Hi, I’m Kevin Cancienne, and I’m working on a game called Home Free, about the life of a dog lost in a randomly generated city. You play as that dog. You’ll need to find food, a safe place to sleep, and friends, both human and canine. Eventually, hopefully, you’ll find home.
I’m currently crowdfunding Home Free over on Kickstarter, and today I’m very happy to announce that I’ll be bringing the game to PlayStation 4!
I’ve been building Home Free for over two years now. It was born when I combined two projects I’d been working on — a procedural CityEngine and a local multiplayer dog wrasslin’ game called Dog Park.
It currently seems like we’re living in the golden age of video game dogs: the dog in COD: Ghosts, DD in MGS5, and Dogmeat in Fallout 4. And there have been a few games, over the years, where you get to play as a dog: Cult favourite A Dog’s Life on PS2, of course. You can even briefly control Chop in GTA V. And Okami has a special place in my heart (OK, technically Amaterasu isn’t a dog, she’s a mythological wolf sun goddess. But still).
I was interested in making a game where you’re basically just a dog, seeing the world from a dog’s perspective. A game where you can run, jump, wrestle, tackle, and sniff butts. That’s why I started by creating Dog Park for NYU’s No Quarter Show in 2014. I wanted to create a game about the sheer joy and physicality of dog play.
But ultimately, I had something bigger in mind. The idea of being a dog in an open world city game seemed like something I had to pursue. A dog can’t steal a car or shoot a gun, but has to use its instincts to survive in an environment that wasn’t built with canines in mind.
With my random city generator, I had a way to create a place where no one’s been before, a place where every player can feel truly lost. I was inspired by the vibrant, abstract visions of Tokyo on display in games like Jet Set Radio and Katamari Damacy, and now I had a way to create a near-infinite number of variations on them.
Home Free still has a way to go, which is why I took the game to Kickstarter. I estimate I still have about another year of work to do until it’s done. Kickstarter has helped me get the money I need to focus completely on the project and to pay some folks to help with the parts I can’t do myself. The Kickstarter is now fully funded, but there are still some fun stretch goals to reach. And if you back it now, you can reserve yourself a digital copy when it comes out on PS4.
I recently checked out the Home Free trailer on the big TV in my living room for the first time. Seeing it like that, a glimpse of how it will look on PS4, briefly gave me chills. The game already feels great with a controller in your hand, and I’m so happy to be able to share it with PlayStation owners around the world.