Alone With You Update: Play it at PlayStation Experience

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Alone With You Update: Play it at PlayStation Experience

Hello once again, PlayStation fans! This is Benjamin Rivers, the developer behind horror game Home and the upcoming Alone With You — I wanted to share my answers to some common questions I get about the new game, as we charge ahead towards PlayStation Experience!

Alone With You

When can I play Alone With You?

Well, I mentioned in my last post that the game is now coming out for PS4 and PS Vita in spring 2016, but players itchin’ for some romance and sci-fi adventurin’ can get their hands on a demo at PlayStation Experience. The demo will have two missions and two “date scenes” — you’ll see one of each per playthrough, so you might want to try it out twice.

Is this just a point-and-click adventure?

I actually get asked this quite a lot — Alone With You is definitely an adventure game, but not a 90’s-style one. It’s designed for controllers in mind, where moving around the environment feels fluid and fun. There are no complicated menus or inventory screens to manage (just like Home, which was also designed with minimalism in mind).

So then how does the gameplay work?

You accept missions from your AI companion, and as you reach your mission area, you explore — you don’t have a complex HUD, markers or anything getting in your way. If you stumble across something you can use, take or scan, the game prompts you. Unlike a lot of adventure games, you feel like you’re moving through a world, instead of pushing a cursor around.

Alone With You

Is there a lot of text?

Well, the game uses text (instead of voice acting) for its dialogue, sure, but you won’t ever be forced to read dozens of blocks of text while everything grinds to a halt. In fact, you’ll notice in screenshots that you can answer questions that your AI companion asks you with the Square, Triangle and Circle buttons — which frees up your analogue stick and your X button to do other things. Sometimes you can carry on a conversation even while walking around!

For the romance elements… well, let’s just get to that other question I get asked a lot:

Is this just another dating sim?

Some people see the word “romance” and worry this is going to be a goofy dating sim with a bunch of teenagers. But fear not! Alone With You is meant to use romance as one of its core elements, but in a pretty non-traditional way.

As you finish missions throughout the game, you’ll be prompted to visit one of the four key characters — Winnie, Pierre, Leslie and Jean — who are busy working in the holo-sim chamber, trying to help you succeed. These meetings aren’t strictly business, though — and depending on items you may discover, or choices you may make while on your missions, your dialogue options and the available topics of conversation may change.

You’ll spend time with all four characters, but your answers to your questions, as well as other choices you make during key scenes, will determine how they feel about you. Your time until you escape the doomed planet is finite, and you may be asked to make some tough decisions. And rather than the oft-used “visual novel” style, Alone With You’s romance scenes feel like little dynamic comic book chapters.

Alone With You

So who is this game even for, anyway?

Alone With You is for players who love narrative-focused games, and immersing themselves in a fictional world. The 2D art is bright and vivid, and we’re putting a lot of effort into telling little stories just in the backgrounds, as well as with the conversations you have and the puzzles you solve.

There’s a lot of backstory and lore that you can piece together, but you won’t get bogged down with it. If you love feeling like you’re in a real place, and enjoying understanding that world the more you explore it, Alone With You will be right up your alley.

As well, players who like having characters they can care about and interact with in meaningful ways will find something to enjoy here. Especially players who like the idea of romance in games, but think that other options might feel very similar. This game won’t talk down to you, so regardless of age or gender, you can still find someone to relate to here.

I hope that helps to clarify some of the finer points. As always, feel free to ask more questions in the comments, and I’ll answer everything I can. And make sure to stop by Booth 1158 at PlayStation Experience — I’ll be there, and would love to meet you!

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9 Comments

2 Author Replies

  • Thanks for explaining some of the finer details of this game. I was looking forward to it when it was first announced but now I can’t wait!

  • I’m really looking forward to this game. I love the art style and theme. I can’t wait to get it on my Vita!

  • I loved Home and am excited for this. It reminds me of the 90s point and click adventure games on DOS!

  • A while ago I decided I would get back into writing by doing a short story as a text adventure video game. Well, after a million branching paths and dialogue trees I realized that I made a huge mistake. I felt like I was forced to write a bunch of crap that I didn’t care about for the sake of player choice and it became really tedious.

    I don’t feel like every choice should result in a monumentally different outcome but I constantly see people complaining when games have choices that lead to the same conclusions. Did you ever have to write scenarios or bits of dialogue that you weren’t really enthusiastic about or how did you deal with that?

    • EXCELLENT question, Robbie.

      As players we often ask for unlimited choice, but as you said, that’s not always the best option. The “trick” — if there is such a thing — is to understand what decisions or actions (big or small) need to be the important ones, the ones the game really pays attention to. There are always points where a few branching paths are available, and points where they eventually rejoin the “main” plot — to keep things manageable, and to retain authorial control, so you can deliver the moments you feel are the most important for the player.

      To answer your question specifically, though: yes, absolutely. There is one spot in Home where I wrote the same sentence 18 different ways because it had to take into account that many variations, depending on a few player choices. Oddly, though, the challenge of finding that many ways to write something like, “I stepped out of the door way and onto the muddy ground” became a weird sort of trophy-hunt. :-)

    • Hey, thanks for the response. I’ve been following this project for a while and I look forward to playing it on Vita.

  • Looking forward to trying it there, really like the sound of this game.

  • You answered my main questions for now, so only thing left to say is have a great PSX!

  • I’ve been looking forward to this since playing it at e3 last year. Glad to see the progress continue, and I like your insight provided above.

  • Picked up ‘Home’ in a sale, and I was taken aback at how much I loved it. I’ll buy ‘Alone With You’, full price, day one, based on my love of ‘Home’ alone, but I definitely like what I’m reading so far.

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