We Happy Few has been changed from a sandbox survival game to an action-adventure game. The developers have said that when the game was first revealed in 2015, so many people thought the game to be “Bioshock-like” that the developers thought why not, and changed the game drastically.
In an interview with Game Informer, producer Sam Abbott explained why the game is so dramatically different from the playable demo that fans go to play at PAX. Due to the game’s 60s inspired psychedelic art style and dystopian feel many people thought the game felt very much like the first Bioshock game. The studio decided that they wanted to live up to fans expectations instead of making the game that they had in mind. This is not always a smart decision but changing a game to a single player action-adventure might be a smart call.
Sam Abbott also states that in order to change their game from the original concept to a more singleplayer design, they had to upgrade their small 15-man team to a studio of about 35 to 40 people. He said that they also partnered with Gearbox publishing in order to publish their game. They said that when creating a small sandbox survival game it would be fine to self-publish, however, now that they’re creating a spiraling single-player game they want to ensure that the publishing is done by a company with experience.
The story will now be about Arthur, who decides to leave the Joy Denial society after he comes across a picture of his brother and remembers how they used to relate to each other. He basically realizes that he has to get out of the system and thus sets out to try and find his brother. Now that he has left the Joy Denial society he can clearly see just how big of a mess the entire city has become.
While playing through the game, you will still encounter some of the original survival elements that the developers had envisioned. They said that tried to remove them altogether but that it didn’t feel right since it’s a dystopian society. Instead of deciding whether you live or die, the survival elements will merely give you some buffs and debuffs, which makes them still relevant for the game. The game will already be released on August 10th, for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.