The Good Life is a debt repayment daily life RPG co-developed by SWERY's White Owls Inc. and a development team led by Yukio Futatsugi, the creator of Panzer Dragoon and Phantom Dust.
The Good Life is a Daily Life Simulator x SWERISM
You like bizarre and mysterious things?
You like unique and memorable characters?
You want to enjoy a game that offers a lot of freedom, but you also want to enjoy a good story?
Think that's too much to ask for? Not in The Good Life! This game is made for you!
Play as Naomi, a journalist from New York who moves to a backwoods British town called Rainy Woods in order to pay off her massive debt.
The only way for her to escape from debt hell is to take pictures of happenings in the town and report on them. Of course, 'the happiest town in the world' is not your average town...
The inhabitants of the happiest town in the world are some of the most bizarre people you'll ever come across. You'll live alongside them as you solve mysteries and experience a hearty helping of craziness. We're sure that you'll eventually come to love all the mystery, horror, and good old charm that this town has to offer.
Download from the link below
The Good Life Prototype Demo, Available Now!
Read Update 24 for all the instructions
The main character of this game is a female New Yorker named Naomi. In order to pay off her debt, she took a job from a newspaper company in NY and moved to the 'happiest town in the world.' This game chronicles all the bizarre things she experiences during her time in the town.
A completely new 'daily life action-adventure game' with a slow life that isn't actually slow!
In this game, the player has two main goals:
1. Pay off your debt with money you earn from doing photography jobs in the town.
2. Solve the mystery of the murder that took place in the 'happiest town in the world.'
The townspeople are also hiding a big secret...
In the moonlight, all the townspeople suddenly transform... And suddenly, the town is filled with cats and dogs!
Once a month, everyone who lives there transforms into either a cat or a dog.
Naturally, Naomi and the player will also turn into a cat or a dog.
You'll be able to select whether you want to transform into a cat or a dog at the very beginning. But if you get far enough in the story, you may reach a point where you can freely switch between them...?
What happens in the town depends entirely on you!
How the townspeople behave, how their lives play out, and how the story ends... It'll all change based on your decisions.
(How you interact with the townspeople and make friends with them will change how they think and behave.)
The townspeople's relationships will change based on how you play. In one town, you may see a surprising couple start dating... Or a normal character in your town may become the mayor of your friend's town...
You may even be able to influence how the story in your town plays out!
The story will eventually lead its main character (you) to a shocking truth...
As a journalist, your job is to take photographs as you live out your life in the town.
You can take photos of anyone, anywhere, then later post those photos on a photo app or sell them to a newspaper company for money.
All you need to do is frame your subjects! The abilities of your equipment will determine the overall quality.
This means that in order to take good pictures, you'll need to acquire a lot of different tools!
But first, you'll need to make a lot of money...
In order to pay off your debt, in order to buy good equipment, in order to enjoy yourself, in order to quench your thirst for fashion...
In order to enjoy your life in Rainy Woods to the fullest, you'll need to take every chance you can to earn some extra cash!
Make money with your photos!
There are two ways for you to turn your photographs into money.
The first is to use the in-game SNS photo app "Flamingo."
Unlike Instagram, you can earn advertising profits for each "Like" your photos get.
All you need to do is upload them!
Choose photos that best capture the seasons, add fun filters to your animal shots, or create a charming portrait.
Choose photos that you think will get the most buzz on Flamingo and rack up the Likes!
The other way is to sell your photos to Morningvale, a newspaper company.
Photographs connected to the town's secrets will yield great rewards. What are the townspeople hiding...?
Since Naomi's debt is connected to Morningvale, all the money you earn through them will only be used to pay it off.
Make even more money with various part-time jobs!
What do you think of when you hear the word 'countryside?' Gathering bugs and fruit? No, we're tired of all that! Shear sheep, deliver milk, make jam and hay, do some gardening, or work as a bartender, a casino dealer, a miner, or even mine for cryptocurrency if you want to! Enjoy some part-time jobs that are really 'out there' and give your country life a little mature flavor!
Blow all the money you've earned on whatever you want!
You can use the money you earn to pay off your debt and buy new camera equipment, but sometimes, it's good just to blow it on something fun!
Go out for a drink, buy an expensive brand item, enjoy some afternoon tea, start an antique furniture collection...
Don't forget to reward yourself for working hard!
Enjoy the changes in time and season!
This is an open-world game centered around a rural English town. Naturally, the time and seasons will run on their own in-game clock. There will be special photos that you can only take in certain seasons which can be sold for lots of money, and we want traditional English events to appear in their proper seasons. Of course, classic events such as Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter are also being considered! Aside from events, you can test your luck in other ways such as journeying into mines to discover valuable ore veins, fishing your heart out, or harvesting a field of crops.
You can use money to give Naomi some style! Try on different outfits and pick the look you like best. Some clothes might even boost Naomi's parameters...
You need to take good care of yourself!
This game contains various parameters. For example, life, stamina, hunger, sleepiness, inebriation, beauty care... And for Naomi, a native to one of the world's most cutting edge cities, beauty care is super important!
Make sure you don't forget to give yourself some special care every morning and every evening. Otherwise, you'll lose your feminine charm and end up as a filthy flytrap!
Once per month, you can enjoy the limitless freedom that only cats and dogs get to experience.
Turn into a cat and climb up to high places, scratch walls, and steal fish and chips from kitchens... Or turn into a dog and dig holes, follow scents, and swim in rivers and lakes... It only happens once a month, so make sure you enjoy it to your heart's content!
Cat/dog mystery solving image
Use your telescope lens to snap shots of targets in areas you can reach as a cat, or get up close to them as a dog and try to acquire the perfect scoop for a scandal photograph. There are some mysteries that only animals can solve! When you turn into one, you'll be able to do new things and adventure into new places.
From the very beginning, we have been very careful about focusing on the one goal that really matters, and that’s getting the campaign funded.
We had made plans for Stretch Goals, though. We put together two plans, one in case the campaign was incredibly successful very fast, and another plan in case the campaign got funded a few weeks in. We also knew there was a chance the campaign would only get funded at the last minute, which ended up the case. We didn’t talk about the other alternative, because we believe in the campaign.
Anyhow, we want to address Stretch Goals in case we do get funded and you want to know what the extra funds will go towards.
We had a long meeting today about this, and we kept coming back to the one thing that we have been asked the most throughout the campaign: bringing The Good Life to the Nintendo Switch.
Even though, as you know, our lead programmer has started to play with the console devkit, we know that this will be a costly endeavour and we don’t want to mess up our budget.
We have set a unique Stretch Goal at JPY 88,000,000 - bringing The Good Life to the Nintendo Switch
Of course, we know this is a very high Stretch Goal, and considering the way the campaign is going, it is very much possible we are not going to reach it, so let me explain our reasoning.
We could have set up more stretch goals, adding content to the game, and help them build up towards the Switch Stretch Goal. However, as each of this smaller goal comes with a cost, they would have set the Switch Stretch Goal even further, making it meaningless, and upsetting the numerous fans who have been asking for the Switch port.
We could have set up those smaller game content stretch goals, and not mention the Switch Stretch Goal, but as I mentioned, this is by far the number one request I have received during the campaign, and not addressing it seems bad.
So, we decided to aim high - go for one single ambitious stretch goal, the most requested addition to the campaign.
If we do get funded and we miss the Stretch Goal, we will use the extra funds towards additional content for the game and we will share what these are with you in a post campaign update. To give you an idea, we are considering things like adding more music tracks, adding more seasonal events to Rainy Woods, creating more part time jobs/revenue generating activities for Naomi to repay her crippling debt, more outfits for our intrepid photographer, and so on.
This way you know that whatever happens, you are building towards a better game.
What happens to the Nintendo Switch version if we miss the Stretch Goal?
We really, really want to make a Switch version. Any game developer these days is excited about this console. I would love to see fans playing The Good Life on the go, on the train. However, I also want to make The Good Life, and for this, we need to be very careful with our budget, and have a clear focus.
If we miss the Stretch Goal, I will work very hard to find an alternative way to get the Nintendo Switch version to happen, but we are not making it a promise to you. And the moment we know we can make it, you will be the first to be informed.
What about collecting funds after the campaign to go toward the Switch Stretch Goal?
We discussed this, and as you will see in the next part of the update, we are planning for a way to collect some extra funds after the campaign. However, I know other Kickstarter campaigns have run late backers campaigns in a way where they have set those extra funds to complete more Stretch Goals.
I think this is admirable and brave, but for The Good Life, we want to be able to really focus on our initial game, and work really hard towards it as soon as possible. The idea of having Stretch Goals indefinitely opened after the end of the campaign is quite scary, it gives us a moving target, harder to hit.
For this reason, we are only looking at the funds gathered during the campaign for the Stretch Goals. I believe it will lead to a better focus on our part, and a better game in the end for you all, and I hope you can support that decision and that philosophy.
“DEADLY PREMONITION DEVELOPER ANNOUNCES NEW GAME, THE GOOD LIFE ”
“Deadly Premonition creator’s next game is a cat RPG”
“Deadly Premonition director Swery announces RPG about people who turn into cats”
In order to keep costs as fair as possible and to avoid those costs to count towards our goals, we are planning to use a pledge manager (like BackerKit) to handle the shipping costs. Shipping costs will reflect the actual cost to ship your pledge. They will be charged to you when the items are ready to be sent, after the game has launched.
BackerKit confirmed for our pledge manager
We are very happy to be able to confirm that we will use BackerKit to manage the pledges after the campaign.
If you are not familiar with BackerKit, they are a company specialised in supporting the logistical side of crowdfunding campaigns.
It will allow us to more efficiently manage the surveys, and make sure we collect the right amount for the shipping costs if you have a physical reward that needs to be sent to you.
Now, BackerKit also allows us to do a few extra things that are interesting. We can run a late backers campaign with them - we are still figuring things out about this and we might do one. But more importantly, we do know that we will allow our Kickstarter backers to purchase additional items from the campaign. In order for you to be able to plan which tier is best to pledge for, we want to let you know now about items that we have confirmed will be accessible to our backers on BackerKit, and their prices.
Please note that the listed prices (just like the campaign rewards) do not include the shipping costs:
・The Good Life T-Shirt. $40
・The Good Life Hoodie. $95
・The Good Life Mug. $20
・Digital Copy of the game on PC. $30
・Digital Copy of the game on PS4. $40
We haven’t confirmed the other items - especially the Collector’s Edition box. The current CE box has an exclusive design for the Kickstarter campaign, but we know that there will be a Limited Run version available at some point as well, and it might mean we won’t offer the Kickstarter exclusive box on BackerKit.
If you have already backed The Good Life and put money beyond the reward tier that you have selected, please note that you will be able to use those extra funds towards these extra items.
And if you already know you want one those items, of course, you can increase your pledge accordingly, just make sure you stay at the reward tier that you want. For instance, if you want the Joyful Life Tier (about $50), but are interested in getting the T-Shirt, you can pledge $90, and keep your pledge at the Joyful Life Tier.
The Good Life - Physical Collector's Edition
Here are the contents of the Physical Collector's Edition.
It's going to be filled with a lot of high quality items produced by Limited Run, a company known for its great work on countless physical editions so far! Here is a list of everything that will be a part of the set!
The Good Life Physical Collector's Edition Contents:
- Kickstarter Exclusive Box (Embossed, with a completely unique design)
- Physical Game Disc (your choice of a PS4 or a PC version; PC version comes with a Steam key)
- Post Card (Scenery of Rainy Woods)
- Post Card (Letter from Team With SWERY's & Mr. Futatsugi's Signatures)
- Rainy Woods Tourist Guide Leaflet (A4 size, tri-fold)
- Artbook (A bit smaller than A5)
- Trading Cards (Characters / Dogs / Cats)
- Soundtrack CD
Rewards description and USD prices
Below you can find a summary of all the rewards, along an estimate of their price in US Dollars. The campaign is in Japanese Yen, those prices below are purely a guideline for the price range. As currency exchange rates can vary, we recommend you check on a dedicated website to have an up-to-date price of the rewards.
I'm SWERY, the director of The Good Life.
The Good Life is my "dream game". I've been thinking about it for a very long time, and was finally blessed with a chance to develop it thanks to my powerful partners - and you, of course. Please join in on our project and help us make my dream game into EVERYONE'S dream game! I Love You All!
I'm Futatsugi, from G-rounding. A long time ago, I used to believe that games had magic in them. A new game always brought me a brand new experience, and excitement as to what would happen next. Crazy things would happen, and it felt really like I had fallen under some sort of spell. But lately, the risks involved in creating new games have gotten more and more extreme, and it's becoming harder and harder to make magic games. SWERY and I want to bring that magic back - but we need to borrow a little mana from you in order to summon it. We want to show the world a kind of magic it's never seen.
I'm Hotta, the art director. When I first heard about The Good Life, I was deeply drawn in by atmosphere (a personal favorite style of mine) and the direction its art style was heading in. I'm so excited to start working on it. After working hard on the art direction, we've finally arrived at the style that I always hoped we would eventually reach! I'm going to put 120% of all I've got into this, while enjoying the chemical reactions that ensue between the art style, the atmosphere, and SWERY!
I first met Swery in 2013, I think. We immediately hit it off, and always met up whenever I went to Japan and whenever he came to America. We quickly became good enough friends to have long, deep talks about the future together. When he released the amazing D4, we collaborated with him and performed the soundtrack live, but this time with The Good Life, we've received the chance to work with him on an even deeper level - actually creating the music itself. Orchestral music, band rock, and excellent singing are all important elements of the VGO, so we intend to supply you all with some Sweryism music that only we can create. We'll be posting some demos later, so please check them out!
White Owls has an idea for a fun game. G-rounding has the skill and the experience to create it. However, we don't possess the funds to push this project forward.
Since 2010, the methods by which games are created have been changing rapidly. Through the proliferation of various game engines, virtually anyone can make their own game now as long as they set up the proper environment for it. Indie games have risen, multiple digital distribution platforms have become well-established, and new platforms such as VR have entered the fray. Due to these reasons and more, we game creators must adapt to many changes in order to survive.
This is especially true when it comes to gathering funds. The method to gather funds known as crowdfunding is now available to us. We no longer have to narrow in on our target and pitch an idea to a single investor in the hopes of possibly receiving a large amount of funds. Instead, it's becoming more and more common for game creators to pitch their ideas directly to their audience and gather funds that way.
The truth is that even in this day and age, most Japanese game creators still gather funds using the traditional method. But this method will never allow a creator to truly own their work and let it be their identity while also knowing that it will be able to support them their future -- two things that Western creators adopting newer methods have managed to achieve. In Japan, copyrights always belong to the investors, which includes not only the profits from those rights, but also the rights to create continuations using the same IPs.
That's why we want to take the awesome concept behind The Good Life and use our skill to build it on equal footing with our investors. After thinking long and hard about what our best course of action would be, we decided to adopt a hybrid model that allows us to push forth the project with both funds from partners and crowdfunding together.
Our plan is to gather a portion of the necessary funds for our project from this campaign. Currently, we're already negotiating with several partners about this project, and we hope that successfully completing this campaign will bring The Good Life closer to perfection in the end.
Many game creators narrow in on their target, alter their project scope and change their game ideas in order to gain a large amount of funds from a single investor. But what if all those game creators could take their awesome ideas as-is and simply propose them straight to their players?
Crowdfunding makes this possible.We think The Good Life is an amazing idea, and will lead to a game that will be wholeheartedly accepted once it's completed. We want to prove this, with help from our supporters.
*We created a pie chart that exhibits the funding ratio between crowdfunding and partners.
We may add more allies in the future, so keep your eyes peeled in the updates!
Last Autumn, we learned a lot thanks to our first campaign. We feel our biggest shortcoming was our inability to provide to our supporters a solid guarantee that we would complete the game no matter what.
Therefore, we decided to reboot our project only after finding a powerful partner and getting proper guarantees in order to ensure that we would be able to deliver The Good Life to you all.
By teaming up with UNTIES, the new indie game label from Sony Music Entertainment, we will now be able to plan everything from the very beginning. The schedule up to the delivery of the product, localization, quality control, and making sure everyone around the world gets to join in.
We believe that this partnership guarantees that The Good Life project will reach completion.
While The Good Life now has strong partners associated with it, the project still has a long way to go and has to prove itself in many ways.
In the same manner, White Owls is a young company, even though I, SWERY, have been making games for a while. The crowdfunding campaign is a good way for us to start relationships with our partners on a strong foot, where they feel confident that the game will be great, and my team and I have a strong understanding of what will make the game amazing for our fans.
G-rounding has the history and more than enough power to develop the game, and partners have the marketing networks and the funds to release our game on a worldwide scale, but White Owls only has SWERY and the original idea for the project.
That's why I (SWERY) want to invite all our supporters to help us show the world the value of White Owls and The Good Life. If we can gather a part of the funds through crowdfunding and prove that White Owls and The Good Life has a strong appeal, we feel we will truly be able to push this project forward with far more power than we'd otherwise have on our own.
In other words, in order to create the best project centered around SWERY, we need much more than funds from a partner - we need to gather support (financial but also moral) through a crowdfunding campaign as well.
"But White Owls has SWERY. Isn't that enough?" To all my fans and supporters out there who may be thinking something like this, I'm truly grateful. But the hard truth is that those feelings alone are not enough to create an entire game. We want to prove that White Owls is a development studio worth supporting, so please, lend us your help!
We want all our supporters to join this project from the very beginning so that everyone can carry an equal voice and equal responsibility. Let's work together to build The Good Life into the best game it can possibly be!!
I Love You All!!
Copyright © 2018 White Owls Inc. All rights reserved.
Risks and challenges
Since this game is based around a rural town in England, we’re going to need to make different environments and build events into them. With games like The Good Life, the fun factor is proportionate to the number of different events, so we need to try and put in as many events as we can and also create a variety of areas for them to happen in. This will cost us, and depending on how things go, we may not be able to include all the events we want to.
We’ve decided to create multiple plans for the game volume based on how much funding we end up getting. With the lowest volume plan, players will still be able to enjoy a mysterious story, take pictures and earn money, communicate with villagers, and enjoy life in a rural town. On top of that, we’ll also create a schedule for building peripheral elements such as decorations so that the game development will never come to a standstill due to monetary problems. Our staff members have been in the game industry for over 20 years, so we know how to strictly control our schedules.
▼Controlling a large number of characters is difficult
In this game, we’ll turn characters’ desires, habits, goals, preferences, and invitations to one another into parameters for an autonomous system that controls their actions within the game. This is the first time we’ve tried something like this, but if we manage to complete it, we’ll be able to freely add a ton of variety to the game. The risk is that we won’t know whether or not we can really pull this off until we give it a try.
In the end, if we can’t figure out a way to pull it off, we’ll control the NPCs using the same method we used in Deadly Premonition. We can create an enhanced version of that system, which has already been successful once, in order to greatly lower our risk of failure.
- (39 days)