Hot off the heels of acquiring Compulsion games, We Happy Few gets a more content filled look at the game – something the Game Preview version was heavy criticised for being light on. It looks every bit as devious and promising as the original plans that were unveiled – is there hope for the title yet? – come August 10, 2018 those of us that still have the faith can check it for ourselves out when the game releases, but I think you will agree, this trailer looks full of promise.
Compulsion Games have been teasing us (me) with images and development videos for their dystopian tale of life in Wellington Wells. After the success of their previous title, Contrast, We Happy Few sets you up for a taste of life in an Orwellian 1960s English village.
We Happy few is the story of a bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial. These drug-fuelled, retro-futuristic people just want everyone to be happy. Especially if that means conformity.
The game is all about kicking the Joy habit and surviving in and escaping from the procedurally generated world. Along the way you’ll learn the art of hiding in plain sight. If you act out of turn, the locals will become suspicious and will rapidly turn your smile into a grimace. This promises to be tense.
As well as a procedurally generated world, We Happy Few will feature a range of difficulties for novices and experts alike. Permadeath will also appeal to the masochistic among you and you can indulge your creative and gaming needs with three modes, Sandbox, Story and Wellie.
Fulfill your most basic needs in order to survive. Interact with the Joy-addled inhabitants. Choose stealth, combat or conformity to win out. You’ll need to collect, scavenge and craft items that you can use to survive or fight against Wellington Wells’ ever-vigilant police force. Look out for traps too, or even use them to your advantage.
The good news is that We Happy Few has finally made it to the Xbox One Preview Program and is out for the princely sum of £23.99 or your local currency equivalent.
Compulsion Games have celebrated this launch with a brand new gameplay trailer, and as Happy Jack says, “Don’t forget to take your Joy”.
Quick, look busy, it’s the boss.
At TiX, we love E3. When it’s not making the site so busy that it makes Dave cry, it allows all manner of developers to showcase the stuff they’ve been working on and might be close to completion. Compulsion Games are one such studio. They’ve been busy, beavering happily away on their 1960’s utopian action title, We Happy Few for some months now.
Over that time, Compulsion have been posting regular updates on their YouTube feed detailing the process they go through for animating the various characters. If you have a few minutes to spare, they’re well worth a watch.
We Happy Few is a game that is based, as I mentioned, in the very British town of Wellington Wells in the 1960’s. You are Arthur Hastings, encouraged, along with the rest of the population, to take the state-provided happy pills. In a fit of rebellion, Arthur decides not to take his pills and instantly becomes a frowned-upon ‘Downer’.
Spend the next hours of your life trying to avoid the happy folk of Wellington Wells, whiling away their life in blissful denial. Reconstruct the past, find your way out of the town. You’ll have to blend in with the other citizens though, they don’t take kindly to those who don’t abide by their not-so-normal rules.
We Happy Few will be heading to the Xbox Game Preview program from the 26th of July. It looks kooky, right up my cobbled alley. Here’s that E3 trailer, which comprises of the game’s opening sequence.
We Happy Few, the creepy title from Compulsion Games will be available as part of the Game Preview program this Winter.
Check out the trailer below, I dare you not to have the tune stuck in your head.
Where has the time gone? Issue #8 of the TiX crowdfunding spotlight is here. This week’s edition (written while listening to this week’s ThisisXbox Podcast) focuses on two unique titles; IZLE an action-adventure RPG from Area Effect and HUSH a challenging action-adventure video game about our childhood fears from London-based Game Studio 78. First, it’s time to catch up on the projects we’ve been following.
It seems the momentum has almost come to a complete stop for Dedication Lab and their campaign; RUMP! The last time we checked in with these guys they had only managed to raise an extra $300, seven days later and they’ve only managed to raise another $200 or so taking them to a grand total of $14,752. At this rate we’ll be unlikely to see RUMP! make it to the $50,000 grand total they require.
Once Bitten Twice Dead! is the zombie first-person title from Dark Day Inc. I’m honestly gutted to report that funding was unsuccessful on Kickstarter. The campaign only managed to raise $734 AUD towards their goal of $20,000 AUD. Since the project failed, they haven’t posted any updates, but we wish Dark Day Inc. all the best and look forward to hearing what’s next from them.
Near Future Fiction writer, Henry L. Sullivan III wants to bring American Father’s Podcast to as many listeners as possible. Steve Downes (the voice of Master Chief) is one of the many high-profile voice actors involved in this Kickstarter project. Unluckily for Sullivan and Downes, the project has failed to attract the attention it deserved. The campaign failed to come close to the $30,000 it required barely making it to $3,000.
Outward from Nine Dots is the Adventure Life Sim as featured in last week’s issue. It seems there is just as much interest in this game as I had hoped for. With 21 days still to go, the campaign has attracted 543 backers pledging $34,083 CAD towards the $150,000 target. They’ve been attracting quite a bit of attention of online media outlets these last few days, so make sure you don’t miss out on backing this unique project. Visit the Kickstarter page here to learn more and pledge.
Finally, but by no means least is Frizzy, the indie title already approved for Xbox One and 70% complete. The team behind this classic platformer are looking to raise the last $3,000 required to cover all the final release fees. With 21 days to go Frizzy has found itself 14 backers with $226 towards the total. Please do check out this small, bizarre little title and support it with anything you have.
New this week!
Izle is a 3D procedural action-adventure RPG where your quest is to rebuild the last world of Light using Godlike terraforming powers. Izle will target Steam (PC, Mac and Linux) and consoles, but most importantly for us; Xbox One! The team behind Izle have already secured a pre-agreement with Microsoft including free developer kits to make Izle the best it can possibly be.
So what is Izle? Entire kingdoms and islands will be created or shattered based on your gameplay decisions. The landscape of Izle will reflect your actions in unprecedented ways. The freedom of terraforming allows us the player to acquire powers and use them to create procedurally-generated islands filled with rolling hills, daunting castles, treacherous volcanoes, underground ice caves, and sprawling dungeons. Real-time combat means fast paced melee and ranged action, interspersed with magical spells. A new item ability system allows players to create their own specialised character builds and capitalising on a truly destructible world, with every blade of grass, tree, hill and mountain being destructible, there are 100’s of hours of fun to be had. We’ll be presented with a vast, unique world to uncover, but will also have many exciting ways to go about exploring it; digging, climbing, swinging, swimming, flying and more to travel through the world we’ve created to discover all the wonder and mysteries that await.
Izle is the last world of Light. The remnant of a long ago war. A solitary island lost in the depth of space and protected merely by a luminous shell that seems only too fragile. Your world was consumed and for years you search for what could become your new home. As you take your first glimpse of Izle, your own unique story begins, as this lost paradise will become what you decide to make of it. But the Shadows that destroyed your world are trying to invade Izle and confrontation approaches, but is that really why you’re here? Izle’s mysteries, fragmented into a thousand islands, will draw your attention from the distant stars to your own very decisions.
The team behind Izle are extremely proud to be working and collaborating with Clément Péres (@mindthings), a French composer who’s created more than an hour of original music for the game. Between the low polys and the richness of a breathing world, between the synthetic and the symphonic, each of his tracks integrates perfectly with the game. You can listen to some of his music here:
Izle, as do all well thought out Kickstarter campaigns, has a great set of reward tiers for backers. The lowest tier at $14 will ensure you receive a copy of the game on your platform of choice (STEAM, PSN, Wii U eShop or Xbox One) but the reward that stands out the most is a hardback book with some truly stunning artwork included. The Izle Physical Artbook (Tier Izle Artbook) will be created at the end of development and will be a high-quality physical print. It will group all sorts of content: high quality illustrations, screenshots, early concepts, character designs, items, icons, glyphs, design sheets, music sheets, technical notes, and anything else the developers think would spark our interest. And, of course, it will be signed by the whole team.
At this moment in time there are no stretch goals as part of the project, it is a little too soon for that. The money raised will give the developers, Area Effect, the ability to hire artists (whom they’ve previously worked with) and enable them to do what they love: making 3D models, 2D art, music, sound effects, voice-overs etc. etc. So, how much are Area Effect looking for? The answer is a large $90,000. With 12 days to go and 529 backers already standing behind them they’ve managed to raise $17,666, quite a bit short from where they need to be.
Likeliness of happening: To make Izle a reality the team at Area Effect need to ramp up their campaign, and to help this along they’ve released a demo for PC and MAC. You can download it here. Time is against them, but the concept is one that’s unique and interesting. With a little support they could still raise what is required.
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Ready to face your fears?
London based Game Studio 78, or GS78 as they like to be referred as, is made up of just 13 team members. They’ve recently launched this particular campaign on Kickstarter which is really worth checking out, and could definitely do with your support.
Hush draws its inspiration from fears, particularly those we have all experienced in some way or another when we were children. Hush is the story of Ashlyn, as she finds herself in an orphanage that time forgot, surrounded by blood freezing phobias that will try to absorb her into oblivion. Your goal is to help Ashlyn face these fears, and then use them to your advantage in order to escape from this nightmarish place. During this journey you’ll find yourself roaming through all sorts of environments capable of bringing out your innermost phobias. You’ll also be getting help from the inhabitants of this establishment, simply called The Forgotten. These little figures will tell you all about the suffering they’ve been through as victims of The Fears, while giving you hints on what awaits you.
Hush is already approved for and will be released on Xbox One, PS4, Wii U as well as Steam for Linux, Mac and PC. Developed using the Unity 5 Engine the Xbox One version will be released a short time after the game launches on Steam. But already pre-approved and a good deal way through development, Game Studio 78 are looking for an October release, this year!
While playing Hush, the player will face several obstacles as they progress through the levels. These obstacles take the form of monsters, puzzles and spatial hazards. Each monster has different attacks and motion patterns, behaving accordingly to their profile and the specific chapter they belong to. Each chapter will end with a confrontation against a final boss –a representation of the fear said chapter is based on.
Ashlyn will rely on toys to help her overcome the fears and obstacles in her way. As you start with Hush, you’ll be reliant on GoGo, Ashlyn’s best friend. GoGo is suited to melee combat best, so you’ll soon need to explore and find new toys to help. For instance there is the Firefly Flask which emits a powerful light that stuns all the enemies around Ashlyn and damages dark creatures. Used with GoGo, enemies can be more easily defeated from stunned status.
The unique concept of Hush is that you’ll be experiencing a compelling story with an intricate plot that explores different kinds of fear: the “Fear of the Dark”, “Fear of Thunder” and “Fear of Ghosts”. In the Fear of Thunder chapter we’ll be pitted against the energetic automatons of the Power House. These are creatures that harvest energy and are highly volatile in nature. This chapter tells the story of Nikolai, the groundskeeper of the orphanage whose ambition was to create life. Nikolai built robots from all types of junk that he found in the orphanage and managed to give them life. Ashlyn will try to find the reason behind the strange things happening in this level, the robots who have been given life… and why thunders bring about such loud noises.
Game Studio 78 want to make these fears come alive when playing Hush. One of the key elements to ensuring this happens comes down to sound. We’ll be hearing indistinguishable whispers coming from all around you, or the thunder suddenly crumbling through the silence. On the soundtrack you can expect some spooky themes, which create suspense and raise your heartbeat. Hellish strings, bone-like marimbas and weeping synthesizers will play catchy melodies that will follow you along your path.
Because production is so far along and the team at GS78 have been at this quite a while, they’ve come up with a great selection of rewards and stretch goals. That said the initial target is quite a whopping £99,000 to finish production including staff costs, physical rewards and other production costs. However if the team manage to reach this they’ve already setup 3 stretch goals; £125,000 will see GS78 working on a DLC called ‘Spiders Den, £150,000 will be DLC called West-Wing with 2 new fears and £200,000 will see the team complete a third piece of DLC including 3 new fears and an exclusive ‘Hush Making off’.
Likeliness of happening: The Kickstarter campaign is unfortunately not doing well. With just 14 days left to run they’ve raised just £939 towards the initial goal of £99,000. That said, this is a team that have invested their own money into the development of Hush since day one. With so much thought put into the marketing, concept, design and the Kickstarter itself, I don’t see them rolling over and leaving this unfinished just because the Kickstarter doesn’t work. Will the Kickstarter be successful? It doesn’t look that way. I still believe we’ll see Hush on Xbox One, it’ll just take longer than planned.
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In this bumper edition (issue #7) of our crowdfunding spotlight we’ll be taking a look at We Happy Few, the story of a small group of moderately terrible people, who must survive in a doomed, happiness-obsessed, dystopian society until they are able to get the hell out. Outward an open world RPG with a focus on simulating the life of an adventurer – not a legendary hero. And not forgetting Frizzy, a classic platformer with wild next-gen mechanics, already approved for an Xbox One release and just needs additional funding. But first as normal, lets dive straight into our catch up section.
We’ll start with some good news shall we? The awesome Enigma Escape, the live escape game experience hoping to open up in London has been funded! Asking for £5,000 the brains behind this extraordinary venture managed to raise £5,599 which is fantastic news. We can’t wait for Enigma Escape to open and we’ll be seeing you all there soon.
On to some bad news (sorry), and we’ll start with the RPG from Zenrock Studios LLC; Wormhome City. It was looking for $7,500 to get development kicked into overdrive but time has run out and they attracted just 67 backers pledging $1,331 between them. Zenrock have been extremely gracious in their defeat and vowed to come back later in the year with a new campaign, better rewards and a more structured, thought out marketing campaign. Good luck guys, we look forward to hearing more from you.
Gamer’s Edition has been heavily featured on TiX social media channels, we love their concept you see. If you managed to miss one of our updates, we are thrilled to announce that the Hotline Miami bundle went into production during the middle of last week. Incredibly exciting for everyone that backed that particular bundle. The Papers, Please bundle on the other hand couldn’t drum up enough support so Gamer’s Edition are now offering a Papers, Please Propaganda Poster available to order now until the 24th April.
Dedication Lab will be getting slightly nervous at this point as a week on since our last update and RUMP! has managed to add only another $300 dollars to their project. Now sitting at $14,523, they are still a long way off the $50,000 grand total they require.
Once Bitten Twice Dead! is the zombie first-person title from Dark Day Inc. And it’s bad news for these guys also I am afraid. With just four days left they’ve managed to gain 21 backers and only $705 AUD towards the $20,000 AUD they required.
The American Father’s Podcast on Kickstarter from Near Future Fiction writer, Henry L. Sullivan III caught our eye because Steve Downes (the voice of Master Chief) voice acting one of the many roles. With just over two days to go, this is another of our featured projects in trouble. They’ve managed to pick up 45 backers pledging a total of $2,852, only $600 more than last week. They are still a long way off the $30,000 total.
Lastly we’ll finish up with some good news! See how we started and ended on a high? In Issue #5 we brought Atom Universe from Atom Republic to your attention. The good news for them is that their title has been funded with time to spare. The not so good news for us is there is still no sign of an Xbox One release – just PS4. But there is still time and the Atom Republic clearly said they would look at additional consoles. With over three days still to go, they managed £22,322 – £2,322 over their initial goal of £20,000.
New this week!
We Happy Few was brought to my attention by our own Assistant Editor Phil Kowalski. We Happy Few is the story of a small group of moderately terrible people, who must survive in a doomed, happiness-obsessed, dystopian society until they are able to get the hell out. Phil spotted this a while back and it piqued his interest enough to start engaging with the developers; Compulsion Games, via Twitter about a potential console release. It now seems this is exactly what they plan on doing via Kickstarter.
We Happy Few has been described as ‘Don’t Starve’ meets ‘Bioshock’ and Compulsion Games have tried to combine a first person urban dystopia with survival and rogue-like mechanics and design. The game itself is set in the fictional town of Wellington Wells, an alternative 1960’s England where the inhabitants are so obsessed with achieving ultimate happiness that they will go to extreme lengths to realise it.
The gameplay itself is very unique and revolves around societal/urban survival where Compulsion Games have hinted you’ll need to blend in with the locals to survive. You get one life in We Happy Few, perma-death, when you die you have to replay your game over if you want to win.
Although the Kickstarter has yet to officially launch the team are so determined to succeed they are asking for their community, old and new fans alike, to get in touch with ideas on the kind of reward tiers they would like to see. Rewards can make or break a Kickstarter campaign and Compulsion Games have taken notes from projects that have come before them. You can add ideas to the list here on their forums.
Likeliness of happening: As the Kickstarter hasn’t yet got started, it would be unfair to give them a rating. However they have started off in the right way, ensuring they build a compelling reward structure for their backers. If they continue like this then I am sure we’ll be seeing We Happy Few launch on consoles very soon. And of course, as soon as the Kickstarter does officially launch, we’ll be sure to let you know in this feature.
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Our second featured project is one that has me STUPIDLY excited. The adventurer in me is buzzing around like a mad person at the thought of this, an open world RPG with co-op and survival elements called Outward – The Adventure Life SIM. And it’s already been stated that Outward is set to be released on both PC’s and Consoles. Yippee!
Outward is an open world RPG with a focus on simulating the life of an adventurer – not a legendary hero. And the developers; Nine Dots, started out with a simple question when planning Outward. ‘What would it really be like to live the life of an adventurer?’ From simulating the day-to-day lifestyle of living alone in a vast world filled with creatures of fantasy to retiring and passing on your knowledge and skills to your next of kin, Outward is about creating a complete adventuring experience. It’s not just combat, it’s not just survival, it promises to be both and more.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a YouTube version of their Kickstarter video, just the short clip below. But please do make sure you head over to their Kickstarter project page and view the video, it’s worthwhile.
Nine Dots have laid out a selection of goals, which they aim to complete during the development of Outward. I’ve hand-picked a couple of the more interesting to highlight here. The first of which is the concept of Cooperative survival and adventure. This includes both Online and Local. While working with a friend, you can head off to hunt for the night’s dinner, meanwhile, your friend is setting up camp. You could also explore while the other stands guard over your gear. Working together to survive could make life in Outward not just more enjoyable, but much easier too. Another of the conceptual goals are the envisioned survival mechanics Nine Dots want to include. These include the basics like boiling your water for safe drinking, hunting for your next meal, and bundling up clothes to survive the harsh winters.
There is then the legacy system in which you can pass down items and skills to the next generation of explorers. Death or retirement won’t mean the end to your adventuring in Outward, it just means the beginning for a new character. And finally the other interesting concept that caught my eye, was the idea of dynamic quests that continue with or without you. In its simplest form it means no one is standing around waiting for you to come along and save them. If you aren’t there or choose to ignore those in need, life goes on without you. Ignore a quest to resolve a conflict, the conflict will happen and there will be repercussions in the game world.
The game itself is set in Aurai, a vast section of land. From the coastal town of Cierzo to the barren deserts of Levant. Its regions are shaped in real-time by its climate and weather. But what does this mean to us the player? The developers go on to explain that the land is dynamically changing throughout time. For example, during the winter, snow not only covers the ground but builds up flake by flake until it covers every ridge and fills every tree. As each day passes you can visually see a shift in the environment.
The game has four factions you can work/align yourself to and a variety of ‘dynamic’ quests to take part in. There is a lot to this title, more than I could possible write in this feature, so I encourage you to take a proper look at the page here.
Likeliness of happening: Outward is looking for $150,000 CAD to bring their idea to life. They’ve still got another 27 days to run on their campaign but are off to a flying start having already attracted 391 backers pledging over $29,000. This is an extremely exciting and different project to any we’ve seen for a while and I believe the momentum will build and as more and more people learn about it, they’ll find themselves smashing their base goal. 80%
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Balls of Fluff
You made it his far through issue #7 and I am positive you won’t be disappointed. Our third and final Kickstarter campaign is set to put a smile of your face. Frizzy is a classic platformer with wild next-gen mechanics. If you like addictive platformers, then the Frizzy Team are convinced their campaign is right up your street.
Frizzy is an action packed platformer. The plot centres on the fact you are a frizzy ball of fur who can latch onto static balls and launch himself around the levels. The back story (if you can call it that) is a little bizarre, but very fun. You can read about it here. It involves an Island called Fuzz Island, a Great Evil Dragon, a HUGE sneeze and a platform covered in the greenest of green grass.
The team behind Frizzy appreciate that console releases take a lot of additional work and funding, which is why they are actively engaging with communities over on places like Reddit to ensure there is support and demand. Frizzy is already approved as a title for release on Xbox One, they just need the funding to make it happen.
Likeliness of happening: Frizzy still has a long time to run on Kickstarter; 27 days, and have already raised $192 towards their base goal of $3,000. There are no stretch goals at this time, but I am more convinced we’ll see Frizzy well-funded and on Xbox One very soon. 90%
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