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Apr 19

Apr 19

Introducing To Leave, Coming to PS4 on April 24

An experimental game about mental illness, and finding peace within and without.

Estefano Palacios T.'s Avatar Posted by Creative Director, Freaky Creations

Dear readers of PlayStation.Blog,

Ours is a time of quiet despair.

One out of five humans have been diagnosed with some form of mental illness, and though many others have not (yet) been stigmatized with any one diagnostic label, chaotic states of consciousness – such as anxiety, panic, lethargy, dissatisfaction, suicidal ideation, and depression – are increasingly becoming part of everyone’s day-to-day life. Nowadays an exasperating, yet politely suppressed, existential scream of terror seems to contaminate our minds.

Harm drawing eagerly during a manic episode.

To Leave is a hardcore game about manic-depressive illness, social alienation, and the burning desire to bring all inner and outer pain to an end. The game’s main character, Harm – a manic-depressive young man in possession of a magical, flying door – has finished orchestrating a plan to solve all his troubles – and all the troubles of his world – once and for all.

In To Leave, players will experience what it feels like being Harm at this crucial moment of his life: a deeply conflicted, half-lucid, half-insane teenager with muddled thoughts but with one very clear intention in his heart: peace for himself, and peace for his world.

To that effect, To Leave makes use of several points of view and game-genres to convey that experience. The game is categorized as “Unique” at PlayStation Store*, and with good reason: at Freaky Creations we have not been afraid to stray into experimental territory.

At the start of the game throughout the first chapters, To Leave is quite easy to play and could very well be played by even those who have seldom, if ever, played any games. But To Leave progressively (and conscientiously) ramps up its difficulty. Challenges are not random, nor are they unfair: by the time a player reaches a challenge, he or she will be more than capable to face it. One of our ideologies in Freaky Creations is that games should respect players, both their grit and their capacity to grow and improve. In that light, To Leave will challenge you. Yes, it is addictive, and it is fun, but it isn’t easy. Once you’ve finished it, however, you will come out of the experience elated, and without any trace of regret.

Be careful: Harm’s Door is delicate. Touch anything and you’ll be thrown back!

To Leave is Freaky Creation’s first game, and is the culmination of a six-year-long development and research process. It has been tested by hundreds of players with different levels of experience. To Leave is also one of the first Ecuadorian games to launch on a PlayStation platform, and we’re quite proud of this achievement.

To Leave is coming to you on April 24, 2018, but you can pre-order it now for some extra perks and a discount!

Sincerely yours,

Estefano Palacios T.
Creative Director, Freaky Creations

Freaky Creations is not afraid to stray into the experimental.

*This categorization was neither suggested nor set by Freaky Creations.

Totally Digital 2018

Add Your Own

garindamnt said:

April 19th, 9:06 am

Thank you for making a game that deals with mental illness.

    Estefano Palacios T.'s Avatar

    Estefano Palacios T. said:

    April 19th, 3:45 pm

    Thank you for your comment garindamnt. And, well, you’re welcome. There’s things that need to be said, but sometimes art is the only way to say them. Games must be entertaining and challenging and fun, but they can also express and thus become art. To Leave has been wrought with those two desires above all.

aluhdraconi said:

April 19th, 9:13 am

I saw it on Brasil Game Show expo and can confirm it is beutiful as heart touching. Beutiful graphics, music and a hardcore gameplay. Cirurgical skills needed!

    Estefano Palacios T.'s Avatar

    Estefano Palacios T. said:

    April 19th, 3:42 pm

    Hi there aluhdraconi!

    The Brasil Game Show (BGS) was one of my most memorable and happy experiences as a game developer. I made incredible friendships and got to know that unique Brazilian candor first-hand. I’ll absolutely never forget it, and I hope to go back soon!

Wozman23 said:

April 19th, 10:45 am

I was so happy to see this come back around. I was interested in it when it was revealed years back, but feared it may have been abandoned. As a person who has spent the last few years overcoming a serious case of anxiety, and a person who just lost a cousin to suicide after her battles with manic-depressive illness, I’m now even more interested in its themes.

    Estefano Palacios T.'s Avatar

    Estefano Palacios T. said:

    April 19th, 3:38 pm

    Hello Wozman23,

    Thank you for posting a comment, and I’m glad that you’re happy to see To Leave come back. To Leave’s development never came to a stop, but we did go dark as we focused on delivering something unique for our players. The game’s core is intact: you fly holding on to a Door. But as we got deeper into Harm’s psyche, Pandora’s Box was open, and we felt an overwhelming need to relay Harm’s inner turmoil as truthfully as possible. That’s what’s new in To Leave now. I hope you like the results.

V3GANPUTM4N said:

April 19th, 2:55 pm

Nice that Sony along with Freaky Creations are making a game about mental health awareness. This should bring some insight to people who don’t have too much information or understanding of the issue. As for me it’s a no go. Hope it’s sales are successful.

Estefano Palacios T.'s Avatar

Estefano Palacios T. said:

April 19th, 3:28 pm

Hello V3GANPUTM4N!

Thank you for commenting on our blog post!

I would like to clarify to you, personally, that To Leave is, first and foremost, an entertainment experience. It is a hardcore, narrative-based game with a very challenging platforming component. It was not a game built for “edutainment” or education, nor its purpose is to raise awareness of the issue of mental health. Mental illness is, indeed, a theme of the game, part of what weaves the meaning of it together, but it is not the only theme of the game, nor is our goal to teach you about the subject overtly.

Our desire is for our players to have fun through novel themes and dazzling experiences, while still holding true and respecting the themes we choose.

stray213 said:

April 19th, 5:18 pm

Thanks for making a game that brings attention to mental illnesses. As a graduate student studying mental health counseling, it is great to see the importance of mental health being emphasized. I’ll be sure to buy this gem!

    Estefano Palacios T.'s Avatar

    Estefano Palacios T. said:

    April 19th, 5:34 pm

    Hello stray213,

    You’re welcome, and thank you for commenting on our blog post! I’ll be quite interested to hear what a graduate student—specially one, of all things, one specializing in the area of mental illness—thinks of To Leave. Do write us at contact@freakycreations.net, or any of our social media sites, whenever you feel like it. Our website, http://www.freakycreations.net (or its alias, http://www.toleave.com), have links pointing to our networks. Of course, you can ask anything right here if it pleases you. I’ll be answering comments and questions here for a while.

    Looking forward to your comments!

SavoyPrime said:

April 23rd, 3:16 pm

Certainly seems interesting. Especially the subject matter.

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