The premise, which must surely be among the most alluring ever committed to code, is that it’s set in a small English village in which its denizens transform into cats at night. Weirdly (or perhaps normally, since we’re already talking about a weird situation), the quasi-cat people wake up with no memory of what they did during their feline hours.
Imposed on this strangest of settings is a New York photographer named Naomi, who finds herself stranded in this peculiar town until she can work off her debt. Things get increasingly troubling for our financially suffering heroine as she discovers the body of a dead girl in this supposedly “happiest town in the world.”
During a PAX West panel attended by Eurogamer, Swery described The Good Life as “Animal Crossing meets Deadly Premonition in an English countryside, plus cats.”
While the initial teaser for The Good Life offered 2D art in the style of Professor Layton, the actual game will be a fully-fledged 3D third-person adventure along the lines of Deadly Premonition. The aesthetic is a lot lighter, though, with stylised low-poly art that’s more reminiscent of something like Shelter or Necropolis.
The Good Life’s scale seems even more ambitious than that of Deadly Premonition’s, as its cast will go about their daily activities in real-time, not unlike DP, only this time they’ll also alter their behaviour based on weather and season.
As one would expect of the man who made Deadly Premonition, The Good Life’s cast will feature some pretty unusual characters, such as “Alcoholic Priest,” “Neurosergeon Who Hates Kids”, and “Gay Cat.”
Described by White Owls as a “debt repayment life simulation RPG,” there will be a degree of character customisation with stats that need to be maintained such as stamina amount, virus immunity, and alcohol dependency. Indeed, it wouldn’t be a Swery game if it didn’t feature copious inebriation. Thankfully, you can use gear to bolster Naomi’s resistance to the elements, like giving her a hat that slows down her thirst.
Swery explained at his PAX West panel that his new studio White Owls isn’t alone in crafting this endeavor, as the eccentric director has also recruited Panzer Dragoon creator Yukio Futasugi and his studio Grounding, Inc. to work on the game alongside Republiq developer Camoflaj. Swery was adamant that White Owls would have full creative control over the game, while the other two studios would contribute to realising his vision.
The Good Life is aiming for a PS4 and PC release in Q3 2019, though Swery said he’ll add a Switch version as a stretch goal. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, as the game needs to be funded in the first place.
You can currently reserve a copy of The Good Life by donating $29 or more on Fig before the deadline of 12th October. White Owls is looking to acquire $1.5m in the next 40 days, and after a scant few hours it’s raised roughly $97k.