workscross
Tell me why, de Dontnod Entertainment
Digital
Work

2 min

Tell Me Why, by Dontnod Entertainment

With Tell Me Why, the French studio Dontnod continues to explore the narrative and personal video gaming. This unofficial sequel to Life is Strange is also breaking new ground by introducing a transgender character for the first time.

© DR
cross

A reference in video gaming

Ever since it was founded in 2008, the French studio Dontnod has stood out as one of the international references in video gaming. It owes this success to the 2015 production of Life is Strange, a narrative adventure with an innovative construction and contemplative tone. The winner of some sixty prizes and with over a million copies sold, the game was given a sequel in 2018 (Life is Strange 2) and enabled the studio to develop different projects, such as the action game Vampyr. Dontnod also collaborates with such major players in the sector as Microsoft, with whom it has exclusively developed Tell Me Why.

cross

Back to Delos Crossing

Tyler is reunited with his twin sister Alyson ten years after they were separated by a family tragedy. Together, they have to unravel a dark secret in order to settle their past, which is as magical as it is painful... Immersed in the gentle atmosphere of Delos Crossing, an imaginary town in Alaska, the player takes turns being one of the two twins. Alternating smooth narrative sequences and interactive scenes, Tell Me Why presents itself as a personal investigation in three chapters, where dreams and ghosts from the past emerge unexpectedly. Above all, it gives the player the option to directly influence the storyline by changing the characters’ decisions.

cross

Identity issues

The games produced by Dontnod often address complex subjects. After school bullying and suicide in Life is Strange, Tell Me Why focuses on transidentity. Tyler is the first transgender character to appear in a video game distributed by a major studio. In order to remain as true to reality as possible, the makers contacted the NGO GLAAD, which fights against anti-LGBT+ discrimination in the United States. They also entrusted the dubbing of the hero to August Aiden Black, a transgender actor who contributed a great deal in developing the character of Tyler.

cross

A global impact

With its pair of main characters, its setting in small-town America and its family secrets, Tell Me Why has been seen as the Life is Strange. This unofficial sequel features a similar universe familiar to players around the world. Its international critical success was guaranteed from the release of the first chapter, with Dontnod receiving the prize for best game at Gamescom in summer 2020. It was also awarded the “Games for Impact” prize at the 2020 Game Awards for its commitment to the LGBT+ cause.

cross
The Institut français and the work

Tell me why, by Dontnod Entertainment, is presented on the Institut français platform dedicated to independent video games culturegamer.fr.