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Survival in 'We Happy Few' starts next week

Engadget Engadget 22/07/2016 Timothy J. Seppala
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We Happy Few was one of my coworker Jess Conditt's favorite games from E3 this year, and for good reason: its alt-history, drug-and-paranoia fueled take on a dystopia is unlike anything we've ever seen. But how did it all begin? With a question, according to an Xbox Wire post by developer Compulsion Games' Sam Abbott. The team was trying to figure out how to make a bigger game than its first (Contrast, which made its debut with the PlayStation 4) but wanted to keep its staff size from ballooning. That's why Compulsion turned to procedural generation -- akin to No Man's Sky -- for its 1964 English city.

That single question led to more regarding what you'd actually do in We Happy Few. "What kind of gameplay made sense in a city? Certainly not survival -- it should be easy to survive in a city. Except... what if it wasn't? Wouldn't that be interesting?" Abbott writes. We saw a little bit of that onstage during Microsoft's E3 keynote this year. There was a lot of running from police just itching to bash you with their clubs because you didn't take your soma Joy.

The game also employs something unique for an AI-assembled setting: a story. When We Happy Few hits Xbox Game Preview on July 26th as a work in progress, though, it won't have a narrative -- that's something Compulsion is holding back until version 1.0. What sorts of things does the game have in store next Tuesday? You'll have to download it to find out.Xbox Wire

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