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In The Wreck, all your choices prepare you for the very last

This 3D visual novel presents you with choices that matter…just not in the way you think

It’s become something of a trope associated with interactive storytelling in games: supposedly, to be good, all the decisions the player makes must have a radical impact on the story itself. If not, some people go so far as to pretend the choices “don’t matter,” leading to an unsatisfying experience. We thought a lot about that when designing The wreck, and decided to try to deal with something hopefully a little more subtle.

The conflict we had to resolve was this: on the one hand, we wanted to tell a specific story, one of resilience, redemption, and thriving, where a character who starts out in the worst possible situation works his way to some well-deserved comfort. But on the other hand, we also wanted to make a video game that would respond to the player’s input, give them answers to their questions, and convince them that they have a part to play in the story we were telling.

The first tool we used was to allow the player to access the thoughts of Junon, the main character. Whenever something pops into her mind, her thoughts are displayed on the screen for you to read. Better: if she’s faced with a dilemma, like if she’s not sure how to respond to her sister Diane’s suddenly serious tone, you’ll be the one to strategize on her behalf… and force her to face the consequences .

character close up

Those “thought choices” aren’t crucial in the sense that they won’t completely redefine the story. At best, they will shed some light on an aspect of Junon’s personality that had been kept secret until then. But they create a strong bond between the player and our main character. Because you’re literally in her head, and because she’s thinking the things you want her to think, you gradually feel more and more attached to her—and involved in her destiny.

Also, influencing Junon to make something think will open up new dialogue options to choose from, so the player also has influence over the conversation Junon has with the game’s NPCs. That’s true The wreck‘s story becomes non-linear: each encounter consists of several dialogues, but we wrote them in a way that is plastic enough to encounter them in many different orders. Once you’ve completed an encounter with an NPC, we’ve made sure you have all the information you need to unfold the overall story, while still giving you the impression that your influence over Junon is real and direct.


Take a look at those flowcharts: as Junon progresses through the game’s “levels,” the story structure gradually becomes more complex. And yet it feels fluid and linear to the player, as if there was no other way to reach the game’s inevitable conclusion. Of course, this design choice is risky, as some may complain that the choices they make don’t seem to have enough impact. But we hope that for the majority of players, this concern doesn’t weigh much compared to the strong bond they’ve gradually developed with Junon and their desire to know how her redemption story will end.

For every thought the player generates in Junon’s mind, they are rewarded with a new nugget of information. They learn a little more about why she is the way she is, what traumas she hides, and how she is making progress in her struggle to get her life back on track. Your choices commit you to your relationship with her, and when she can finally remember a crucial — and dark — part of her story that redefines her entire relationship with her mother, you know her enough to help her make the final choice. The only one that really matters.


This ultimate choice leads you to three very different endings that redefine the tone of The wreck complete. When games do that, it can usually feel a bit clunky: there’s the ending that feels natural, “canon”, and then there are the others, the “lesser ones”, that you might even regret. We really wanted to avoid that. Therefore, this last choice is not about how the story will end – in fact, the story ends right before it.

In fact, this choice, this final commitment from you, the player, is about what Junon is going to do with everything that happened to her. By choosing one of those three options, you define the kind of woman she will become. You come up with a new Junon, someone ready to start living again as soon as you turn off the console. And that’s only possible because, choice after choice, you’ve invested in getting to know her.The wreck is available today on Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One S and X.


The wreck

The Pixel Hunt


At 36, Junon’s life is shattered: her career has stalled, she’s emotionally numb, and her personal life is falling apart. Things come to a head when she is called to the ER to find her estranged mother in critical condition. This is the most important day of Junon’s life, and unless something changes, it could be her last. Relive the past. Experience Junon’s memories and dissect the story of her past, including the tragic secret that lies at the center. Change the present. Use your understanding of Junon’s trauma to change the way she navigates through the day, unlock new dialogue options and heal broken relationships. Embrace the future. When you’re at rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. Help Junon find peace with himself and discover the humor, beauty and hope that are present even in life’s darkest days.

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