Hidetaka "Swery" Suehiro's delightful looking The Good Life - a game of cats, dogs, journalism, and murder in a small English town - has been delayed into next year. But it's not all sad news; there's some fresh footage, highlighting the overhauled art-style, to watch in the meantime.
The Good Life, you might recall, is "daily life RPG" following the adventures of Naomi, a New York photojournalist who moves to the English town of Rainy Woods in order to pay off a massive debt. There are plenty of options on the work front, with developer White Owls previously revealing that players can earn money through the likes of photography, gardening, sheep shearing, jam making, milk delivery, bartending, casino dealing, even cryptocurrency.
All of which brings to mind a slightly more elaborate spin on the likes of Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing. Or at least it would if Swery, best known for his cult classic thriller Deadly Premonition and last year's well-received The Missing, hadn't also elected to toss in a grisly murder mystery and townsfolk that can magically transform into cats and dogs.
When The Good Life successfully reached its Kickstarter goal last May (securing Ł464,060), the expectation was that it would release in Q4 this year. However, in a new post to Kickstarter backers, Swery has announced that the team will be delaying launch into Spring 2020, as it wishes to "[prioritise] the quality of the game above all else." He added, "We sincerely hope you can understand our feelings on this issue, and will continue to support us".
To tide backers over, Swery has shared a few more details regarding the improvements made to The Good Life since its Kickstarter success last year. Its map, for instance, is now larger and features increased visual detail - as can be witnessed in the new comparison footage in Swery's update - with the expanded village also accommodating a range of new shops.
Elsewhere, crafting, gathering, and farming has been implemented, and there are now more parameters that players will need to keep an eye on throughout their day - such as hunger, tiredness, and beauty care. More images and details, including a few of Naomi's dog- and cat-transformation powers, can be found in the Kickstarter update.
As a big fan of Swery's endearingly idiosyncratic output, and life sims in general, The Good Life has been on my radar for a while now. Hopefully those few extra months in development will help the team better fulfil its vision of jam making, transmogrification, and murder.