Today, Deadly Premonition, Dark Dreams Don’t Die (D4), and Spy Fiction creator Hidetaka Suehiro — often referred to as SWERY or SWERY65 — took to crowdfunding platform Fig, where he and his newly-founded studio White Owls are seeking $1.5 million in funds for their upcoming game, The Good Life.
As you may remember, SWERY returned to games development at the start of this year with a new Osaka-based studio dubbed White Owls, after retiring back at the end of 2015 due to health issues. Then in April he teased that one of his new games would interestingly be about cats, before revealing it in August. Titled, The Good Life, at the time of the reveal SWERY announced the game would be heading to crowdfunding platform Fig in September. And now here we are.
According to the game’s Fig page, The Good Life is a debt repayment life simulation RPG. In it you play as Naomi, who finds herself stuck in Rainy Woods, a backwoods town located in rural England, a far away place from her normal New York life. Why is she in Rainy Woods? Well apparently it is the only way she can pay off the massive debt she finds herself drowning in after a scandal. Rainy Woods has no internet, no cell service, no Starbucks, no clubbing, and most importantly no New York style pizza. But it does have sheep grazing everywhere, and an impressive five pubs.
The people of Rainy Woods look out for each other, love their families, work hard, and enjoy a good night at the pub, as well as insist they are the happiest people in the world and that Rainy Woods is the happiest town. But while Rainy Woods looks like a normal country town on the surface, it isn’t: as it actually holds a bizarre secret. Photographing evidence of the town’s many secrets and sending them back to Naomi’s client daily is said to earn “rewards,” which in turn help you pay off your debt.
So what’s the secret Rainy Woods is hiding? Well, at night, all the villagers turn into cats. Like actual kitty cats. Why do they turn into cats? No one knows, for when morning arrives they lose all memories of their feline adventures. But what is causing this, and is this why Rainy Woods is happy as it is? Well, you’ll have to find out.
When the villagers aren’t busy being cats at night, they have their normal lives to live. All townspeople operate on a 24 hour schedule, and they all have different lives. Each comes with a unique personality as well, and worry, suffer, have fun, love, and hate as much as any real person. You will report on these villagers to your boss.
As Naomi, you become a cat at night as well. When you do, you’ll be able to continue to run around the town freely, hunt for mice and fish, and find important items connected to story events. Further, you’ll be able to access secret paths, rooftops, and attics otherwise unaccessible.
That’s not the only thing awry in Rainy Woods, the day she arrives Naomi discovers the dead body of a young girl named Elizabeth, who has been murdered in a rather mysterious and particular fashion. And so while paying off Naomi’s debt, you will also need to find out the truth behind Elizabeth’s death.
A description of the game continues:
Customizable Character Features:
Use the money you earn to customize Naomi, and find the look that fits you best. Some clothes may even boost Naomi’s parameters!
Player Growth Elements
Player self-growth (eternal)
- Stamina amount
- Virus immunity (Makes it harder to get sick)
- Alcohol dependency (Negative growth) … etc
Temporary boosts from clothing, etc.
- Hats (Slows down thirst)
- Hair Style (Appearance)
- Sunglasses (Slows down thirst)
- Pants (Boosts walking speed)
- Shoes (Boosts walking speed) … etc
The player’s daily range of activity will expand based on their stamina and movement speed. With more points, they’ll be able to take more photos and do more things.
Life in Town:
Naomi is a professional photographer. While in Rainy Woods, the player will focus on investigating and paying off their debt. Take photos of various things and chronicle people’s comments in your notebook!
Once the player sends their daily report back to New York, their day will be finished and they can look forward to receiving payment for their work the next morning.
The player’s earnings will be based on the quality and rarity of photos they take—be careful not to take too many photos of the same thing!
Grab your camera and document the happiest town in the world!
- Camera Stance : When the stance button (L Trigger) is held, the player moves into the camera stance. During this period, they can’t move. The camera’s viewfinder range will appear in front of the player in a cone shape. Subjects within range will be highlighted. We’ll add a support function in the beginning of the game. When the stance button is pushed, the player will automatically change stance and look towards nearby subjects.
- Aim for a subject : The player can change their hip angle (upwards/downwards) with the left stick. The player can mildly adjust the camera angle to the left/right (the viewfinder range) with the right stick. In these cases, the player’s hands will shake. The type of lens that’s equipped will change the viewfinder’s range and where it appears.
- Bring the subject into focus : Lightly press the shutter (R Trigger or something) to adjust the focus. When the subject is in focus, there will be a beeping sound effect. There will be camera equipment that boosts the focus speed. It can also be customized with extras such as AF.
- Operate the shutter : Press down on the shutter (R Trigger or something) until it snaps the picture.
Results : You won’t know the results until you develop the photos at your house. Developed photos are separated into successes and failures, and only successes are sent out for rewards.
There will be photo-OK timings and locations set for subjects, so the player won’t be able to do everything in a single day. Players will have to make decisions and choose one subject over another one that appears at the same time.
Camera Ability (Photo Precision) – This will improve the precision of the camera and cut down on failures.
- Blur reducer (Makes it harder for pictures to shake and blur)
- Supersensitive lens (Can take good pictures even when it’s dark)
- Rapid-fire shutter (Allows good pictures to be taken of moving things, automatically takes them)
- High-speed shutter (Screen slows down to allow pictures to be taken of fast things)
- Flash (Allows good pictures to be taken even when it’s dark)
- AF Speed (Cuts down on time needed for focus)
- Follow-up AF (A subject who you focused on once will never get out of focus)
Lens Ability (Photo Range) – Changes the photo range when in the camera stance.
- Normal Lens
- Telescope Lens Lv1-3 (When the player wants to take pictures of faraway things or creatures that run when people get close)
- Wide-Angle Lens (When the player wants to take a picture of multiple things at once)
Special Camera – We want to improve photo efficiency and automation in the latter half of the game.
- Stationary motion shutter cameras (Can purchase multiple ones and place them wherever)
Part Time Jobs:
Do part-time jobs and pay off your debt faster!
Naomi can do part-time jobs in town, such as bartending at a pub, delivering milk, shearing sheep, and other marvelously rural tasks in order to pay off her debt. Find the part-time job you like best and work your butt off!
Some part-time jobs will offer you chances to make a fortune in a single stroke… But they can also be exhausting and dangerous. There’s no point in making a killing if it kills you in the end! Take care of yourself and enjoy your daily life!
You can use the money you earn to pay off your debt, or you can also use it on yourself!♪ Try different part-time jobs, and buy yourself some nice clothes!
Special events can help you earn special rewards!
Rainy Woods has four seasons, each with their own special events. Spring heralds the cherry blossom dance festival, while summer is tea harvest season. In autumn, you can harvest nuts and catch fat river fish.
In winter, you can find rare minerals at the local mine and maybe earn a present from an old man riding a sled pulled by reindeer?!
Be careful not to work too hard! Naomi loses stamina every time she does something. In order to refill her stamina, she needs to eat. If she keeps working on an empty stomach, she’ll eventually collapse and wake up in the hospital. Naomi doesn’t have British health insurance, so she’ll be forced to pay cash everytime she’s hospitalized. Be careful!
Naomi may be young, but she still needs ample sleep. If she keeps working without sleep, her movements will get slower, bags will form under her eyes, and she will suffer from chronic sleep deprivation.
Life & Maintenance:
You don’t just earn money, you spend it, too! Focus on balancing your income with your expenditures and pay off your debt efficiently!
#1. Activity :
- Taking photos in town
- Searching for secrets in town
#2. Consumption :
- Player’s stamina
- Player getting hungry/thirsty
- Camera film/battery
- Camera getting damaged or dirty
#3. Rewards :
- Payment (money) for pictures taken
#4. Settlement of expenses :
- Picture development fees
- Report mailing fees
#5. Maintenance :
- Resting/sleeping. (restores stamina)
- Eating. (alleviates hunger)
- Drinking. (alleviates thirst)
- Buying film
- Charging battery
- Buying spare batteries
- Cleaning the camera
#6. Special expenses :
- Sanitary goods (necessary once per month)
- Illness (If the player ignores stamina and keeps working)
- Camera damage (If it’s left uncleaned for too long)
- Alcohol (Quenches thirst and alleviates hunger at the same time, but drinking too much will cause the player to develop a dependency)
The Good Life is in development for PC and PS4, and has a release date tentatively set for Q3 2019. The game could also come to Nintendo Switch as part of a stretch goal being achieved.
Below you can check out a new trailer which accompanied the launch on Fig, as well as a new batch of official screenshots and concept art.