Hello, I’m Mike Bithell, and I am a man who makes video games. The last game I made was Thomas Was Alone, and the next is called Volume. It’s a stealth game about being heard, and it’s coming to PS4 and PS Vita first!
I want you to imagine a 15-year-old Mike. He’s nerdy, he’s chubby, and he’s a bit bored of revising for his maths exams. He’s the kind of pedantic person who would be irritated if a website corrected the last sentence to be ‘math’. But right now, he’s not revising, and he’s not correcting hypothetical American editors. He is, instead, cautiously placing the ‘making of’ DVD that came with his copy of Metal Gear Solid 2 into his dusty and somewhat dented PS2.
One special feature stands out, it shows Hideo Kojima talking about the process of making levels out of Lego. It kind of blows young Mike’s mind: Games are accessible things. He has Lego. Kojima has Lego. In some weird way that Danish toy creates a link that means a lot to him. He decides making games might be for him.
Fast forward to today. I’m now 27. I’m still a massive nerd. I am not yet thin. Last week I announced my new game, Volume – a sort of non-violent player-editable homage to my memories of the games which started me making games. It seems weirdly fitting that the game I bought a PS2 for has inspired something which will be debuting on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. I’d very much like to tell 15-year-old Mike that this would happen, but, you know, spoilers.
I’m not saying much about Volume’s plot just yet – that’ll all be announced at a top secret event in October. For now, I can tell you that it’s a game about a very clever man in a small room. A thief who uses cunning and misdirection to overcome enemies. He doesn’t kill anyone, because that’s far too easy and messy.
As the name suggests, a large part of the game is about sound, visual ripples in levels show you the range of the noise you’re making, and you can deliberately use these sounds to mess with your foes. And it’s remixable. You can change the game’s levels, you can fiddle and craft the game to be exactly how you want it. You can make expansions for your friends, or translations to any language you want. Control lies with you.
I’m exceptionally excited to be making this game, and I can’t wait to put it in the hands of PlayStation fans worldwide. Check out the trailer, and follow me on Twitter to keep tabs on the creative process. I’ve making the coolest stealth game I can, and I want to hand you the Lego set too.