'Life is Strange Episode 2' Dev Talks To Us About What's Next For Max In Arcadia Bay [EXCLUSIVE]

Life is Strange Episode 2
It’s a new day for Max and Chloe in Dontnod’s Life is Strange Episode 2 and the weird just keeps get weirder. Max has opened up to Chloe about her mysterious ability to travel through time, but she doesn’t seem to have figured out the connection between her “gift” and the odd vision of a violent storm approaching Arcadia Bay.
 
Michel Koch, Life is Strange Co Game Director & Art Director, answered iDigitalTimes’ questions about the upcoming installment. If you haven’t played episode one we won’t spoil it for you (read out review here), but you’ll experience a sense of paranoia while playing the game when a little butterfly pops up in the corner of your screen.
 
In Life is Strange, something as seemingly innocent like watering a plant or erasing a whiteboard in the dorm hallway has consequences--- whether they’re good or bad is not made clear. Check out what Koch had to say about Life is Strange Episode 2 below, which is available on Steam, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 March 24.
 
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Max taking the bus in Life Is Strange Episode 2. Photo: Square Enix/ Dontnod
 
iDigi: In Life is Strange Episode One, the game ends with Max and Chloe at the lighthouse. Max has this vision of a storm hitting her hometown. Why does Max trust Chloe with her "secret" in that moment? Do the symbols found by the lighthouse come to play later on in the game? And what's with the deer?!
 
Koch: We shouldn’t spoil anything, so I shouldn’t go into too much detail! We can say that Max trusts Chloe because she cannot really trust anyone else though, Chloe was Max’s best friend before she left Arcadia Bay. Even if their friendship suffered some damages, Chloe is Max’s closest ally in Arcadia Bay. 
 
Can you tell us a little bit about what's going on in Episode 2? What's the next location Max will get to explore? 
 
Each episode takes place on a new day of the same week. In Episode 2 Max will explore new locations in the town, like the Diner where Chloe’s mom is working and the Junkyard where Chloe and Rachael Amber used to spend time together before she went missing. Max will also get to meet some new characters, learn about some secrets and some social issues the town is facing. She’ll also begin to face a lot of consequences from her previous choices.
 
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Max heading to a diner in Arcadia Bay in Life Is Strange Episode 2. Photo: Square Enix/Dontnod
 
I can't tell if Chloe's step-dad is "good" or "bad." Yes, something's off about him, but it's too easy to jump to conclusions. Chloe dislikes him, but I don't think it's easy for the player to completely trust in her since she's up to no good as well. Can you talk a little bit about how the team approached the Life is Strange story overall?
 
We don’t want to have black or white characters in Life is Strange, like in real life there are several shades of grey. For the writing of the story, we started by having our general theme and idea: a coming of age story of choices and consequences, grounded in reality, but stirred up by a supernatural element: the rewind power. Starting with that we then created our characters, using known archetypes at first in order to get an entry point for the players, but also allowing us a lot of freedom when we will later bend those archetypes. Again, I can’t spoil anything, but we think that the players will have some surprises down the road.
 
Life is Strange does a great job with setting the scene. From the way the kids speak to each other to the clothes they wear, you feel like you're in high school. Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the artwork and animation style in Life is Strange?
 
We did a lot of research online and then travelled to Seattle to take pictures and understand the area. We even looked on local blogs, Facebook profiles, tumblr posts, local newspapers, etc. Our writer, Christian Divine, lives in north California, and often travels to Portland, he was our guide in order to nail down the Pacific Northwest look and feel. As for inspiration, of course we are fans of several American TV shows or independent movies, like Twin Peaks, Veronica Mars, Friday Night Lights, Buffy, The X-Files, The Killing, Donnie Darko, The Faculty, The Virgin Suicides, Juno, etc…
 
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Max and Chloe on train tracks in Life Is Strange Episode 2. Photo: Square Enix/ Dontnod
 
Will we ever find out why Max has the ability to time travel?
 
There will be some light on this subject, but this is not the core of our story, the game is more about what a person will do with this kind of power, how she will move on with her life, rather than a sci-fi heavy explanation about the origin of this power. There won’t be UFO or big aliens in our game in order to explain this. But yes, there will be some explanations, at least some hints and insights.
 
Your team has stated Square Enix was the only developer who didn't even mention changing Max into a male lead when you pitched the game. Why was this important to Dontnod? Why do you think studios are hesitant to feature female 
leads? 
 
Other developers were interested by the game, but some of them wanted more action, some others wanted a male character… Square Enix was the only developer that allowed us to create the game we had exactly in mind, and we are very thankful to them for that. It isn’t important to Dontnod to have female leads, what is really important is to have the best characters for the story we are telling, and in Life is Strange, it was clearly Max and Chloe. In another game, maybe it might be a guy called Tom from Arkansas… who knows!
 
When will Life is Strange Episode 3 be released? Can you give us some details about the third installment?
 
It should be released roughly six to eight weeks after Episode 2. I cannot say much or I would enter spoiler territory, but I can say that again you’ll get to discover new environments, and unravel some more mysteries about the town, and about Rachel Amber. And some other surprises…
 
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