As We Happy Few [official site] marches towards release, Compulsion Games have decided to reconsider the future of the dystopian survival game’s Early Access updates. Now there’s only going to be one more before launch.
The original plan included two future updates: the Joy update, and then a later one that would introduce the new Parade District. But as anyone who has had to flee from the overzealous police officers of Wellington Wells knows, plans sometimes need to change.
We Happy Few’s Joy update will launch at the slightly later date of mid-August, but the Parade District will be held back until the final release. Compulsion Games explained their decision in a post on Steam.
Early Access is amazing, but it’s becoming very complicated to maintain both a regular update schedule and lock down the story. The Early Access build is currently separate to the story build; they share a code base, but the content is slightly different. So far, the content has been able to coexist side by side, but as we add polish and really lace everything together, but this is changing.
The Parade District, in particular, is intertwined so heavily with the story that we don’t think we can deliver a good “Early Access” version, unlike the other biomes. By moving to only one final major update, we can merge the Early Access and the story builds earlier, so that we can concentrate all of our efforts on making the story the best it can be.
It’s been a long time since I took a trip through Wellington Wells, but I recall loving the setting and being less than enthused by what I had to do there. Lots of starving and aimless wandering. Alec had a similar reaction to the game last year, though updates since then do seem to have improved things like AI behaviour, navigation and quests.
The last big update was back in March and introduced a new island, along with more playstyle choices. The Birdwatcher playstyle, for instance, lets you explore and quest without worrying about getting thirsty or starving to death. That sounds more like my cup of tea.
There’s no final release date yet, but it was meant to be in Early Access for somewhere between six months and a year. Next month will be the one year anniversary.