Always Sometimes Monsters - All News
Tuesday - July 15, 2014
Always Sometimes Monsters - Interview @ N4G
he N4G Blog did a new two part interview with Vagabond Dogs as part of it;'s Indie Month. and asked a fee questions about their game Always Sometimes Monsters.
FogKnight: How was Vagabond Dog born?
Justin: After spending about a year on the road, traveling around North America and meeting a variety of game developers for a journalism project, I returned home with a vision for what ultimately would become Always Sometimes Monsters. With no real experience making games, I reached out to Jake to see if he'd be interested in seeing what could come of it. Once we started working together, the company just sort of fell in place around us as we got our first prototype up and running.
FogKnight: What are Vagabond Dog's goals as an independent game studio?
Justin: We want to provide people with games that can relate to their lives in a meaningful way. We hope people can find something in Always Sometimes Monsters that rings true to their own experiences in life.
FogKnight: How did the team arrive at the concept of making a game about life, and how do you think that is significant as a first studio project?
Justin: The game largely came about during my road trip, and was refined thereafter as we started developing the prototype. Wanting to make a game that captured life and reality in this particular fashion came out of a desire for sharing the feelings I'd had on the road, particularly the dissolving of absolutes and the self-judgment morality that took hold of me while I was out there.
As a first project for the studio, it was probably over ambitious. Sane people start with something they can easily produce in a short time frame and iterate on if it's good. We dove face-first into trying to replicate the complexities of choice in life. Not a smart move, but one that's mostly paid off for us so far.
Thursday - May 22, 2014
Always Sometimes Monsters - Now Available
Vagabond Dog announces their RPG game Always Sometimes Monsters is now avaiable for purchase on Steam, GOG, and Humble. Here is the press release.
ALWAYS SOMETIMES MONSTERS TUGS AT YOUR HEARTSTRINGS TODAY, AVAILABLE NOW ON STEAM
Inspired by True Events, a Game About Life, Love, and The Pursuit of Both -
Toronto, Canada – Independent developer Vagabond Dog and the emoting publishers at Devolver Digital announced today that the always sometimes semi-biographical and touching story-driven RPG, Always Sometimes Monsters, is available today on PC via Steam, GOG, and Humble. Demanding the answer to the question, ‘How far would you go to get what you really want?’, Always Sometimes Monsters takes players on a narrative-driven journey where they face tough life choices and the harsh reality of modern life.
Inspired by the real-life events of Vagabond Dog cofounder Justin Amirkhani while he hitchhiked his way across the U.S., Always Sometimes Monsters invites players to assume the role of a down-and-out character on the verge of collapse after learning the love of their life is set to marry someone else. And as in the real world, right isn’t always good, and wrong isn’t always bad; choice plays a huge role in the game.
Players will select characters of different gender, race and sexual orientation players and set off on a text-based story where they will quickly discover a world that reacts uniquely to who they are. Each play through is filled with a staggering number of diverging paths, creating a narrative tailored to the individual playing, their choices, and their personal ethical compass. Along the way, players are free to make their own choices as to who they want to become, where every single decision – whether as seemingly inconsequential like moving boxes for some quick temp work, or stepping in and assisting a band of union protesters in a riot – every action contributes to the overall course of narrative.
“Always Sometimes Monsters is an expression of our common struggle to exact choice in a reality where circumstance does not always provide us with the opportunity to do so. It is an experience heavily influenced by our personal journeys in life and the multitude of people whose roads have crossed ours,” said Justin Amirkhani from developer Vagabond Dog. “Our hope is that in playing the game you come to question what defines the decisions you make, not just in games but in life as well."
Always Sometimes Monsters is now available on Steam, GOG and Humble via AlwaysSometimesMonsters.com with a 10% discount for a limited time during launch.
Tuesday - May 20, 2014
Always Sometimes Monsters - Preview @ Gaming Nexus
Gaming Nexus has a new positive preview of Always Sometimes Monsters.
Always Sometimes Monsters does a really good job of using small details to express big ideas, and even though the rough aesthetics can be off-putting, once you acclimate yourself to them, it feels like it couldn't be any other way. It's a stripped-down game that wants to show that you don't need to put Willem Defoe in a mo-cap suit to tell a good story. If Always Sometimes Monsters came out back when it was all the rage to argue over whether video games qualify as art, it would have caused some waves for the way it focuses on getting the player to participate in a story instead of throwing them through gauntlets of mowing down aliens and leaping over caverns.
There aren't any random encounters or boss fights, and the action sequences are few and far between. Most of the action happens through dialogue, and it's got a compelling, often gut-wrenching story to tell. And to be honest, as much as I love Telltale, Double Fine and the trend indie games have been taking to focus more on narrative—I'm glad that Always Sometimes Monsters has come along to show that a game doesn't have to be an episodic point-and-click adventure to have a compelling story.
Monday - April 21, 2014
Always Sometimes Monsters - Interview @ RPG Slayer
RPG Slayer interviewed Vagabond Dog’s Justin Amirkhani at Pax Prime 2014 to ask a few questions about his RPG Always Sometimes Monsters.
RPG Slayer: What were some of the inspirations for Always Sometimes Monsters?
Justin: The core idea of the game came about during a nearly year-long backpacking trek across North America to meet video game developers. That journey took me high and low while having all sorts of adventures, meeting incredible people, and learning a lot about life in the process. While out there, I saw that the line that separates the people I had called good or bad, worthy or unworthy, pure or unclean – it was far thinner than I had ever imagined and I had been stepping back and forth across it my entire life, all while believing absolutely that my position in the narrative of my life and the role I played in the larger story of humanity was a fixed point.
Looking back on my life before that awareness, it’s almost embarrassing how juvenile my worldview had been, but crossing the threshold of that revelation is what brought about the idea for the game. The dissolution of absolutism is part of growing up. It’s something we all experience at some point in our lives as part of the transition from adolescence, but it was particularly profound for me at the time and inspired the idea for a game that would take players on a similar journey of self-doubt and discovery.
When I returned home, I partnered with my old friend Jake Reardon and we set out to make it a reality. Nearly a year and a half later, we’re getting share it with the world.
RPG Slayer: The title alone is what drew me to the game and made me want to learn more, even before I saw a screenshot. Was such an intriguing title an accident, or is there a deeper meaning to it?
Justin: The juxtaposition between the absolute “always” and the ambiguous “sometimes” kind of sums up the wishy-washy way in which the game handles morality. As mentioned previously, this is a game partially about dissolving the concept of absolutes and so throwing those adverbs together just kinda does the trick. However, the title came about almost by accident in the 11th hour before we debut the game at PAX Prime last year.
We had been operating under the title Save The Date, which some may recognize as the title of Paper Dino’s IGF Nuovo Award Nominee. Faced with having to come up with a new name for the game with little time left we ran through dozens of choices before one night (while drunk) Always Sometimes Monsters happened upon us while I was trying to come up with something to describe what the game was about.
RPG Slayer: I feel that the omission of combat in Always Sometimes Monsters is a perfect choice, and will instill a greater sense of realism. Do you have any concerns that players will be turned off by this?
Justin: There are far greater things to be afraid of when releasing your first game. However, even if there was a tinge of worry in our hearts over whether or not combat was necessary to make a successful game, we don’t need to look far to find examples of wildly popular games and franchises completely devoid of violence. There are more than enough people playing games now for there to be a range of tastes wide enough to make a game like ours survive.
Thursday - April 17, 2014
Always Sometimes Monsters - Interview @ Twinfinite
Twinfinite had the chace to interview Vagabond Dog’s Creative Director Justin Amirkhani at Pax East 2014, and ask a few questions about his RPG Always Sometimes Monsters.
Vagabond Dog’s Always Sometimes Monsters is a game following a character’s journey to reclaim lost love and the choices made along the way. The game focuses heavily on decisions and morality, offering up choices at every turn that serve to actually define choice and morality. Muaz got some hands on time with the game’s PAX East demo while I took a moment to talk with Vagabond Dog’s creative director Justin Amirkhani about the changes Always Sometimes Monsters has undergone since we saw it at PAX Prime and as it moves closer to its May 21st release.
Monday - April 14, 2014
Always Sometimes Monsters - Preview @ Two Dash Stash
Two Dash Stash has a new preview of Always Sometimes Monsters based on a short game demo they played at PAX East 2014.
I had the opportunity to get my hands on Vagabond Dog’s Always Sometimes Monsters, a game that is about life and how even the small choices you make can have long-lasting consequences. If my previous interview with Vagabond Dog’s Justin Amirkhani was any indication about what to expect out of the game, I knew that I needed to be ready for almost anything out of Always Sometimes Monsters.
Life is hard and full of choices, a message that Always Sometimes Monsters wants you to remember. No two situations are alike, no matter similar they seem. People come from different backgrounds, have different experiences, and have their own stories to tell. So how do you create a short demo that accurately shows all of this and conveys the right message when you only have a short amount of time to let people preview a game?
Staying true to their roots, Vagabond Dog created an entire intro sequence that addresses the problems when trying to create a brief demo for a game that is all about life, choice, and consequence.
“The marketing guys say we need to create a demo that will sell the game,” a virtual representation of Amirkhani says. “How do we do that when everyone’s character is different and their life experiences are different? Meaning that no two people will have the same choices and options available? I know! We’ll give players a randomly created character who falls in love with another randomly created character and drop those characters into a situation!”
Sunday - April 06, 2014
Always Sometimes Monsters - Release Date
Indie developer Vagabond Dog have sent a new press release with information their RPG game Always Sometimes Monsters will be released May 21st.
WHERE DOES YOUR ETHICAL COMPASS LEAD YOU? ALWAYS SOMETIMES MONSTERS HITS STEAM MAY 21
Now Available for Pre-Order on Steam -
Toronto, Canada – Independent developer Vagabond Dog and the questionable professionals of Devolver Digital have announced Always Sometimes Monsters, an unconventional story-driven RPG about life, love, and the lengths that we will go to find happiness in both, will hit PC via Steam and Humble on May 21st. Inspired by always sometimes true-life events, Always Sometimes Monsters features an incredibly touching and engaging emotionally driven narrative as players struggle with tough life choices.
Players will assume the role of a down-and-out character on the verge of collapse after learning the love of their life is set to marry someone else. Selecting from characters of different gender, race and sexual orientation players will encounter a world that reacts uniquely to who they are as they live through common experiences and unique hardships.
With time working against them, players set out on a unique cross-country journey filled with memorable and countless choices. Each playthrough is filled with a staggering number of diverging paths, creating a narrative tailored to the individual playing, their choices, and their personal ethical compass.
“Always Sometimes Monsters is designed to reflect parts of yourself as you play and possibly give you a better understanding of who you are,” said Justin Amirkhani from developer Vagabond Dog. “What makes it interesting is not learning whether or not you’re a monster, but reflecting on how you can change.”
Always Sometimes Monsters will be playable at PAX East, Booth # 787 inside the Indie Megabooth with a custom demo asking players to question their morals and step into the shoes of someone altogether different from themselves.
Always Sometimes Monsters is now available for pre-order on Steam and Humble via AlwaysSometimesMonsters.com with a 33% discount for a limited time.
Follow development at vagabonddog.com or on Twitter @VagabondDog.
Always Sometimes Monsters Trailer YouTube
Steam Store Page
Sunday - October 06, 2013
Always Sometimes Monsters - Preview @ TwoDashStash
TwoDashStash has posted a new preview of the 2D RPG Always Sometimes Monsters.
Always Sometimes Monsters is a game about the choices we make as normal human beings living in our ordinary world. No one is perfect. No outcome will be perfect. There are no easy paths or a guide to follow. We do what we think is right in order to succeed and survive. Just like in real life, if you miss out on the experience, that was your choice to make.
Sunday - September 29, 2013
Always Sometimes Monsters - Preview
Gaming Trend has posted a preview of Always Sometimes Monsters saying the game is shaping up to be the Breaking Bad of video games.
Consequence is an important part of Always Sometimes Monsters. One particular scene I played had a character give me a hundred dollars for getting them the passes to SwagFest that they so desperately needed. Turns out — that money was actually his drug dealer uncle’s cash, and he is none too pleased about having it stolen from his deadbeat nephew. He comes at us with a shotgun. I can decide to turn tail and run and leave this scumbag to his fate, I can try to fight (and die in the process) or I can give the money back. I’m a nice guy, so I decided to fork the money over.
That’s when I found out how wrong I was.
It’s not clear in the demo (as it jumps around a lot, and nothing really sticks), but money is very hard to come by in this game — so when you do get some, you need to hold on to it. A couple bucks can mean the difference between making it to your next destination or being stranded with no way to get anywhere, the difference between eating or going without. They explained that every single choice will have some kind of consequence, and there will be a breaking point everyone will reach where you can no longer decide to make the “good” decision because it will no longer be the “right” decision for your own survival. They want to see how long it will take before players break their own code of ethics and begin to wander the dark path between right and wrong.
Monday - September 23, 2013
Always Sometimes Monsters - Previews
RPGamer has a new preview of Always Sometimes Monsters asking,"Who's the Real Monster Here? Not I."
I didn't get a chance to play Always Sometimes Monsters at PAX Prime, but I was able to talk about the game with Justin Amirkhan of Vagabond Dog. Afterward, he hooked me up with the demo so I could explore my morality within the safety of my own home. Always Sometimes Monsters is upfront about being about choices. However, except for the demo's narrator, the game doesn't judge. Instead, the designers trust players to judge themselves or one another. The lines aren't as clearly marked as in many games about morality or ethics, such as Ultima 4 or Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Rather than a good vs. evil axis, Always Sometimes Monsters operates under the core dichotomy of selflessness vs. selfishness.
Next we have Broken Cartridge who has also posted their preview, but unlike the first one they don't have a catchy title.
All in all, Always Sometimes Monsters is a great addition to the indie library and I’m looking forward its release. Just remember, your adventure is going to long and have many bumps along the way. Will you become a monster in everyone’s eyes? The choice is yours. The game can be pre-ordered right now for $9.99, and it will be released for PC in 2014. Click here and it will take you to the page where you can pre-order
Sunday - September 15, 2013
Always Sometimes Monsters - PAX Preview
A blog called Sharon Shares has a new preview of Always Sometimes Monsters from Pax Prime 2013.
Many titles in the mediums brief history have received mature ratings and even market themselves under this banner but what makes Always Sometimes Monsters unique is that it may be one of the few truly mature games I've played. Although adult scenes of violence, coarse language, and sexuality are depicted, it is the honest means in which they are presented that makes the title mature. While the game can be downright disturbing at times nothing is depicted for merely shock value, rather the game integrates the scenes in an organic and natural fashion.
On the topic of disturbing, this game despite its appearance is not for the faint of heart. I won't spoil any of the events in the demo, but after playing through it in its entirety; I felt like I needed a shower. Once you've made a choice, there is no going back. That's right; you are made responsible for your actions and have to live with them from that point forward. The permanent nature of the games mechanics lends immediacy to each conversation and will (justly) make you paranoid about your every decision.
Always Sometimes Monsters is something that video games have needed for a long time. Vagabond Dog has gifted the industry a title that doesn't speak down to the player, instead asking them to forge ahead, making their own choices and accepting the consequences. Free will is a double edged sword, and Always Sometimes Monsters is here to remind you of just how deeply life can cut.
Saturday - September 07, 2013
Always Sometimes Monsters - Preview @ Platform Nation
Platform Nation has a preview of Always Sometimes Monsters from Pax Prime.
Most interesting, perhaps, is that every choice offered to you seemed genuine. Each one was unique for each branching moment you encountered, but they were only just so in their skewed perspectives. Amirkhani calls it an “ethical compass,” which feels exceedingly accurate. Instead of going on either end of a binary choice, the needle points just a little bit more one direction than another. Perhaps both of your options are lies, but they both feel right though you know each one can only lead you down one path.
Sitting in the middle of 70,000 people, leaning into a laptop as I read and hang on every worth coming out of these pixelated people’s heads, I realize that this is a bit odd. The entirety of the Ubisoft booth seems dedicated to stabbing pirates while the sounds of Titanfall dribble in from every corner of the Washington State Convention Center, and I just sat there, wondering why Paige left me, regretting ever agreeing to that damned toast.
Thursday - September 05, 2013
Always Sometimes Monsters - Pax Interview
Twinfinite has a new video interview from Pax Prime with Justin Amirkhani of Vagabond Dog.
We loved Always Sometimes Monsters so much that it was one of the recipients of our Drool Awards. Alissa took some time to not only check it out and preview it, but also get an interview with Justin Amirkhani of Vagabond Dog to ask some questions you’ll want to know the answers to. It intrigues the crap out of me with all the player choice, so be sure to keep an eye on the indie gem Always Sometimes Monsters.
Friday - August 30, 2013
Always Sometimes Monsters - A RPG About Life
Publisher Devolver Digital and developer Vagabond Dog announce Always Sometimes Monsters.
Independent developer Vagabond Dog and the consummate professionals of Devolver Digital have announced Always Sometimes Monsters, an unconventional RPG about life, love and the lengths that we will go to find happiness in both. Set to release on PC in 2014, Always Sometimes Monsters aims to explore themes and issues of the modern world where decisions you make affect your life and the lives of those around you.
Players will assume the role of a character out of luck, out of money and on the verge of collapse after learning their beloved is set to marry someone else.
Choose from characters of different gender, race, and sexual orientation and set out on the open road to overcome everything and everyone that life throws at you on your way to redemption. Start and end relationships with a colorful cast of characters, make an honest buck or lie for a few more dollars more and deal with friendship and prejudice as you make your way through the modern grind.
“Developing Always Sometimes Monsters has been a continual process of evaluating our game mechanics and it has also been an evolution of how we regard ethics and morality,” said Justin Amirkhani from developer Vagabond Dog. “Concepts of right and wrong can easily whittle away within the game, so we are looking forward to seeing what choices players make during their unique journeys.”
Always Sometimes Monsters will be playable at PAX Prime booth 871 with a custom demo taking players through a few of the initial sequences and asks players to make a decision that will permanently affect the character in the game upon its release next year
Information aboutAlways Sometimes Monsters
Developer: Vagabond Dog
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2014-05-21
· Publisher: Vagabond Dog