Survival in 'We Happy Few' starts next week

The paranoia-fueled game will launch on Xbox Game Preview July 26th.

Compulsion Games

We Happy Few was one of my coworker Jess Conditt's favorite games from E3 this year, and for good reason: its alt-history, drug-and-paranoia fueled take on a dystopia is unlike anything we've ever seen. But how did it all begin? With a question, according to an Xbox Wire post by developer Compulsion Games' Sam Abbott. The team was trying to figure out how to make a bigger game than its first (Contrast, which made its debut with the PlayStation 4) but wanted to keep its staff size from ballooning. That's why Compulsion turned to procedural generation -- akin to No Man's Sky -- for its 1964 English city.

That single question led to more regarding what you'd actually do in We Happy Few. "What kind of gameplay made sense in a city? Certainly not survival -- it should be easy to survive in a city. Except... what if it wasn't? Wouldn't that be interesting?" Abbott writes. We saw a little bit of that onstage during Microsoft's E3 keynote this year. There was a lot of running from police just itching to bash you with their clubs because you didn't take your soma Joy.

The game also employs something unique for an AI-assembled setting: a story. When We Happy Few hits Xbox Game Preview on July 26th as a work in progress, though, it won't have a narrative -- that's something Compulsion is holding back until version 1.0. What sorts of things does the game have in store next Tuesday? You'll have to download it to find out.