The next game from Oxenfree devs Night School Studios is Afterparty, which has quite a different tone and setting from the team's previous work. That said, there will still be a lot for Oxenfree fans to love, according to studio co-founder Adam Hines.
“In Oxenfree, I think it was fun for people to really dig deeper into the world that we had and the history. You could go pretty deep in terms of tuning into the tour guide stuff and being able to hear the history of the location and ghosts and things. With Afterparty, there’s a lot of references to how hell is run and if you want to you can really go pretty deep into the aspect of what the demons’ jobs are, their relationships with people, why people have died, who’s there, and why. Tthat aspect will be what carries over from Oxenfree.
The tone of Afterparty is very different in that it’s not meant to be a spooky, mysterious thing, it’s a madcap, crazy, raunchy comedy. But, there’s still just a lot of history and weight to all of the characters.”
As a developer, how do you go about making hell a fun place to be? The work starts very early on in Afterparty, as Night School Studios co-founder Sean Krankel explains.
“One of the things that happens right when the game begins is that you get assigned a personal demon…that is born from choices that you, as the player, make fairly early on in this hell processing moment. So this character, her name is Sister Mary Wormhorn, she is born of the two player characters’ answers and then that character is constantly coming back and taunting you and doing things based on the choices that you made to make you feel like ‘Did I do the right thing?'
Ultimately, I think that personal demon does, in a more comedic way, manifest a lot of that ‘the game is watching me’ feeling…Tonally very different, but I think it serves a similar function.”