Nikita Ordynskiy and Liliya Tkach, the Russian filmmakers responsible for creating the “Papers, Please” short film earlier this year, are working on another indie game adaptation — developer Warm Lamp’s 2016 adventure/strategy “Beholder.”
Like “Papers, Please,” “Beholder” depicts life under a totalitarian government. Inspired by George Orwell’s “1984,” its main character is Carl, a landlord tasked with spying on his tenants. The player can bug apartments, search belongings, and create profiles of the residents. Anyone suspected of violating the laws or plotting subversive activities must be reported to the State — or not. Carl can choose to side with the people instead, and every decision he makes affects how the story unfolds.
“Beholder” was well-received by critics and won several awards, including excellence in game design and best indie game at the Minsk DevGAMM Conference 2016, best adventure game from IGN Russia, and best in play at GDC Play 2017. A sequel is expected to launch in the second half of 2018.
“We are preserving the approach that we have developed while working on the ‘Papers, Please’ adaptation: we try to vividly depict the original game and avoid adding any imagined details,” said Ordynskiy. “That’s why we’ve decided to go with a black-and-white reproduction, drop the dialogues and stick to a silent movie. We believe that this approach will help us convey the grim atmosphere of the game best.”
Ordynskiy and Tkach are keeping all of the crew from the “Papers, Please” short film, they said in a Steam post. Russian actor Evgeniy Stychkin will play Carl. Most of the film is already shot and it’s currently in post-production, the directors said.
“Beholder — The Short Film” will be released sometime in 2018.