New Title from Ken Levine Team is Sci-fi RPG

While it should be noted that the game is still very much in its early phases (so early, in fact, that a prototype still has to be produced), Ken Levine has accepted to reply to some questions on Twitter about the title he's working on with a small team over at 2K, after the Irrational Games layoffs from last February. There's not much to go on yet, but we do learn that it's going to be a PC RPG, set in a sci-fi, or at least "sci-fi ish" original setting, and that it's going to be based around the narrative lego mechanics Levine has been talking about for a while.

Some details on the mechanics, though mostly broad strokes high-level concepts:

what is the game about? will it be first person or third?

Current thinking is first.

are you guys working thought the tech and concepts of narrative Legos in parallel to the game or are you nailing the former first?

Doing it in parallel. Should have a prototype in next few months.

how far into developement? any narrative or charracters written down yet? gameplay? anything? or just brainstorming?

stuff in engine. very rudimentary gameplay. concept art. passion system in code. a working board game to demonstrate passions.

will combat advance/be essential to the narrative?

the narrative lego concept can exist outside of any game system. it could, for instance, work as a diplomacy system in civ.

don't remember if you talked about this. But any mention of scope of game? Seems it's going to be a typical indie sized game.

The scope will be large-ish, but heavily reliant on re-useable "lego" narrative and game systems, which are re-combineable

obviously this is more of a concept then an actual game yet. What are you hoping to achieve in the long run?

A game with replayable narrative that can be added IN to like a civ expansion pack, vs. say a Burial at Sea.

Is it going to be a Telltale style episodic?

not really, because it's add IN, not add on. Think civ expansion packs.

Strictly being developed for PC release or multi-platform?

As of now, developing for pc.

i have a hard time picturing what the actual game will be like.

i think small open worldish (but not necessarily outdoors) rpg with quest structure coming from passion system.

And some similarly vague details on the setting and story structure:

It's a new universe, not set in any existing.

give us a hint as to what this setting is? Or is that confidential?

We're playing with something sci fi. Or sci-fi ish.

SciFi is always good. What time period?

Well, I would guess the future!

Looking at certain style? Retrofuturism or Blade Runner Cyberpunk?

will have to show you.

movies that inspired this project?

Stylistically, yes. Been looking at formalism a la Kubrick and Wes Anderson.

Hey Ken, is there any performance (VO/mocap) in this game, or does the Lego concept necessitate less baked writing?

voice actors. But have to write them very differently so smaller chunks recombine in meaningful ways. Lots of headscratching.

Still sticking to 3 act structure?

no don't think that's relevant in what we're doing. i think more like chapters

Will the game have a set main character or will it be player based? E.g. Bioshock/Halo/Witcher or player customized?

Current plan is player customized.

"Passion system" and "narrative legos" aren't the clearest of terms, so it's good that Levine dug out a speech he gave at GDC in 2014 to explain what he means with them, one that I have taken the liberty to embed below. The "passion system" sounds similar to influence systems seen in titles like Dragon Age: Origins, but the potential for a more system-driven "zero sum game" kind of dilemma where it's impossible to please everyone is certainly interesting, as is Levine's commitment to reusable and re-adjustable systems and narrative pieces: