Johnnemann Nordhagen is the founder of Dim Bulb Games. Previously he’s worked at Sony Computer Entertainment, 2K Marin (where he helped create BioShock 2) and The Fullbright Company (which he co-founded). He’s now working on a new project at Dim Bulb, and because the end of last year had me thoroughly preoccupied with all of its grand festive trappings, it somehow slipped by me completely unnoticed.

It’s called Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, and after watching its teaser trailer it’s keenly grabbed my full attention.

The game is described as “a bleak American folk tale about traveling, sharing stories, and surviving manifest destiny”. Music plays an important role in the game’s inspiration (Dim Bulb has set up this page as a way to showcase the game’s musical flavour), and while it’s not yet clear how the game will play, here’s an overview of its intentions:

“Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a game about traveling, exploration, and telling stories, set in a dreamlike and fantastical American landscape. In the game, you’ll have the chance to freely explore the world, seek out landmarks and cities, meet other travelers and hear their stories, and maybe even tell stories of your own.”

Well, colour me intrigued. Before we get to that eye-catching trailer, here’s another bit o’ text detailing its influences:

“The American road story is a genre in itself, ranging from stories like the Mark Twain classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, or John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath to Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and there are many stories of other American wanderers that rarely get told – the spread of African Americans from the south, the movement of migratory farm workers, or the forced marches of native people. Where the Water Tastes Like Wine wants to capture the feeling of those songs, poems, stories, and wanderings in a game.”

This sort of thing fascinates me, so I’m obviously deeply excited to see where this leads. The game’s due out sometime this year. For now, here’s that strangely captivating trailer.

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