Welcome to the world of fairytales!
Wanna know what Chronotopia: Second Skin is about? This series of posts is for you! Throughout the following months I’m going to spotlight various elements of interest, be it characters, locations or lore, to give you a glimpse of what to expect in our game. Let’s start with the obvious focus: fairytales~
Indeed, I’m fascinated by the subject and I’m especially fond of making dark rewriting of tales that have been forgotten. The starting point of Chronotopia was exactly that: I had not done one in a while so I went to choose a new tale for me to play with. To that goal, I put my books collection into good use and read one that I especially like which is a compilation of all the many folkloric and literary variations of Perrault’s tales. Since it’s such a shame that so few people know those variations, I really wanted to explore them all…at the same time. So I quickly came up with the idea of a heroine who would have to face adversity and each of her misfortunes would be a route illustrating a lesser-known version of a tale. My choice settled on Donkeyskin because it was the one that had the most interesting variations. Plus, it allowed me to easily pick up elements from other tales that are similar: Cinderella, Griselda, Sleeping Beauty, the Fairies, and so many more. That’s how Chronotopia became a tribute to all those forgotten fairytales with my own personal touch!
Since most people haven’t heard of them (they’re forgotten for a reason), it has always been my desire to share that heritage. After all, stories are made to be transmitted and it was the perfect opportunity to do so! That’s why we included in-games archives in Chronotopia: when you play a part of the story that is heavily inspired by an old tale, a file unlocks in the archives menu to explore that reference in more details. You can completely ignore them and just go along with the flow or read them to gain a different perspective on the main story. That way you can compare Chronotopia to the original versions and see what I added or changed in the story to fit my own universe. Plus you get to discover interesting variations of best known fairytales (Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hoood or Little Thumb, to name a few). I think fans like me will appreciate the references and the others will hopefully learn a lot along the way!
But wait, we went the extra mile with the idea: on top of the game and artbook, we intend to produce a booklet that will include an extended version of the game’s archives as there’s only so much you can fit on a screen. If you want a full summary of all those forgotten tales, some of which aren’t even available in English (I’m essentially working with French folklore), then you might be interested in that booklet. We were not kidding about Chronotopia being a tribute! But don’t worry: as you will see in the next posts, we still know how to keep our own identity.