After failing to fund his pet-based mystery game on Fig, the famed niche Japanese game creator Swery 65 is giving the game another shot on Kickstarter.
The project is inherently Swery, a mystery set in the British countryside about an investigative photojournalist named Naomi. Upon arriving in Rainy Woods, Naomi discovers not everything is right in the small town, and people are turning into cats and dogs at night, and that might be the least sinister thing happening.
When the game launched on crowdfunding/investment site Fig last September, it ultimately ended at under half of its original goal of $1.5 million. Rumors leaked ahead of its PAX announcement, suggesting platforms for the game that were ultimately not in the plans. With no playable prototypes until late in the campaign, keeping apprehensive fans from backing the game. The team decided to try again and is relaunching on Kickstarter.
“We learned a lot of lessons from the first campaign,” Swery, whose full name is Hidetaka Suehiro, told us. “We’re not going to just relaunch the same campaign and try it again.”
One of those major changes is having a prototype available for people to see before they back now, a problem Swery specifically called out as a major issue with the Fig campaign. The original rumors about the game claimed that studio White Owls was producing a simple mobile title and, despite protestations from updates, the studio was unable to produce a prototype in time to show off what they felt was special about the game.
The goal is also now half of what it was during the Fig campaign, needing only $647,000 to greenlight the project.
White Owls has also tweaked the graphics of the game for a more realistic and more detailed style, making the game look overall less simple and increasing things like the density of grass for a better look. Swery showed off comparison images on his laptop, labeling one side as “Previous” and the newer version as an admittedly accurate “Much Better.”
Halfway through the previous campaign, White Owls heard the pains of dog owners who were not necessarily interested in a game where the town turns to cats at night and added a dog option instead in the same way Pokémon had different versions of the same game. Now both options are part of the game’s narrative and players can choose which one they would like to use.
“I love both cats and dogs,” Swery said. “They differ a little in this game, cat and dog behaviors are not the same. If you’re a dog, you can run faster, you can smell better. Cat gameplay is a lot like being a ninja and climbing tall things,” Swery mimed climbing a wall with a cat’s paws.
“Western mysteries remind me of Sherlock Holmes,” Swery said after being asked to recall previous games like Deadly Premonition and D4. “They’re more challenging to do and that makes them more interesting to me. It is easy for me to set a mystery game in Japan, because I know that, but I think me doing something interesting is more interesting to players.”
The Kickstarter launched today and runs for 40 days, you can check out the trailer below.
The Good Life, should it be funded, will release on PlayStation 4 and Steam.