Growing up is hard no matter where you might be, however what if needed to endure the trials and tribulations of adolescence whereas residing in a distant house colony continually getting ready to catastrophe? That’s the compelling setup for I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, a novel mashup from Canadian indie developer Northway Games that mixes parts of anime-style social sims (Princess Maker is an apparent affect) and collectible card video games.

While that description could get some of us revved up, I perceive if some could also be scratching their heads a bit. Thankfully, I lately had a possibility to speak with Sarah Northway about how I Was a Teenage Exocolonist really works, in addition to its surprisingly-dark material, Groundhog-Day-style looping storyline, romance choices, and extra. Scroll on down for the complete dialogue…

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist

Could you give our readers a little bit of an summary of I Was a Teenage Exocolonist? Beyond the fundamental teenage sci-fi life sim premise, might you describe the construction the game? What does the minute-to-minute gameplay seem like? How do you progress?

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist begins as you’re taking your first steps as one of many first individuals on an alien planet on the age of 10. Every month you select one exercise: take a category at college, work in a job, or discover the planet as a surveyor, a forager, a hunter, and so forth. Based on what you select your abilities improve, you make associates, and also you may see a story occasion with a selection between totally different playing cards which characterize your reminiscences. Card battles are used for all the things from combating monsters to taking a physics examination.

The game ends once you attain age 20, in case you survive that lengthy. What occurs to the colony, your pals, and your self will rely in your abilities and your selections. There are many endings, and a few will take the mixed reminiscences of many lives to search out.

All the game’s trailers show a similar-looking fundamental character. Can gamers create their very own character or are you sticking with a set protagonist?

The fundamental character’s persona and traits will probably be totally different throughout each life, as chosen by the participant. But so as to add consistency amongst all these disparate parallel lives, the principle character’s genetic make-up, their hair and garments are at all times the identical.

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist Q&A – On Darkish Twists, Relationship, Groundhog Day Affect, and Extra 

It seems to be such as you’ll have a big number of totally different character stats you may impact. What are a few of the extra distinctive traits you may stage up?

We have the usual RPG abilities like toughness, notion, reasoning, persuasion, and fight. But additionally extra social sort abilities like empathy and creativity, and knowledge-based ones like biology or animals. Because all kinds of persons are wanted in your exo-colony, not simply fighters and explorers.

Is it potential to essentially focus in on sure issues? Or is a extra balanced method your finest guess?

It’s potential to reside a lifetime simply changing into a rancher, or an athlete or novelist. And all abilities grant as much as three perks which is perhaps helpful in methods you do not count on.

So, as you allude to, there are totally different occupations you may tackle. What are a few of the extra distinctive or outright bizarre ones?

If you spend sufficient time with the expeditions groups you may unlock exploring historical alien ruins within the Wresting Ridges, which is a reasonably cool space with loads of bizarre secrets and techniques. I even have a mushy spot for the late game engineering jobs like robotic restore, which you do with the assistance of the ship’s quirky AI. And changing into a musical star by taking part in the photophonor (a reference to Futurama / the Foundation trilogy) is fairly enjoyable.

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist Q&A – On Darkish Twists, Relationship, Groundhog Day Affect, and Extra 

You tout loads of freedom, with gamers with the ability to select busy themselves, however is there additionally a strong core story? How strongly are you drawn again to that or are you able to simply fiddle and squander your one wild and valuable youth like I did in actual life?

There is an total story to the game that can occur throughout each life, whether or not you select to be in the midst of it, or off hanging behind the bleachers with your pals. The planet Vertumna is a troublesome place for people to attempt to settle, and issues go very flawed over these ten years. If you could have the abilities, and the inclination, you may assist repair issues or stop them from taking place.

It appears a little bit of romance may finally bloom between your self and different characters. How concerned does this get? Considering your protagonist is a child for a lot of the game, it looks as if it must be considerably restricted by necessity.

The romance is usually very cute and tame, and as co-writer Lindsay Ishihiro would say, gradual burn. You may need a secret admirer go away you items, or inform your childhood crush you “like” like them, however most relationships develop regularly as you undergo the enjoyment and ache of rising up collectively.

Dateable characters have a gamified “love” meter you elevate by spending time with them and giving them items, however the path to each romantic relationship is kind of totally different. Some romances are informal and undemanding. Other bonds are solely fashioned by means of particular experiences collectively, assuming the 2 of you might be appropriate. Some characters will not accept monogamy, however you may find yourself in enjoyable polyamorous triangles. And most of them will date one another until the participant intervenes, as a result of it is not like they’re all simply ready round so that you can make your move.

Teenage me was wounded by that final assertion. Speaking of issues getting actual, your web site features a fairly in depth listing of content material warnings. I haven’t really learn them, as I’d wish to go in recent, however is Exocolonist going to be significantly darkish? Or are you simply being cautious?

The tone does change by means of the course of the game, and we do not need gamers to be too shocked when darkish moments happen regardless of the comfy watercolor artwork fashion. Characters can die (together with the participant in case you aren’t cautious), and we reference matters like fascism, colonialism, and local weather change that do get heavy. But we have tried to current it with sensitivity and (generally darkish) humor.

We went with detailed content material warnings to assist gamers with an aversion to particular issues keep away from them if potential. We let individuals drill down to listen to extra a few explicit warning to allow them to keep away from spoiling themselves on different elements of the game. It’s an enormous massive narrative (6 novels’ value of dynamic writing) stuffed stuffed with feels.

You’ve alluded to multiples lives and “combined memories,” so it looks as if you’re meant to play by means of the game a number of instances. Without moving into spoilers, past simply making totally different selections and getting new endings is there some type of meta story you’ll perceive higher as you replay?

At the beginning of the game, as you cross by means of a wormhole orbiting the planet Vertumna, you start to have unusual experiences of remembering previous lives. On your first playthrough these are fairly uncommon, however as you play once more, you may have increasingly more premonitions of belongings you’ve really performed by means of earlier than. These can provide you useful shortcuts to skip over doing the work (eg. curing a illness with out spending years researching it), however finally the premonitions additionally make the game tougher by messing together with your sanity and sense of self. I’ll be sincere, I really like the film Groundhog Day, and the concept of taking part in again and again to supply one “perfect” life.

How massive is the world you’ll be exploring?

There are 5 areas to discover, twenty-five jobs to grasp, ten characters to befriend. And an infinite narrative of eight hundred or so occasions binding all of it collectively.

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist Q&A – On Darkish Twists, Relationship, Groundhog Day Affect, and Extra 

Loads of indie video games provide card-based methods nowadays. Why did the cardboard route attraction to you?

I had this concept early on, of getting to decide on between two narrative selections, where doing the “bad” factor or breaking character may provide you with a greater card. And additionally that over the course of the game as you noticed your deck change, it could replicate who you had been changing into. I’m an enormous fan of Magic the Gathering, and the concept of hiring 100 totally different artists to attract lovely oh-so-collectible card artwork in their very own kinds was an enormous increase. I’ve already developed a miniature real-life model of the cardboard game.

Can you present a bit extra element on how the Battle Card system works? As the title implies, you’ll be battling with them generally, however what different conditions will you employ them in?

The card challenges are used in every single place for all the things. There are fast single-round battles each month to find out how properly you labored in a job and what number of talent factors you acquire, and longer multi-round battles throughout narrative occasions. For, sure, all the things from discovering your method out of a dense fog, to convincing somebody to remain residence from work right this moment since you’ve had a premonition of their dying.

The challenges use a reasonably easy matching mechanic. The purpose is to reorganize playing cards out of your hand to take advantage of precious set of 5. The order issues, so that you need to put same-color or same-number playing cards collectively, in addition to straights of 1-2-3. The difficult half comes with the textual content on the playing cards themselves, which could have an effect on neighboring playing cards or improve their very own values when the appropriate circumstances are met. Every problem checks a specific talent, and playing cards with that very same “suit” (social, psychological, or bodily) have a bonus.

Finally, earlier than we wrap up, in case you had been to choose one second or expertise from I Was a Teenage Exocolonist that’s really distinctive – {that a} participant couldn’t get wherever else – what wouldn’t it be?

Getting to assessment your gameplay selections within the afterlife with a cheeky historical interdimensional time-lord model of your self! They’re by no means glad. What do you imply changing into an astronaut and exploring the wormhole nexus wasn’t adequate??

I at all times knew there was an historical interdimensional time-lord model of myself on the market someplace. Thanks muchly for fielding my questions!

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist touches down on PC, PS4, PS5, and Switch on August 25. Expect a assessment from Wccftech on launch day.