Game Plan

France's once-thriving video game industry has hit the doldrums, but there is hope on the horizon

"The body may be sick but the mind's alert... young and vigorous," says game designer and art director Nicolas Delaye, when asked to describe the French gaming industry. "There's a whole field of creativity there for anyone who wishes to create video games and come up with games systems that surprise the player. Or even destabilise them." Delaye, who heads Lexus Numérique's second studio at Aix en Provence, is currently putting the finishing touches to Experience 112, one of the most hotly-tipped games set for release in 2007. He promises the game will be one of full immersion; the player, who is not represented by an avatar, suffers from "memory loss' and has to piece everything together, little by little, for themselves. This is the kind of gaming experience that players have come to expect from the studio who put out In Memoriam 2 last year. This game took off-screen interactivity to new levels, allowing players to communicate with private detectives via text messages. The aim was to "blur the distinctions between reality and fiction".

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