Last week, The Good Life director and creator Swery sat down with 4Gamer to talk about how the game is about observing humans, and how he changed his strategy on Kickstarter from the first attempt to the second one.
Here’s the highlights:
Question: The Good Life is a game about observing humans. I feel like the act of ‘watching humans’ is always somewhere in your games, including Deadly Premonition and Spy Fiction. Have you always put it in on purpose?
Swery, director: “All a game basically needs to exist is to have ’something the player needs to do’ in it. But if that’s all it has, the game will just end up being a chain of tasks you need to complete. I want to put in stuff that you don’t necessarily NEED to see or do. I feel like ‘watching humans’ is part of that.”
4Gamer: What has changed with your new crowdfunding attempt on Kickstarter?
Swery: “Before, we talked about splitting the cat transformation and the dog transformation into two separate versions of the game, but we changed it so that you only need to buy one copy of the game to experience both. Technically, we massively overhauled the NPC AI system. Before, NPCs were planned to run on a set time table, but now each NPC will have their own individual data that determines their actions. We also plan to allow the AI to control NPC autonomously. Each NPC will choose an action based on their own desires, which will be influenced by the player and other NPCs, causing NPC actions to gradually change throughout the game. The identity of Elizabeth’s killer will also change based on how you play the game. Stuff like this is only possible thanks to the technological advances we made.”
4Gamer: How did the changes end up working?
Swery: “I think changes #3 and #4 brought us great results. It’s true that it was really hard for us to make it this far, though. We announced that we’d restart the campaign in December, but ended up pushing it back to March because it took us a long time to shift the graphics closer to the final version.
Yukio Futatsugi, development director: “Crowdfunding is a thing where people who mostly aren’t experienced in game development look at your game and decide whether or not they want to help fund it. With that in mind, the graphics need to be as close to the final version as possible. Publishers can imagine what the final version will look like, but the general public can only take things at face value, naturally.”
You can read the full interview here, in English.
The Good Life is in development for PC and PlayStation 4. Although a Nintendo Switch version stretch goal was added at last minute, the campaign did not make the stretch goal.