times, but she is very careful not to expose it as we all have sensitive issues we’d rather not talk about. Our hope is that she comes to feel real and players empathize with her as [they] make choices together with Anne throughout the story.
The very first synopsis I wrote back in 2014 focused on a young orphan girl who accepted an old witch’s offer to become a princess in the Forgotten Lands, but only if she gave up something important in return. —Alfred Nguyen
What do you think makes Forgotton Anne stand out from other adventure titles on the market?
It is a combination of features I’d say: the seamlessness we’re aiming for in many aspects, from the 2D cinematic presentation integrated with gameplay through to game design decisions such as not employing a traditional ‘game over,’ which helps maintain a desirable pace and rhythm. But most of all, I hope it stands uniquely on its own when you simply move around in this meticulously crafted 2.5D world, forgetting the real world as you feel immersed in Anne’s journey [and] making choices with her.
And hey, which game features a talking scarf in sunglasses trying to take you down! The world in Forgotton Anne, I think, is something you’ve never experienced before.
Are there any plans for a physical release of Forgotton Anne?
All I can say at the moment is we are looking into it.
With Forgotton Anne released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, could we see the title make its way to Nintendo Switch in the future?
The team and I really love the Switch, so we all hope so! My advice would be to continue shouting out for a Switch version and consider supporting us on one of the launch platforms to help make this a reality sooner rather than later.
As a project, Forgotton Anne was never presented to the public as a crowdfunding initiative. So we’ve not had a very public relationship with SEC, but behind the scenes, the team at SEC have been incredibly supportive and shown a degree of trust in us I wouldn’t have imagined with my prior knowledge of independent studios working with publishers. –Alfred Nguyen
It might be early days, but is there any chance we could see a sequel to Forgotton Anne?
Yes, it is indeed early days, so I’d say we want to see how the game resonates with players before contemplating anything. However, we have developed so many interesting ideas for the world in Forgotton Anne, many of which didn’t make it into the game due to our specific focus on Anne’s story, so let’s just say it’s not an impossibility!
Forgotton Anne was released on May 15 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. For more on ThroughLine’s acclaimed indie platformer, check out Hardcore Gamer’s review.