E3 2017 Interview: Michael Frauenhofer, The Mind Behind “One Way Trip”

One Way Trip is an indie game exclusively on Playstation 4 and soon-to-be on Playstation Vita. I got a chance to talk to the game’s lead developer, Michael Frauenhofer, at E3 2017. He gave the scoop on what development was like, what inspired the game, and his company, Beret’s, first game. Read my interview below.

Monkeys Fighting Robots: What’s your game called? Give our readers a summary of what the game is about.

Michael Frauenhofer: One Way Trip is the name of the game. It came out late last year on PS4, and it’s coming to Vita soon – early next year. It’s a branching choice narrative style game, sort of like a lo-fi take on a Telltale style game. It’s in the future. There’s been a big poison hit; everyone has six hours to live, then they’re going to die. For those six hours they are going to hallucinate constantly and increasingly, so you have to make the choice: do you go on this big journey and search for a cure, or do you spend the whole game, ’till the end credits, at home, hanging out with your neighbors, talking about the meaning of life, how to live a good life, and what it means to live a good life?

Monkeys Fighting Robots: What inspired the game? When did development on One Way Trip begin?

Frauenhofer: Development on it began about three years ago, but we took a break for a year in the middle to make a different project, so it was only about two years. Our main inspiration came as this was our second game – finishing our first game, I was crunching a lot. It sounds kinda silly, but my dog got sick and then he died shortly after it came out, and I felt like I missed his last couple weeks ’cause I was crunching, trying to get the game done before the deadline. This whole game, with focus on limited amount of time and the choice based mechanic, is we wanted to make it less about exherting your will on the world. A lot of choice based games get judged on how much your choices change things, and instead we wanted to make a game where, no matter what path you took, you’re still missing so much. There is so many scenes, characters you’ll never meet, we wanted to use choice to reinforce opportunity cost about purposeness and intentionality in life, when you have so little time to do all the things worth doing.

Monkeys Fighting Robots: You said this is your second game. What was your first game, and is it at all similar to One Way Trip?

Frauenhofer: There’s a lot of similar narrative elements and themes. Our first one was Demon Sheep. It’s an action RPG for iPad. It’s since been pulled from the app store because they upgraded the operating system, but we’re going to be bringing it back to PS4 and Vita as a remaster. That one was about three roomates who were chilling, blazing together, and talking about their feelings. Their feelings materialize as demons that you actually fight within an action RPG system. The gameplay was very different.

Visit the game’s official website for more information on One Way Trip.

Aric Sweeny
Aric Sweeny
Monkeys Fighting Robots Assistant Editor-in-Chief. Along with my work here, I'm a staff writer for Enthusiast Gaming. I have a passion for entertainment media. Follow me on Twitter to talk all things pop culture!