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With 1m Sales For 'Thomas Was Alone', Bithell Launches 'Volume' Trailer Ahead of E3

Jun 8 2014, 1:38pm CDT | by

There’s a certain attitude required to release a trailer for an indie game the weekend before E3 starts in all its ludicrous, overblown puffery, and it should be rewarded with some attention, if nothing else.

So! Indie developer Mike Bithell has released a live action trailer – or more accurately a stock footage trailer – for Volume, his follow-up to the successful quadrilateral adventure game Thomas Was Alone.

Thomas Was Alone recently propelled Bithell into the relatively exclusive club of million-selling indies – in the company of games like Dear Esther and Fez. An iOS release for iPad, ported by Curve, who also produced ports for the  is likely to push sales comfortably beyond that point, although the London-based developer has warned indies against rushing too quickly to mobile, advising developers to stay off mobile until they had made a name for themselves on more open platforms in an interview with Pocket Gamer.

Bithell has also warned against adopting free-to-play mechanics, and released Thomas Was Alone at a relatively sizeable, but one-off, price of $8.99.With the argument over monetization in mobile as much one of ideology as pragmatics, this stance has endeared him to those who believe that free-to-play monetization inevitably leads to the impairment of the playing experience to encourage the purchase of in-game boosts or currency.

Volume, first shown at last year’s Eurogamer Expo, is a futuristic take on the legend of Robin Hood, with renegade vodcaster Locksley, voiced by real-world* YouTube celebrity Charlie McConnell, teaching his online audience to deceive the security systems of the wealthy and powerful in a dystopian, surveillance-heavy world. Locksley refuses to encourage killing, and instead uses sound to distract and divert guards – hence the name, which is also the in-universe name for the tool Locksley is using to broadcast his larcenous Let’s Plays, with an AI voiced by Danny (Assassin’s Creed) Wallace.

The security, it seems, is provided by the Gisborne Corporation, and today’s trailer highlights their friendly, customer-friendly face – and some of their less shiny, happy technologies.

More of the gamplay itself can be found in the announcement trailer:

Volume can be expected to make an appearance at E3, as part of Sony’s ongoing promotional commitment to indies; the game will release on the PS4 and Vita as well as Windows and Mac later in the year, promising not only a storyline arranged around . After the absurd ROI of the $5,000 spent making Thomas Was Alone, Volume should be one to watch for fans of indie gaming, microstudio success and Metal Gear Solid-inspired stealthing.

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