Now that we’re a year or so into development of One Way Trip, we have a pretty good idea of what we’d need from a platform to make the best possible “dream” version of our game — versatile/flexible controls, neat connectivity features, hardware powerful enough to push all the giant, detailed art assets we can dream of…
It’s for these reasons and more that we’re excited to announce that One Way Trip will be coming to PS4 and PS Vita exclusively when it makes its debut next year. Their power frees us to go bigger whenever possible, and lets us focus on making the game itself as exciting as we can.
In One Way Trip, you and your brother Barry discover that you’ve been poisoned in a mass attack on the water supply that has left a large portion of the nation with only six hours left to live, during which time they will be constantly hallucinating. To put it another way, it’s an atmospheric exploration of what it would be like to find out you and most everyone you love is about to die, and then have to process that while your limbs turn into cartoon dolphins.
But beyond that, One Way Trip is about mortality and opportunity cost. You probably won’t be able to accomplish all of your goals, but you’ll have the freedom to choose what your life is about, and what you decide is important to you.
The game accomplishes these goals in its story mode through a mixture of both constant choice-based branching and a deeper, more procedural systems-based approach. At any given point, wherever you are and whatever you do, everyone else is actively living their own lives and working towards their own goals, altering the fabric of the narrative.
It’s a game where you can get to know everyone or cling to a best friend the whole time, and the world — and all the rest of the characters’ relationships — will just adapt to your choices. This isn’t a game with meters and sliders and friendship points; we aim instead to make each of your relationships feel as deeply human and complex as possible, both on a moment-to-moment basis and over the course of a much longer playthrough.
While other games branch at points by letting you make certain key decisions, our goal was to make a game that adapts its entire focus even down to its genre so that, based on the choices you make, you could end up with anything from a surrealist action-movie-style romp complete with turret sequences to a quiet, meditative philosophical journey where you never fire a single shot.
As for combat, it’s often said that battles can dominate or overpower the experience of playing a game, if they are present at all. If there’s sufficient mechanical depth for battles to remain interesting over the course of a game, then you need to have a lot of different battles to show off and explore that depth, and pretty soon you’re trying to figure yet another reason for people to draw their guns and get shooting, instead of empowering the player with other options for expressive play.
As we came to realize this during development, we grew uncomfortable with this dynamic and how it affected the balance of the narrative, but we’d already fallen totally in love with the battle system we’d been developing on a pure gameplay level, so we decided to separate it out and make it its own complete mode, of comparable size and scope to the story mode.
We’ll have more details on this coming in a future post, but basically, this mode combines the best elements from turn-based strategy RPGs and modern first- and third-person shooters in a wave-survival dungeon crawler format. You’ll be able to build your squad of characters, customize their loadouts, and then try your best to survive to earn newer options and upgrades, all with every battle synchronized to the beat of our original hip-hop soundtrack!
We’ll certainly be letting you know more as development continues and wraps up, but for now, we’ll be putting everything we have into making One Way Trip as incredible an experience as possible, and we’re super excited that when you finally get to play it, it will be with a DualShock 4 or PS Vita in your hands!