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Open Roads Takes Inspiration from Lady Bird and This American Life

Speaking in an interview, Fullbright's Steve Gaynor shared more on the specific sources of inspiration for the studio's upcoming Open Roads.

January 29, 2021

As one of the new titles revealed during The Game Awards last month, Open Roads is one of the most anticipated indie games on the horizon. Coming from Gone Home developer Fullbright, Open Roads features an intriguing mystery story of a mother and daughter on a cross-country road trip, with the studio sharing some new details on where the inspiration

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Fullbright’s Steve Gaynor shared new details and insights into the studio’s upcoming new game Open Roads. Specifically, Gaynor highlighted a few of the inspirations and references that have played a role in developing the game and helped to shape its story.

The first that Gaynor pointed to was Lady Bird, the Academy Award-nominated 2017 film from director Greta Gerwig, that similarly explored a mother-daughter relationship like the one featured in Open Roads. Gaynor explained that Lady Bird was “a really direct, inescapable reference,” but added that the studio looked to the film as inspiration for how it depicts a relationship “that is far from perfect, but has this underpinning of real care.”

Gaynor also noted that This American Life, the long-running NPR podcast series, was also a huge source of inspiration for how it features genuine stories “told from the real people who are living them.” Specifically, Gaynor highlighted one episode of the series called “House on Loon Lake” that features the story of a group of kids in the 1970s exploring an old abandoned house. In a way, Gaynor noted that this story felt like “an exciting, real world version” of what the studio is aiming to achieve with the story and characters of Open Roads.

Open Roads was first revealed at The Game Awards 2020 last month, with the game currently set to release sometime in 2021. So far we know that the story will follow its two lead characters–Tessa and her mother, Opal–as they journey across the US to uncover the truth behind events that involved Tessa’s grandmother. It was also revealed with the game’s announcement that The Americans‘ Keri Russell and Booksmart‘s Kaitlyn Dever will be playing Opal and Tessa, respectively.

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Open Roads is currently in development and expected to release later this year for consoles and PC.

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Ryan Meitzler

Ryan is the Editor-in-Chief at DualShockers and has been a lover of games as long as he can remember. He holds a BA in English and Cinema and lives in New York City.

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