Telling Lies is an FMV mystery, giving players the opportunity to play detective and uncover the truth. It gives players complete freedom and doesn’t stick to a linear storytelling path. While the game was clearly inspired by other similar FMV games out there, the biggest inspiration was in fact The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In a recent interview with Nintendo Everything, the creator of Telling Lies, Sam Barlow, explained why this game was his biggest inspiration: “Zelda, well it’s the only game I can think of where the freedom feels so generous and genuine — the game is so player-centric, but it delivers on that. It’s the opposite of most open-world games in allowing players to go wherever they want and that being truly satisfying. A masterpiece! I was aiming for a narrative game that had that sense of freedom and generosity.”
But a Zelda game wasn’t the only inspiration for Telling Lies. The other big influence, Barlow explained, is a movie called The Conversation. It’s a movie about obsession, a key feature of which is a clip that can be taken to mean different things depending on how you listen to it, see it, and think about it. Additionally, it influenced Telling Lies with “a very clunky analogue set of reels and buttons that really informed how tactile and hands-on we wanted the video watching interface to feel in the game.”
Do you pick up on Breath of the Wild and The Conversation influences in the game?