Afterparty by Night School Studios

edited March 2018 in General Chat

Night School Studios, the studio formed by ex-Telltale writer Adam Hines, have just released a trailer for their next game: Afterparty. This will be the company's 3rd official game, after 2016's Oxenfree and Mr. Robot: 1.51exfiltrati0n. The game is expected to be released at some point in 2019.

The game's official description (sorry about the caps, it's copy and pasted from the official website): "IN AFTERPARTY, YOU ARE MILO AND LOLA, RECENTLY DECEASED BEST BUDS WHO SUDDENLY FIND THEMSELVES STARING DOWN AN ETERNITY IN HELL. BUT THERE’S A LOOPHOLE: OUTDRINK SATAN AND HE’LL GRANT YOU RE-ENTRY TO EARTH. WHAT ADVENTURES WILL YOU STUMBLE THROUGH IN THE UNDERWORLD? EVERY STEP IS UP TO YOU. TIME TO GO ON THE BEST BENDER EVER, UNCOVER THE MYSTERY OF WHY YOU’VE BEEN DAMNED, AND DRINK THE BIG GUY UNDER THE TABLE."

I don't know about you, but that description sounds awesome. Seems like a fun game, and the style is very similar to Oxenfree.

More information, such as early concept art, can be found either at their website or at the company's/game's Facebook pages.

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Comments

  • I was a fan of Oxenfree and even got some friends into it so I'm interested to see how this one turns out.

  • Awesome. I like the fact the conversation system is the same, you could have very natural conversations in Oxenfree between Alex and her friends. But the genre is wonderfully different and quirky. Sad we have till next year but this is definitely one I'll watch. Might also give Oxenfree a replay, it had a good horror vibe in the unsettling rather than gory kind of way.

  • Looks great although they seem to be doing the telltale thing of "if the dialogue tree system works don't change it", which is fine. Hopefully they can spice up the UI a bit more.

  • I actually own Oxenfree but have not played it, having too much in my backlog. I guess now I have a good reason to get it in before 2019!

  • Do, it's a great indie game with lots of different ways you can play Alex just from conversation alone - she can be compassionate, snarky, cruel, defensive, playful or a mix of emotions and it all feels natural and people actually talk in a way you'd expect real teenagers to talk like without it seeming forced. The style of panning the camera far away from the characters and showing off the whole (often creepy) landscape is great too. It perfectly manages to make you feel unsettled when it wants you to, as well. And the interaction between characters you learn to love and in one case probably love to hate is well done too.

    WarpSpeed posted: »

    I actually own Oxenfree but have not played it, having too much in my backlog. I guess now I have a good reason to get it in before 2019!

  • edited March 2018

    Cool beans.

    I've heard of this project before, but I'm glad to finally have laid my eyes on it! I kind of expected something a bit different than Oxenfree in terms of gameplay (there's that same dialogue system), but I had no problems with Oxenfree's mechanics so I guess if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    Looks like a crazy weird game. But I am excited for it. It'll be quite the wait.

  • edited March 2018

    Oookay, real creepy-interesting stuff I found about the Oxenfree title in relation to the game itself on their website (two years too late hehe).

    Spoilers for Oxenfree follow, watch out!

    So, under their Oxenfree tab, one of the video clips they've linked to is one of their Behind-the-Scenes videos, and it is about how the concept of their first game -- Oxenfree -- came to be.
    Interesting thing: Adam Hines starts out by explaining what the term "Olly Olly Oxenfree" means, which is part of old hide-and-seek games, and he says: "If you've been tagged out in a game of hide-and-go-seek or tag, you'd say 'olly, olly, oxenfree' once the game is done, and you're going to reset so everyone can come in for free."
    Well, that's a hidden meaning I never bothered to look into. I knew of the phrase, but didn't know how it related to the game's events. Oooh, spooky stuff.

  • Some new E3 gameplay was released.

  • edited June 2018

    Interesting!

    I like how it all looks. Vibrant, busy, using a lot of layers in the space. There are some new gameplay elements tossed in (no pun intended), like the Beer Pong.
    I'm excited to see how this unfolds! The story doesn't seem as familiar as Oxenfree's "haunted mystery island" thing, but I guess that's the interesting part [yeah, I just said that 4 lines up, duh].

    As a small, tiny, minuscule nitpick, there was a dialogue glitch in there (The Pong Demon had two lines of dialogue displayed at once in the subtitles.) But, it's still early. We won't see this until 2019 so they can fix it.

    Some new E3 gameplay was released.

  • edited June 2018

    Little tip for you Xbox owners:
    It was announced that this game will be a part of the Xbox Game pass once it releases.

    You lucky devils. (Yes. Pun intended.)

  • edited August 2018

    A nice interview article with Night School came out recently. About Oxenfree, the Mr. Robot mobile game, and Afterparty. I'll post some cool excerpts.

    How to make a game about drinking with Satan

    [Successes of Oxenfree]

    I also look back at the merging of the visual aesthetic and the sound design and music that [Andy Rohrmann] came up with. ... That is another one where I feel like there’s this intangible thing of the merging of Heather Gross’s art style and [Rohrmann’s] music that I just wanna spend time in that space. It’s not a thing I can really put my finger on, other than spending six hours here feels good and cool.

    [Shortcomings of Oxenfree]

    One of the things we did, though, was also add those little thought bubbles that show up over the NPCs whenever something of interest to that character is spoken in the game or an event happens. I think we were a little too opaque with that one because nobody understood what the hell [those bubbles were]. [Laughs] We wanted it be like these characters are all changing their opinions of each other and how cool is that that it’s not just them changing their opinions of the player
    ...
    If we had more time, I think we would’ve made navigation feel more enjoyable. I think that it’s a little bit slower [than we wanted it to be]

    [Implementing these lessons in Afterparty]

    So there’s not a single system in the game that we haven’t rethought or added to. -- we have a set of tools that we’ve built on; we can continue to iterate on that. But in addition to that, we wanted to add this whole drinking system.
    So the way that the drinking system works — it really is like an augment to your dialogue. You can kind of roleplay with these various drinks. So, you go up to the bar and maybe you want to be a little more aggressive, maybe you wanna be funny, maybe you wanna be flirty, and there’s kind of a different drink for different attitudes that you may want. If you don’t have a drink, you’ve got some standard dialogue options. But if you do have a drink, those options get added — like a weapon, basically.

    [Main lessons from the Mr. Robot game]

    We put all of that — or a lot of that — into Afterparty. [You can] text with other people and the way that functions is pretty similar to what you saw in Mr. Robot. That’s probably the biggest one. … Pretty much all the stuff we did in Robot is in Afterparty.

    [Compared to Oxenfree, what's the most surprising thing about Afterparty?]

    This game, we want it to feel like my playthrough will be completely different than your playthrough — both in the order of events and just what you see. The big challenge on this one is making it feel like there is an overall arc and it’s not just a series of unconnected events. But at the same time, having it feel like when you look back at the night’s events, you’re like, “Wow! I made all that happen. I chose for all of that to happen.”

  • Afterparty’s official cast has been released, and there are some pretty big names like Ashly Burch attached, as well as standard Telltale voice actors/actresses such as Dave Fennoy (who will be playing Satan), Erin Yvette, and Cissy Jones. Full list provided by IGN.

    https://www.ign.com/articles/2018/12/14/horizon-zero-dawn-the-walking-dead-actors-among-afterpartys-voice-cast?fbclid=IwAR0raTRnXPGXNL0pPD85ryNBd8lsSpDjsJoJ2MzFE-afJYgqMcnZFWLADAc

  • edited December 2018

    Cool. I've been thinking of this game again recently, but alas found nothing new.

    This voice cast has got me super excited, and more details on what to expect of the gameplay/story is fun too.

    Sign me.
    The.
    F***.
    Up.
    Can't wait for 2019.

    Afterparty’s official cast has been released, and there are some pretty big names like Ashly Burch attached, as well as standard Telltale vo

  • edited April 14

    So apparently at GDC it was announced that Afterparty -- at least when it comes to the PC version, it will be an Epic Games Store exclusive. Make of that what you will.

    Blog Post

    Have we got news to share? Hell yeah… and it’s epic!
    Today, during their GDC keynote, Epic Games confirmed that Afterparty will be coming to PC and Mac via the Epic Games Store. Afterparty will also launch on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch in 2019.
    We want to bring you the most kickass version of Afterparty possible, and partnering with Epic has given us access to some amazing resources as we finish up development. This is an invaluable opportunity for an indie studio like ours, and we’re incredibly grateful for their ongoing support.
    We want to share the Afterparty experience with the world, so we’ll continue to look at bringing the game to as many PC/Mac storefronts as possible in the future.
    Thank you for being part of the Night School community. Seriously, you all rock. We’re looking forward to launch and we’re excited to continue the party with you.

  • Hopefully it's good, I have high hopes after Oxenfree!

    I really hope they do another game set in the Oxenfree world, doesn't have to be a direct sequel but maybe another haunting incident with a new cast of characters. There was a web series/film being worked on but I doubt that's happening anymore.

    AChicken posted: »

    So apparently at GDC it was announced that Afterparty -- at least when it comes to the PC version, it will be an Epic Games Store exclusive.

  • groan

    Sure, I get it. They're indie devs. They probably need the cash and since Epic is spending money like water for exclusivity, might as well join in.

    Still, I was semi-excited for the title, so it's a bit annoying I'll have to wait longer once again.

    AChicken posted: »

    So apparently at GDC it was announced that Afterparty -- at least when it comes to the PC version, it will be an Epic Games Store exclusive.

  • It’s much more understandable for indie developers like Night School Studios to use EGS as they need the extra cash and revenue, so I don’t exactly have a huge problem with this. But for a game like BL3 or The Outer Worlds, which would have brought in huge amounts of money regardless, it just reeks of corporate greed.

    AChicken posted: »

    So apparently at GDC it was announced that Afterparty -- at least when it comes to the PC version, it will be an Epic Games Store exclusive.

  • edited April 15

    At the same time I feel its a pretty bad idea. No one actually "uses" the Epic Game store, I feel like putting it on a platform that no one willing uses with their own free will, will just end making the game launch with no one even really noticing its out.

    It’s much more understandable for indie developers like Night School Studios to use EGS as they need the extra cash and revenue, so I don’t

  • edited April 15

    According to the devs behind the indie game Phoenix Point, Epic gave them so much money for the exclusivity that they would be able to stay afloat even if they never sold a single copy of their game (or in their words, if they 100% refunded all of their pre-orders). It's likely that Night School received a good amount of money that they wouldn't necessarily have to worry about underselling.

    Poogers555 posted: »

    At the same time I feel its a pretty bad idea. No one actually "uses" the Epic Game store, I feel like putting it on a platform that no one

  • Well thats interesting, I wouldnt think Epic would care about snatching exclusive indie games seeing as they wont even advertise them once they are on their store.

    If I was part of the team obviously it would be nice having a guarantee payment, but Id also feel pretty bumbed knowing it isnt going to be played by as many people.

    lupinb0y posted: »

    According to the devs behind the indie game Phoenix Point, Epic gave them so much money for the exclusivity that they would be able to stay

  • I think their mentality is to acquire enough funding and capital investments in order to build a following and provide for their company's sustainability. Yeah it might be disappointing that not as many people will play your game, but when you're an indie developer, you don't know just how many people will play the game in the first place and how it will sell. We may not like it, but from a business perspective, it's not entirely unethical to take the guaranteed money in order to ensure the company stays afloat for the foreseeable future than take a gamble with it through other methods. I said it earlier, but it's entirely different when it comes to an indie, small time developer and a big name and well known developer/publisher. I don't just mean in terms of the games or their quality, but in how every day decisions are made.

    Business decisions like this all depend on where in the Business Life Cycle your company is. The Business Life Cycle is pretty much what it sounds like, it describes the different stages that each business goes through from its conception to its decline. Depending on where you are in the business cycle, it impacts what type of decisions you will make and the type of risk you're willing to take. While experts can contend as to how many stages there are, here is just one example of what the business cycle looks like.

    Some describe it as 5 stages:
    1. Seed and Development
    2. Startup
    3. Growth and Establishment
    4. Expansion
    5. Maturity and Possible Exit

    While Night School has had success with Oxenfree, I'd still say they're in the startup phase, and according to statistics, 25% of startups don't make it to their 5th year of business. In the startup phase, the focus is on managing cash reserves, establishing a market presence, and establishing a customer base. They want to get into that next phase, Growth and Establishment, but in order to do that, they need to prove themselves with their product and have the financial standing to get there, and Epic has provided for them the financial capital and other means to help them in their movement. They have a small following thanks to Oxenfree, with obvious room for growth, and if Afterparty gets good reviews, the base will continue to grow. If it doesn't though, then they would need a means to stay afloat, and Epic has provided them with a cushion in order to stay in business for the time being.

    Poogers555 posted: »

    Well thats interesting, I wouldnt think Epic would care about snatching exclusive indie games seeing as they wont even advertise them once t

  • I never truly understood why Epic is spending so much on the Store. Won't they be losing money in the end? I get popular names like Borderlands, but is supporting indie devs to this extent worth it?

    I think their mentality is to acquire enough funding and capital investments in order to build a following and provide for their company's s

  • Again, I think we have to consult something like the Business Life Cycle. While Epic has certainly failed in how certain customers and hardcore gamers view them, more casual gamers are probably unaware of the problems with Epic. Until all the stuff with Borderlands, I was pretty blissfully unaware of the problems and lack of features with Epic, and I'd imagine others are as well. They view it like Steam, another platform to find and play games on, and nothing more. And what Epic is doing is they are trying to build a customer base, though their methods when it comes to popular titles are more forceful rather than voluntary when it comes to the big titles.

    The angle I see is that Epic, thanks to their higher returns for developers than Steam, is trying to make their store a safe haven for indie developers and make them seem developer friendly as a result. They don't seem afraid to spend money in order to make money, that seems to be their business strategy at the moment to build a base. It's basically bribery, but at the same time, it helps spread the name and recognition of Epic, and makes it seem like a better place for startups and small time game companies to get their start as an alternative to Steam. The ultimate end goal here is perhaps to establish Epic as the place to find the newest companies and best indie games on the market. However, they can't solely rely on this reputation to support them as of now, so what they are doing is pursuing other means to get a large fanbase, which is why they've been going so heavily after AAA titles like Borderlands, The Outer Worlds, or Metro. Build up the Epic base with these titles, work on showing off their indie developers, which benefits them and the developers themselves, their reputation as an indie safe haven grows, and other companies begin to flock to them.

    Ghetsis posted: »

    I never truly understood why Epic is spending so much on the Store. Won't they be losing money in the end? I get popular names like Borderlands, but is supporting indie devs to this extent worth it?

  • New voice actor and character confirmation:

  • edited May 25

    Right, so you can now pre-order the game on PC (Epic Games store)... Still no release date. The current price of the PC pre-order is 50% off, which is pretty brave of Night School, but makes sense if Epic gave them hundreds of thousands anyway just for exclucivity. Can't see that price coming to consoles for pre-order though...

    Part of me reeeeeally wants to get it for that price, but that's not the version I'm looking for.

  • edited May 25

    Wow, 50% off. This really showcases how much money Epic must've given them for the deal.

    Is it a permanent exclusive or will it eventually go over to Steam in 6 to 12 months?

    AChicken posted: »

    Right, so you can now pre-order the game on PC (Epic Games store)... Still no release date. The current price of the PC pre-order is 50% off

  • That remains to be seen (or heard). I haven't found anything on the details of the Epic Store deal, so it could be a 6-12 month thing like other titles, or a full-time deal. Hopefully it's the former, for you PC people.

    lupinb0y posted: »

    Wow, 50% off. This really showcases how much money Epic must've given them for the deal. Is it a permanent exclusive or will it eventually go over to Steam in 6 to 12 months?

  • This is what they said in the initial epic exclusivity announcement:

    We want to share the Afterparty experience with the world, so we’ll continue to look at bringing the game to as many PC/Mac storefronts as possible in the future.

    So seems like it's only timed exclusive, but who knows for how long.

    lupinb0y posted: »

    Wow, 50% off. This really showcases how much money Epic must've given them for the deal. Is it a permanent exclusive or will it eventually go over to Steam in 6 to 12 months?

  • So... this Fall has been confirmed as a release window for Afterparty.
    There's a new newsletter email out, celebrating 5 years of Night School Studios being open, (which is crazy to think that they only made one full game and a mobile game since then) and they mention the window there.

    We're launching Afterparty this Fall on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, with Switch shortly thereafter. More details are coming very soon. I know we keep saying that, but these things take time. We're extremely close to being done with the game (!!!), and the whole team can't wait for you to start your adventurous romp in Hell with Lola and Milo.

  • edited September 20

    Y'know... I was expecting a spooky(ish) release date...

    OCTOBER 29TH, CLOSE ENOUGH!!

    https://blog.us.playstation.com/2019/09/20/building-the-magical-underworld-of-afterparty-out-october-29-on-ps4/

    First, the good news: Afterparty is coming out October 29 on PS4. Bonus: we’re also creating a sweet Dynamic Theme that’ll turn your PS4 dashboard into a demonic pub!

    Now the not-so-great news: you’ve died and are about to burn in Hell. Instead of getting cozy with the concept of being eternally flayed, you must elbow your way into Satan’s house party and convince him to grant you re-entry to Earth. But (lucky for you?) the only way he’ll consider it is if you can outdrink him.

    That’s the premise of Afterparty, our next original game after Oxenfree.

    If it wasn’t apparent, our team’s mission these last couple years has been to let players inhabit their own darkly comedic adventure. The game evokes the vibes of Bill & Ted, Superbad, and Beetlejuice, but as a playable bender through Hell’s weirdest districts.

    To fulfill this promise, we needed to build a world, mechanics, and story that constantly reinforced the dream of letting players star in their own comedic romp. To that end, here are the key creative pillars we focused on while making Afterparty.

    Playing as two besties
    First, it was imperative to our crew that you embody not one, but two characters via Afterparty’s leads, Milo and Lola. Over the course of your night in Hell, you’ll explore the peaks and valleys of long-term friendship in ways that haven’t been seen in games before.

    Playing as a duo let our writers and designers explore not only the upside of long term friendship, but the pitfalls of knowing too much about each other. The game will pay close attention to how you shape your Milo and Lola; who you relate to more, whose plans you follow through with, and ultimately how you navigate the benefits and compromises of their friendship. By the end of the game, their relationship will be completely formed by your choices.

    A new vision of Hell’s denizens
    Afterparty’s version of the afterlife draws from all religions, but is firmly rooted in reality. It was a blast developing our own set of rules, deviating from the familiar pitchforks and fire in most interpretations of Hell. Our dead people and demons have jobs, families, and argue over the good parking spot like the rest of us. But they also throw Death Day parties for serial killers.

    An unpredictably wild night
    Whereas our last game, Oxenfree, had a unifying dilemma that the whole cast was trying to overcome, we wanted to make the situations in Afterparty reflect a much larger cast with their own unique problems. Milo and Lola just happen to stumble through these moments on their own journey, and the game is structured to feel more like a binge-worthy streaming TV series filled with an unpredictable cast.

    Win over the demonic band manager who brokers deals in exchange for souls. Dance for the EDM DJ in the middle of the throbbing two-story pile of limbs. Start a fight during the reunion of a grown man with the demon that possessed his toys when he was a kid. Every bar or street corner can lead to another set of strange characters who can help Milo and Lola on their greater journey.

    Things to do when you’re dead
    Over 30 drinks
    In a game where communication is one of the player’s central abilities, we wanted to let players customize how their characters would speak.

    So to aid them on their extraordinary quest, Milo and Lola are going to need a little liquid courage. To that end, we’ve created over 30 drinks to get sauced on throughout the game, each providing a different type of personality boost. Think of it like equipping a weapon, but for your words… every bar has a few different drinks that, once imbibed, give extra dialogue choices. Want to talk like a raging psycho? Order a Global Extinction. Fancy some vaudevillian flair? Grab a Great Exhibitionist. Don’t even ask what a Jeffery Bomber does.

    Friends in low places
    Like the best nights out, it’s about the friends you make, ditch, or piss off along the way. We’ve structured Afterparty in a way that tries to reflect those bumpy nights, so depending on who you interact with along the way, you’ll bump into a variety of folks again later in the game, many of whom may become crucial in your quest to take down Satan.

    Pub games
    It wouldn’t be a night on the town if you didn’t get a chance to compete in stupid games against the weirdos you meet. Beer pong, dance-offs, and shot stacking competitions will pop up when you least expect them, adding another dimension to the story.

    All of these design and story choices gave us the foundation to create our weird underworld. We hope you’ll join Milo and Lola on their quest to escape Hell, or at least throw a few back with the dead, on October 29.

    The game isn't available for pre-order yet, but there are a few Avatars up for purchase on the Playstation Store.

  • edited September 21

    Finally a release date. They been so hush hush about it that I was getting kinda irritated... that said. I think I'll wait on this one before plunging. It looks interesting but I'm not getting the same level of intrigue I got when oxenfree was being teased. Maybe it'll surprise me but yeah gonna wait.

    AChicken posted: »

    Y'know... I was expecting a spooky(ish) release date... OCTOBER 29TH, CLOSE ENOUGH!! https://blog.us.playstation.com/2019/09/20/buildi

  • Well, we finally got a new trailer in the State of Play. Got lots of Dave Fennoy as Satan, thank god. Yayyy!

  • The game is now up for pre-order on Xbox One. And we finally got an official description, folks.

    In Afterparty, you are Milo and Lola, recently deceased best buds who suddenly find themselves staring down an eternity in Hell. But there’s a loophole: outdrink Satan and he’ll grant you re-entry to Earth.

    Control Milo and Lola with an intelligent conversation system that changes the story and your relationships based on every decision. Uncover their personality quirks and foggy history during the wild events of the night.

    Every step is up to you as you stumble through the underworld. Go on a hellish bender, uncover the mystery of your damnation, and drink Satan under the table.

    Starring:
    Janina Gavankar as Lola
    Khoi Dao as Milo
    Ashly Burch as Sam
    Erin Yvette as Wormhorn
    Dave Fennoy as Satan

    Music by SCNTFC

  • Any word about pre-order on the PS4?

    AChicken posted: »

    The game is now up for pre-order on Xbox One. And we finally got an official description, folks. In Afterparty, you are Milo and Lola,

  • edited October 19

    "Soon", apparently. shudder
    (I'm betting next Tuesday?)

    There's also a Switch release planned, but they say that it'll come 'a few months' after release.
    It'll probably go physical, too, since they mentioned that it's a digital-only game at launch.


    In the meantime, check out some entertaining Twitter posts related to the game!

    SCNTFC is looking for a song title.

    Art and Stuff



    An Actual Bug Report


    Any word about pre-order on the PS4?

  • edited October 22

    PlayStation pre-order page is now up

    https://store.playstation.com/en-ca/product/UP0962-CUSA13041_00-AFTRPRTYBASE0000?scope=sceapp&smcid=psapp:link menu:store&PlatformPrivacyWs1=exempt&psappver=19.07.0

    Get 20% off the pre-order if you're a PS+ member
    Also get the 5 avatars already on the storefront.
    No mention of a dynamic theme so it's probably something not ready for release yet.

  • edited October 22

    Here in the US, it’s only 20% off if you’re a PS Plus member, which I am not.

    Eh doesn’t matter, what matters is that I just pre ordered it. Only one more week.

    AChicken posted: »

    PlayStation pre-order page is now up https://store.playstation.com/en-ca/product/UP0962-CUSA13041_00-AFTRPRTYBASE0000?scope=sceapp&sm

  • edited October 22

    Right... Oops. That's what I meant. I've had a subscription active for almost 2 years running now so it's been a while since I've not been affected by Plus discounts.

    If it's any consolation, even with the discount the total comes out to ~21$ CAD, so even we don't get below a 20$ price.

    Here in the US, it’s only 20% off if you’re a PS Plus member, which I am not. Eh doesn’t matter, what matters is that I just pre ordered it. Only one more week.

  • I got it for $19.99, because I'm buying in 'Murica dollars.

    AChicken posted: »

    Right... Oops. That's what I meant. I've had a subscription active for almost 2 years running now so it's been a while since I've not been a

  • Reviews for Afterparty are out and they've been pretty positive so far! Mostly 8's with a few 7's and 9's tossed in.

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