Hold hands in solo or couch co-op with Haven

Posted by on 10.28.20
Commentaires fermés sur Hold hands in solo or couch co-op with Haven

Play the two heroes at the same time, alone or with a special someone.

In Haven, you play as two lovers who gave up everything and escaped to a lost planet to be together. It’s a romantic RPG about love and freedom, but a strong characteristic of the game is that you play two characters at the same time: Yu and Kay. It’s first and foremost a solo game, in which you play these two characters, but with such a duo for main characters, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to make it also a couch co-op experience. In this blogpost, I’ll dive in details about the co-op experience for the first time.

Haven can be enjoyed solo, it’s designed for that. But at any time in the game, another player can join by simply taking another gamepad and pressing a button. The UI will show that co-op has started, it’s completely seamless.

Here, the UI shows another player just joined and triggered the co-op play.

An important part of the gameplay makes Yu and Kay explore the deserted planet gliding over the grass, collecting flow and food, and cleaning the rust in search for resources and new paths (learn more about the gameplay in our previous blog post). While gliding, one player is leading, and the other is following. The character that is following has the freedom to roam around the lead one. Each time you stop, you can exchange the lead, and “take the wheel” like it’s your turn to drive.

However, the following player is not just a co-pilot. They can control what we call a “flowblob”, a circle of flow on the ground that they can project around them to interact with the world as they glide. They can use the flowblob to clean the rust or gather resources. The lead character chooses where to go and the following character helps clean the area.

The flowblob can also be used to slow down a creature that’s chasing you:

In solo combat, the game pad is split in half. You use the dpad to load Kay’s actions and the buttons for Yu’s. In co-op, each player controls their character. The players have to combine their actions.

For instance one can be shielding while the other prepares an attack.

You can exploit temporary weaknesses by having a player stun a creature, while the other prepares an attack that will make critical damage. Or you can synchronize two similar actions on each character to make powerful duo attacks.

Last but not least, if one of your hero is down, the other one can help them stand up again.

While it’s common to see co-op mechanics for action gameplay, it’s much more unusual to see them intertwined in the storytelling. Narration-wise, when the characters talk, the player regularly has dialog choices to make, which sometimes have an impact on the game. When playing co-op, both players have to agree and validate the same dialog choice to progress. From what we’ve seen, it’s very engaging and creates heated discussions between the players on the couch.

We wanted to make a game that can be enjoyed by everyone: solo for a deep immersion with Yu and Kay, or co-op with a friend or a romantic partner. As you read this we are adding the finishing touches to the game. Haven will release December 3rd 2020 on PS5 and early 2021 on PS4.

Haven will be available on December 3

Posted by on 10.28.20
Commentaires fermés sur Haven will be available on December 3

Hello everyone,

That’s it, we have a release date!!! We’re so pleased to tell you that Haven will be available on December 3rd 2020 on PC (Steam, GOG.com & Microsoft Store), PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox One. We can’t wait for you to share Yu & Kay’s adventure! The PC version will be available at launch on Steam, GoG and Windows store. And yes, we also hard at work on our Nintendo Switch and PS4 versions, slated to launch Q1 2021.

We are also happy to share with you a brand new story trailer « Can love conquer all? » Watch it below:


The trailer has subtitles in English, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.

Also check those new screenshots from the game:

36 days left before the launch of Haven! We can tell you we are counting the days too!
Looking forward to having you play the game,

The team at Game Bakers

Interview with Pierre Corbinais, Haven’s writer

Posted by on 10.22.20
Commentaires fermés sur Interview with Pierre Corbinais, Haven’s writer

Pierre Corbinais has been writing for and about games for a decade now and he is the writer of Haven. He’s mostly known for Bury Me My Love, a reality-inspired fiction about love and exile, and ‘Til Cows tear us apart, a two-cowgirls’ road-movie in space but also created a lot of other small games during various game jams. Haven is the biggest project he worked on so far (and he can’t wait for you to play it).

What’s your opinion about romance in video games? What is good and bad, from your point of view?

My main opinion about romance in video games is that we don’t see enough of it, and when you think about it, it’s actually a bit baffling. Romances are everywhere except in video games: I don’t know about the other countries, but in France, every year without fail, the best selling novels are love stories. Turn on a mainstream radio and there’s a fairly good chance that a love song will be playing. And romance (whether it is comedy or drama) had always been one of the strongest film genres: While released more than 20 years ago, Titanic still is the third highest grossing film of all times (#1 in France!), how crazy is that? Everything points to think that people LOVE romances, but a bunch of exceptions aside, we don’t have romance in games, at best we have flirting (in dating sims or RPGs). Why is that? There is this idea floating around that video games are mostly played by men and that men aren’t into romance, but I think both these assumptions are untrue. To me, the main reason why there is so few romances in game is that we, game creators, still don’t really know how to make them. It’s “easy” to make a game where you shoot people (“If bullet collides with enemy then enemy = dead”, but how do you program a game about falling in love? Being in love? Falling out of love? Everything must be rethought, reinvented. That’s a tough job, and a lot of work, but what a great challenge!

Where would you like to see the genre go? What kind of romance story or style would you like to see in a video game?

I would like it to go in every directions, form-wise and content-wise. There are so many different love stories to tell, and so many ways to interact with them to invent. Just try to imagine how every video game genre could be twisted to become a love story: What is a First Person Romance? What is a relationship management game? A heart racing game? A love puzzle?
And we’re not even talking about the new genres that might emerge.
As for the content, there is a subreddit called r/relationships where people share relationships stories (romantic or not) to get advice from the community. I love browsing through the posts there. They are sometimes funny, sometimes grave, sometimes relatable, sometimes just plain weird… I think these posts tell a lot about what being human is, about what loving is, and I’d like every single one of them to be turned into a video game.

Haven has quite a modern treatment in terms of dialogs, compared to traditional RPGs. Was it difficult to come up with that? How do people react to that style?

Haven’s dialogue style came up pretty naturally. While you can find some epicness in the game, I felt it was more about the little things, the daily life, and I needed the dialogues to reflect that. Yu and Kay shouldn’t talk like badass-and-somehow-also-super-witty heroes, they should talk like us, with our hesitations, verbal tics, cursing… I’m really into alternative comics that tell “slice of life” stories (Hernandez brothers’ Love & Rockets, Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise, Vanyda’s The Building Opposite to cite a few), I probably draw this style of writing from there.
I didn’t get the chance to see a lot of people playing the game so far so I’m yet not sure how people will react to that style, but the team and voice-actors seemed to like it! The very first dialogue I wrote to try out that style and see if it fitted the game ended up becoming Haven’s first scene.

There’s also a lot of humour in the game. Do you think it’s a way to make the players have fun or to make them get attached to the characters?

Yes, people usually enjoy to laugh and smile, so why not allow that? But humor is also a useful tool for Haven’s narrative structure. In Haven there are a lot of dialogue scenes that aren’t there to make the story advance toward an ending. They’re just slices of life meant to create attachment to the characters, chill moments spent in the Nest. How can you satisfyingly end such scenes that don’t really lead anywhere plot-wise? There aren’t that many solutions: You can end it with something cute, something deep, or something funny. Juggling with the three is the best way to keep the player surprised, and thus entertained.

Do you have a special process for writing dialogs? What’s your one advice for writing dialogs?

Writing is a very weird and personal thing, the more I talk with other writers the more I realise there aren’t two writing processes alike. Some people will tell you that you need to precisely know where your dialogue is going beforehand, me, I tend to just go with the flow and let the characters decide for themselves. Most of the time, when I start writing a dialogue scene, I have no idea how it’s gonna end. This is a terrible thing to do when you work in movies for example, because movies only lasts 90mn and you don’t have one minute to spare. But I think it works pretty well with video games, especially when you want your dialogues to branch in different directions: not having an ending in mind is a great way to allow the emergence of multiple ones.
As for the advice I will give this very simple one: whenever you’re stuck in your writing, drop your pen (or keyboard, or typewriter) and go outside. Walk. Sit in a park. Have a coffee (and don’t forget your notebook in case the inspiration comes back). Breaks aren’t a waste of time, sitting in front of an empty page is.

Finally, everyone wants to know. Are you more a Yu or Kay person?

I put a lot of myself in both characters, Kay got my poor sense of humour and Yu my terrible sense of direction, but I’m probably more a Kay person overall. Yet, when playing the game, I mostly play Yu. Go figure.


Fugitive lovers in space

Posted by on 10.22.20
Commentaires fermés sur Fugitive lovers in space

I like to pitch Haven as “Romeo and Juliet, but they survived and escaped to a deserted planet to live together.” But that doesn’t say much about the gameplay. So I would like to share more about your experience as you play the game — what you actually get to do.

The game experience in Haven is created by the intersection of three systems:

  1. Exploration through gliding
  2. Combat
  3. Preparing for your next expedition in the Nest

The story is told during these three types of gameplay sequences. But let’s dive a little deeper in these systems.

Gliding over the tall grass

In a Japanese RPG, what we call “traversal gameplay” is usually pretty simple. You just move your character without any challenge, until you start a fight or reach your destination. With Haven, we wanted to reinforce the feeling of being a couple, even during exploration. We wanted to make it feel relaxing, beautiful and fun. Going down a ski slope with a friend can really feel like that. Gliding over the tall grass is Haven’s version of skiing together.

In order to explore the planet, you follow “Flow threads” that will fill your boots and gauntlets with Flow, the natural energy that powers pretty much everything in their world. It’s also used to get rid of the Rust, the red crust that corrupts the planet and creatures. Gather Flow, clean the Rust and discover resources: food or medicinal plants, materials for combat or to repair the Nest (your spaceship/home), or even souvenirs and items for your home.

Following a Flow thread is usually as chill as going down a simple ski slope, but sometimes you can find more difficult ones that will require to drift, and anticipate tight turns.

Exploration by gliding will also open up new “bridges” that connect one floating fragment to another, and allow you to reach new areas.

Combat and pacify rusted creatures

While exploring the fragments of the planet, you might encounter aggressive creatures and have to fight them. Combat is, again, thought of as a couple’s experience. It’s pretty much necessary to coordinate Yu and Kay’s attacks, or have them protect each other.

Combat happens in real-time, but you charge orders by holding buttons. Sometimes you have to react quickly to shield yourself, sometimes you have to time an attack performed by both characters, and sometimes it’s better to chain attacks, one weakening the creature and the other dealing the heavy damage.

That combat system is thought to make you want to optimize your chain of actions so that everything flows, a bit like in a rhythm game. When you’ve found the right pace, it feels very satisfying to chain actions one after the other, minimizing the hits taken and maximising the damage to the rusted creatures.

At the end of the fight, the creatures are “pacified,” meaning they are cleaned from the rust and they go back to a peaceful state.

Cuddle and prepare for your next expedition

Eventually, you need to go back to your ship to either heal yourself, cook some tasty meals or bring back the stuff you found. The ship is called The Nest for a good reason: it’s a place for nesting.

In the Nest you can craft different things: cures for improving your health, combat capsules that’ll prove helpful against the rusted creatures, and of course you can cook delicious meals.

As the characters have meals, they are not hungry anymore (when they are hungry they complain and are less efficient in combat). But most importantly, cooking and having meals together is the time for bonding. Cooking, sharing a good meal and taking a little break is when they grow, as characters and as a couple. It develops their relationship, and leads to levelling up.

In Haven, you won’t gain that many experience points in combat, you gain more by just spending good time together. That really makes Haven different, as it’s usually skipped in RPGs. You never see your heroes in their intimity. In Haven, you do.


Be with them at all times

The story is a key element in Haven’s game experience. Are they going to settle quietly on that deserted planet? Will the Apiary find them and come to separate them?

But the pace of the story comes from that intertwined game experience of gliding together to explore the valleys of planet Source, fighting and pacifying creatures and coming back home for resting, cocooning and preparing the next expedition. All in all, Haven’s game experience is about living with Yu and Kay, every minute of their adventurous daily life.

We’re hard at work to finish the game and we will soon be able to let you know when you can play Haven, so stay posted!

Instant Profits AI Vortex Momentum
Instant Profits AI Vortex Momentum