The Good Life is the latest project from D4 and Deadly Premonition creator Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro. A “debt repayment daily life RPG” set in an British town where people transform into cats and dogs at night, the game is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter and is halfway to its 68 million yen goal with 12 days remaining.
Gematsu recently had the opportunity to submit questions to Swery, mostly gathered via users on Twitter and in the Gematsu Open Forum, for an e-mail interview as the Kickstarter nears its finish.
Get the interview below.
What is the most difficult experience you have had in developing The Good Life thus far?
What made you want to go with such a different art direction compared to your previous games, Deadly Premonition and D4, which had a dark and atmospheric tone?
Swery: “We want to make a fairy tale that adults can enjoy. The theme is that this town is not quite what it seems, and things that look cute on the surface might actually be quite dark. That’s the kind of story we want our players to enjoy.”
Did any specific video game titles or franchises influence the premise behind The Good Life?
Swery: “It’s been influenced by a lot of things, but I’m trying to make something that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”
What cultural traits were an influence in the creation of The Good Life?
Swery: “I go overseas many times per year, and I notice how everyone lives and thinks a bit differently in each country I visit. I feel culture shock in a lot of different places, and I think mixing that in with The Good Life will be fun.”
Will The Good Life have voice acting? If so, will it be in English, Japanese, or both?
Swery: “There will be voice acting. Currently, we’re working with a Japanese company to do pre-production on the Japanese voices. The languages available will be decided based on the amount of backers we get.”
What is the estimated time for a single playthrough of The Good Life?
Swery: “It will take you around 10 hours to reach the ending, but we’re trying to make a game that you can go on playing forever.”
What kind of side activity elements are planned?
Swery: “Collecting Naomi’s outfits, customizing her apartment, carrying different things around and arranging your own photos, collecting teacups like any proper British citizen would do, and you can also collect outfits for your dog and cat forms.”
Given that the game uses a day / night system, can we expect citizens of the town to only be in certain places at certain times?
Swery: “It’s not a typical day / night system. It’s more of a 24-hour flow. The townspeople will make their own decisions based on their own unique desires, so what they do at certain times will differ by each player’s game.”
What sort of smaller mysteries will players be solving leading up to the bigger mystery of the story’s “shocking truth”?
Swery: “Just like in Deadly Premonition, each of the townspeople will be unique, with their own unique side-quests.”
Can we expect easter eggs aimed at other Suehiro-san or G-rounding titles?
Swery: “If I talked about that here, they wouldn’t be easter eggs, now would they? Easter eggs have value because you get to uncover them on your own.”
Was Steam Early Access something you had considered?
Swery: “This time with Kickstarter, we’re selling a beta access ticket. This is attached to a rather high tier, so in order to give that proper value, our top priority is to share the beta access only with people who back the tier on Kickstarter. Early Access is something we’ll think about after all those backers are satisfied.”
If the Kickstarter is funded, will there be any extra goals, such as more content or additional platforms?
Swery: “There are only 10 days left, so I’ll just say this: I’d like to do ports to other platforms, expand the town, and add new townspeople.”
Swery: “They have the top two active user counts.”
Why did you choose G-rounding as the game’s developer?
Swery: “They have 10 years of experience, and development power. Also because Futatsugi-san, their leader, loves alcohol. When we drink together, we never stop talking about games.”
Why cats and dogs? Why can’t I transform into a monkey? They’re pretty versatile, Suehiro-san!
Swery: “It’s important that you can transform into cats and dogs ONLY.”
What’s your plan for The Good Life if the Kickstarter doesn’t succeed? Have any publishers shown interest in picking up the project?
Swery: “I can’t say anything in detail right now, but both and I and G-rounding believe this project has potential, so we have no intentions of giving up.”
In February, Arc System Works announced a new title from you called The Missing due out this year. You promised it will blow our minds. I’m sure you can’t say much, but can you tell us a little bit more about the premise of the game and how it plays?
Swery: “I can’t say anything about The Missing right now. Please wait for further announcements.”
Is there any hope for a continuation of D4? Or is that all in the hands of Access Games now? If so, is working with Access Games as a freelancer to develop the project something you can see yourself doing given the opportunity?
Is a remastered release of Deadly Premonition for current generation consoles something that you could see happening? Or a sequel?
Swery: “Please ask the people who own the rights.”
When you left Access Games, you mentioned dealing with health concerns. Can you tell us how you’re doing, health-wise? Are you doing well?
Swery: “My family, friends, and fans all supported me, so my health is back to normal now. Thanks for your concern.”
Have you watched Twin Peaks yet?
Swery: “Yes. It was perfect.”
You’re a busy man, I’m sure, but can you tell us what games you’ve been able to get around to playing recently?
What are your top five games of all time?
Swery: “Minecraft, Ice Climbers, Balloon Fight, Red Dead Redemption, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.”
Who did your back tattoo and how long did it take?
Swery: “That’s just a paint tattoo. A college friend of mine named Horizaru did it. It took seven and a half hours to finish painting. The photo shoot took one hour, and we erased it immediately after.”