|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Xbox One|
12 Minutes is an upcoming adventure game developed by Luis Antonio and will published by Annapurna Interactive for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One. The game, taking place in a small apartment suite and areas around it, requires the player to repeatedly play through events of a 12 minute cycle to try to solve a mystery.
12 Minutes is played from a top-down perspective of an apartment suite shared by a man and his wife, including the main living and kitchen area, their bedroom, and bathroom. The player controls the husband during these events, where he is free to do various actions. Without taking certain actions, over the course of the 12 minutes, the man learns his wife is pregnant, but a police officer arrives at the apartment, accuses the wife of murder of his father several years ago, and in trying to arrest her, knocks out the husband and attacks and kills the wife and her unborn child. The game then restarts at the original point, at which point the player can now try to take actions to learn the wife is a suspect, how to prevent her arrest, or other actions as to fine a "best" result over the next 12 minutes, otherwise they restart the 12 minutes over. However, the player is not given any exact information of what this goal is, leaving it up to them to explore how to resolve the situation. The man is the only character that retains knowledge of the previous cycles, such as knowing about the impending arrest, and this information can be used to perform other actions in future cycles. This gameplay loop has been compared to The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. While the main loop lasts only 12 minutes in real time, the game is expected to take a player between 6 to 8 hours to complete.
Luis Antonio is a former artist from Rockstar Games and Ubisoft who left these companies to pursue independent game development. For his first game, he wanted a title that would explore the consequences of decision-making and how these choices affected others. Initially he had envisioned a game that took place in a small neighborhood over the course of 24 hours, but this proved too be too large in scope for himself, and he scaled it back to a single apartment suite and a much shorter period of time. Much of the design of the game is inspired by film director Stanley Kubrick, and as one nod to Kubrick, the lobby area around the apartment includes the iconic carpet pattern Kubrick had used in the Overlook Hotel for The Shining. Additional inspirations come from the films Groundhog Day, Memento, and Rear Window.
Antonio had premiered the game at the 2015 PAX East event, at this point the game using placeholder art but having the gameplay loop completed. Antonio had planned for the game to be released in 2016. However, in the intervening years, Antonio brought on a team of five to help refine the game, as well as obtained publishing support from Annapurna Interactive. The game was re-shown during the Xbox press conference from Microsoft during E3 2019, and with planned release for 2020. Among final elements to be included are fully voiced lines for the main characters, and improved character animations using motion capture.
- Totilo, Stephen (August 25, 2015). "Time Loop Video Game Gives You 12 Minutes To Not Die... Again And Again". Kotaku. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- Tarantola, Andrew (June 11, 2019). "'12 Minutes' is a murderous 'Groundhog Day'". Engadget. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- Jones, Ali (June 10, 2019). "Psychological thriller 12 Minutes has been in development for six years". PCGamesN. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- Totilo, Stephen (June 11, 2019). "A Killer, A Secret, And A Time Loop Make For A Harrowing 12 Minutes". Kotaku. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- McCarthy, Caty (June 12, 2019). "After Six Years In Development, The Indie Timeloop Thriller 12 Minutes Is Finally Nearing Completion". USGamer. Retrieved June 12, 2019.