Indie Dev Interview: The Kraken Wakes, Guy Gadney Charisma Entertainment

In The Kraken Wakes you take on the role of a reporter investigating a series of fireballs which have landed in the ocean, read our Indie Dev Interview: The Kraken Wakes, Guy Gadney Charisma Entertainment to find out more.

When we heard there was going to be an adaptation of John Wyndham’sThe Kraken Wakes, we were excited – when we discovered that it would use conversational AI as part of an adventure indie game, we knew we had to speak to the team behind the project. 

We reached out to Charisma Entertainment where CEO and Co-Founder Guy Gadney kindly gave us some of his time to talk about this exciting project – and explain just how conversation AI will bring this classic piece of science fiction to life. 

In The Kraken Wakes you play the role of a reporter, investigating a series of mysterious fireballs that have crashed into the depths of the Ocean. The game is adapted from a notable number of works by John Wyndham – who also wrote The Day of the Triffids and The Midwich Cuckoos, amongst many more.

The game uses’s unique conversational AI technology which allows characters to communicate using natural language and adapt to interactions, influencing their actions and emotions, and shaping the story as it unfolds – as you devise eye-catching headlines, deliver knock-out press conference performances, and negotiate with governments in your mission to uncover the truth about the fireballs before it’s too late.

The Kraken Wakes will be launched on Steam at the London Games Festival at the end of March, and you can stay informed via the official website

Indie Dev Interview: The Kraken Wakes, Guy Gadney Charisma Entertainment

Please could you introduce yourself?

I am Guy Gadney, the CEO and Co-founder of Charisma Entertainment.

And could you introduce your studio?

We operate and licence the AI technology platform which enables players to speak with characters, immersing them more deeply in the game and for longer.

Can you tell us about The Kraken Wakes?

The Kraken Wakes is about an alien invasion of the oceans, which then starts to impact human existence on the planet. 

Indie Dev Interview: The Kraken Wakes

What drew you to creating an indie adventure game?

We wanted to demonstrate to games developers and publishers how can leverage the rapid rise of AI to create immersive games with strong characters, immersive narratives and new forms of conversational gameplay – like negotiation for example.

The game is based on the book by John Wyndham, can you tell us about this process?

Our Writing Lead Rianna Dearden has talked about the responsibility we felt adapting such an epic story and pioneering new gameplay techniques at the same time. That said, we had produced adaptations of a number of graphic novels into interactive experiences in Charisma, so felt that the challenge was well within reach, but also that it would push us creatively and technically into new areas – which was super exciting!

What are the benefits of working with existing material such as a book, are there any drawbacks?

What originally attracted me to The Kraken Wakes were the strong characters and underlying themes that I felt  would be perfect to explore more in an interactive format. Where the book is a monologue to the reader, the interactivity that the platform enables allows audiences to properly feel the events of the story as if they were inside the narrative itself. Starting from the basis of bringing the characters to life was the correct first step, but there were also challenges with the timeline of the book as it skips about in time, and this is harder to create in an interactive space where you and your character are meant to be present in realtime.

The game uses a unique conversational AI mechanic, please can you explain the process in a little detail?

Creatively, we cast the player inside the story itself, able to speak to characters voice in, voice out, which influences relationships, emotions and indeed the story itself. This turns NPCs into the heroes of the game, and makes you feel more for the characters. We wanted to take a leaf out of Hollywood’s “Make ’em laugh, Make ’em cry” maxim, and bring this depth across into the games industry.

How do you see the AI developing alongside the game? Is this a world’s first?

There have been games that allow a limited level of conversation between players and characters, but none on the scale of The Kraken Wakes. We put the AI capability at the heart of the game design and built on top of that, rather than having it as an aside, and this is both groundbreaking, and also a natural progression for an industry which, through things like Metahumans, is starting to focus more and more on characters. As humans, it is a logical progress that virtual characters should become more relatable to us.

How do you hope players will react to the game?

We want players to enjoy the game, naturally, and also to feel emotionally connected. The themes are powerful, you are spending time with characters who are interested in you, and together you journey through a grat narrative. So ultimately we want players to say “Why aren’t all games like this?” 

Indie Dev Interview: The Kraken Wakes

Will you be working on any more John Wyndham projects in the future?

We have worked closely with John Wyndham’s estate to bring this project to life, and his star is rising with TV productions of The Day of the Triffids in the works, and last year’s adaptation of The Midwich Cuckoos on Sky. Personally I am drawn to his organic scifi – plants, oceans, psychology – rather than hi tech, and that travels and resonates across decades and media, so watch this space!

Do you now lie awake at night thinking about the ‘Kraken’?

Like anyone involved in creative enterprises, I hope that people like the game!

When is The Kraken Wakes out and how can people stay updated?

The Kraken Wakes will be launched on Steam at the London Games Festival at the end of March, and there will be posts on the website and, and can be wishlisted already!

Thanks for reading our Inde Dev Interview: The Kraken Wakes, Guy Gadney Charisma Entertainment, for more interesting articles on the indie games industry, check out the links below.

This Article was written by: Harry Cole