"You don’t need balls to be ballsy," notes Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre, in an announcement promoting the new game from UK developer RedBedlam based on his novel, Bedlam. The first-person shooter is slightly different from that novel, in that the developers have swapped out male protagonist Ross Baker for a "strong female lead."
The game puts players in the role of Heather Quinn (aka Athena), a programmer at medical scanning developer Neurosphere who finds herself transported into the world of Starfire, a nineties first-person shooter. Searching for an explanation and a way home, Athena ventures beyond Starfire to discover a vast realm of interconnected game worlds documenting "the evolution of the FPS genre and of video games in general."
"Choosing a strong, independent and modern female lead for this role not only means that we can help to address the woeful diversity situation amongst video game protagonists," said Nick Witcher, Marketing Director at RedBedlam, "but it also allows us to make the most of Christopher Brookmyre’s writing by drawing upon his acclaimed reputation for creating compelling female characters."
"The average FPS protagonist is a testosterone-addled sociopath with all the endearing charm of a cornered honey badger," notes author Christopher Brookmyre. "I thought we could prove that you don’t need balls to be ballsy. Players of both sexes will identify with Athena, because first and foremost she is a gamer herself. Women have been shamefully ignored by the FPS genre, so it seemed appropriate that we have an acerbic female perspective in a game that plays upon the evolution and conventions of the genre."
Developed in association with Standfast Interactive, the game is set to be released on Steam in the summer of 2014. Two subsequent novel / video game tie-ins are planned.
You can learn more about the game here. Expect to hear more about it next week during E3.