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A game of paranoia and survival, in a drugged-out, dystopian English city in 1964. From the studio that brought you Contrast.
A game of paranoia and survival, in a drugged-out, dystopian English city in 1964. From the studio that brought you Contrast.
A game of paranoia and survival, in a drugged-out, dystopian English city in 1964. From the studio that brought you Contrast.
7,433 backers pledged CA$ 334,754 to help bring this project to life.

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We Happy Few - Welcome to Wellington Wells, you Saucy Minx

CA$ 334,754

7,433

Hello everyone! 

Thank you for checking out We Happy Few, the support so far has been amazing.

Update: We are bringing the game to Mac and Linux!!

Update: Stretch Goals!

$265,000.00 Drug Paradise

We'll create additional, craftable drugs derived from Joy that enhance certain traits (ie - hearing, seeing, stamina), and expand the direct visual and audio feedback of being high, by changing elements of the world to better reflect your happy, euphoric state. We'll also develop additional status effects for crashing, withdrawal and addiction.

$280,000.00 New Game Mode: Sandbox Mode, in Customizable Worlds

We will create a new game mode: an indefinite mode, set in a world that you can customize as you wish (larger, smaller, more dangerous, less food, more Wellies, etc).   

$315,000.00 Extra Uncle Jack Shows

More Uncle Jack! We'll go out and take an additional set of Uncle Jack shows, to be seen in-game. We have 32 episodes right now, but will add another 20.  

$320,000.00 Authentic English Weather

We will give you the option to remove the sun, add drizzle, and everyone will be even more pale than they are now. Naturally, everyone will also be more charming and better at making tea, too.  

$350,000.00 New Game Mode: Wellie Mode!  

Role reversal! Play as a Welly, and hunt for Downers. But, remember to take your Joy, because you'll go mad without it. You'll experience the game from the point of view of a Joyed-up Wellie (or Wellette), and will watch the downfall of the city from the other side..   

Every Friday we release development updates. In them, each member of the team explains what they've been working on during the week (what new props are being added, new concept art, how the A.I is progressing etc...). You can check all of the previous entries here!

We Happy Few is the tale of a plucky bunch of slightly terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful delusion. Set in a drug-fuelled, retro-futuristic city in an alternative history 1964 England, you’ll have to blend in with its other citizens, who don’t take kindly to people who don’t abide by their not-so-normal rules.

It’s a first-person game, set in a procedurally generated, fully 3D city that you must escape before society collapses around you. But, like any good roguelike, you’re probably going to die a few times before you figure out how it all works. 

You will need to learn how to conform and avoid suspicion. You will need to hunt for supplies, and craft the devices and weapons that enable you to make it out of town alive. What do the Wellies approve of you doing? What makes them suspicious? What turns them into a homicidal mob? And is there anyone here who can help you?

Welcome, my friends. It’s another fabulous day in Wellington Wells.

In We Happy Few, your main minute-to-minute need is to avoid suspicion. The Wellies really hate Downers, and are very touchy if they think you might be one. But, if you don’t draw too much suspicion, they’ll just wish you a “Lovely day for it!”, and go about their day. Do as the Wellies do, and you should be fine. However, if you act like a naughty Downer and, say, break into a house in front of them, they’ll desperately want to make sure you take your Joy, with extreme violence if necessary, and all their friends will help them. Ha ha ha, what fun!

This isn’t stealth - this is hiding in plain sight. We Happy Few is a game about blending in, while you look for a way to escape.

Everything is perfectly fine - Concept
Everything is perfectly fine - Concept

Once they start coming after you, you’re going to have to fight, run, or hide. Combat isn’t easy - you’re not a superhero who can reload a saved game, you’re just a normal person trying to survive in a crazy world. Alternatively, you could craft an escape mechanism or take Joy to blend in… but every option comes with some sort of disadvantage. And usually, because you have one life, you’ll want to be very, very careful about what you’re doing.

If you die, or win, you’ll start a new game, in a brand new Wellington Wells. The world will change, so only through understanding the systems inside the game and how they work will you be able to win. Winning the game requires getting good at stealth, conformity or combat (hopefully all three), while learning what you can and can’t get away with.

It’s another harsh, but fabulous day in Wellington Wells.

In We Happy Few, you play as a Downer - someone off their happy pills. We have three Downers for you to unlock and play:

What a handsome bunch of Downers - Concept
What a handsome bunch of Downers - Concept
Our playable characters are not typical video game heroes - they are flawed and not particularly heroic, warped by the trauma their world has been through. They are haunted by terrible things they’ve done in the past, and they each have something they urgently need to accomplish.

Each one has a story to play through. Their stories all interweave, so by playing one character, you can unlock new ones. And, each character has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, which change how you play the game.

Our stories are definitely Not Appropriate For Children, unless your children are already reading Neil Gaiman novels, in which case, good on you. But don’t worry, it’s not all frowns and sadness! It’s also laced with dark humour, hope, and even a spot of redemption.

Your average Wellies - Concept
Your average Wellies - Concept

Of course, you’re not alone in Wellington Wells - you’re surrounded by its people, the Wellies - regular lads and lasses just wandering about their day. They are enthusiastically happy and friendly, at least until they suspect you haven’t taken your Joy. Then they tend to get a little bit violent. They’re like that friend of yours that just won’t shut up about that thing they’re into, except that the Wellies get quite a bit more violent if you dare challenge their world view.

Your not-so-average Wellies - Concept
Your not-so-average Wellies - Concept

We also have a bunch of special NPC types, who’ll make your life a tad more difficult:

  • Think you’re tough? Try fighting a Bobby. 
  • Think you’re sneaky? There’s a kindly, Nosey Old Lady who is always sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. 
  •  Think you’ll pretend you’re on Joy? The Doctor can practically sniff you out.

Depending on how you like to play, some of these will be more dangerous than others.

The early bird gets Jack - Concept
The early bird gets Jack - Concept

Finally, we can’t complete this section without Uncle Jack, the proud, smiling face of Wellington Wells. Everywhere you go, he’s there to say good morning and he’s there to say good night. He is there to make you laugh, to make you smile, and to remind you that things really aren’t all that bad, and sawdust really is a very filling substitute for bread. Always so happy. So, so happy.

It’s just another fabulous day in Wellington Wells.

Located in the southwest of England in 1964, Wellington Wells is a city haunted by the ghosts of its recent past. In 1933, this world deviated from our own, and the Germans successfully invaded and occupied England during World War 2. Most of England is rubble, as is a fair part of Wellington Wells.

The Garden District, Home of the Wastrel - In-game
The Garden District, Home of the Wastrel - In-game

 However, during the Occupation, the Wellies all had to do A Very Bad Thing. To calm their anguish and guilt - and forget what they’d done - the Wellies invented Joy, the miracle happiness drug, that obviously has no side effects whatsoever.

The Village of Hamlyn - In-game
The Village of Hamlyn - In-game

 They set about rebuilding their town, and along the way, got a bit carried away with technological research and development. So, the Wellington Wells you will see is a combination of areas ravaged by war, and areas rebuilt with futuristic “modern” technology.

This might not be a good trip... - Concept
This might not be a good trip... - Concept
Or is it? - In-game
Or is it? - In-game

In We Happy Few's psychedelic, retro soundscape, we're embracing the musical revolution of the 60s. For example, in the Village, our ambient theme takes inspiration from early 60s space-enthused electronic music, while the Wellies listen to the ultra perky 60s pop, mod, and lounge that is pouring out of the Village speakers and televisions. Our composer and sound guys have been doing a lot of experimentation with vintage 60s instruments (such as mellotrons and other things we secretly suspect aren't real instruments) and recording techniques, and we're very excited with how this will shape the atmosphere and tone of our happy yet unsettling world.

It’s a really groovy, fabulous day in Wellington Wells.

We began building prototypes for We Happy Few in January 2014, and built the team throughout 2014/early 2015 to get us to where we are today. We’ve embraced open development, by showing the game really early on, posting consistent updates, and getting feedback from friends and family. We spent a few whirlwind days at PAX East in March, where we got insightful and challenging input from hundreds of gamers on a very early build. Afterwards, we invited a small gang of contest-winners to continue playing We Happy Few throughout development, and we’re just starting to get their feedback now.

As a whole, this community feedback has been awesome and has hugely helped us shape the development of We Happy Few. Which is why we’d like to work with you and hear your feedback all the way to our release. Plus, right after the end of the campaign, we’ll be offering backers who pledge CA$60 or more immediate access to the game, letting you provide hands-on feedback with every update.

Community-focused development will take more time and money than just keeping our heads down and getting a game out. But it will help us to make sure that we’re not missing any serious flaws — or great opportunities — and that we deliver on our ambitions.

We are Compulsion Games, a small studio of around a dozen game developers based in Montreal, Canada.

What a happy bunch!
What a happy bunch!

Two years ago, when we were just 7 people, we launched our studio’s first game, Contrast (http://store.steampowered.com/app/224460/), which was a launch title for the Playstation 4. It also came out on PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. We like to make games set in surreal worlds, with stories about emotionally interesting characters, great voice acting, hallucinatory art, and innovative gameplay.

We’re also thrilled to be working with our partners and friends at Signal Space (Jose, Nic), who created the music and sound effects for Contrast. They have worked on a whole range of other games, including Deus Ex and Civilization 5, and they are just as passionate and cantankerous as we are. We’re also working with a bunch of great London-based voice actors, and of course, Montrealer Julian Casey as Uncle Jack.

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As we’re not in the business of making physical things, we decided to ask for the help of Luis and Shawn at Level Up Studios. These guys have previously worked on the rewards for the Awesomenauts Kickstarter (among others), and also look after other physical merchandise for the teams behind OctoDad and Guacamelee, and Vlambeer. They’ve done this a few times, and seem to think that what we’re promising isn’t totally crazy.

 Tier 1: The Beer Tier: *CA$8, ~US$6

 Tier 2: The Early Bird Catches Jack Tier: *CA$25, ~US$20

Tier 3: The Downer Tier: *CA$30, ~US$24

Tier 4: The Digital Collector Tier: *CA$40, ~US$32

Tier 5: The Pre-Alpha Tier: *CA$60, ~US$48

Name in the Game!: We'll integrate your name into the world of We Happy Few, in something like a phonebook, memorial, or something else cool. We'll decide this later on, but we promise it'll be cool.

Tier 6: The Shadow Tier: *CA$70, ~US$56

Tier 7: The Goods Tier: *CA$110, ~US$88

Tier 8: The Best Mate: *CA$150, ~US$120 

Tier 9: The Librarian: *CA$225, ~US$180

Tier 10: The Boxer: *CA$350, ~US$280

Tier 11: The Decorator: *CA$500, ~US$400

Tier 12: The Vandal: *CA$400, ~US$320. We dropped the price on this because it was crazy expensive before. 

Tier 13: The Collector: *CA$1500, ~US$1200 

Tier 14: Part of the Scenery: *CA$2500, ~US$2000 

Tier 15: A Delightful Voice: *CA$5000, ~US$4000

Tier 16: An Ignominious End: *CA$5000, ~US$4000

Tier 17: Uncle Jack's Best Mate: *CA$5000, ~US$4000

Risks and challenges

For us, the biggest challenge is making sure that we do community-focused development right. So, to get in the habit, we’ve been practicing. In February, we started sending our monthly builds to our friends, family and more recently to PAX players, and are currently at Update #5. We also post a weekly review of what our team is doing, so that you can always check in on where we are with the project. We do our best to respond to everything on our forums and social media, and won’t change that.

Otherwise, games are orange alert territory - something might go down somewhere in some way at some point in time. Unforeseen issues can always hit a project, and we’ve never heard of a game that hasn’t faced something unexpected.

We believe we have solved the majority of the technical challenges that we faced at the beginning of development. Our procedural system is fully working, and the suspicion mechanics work in the field. We have an experienced team, that between us have shipped close to 100 titles. We’re using Unreal Engine 4, which is a very mature engine that allows us to efficiently create a lot of high quality content.

And, on the upside, we’ve got the game running through Steam right now and you can play it immediately at the end of the Kickstarter campaign if you pledge at the CA$60 tier.

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    Pledge CA$ 8 or more About $6

    The Beer Tier

    All pledges received at this tier will go towards "developer sanity" beers and other tasty beverages. You will get backer updates, and our thanks.

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    The Early Bird Catches Jack Tier

    The finished game in all of its glory on PC, DRM-free or on Steam, cheaper, for a limited time!

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    Digital Collector Tier

    The finished game on PC, DRM-free or on Steam +

    Soundtrack (FLAC)
    Art Book (PDF)

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    The Pre-Alpha Tier

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    Pre-Alpha Access to We Happy Few, immediately after the campaign finishes!

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    Pledge CA$ 70 or more About $56

    The Shadow Tier

    All previous rewards +

    The digital Collector's Edition of Contrast (includes the game, soundtrack and artbook)

    (Delivery of the Contrast Collector's Edition after the campaign finishes)

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    The Goods Tier

    All previous rewards +

    A backer T-shirt (choice of two colours) and a poster

    (Please add CA$15 for international shipping.)

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    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About $121

    The Best Mate

    The Goods Tier +

    A 2nd copy of We Happy Few for a friend (includes the digital soundtrack, artbook AND pre-alpha access!)

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    The Librarian

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    A coffee table artbook (hardcover)

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    Pledge CA$ 350 or more About $282

    The Boxer

    The Goods Tier +

    Signed, We Happy Few Collector's box:
    - Additional copy of the game (digital)
    - Coffee table artbook
    - Soundtrack on CD
    - Blu-ray of Uncle Jack Shows

    (Please add CA$15 for international shipping.)

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    Pledge CA$ 400 or more About $322

    The Vandal

    The Goods Tier +

    Create your own drawing, message or graffiti that we'll incorporate into the game world.

    (Please add CA$15 for international shipping.)

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    The Decorator

    The Goods Tier +

    A limited, numbered and signed high quality concept art print signed by Whitney Clayton.

    Choose between The Lady (named later) or The Bobby

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    Pledge CA$ 1,500 or more About $1,208

    The Collector

    The Goods Tier +

    Art Transfer on Canvas (Unique Pieces)

    Choose from one of the original paintings used to create the visual direction of the game, and we'll send you a unique piece carefully transferred to oil on canvas, signed and dedicated by Whitney Clayton.

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    Pledge CA$ 2,500 or more About $2,014

    Part of the Scenery

    The Goods Tier +

    Your face on a propaganda poster in-game. Become part of Wellington Wells forever and ever!

    We will also ship you a high quality canvas print of the piece signed by Uncle Jack!

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    A Delightful Voice

    The Goods Tier +

    Voice a Wellie (British Accents Only)

    Get coached by Narrative Director Alex Epstein and be in the game as a citizen of Wellington Wells! You *must* have a natural / native British accent for this tier.

    + VIP Invitation to the Launch Party (travel not included)

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    Pledge CA$ 5,000 or more About $4,027

    An Ignominous End

    Become immortalized in the history of Wellington Wells by having a scenario crafted about your own demise

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    Uncle Jack's Best Mate

    Send Uncle Jack a letter or drawing and he will showcase it on his show in the game.

    + VIP Invitation to the Launch Party (travel not included)

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Funding period

- (30 days)