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The Good Life, Swery’s cat RPG-murder mystery, opens for crowdfunding (update)

Backers can pay in for this weirdo project

The Good Life, a combination small-town role-playing game, photography simulator and murder mystery from quirky designer Swery, is now open for funding on Fig. First revealed earlier this month, the trailer above gives us as deeper look at the curious crowdfunding project.

With a $1.5 million funding goal, The Good Life sounds like an ambitious debut project from Swery’s new studio, White Owls. The proposed console and PC game stars a photographer named Naomi, a New York City transplant who heads to the English countryside in order to pay back a debt. That drives one of the game’s primary mechanics, debt repayment, which involves Naomi taking on small jobs for clients around town in order to make some cash.

“The theme is ‘daily life,’ so I wanted to allow the player to be as active as possible in what they do,” Swery told Polygon in an interview about The Good Life. “There will be passive elements such as the parameters like hunger and sleep, so players will be able to experience that side as well.”

naomi art from the good life
Naomi, the protagonist of The Good Life.
White Owls

What runs parallel to that is much stranger. Naomi not only doing tasks to make a bit of cash — and taking in-game photos to send back home to New York — but she’s contracted into a murder investigation, too. Not long after she arrives, a girl is found dead in town, kicking off a bloody whodunnit.

Weirdest of all: Everyone in Naomi’s new town turns into a cat at night. There’s a lot going on here, folks. (Good news on this front: The cat, and Naomi, is customizable.)

It should be noted that this little English village is called Rainy Woods, the original name of Swery’s very offbeat Deadly Premonition. But Swery told us that a connection between the earlier game and The Good Life is “hard to officially state.”

“As a single author, I’ve created everything with the idea that all these stories are set within the same world,” he said. “Lately, I’ve been calling it the Sweryverse. You know, like how in Marvel, everything is set within the same world even though the main characters are different. The Sweryverse works the same way.”

Big fans of the Sweryverse, which also includes D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die, are free to invest in The Good Life’s funding campaign starting now. A minimum $29 pledge nets backers a digital copy of the game, which is expected by third-quarter 2019. Other campaign rewards include digital soundtracks, a villager named after a backer in-game, and even the chance to have dinner with Swery in an actual English town. (That’s for superfans who want to pony up $15,000.)

Take a look at some illustrations and early screenshots below for a look at what The Good Life is getting at. If you’re into it, the campaign’s open starting now.

Update: While The Good Life is targeting just PlayStation 4 and Windows PC for now, a press release hinted that a Nintendo Switch version could be added as a stretch goal, depending on how the crowdfunding campaign goes.

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