Hi Reddit!

Yesterday we released our third game We Were Here Together and we are just as excited as when we released our first game! Today we are joined by founder Lucia de Visser (u/TotalMayhemGames)!


Back in the day, as a student team we launched the free online co-op puzzle game We Were Here on Steam. A sort of first person escape room where players are split up and must communicate to solve puzzles (kind of like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes), it got more than 2,000,000 downloads, which gave us the motivation to expand the series further.

The new game we’ve just released is the largest so far, but the main focus stays true to the series: it’s a coop adventure for 2 players, where both need to work together to solve puzzles and ultimately try to escape from the sinister Castle Rock. All you start with are your walkie-talkies and your wits.

That’s enough about us! We are eager to hear your questions about the game, the series, or anything at all!

P.S. Here is a link to the Steam Store: https://store.steampowered.com/app/865360/We_Were_Here_Together/

Edit: Thanks for all your support and thank you for all your questions! We'll be taking a break for now, but please dont be shy about asking questions on our other social media channels and Discord! Over!

Comments: 221 • Responses: 38  • Date: 

ShikaCho5213 karma

Has Tencent invested in you yet?

TotalMayhemGames219 karma

No they have not :) Our first title was developed at the university most of us attended as part of a game design and development minor and after that we decided to create our own studio and self-fund and publish the sequel projects with the help of close friends and family!

Marecu142 karma

Hi! Played your games with one of my friends and had a really good time. My question for you is how did you decide on the setting and overall thematic for the games?

TotalMayhemGames98 karma

Hi! Back when we started as a student team we had 14 weeks to design and develop a game. One of the first things we did was write down a list of themes, settings, locations and time-era's where our game could take place and took turns voting on these ideas! Next thing we knew we had a concept for an escape room experience in an abandoned castle on Antarctica!

For the follow-up projects we just expanded on this idea and in We Were Here Together we added completely new locations in this vast, abandoned kingdom in the arctic wastes!

KickAssMiles85 karma

What's cooler than being cool?

TotalMayhemGames116 karma

Ice cold!

BradicalTS38 karma

Hey Total Mayhem Games! big fan of the We Were Here Series, are there any plans on making different kinds of games? like platform games, for example.

TotalMayhemGames49 karma

Hi there! We're open to trying out new types of games - but our love will always go out to creating unique cooperative experiences!

acbagel35 karma

That co-op experience is why I love your games! Can't wait to see what you have planned for the future. Going to play the new game tonight with a friend

TotalMayhemGames20 karma

Thank you for your support and we hope you'll have as much fun as we had creating it!

Tidalsky11413 karma

Split screen?

TotalMayhemGames11 karma

Perhaps not with the We Were Here series, but maybe a future project!

Mastertimelord25 karma

First off thanks for this game and thanks for being in games with gold on Xbox. I never would have tried this otherwise. I have a few questions 1: have you considered gamepass? I try to convince my friends to try it but no success. 2: would you consider more randomization to increase replay value? I know it’s a lot more work, but once I beat it I have no reason to replay except achievements. Also I can really only play with 1 person because now I have learned all the puzzles. 3: could you please include a plain text overlay when reading books? Reading small cursive in a dimly lit book is not fun

Now for more fun questions 4: what is the most important thing you have learned making now 3 games? 5: what drew you to make an escape room video game?

TotalMayhemGames23 karma

Hey there! 1: Gamepass has come up a few times during our meetings and we're interested in looking into it further! 2: Replayability has always been a tricky task for our design team but I'm sure they'll find a new and interesting solution! 3: We've received alot of feedback about the textbooks and we agree they're a bit too difficult to read, the rest of the team is paying close attention issues like this won't occur in the future! 4: A very important thing we've learned from creating the We Were Here series is how important it is to have ample feedback to our players of events happening in the game. Since players have to communicate so much they can miss very subtle hints, triggers and dangers or even obvious-in-your-face answers because they're so vividly describing their situation! 5: We absolutely love social and cooperative gaming and felt there was a real lack of immersive adventure/escape room-like experiences to play with your best friends out there!

Ventrilokill24 karma

On what platforms are your games available on? Also, where are you guys based?

TotalMayhemGames38 karma

We're based in the Netherlands and currently have ALMOST all our games on PC-Steam and Xbox One

PodjeGamen13 karma

Hey there! Love the We Were Here games!

Are there any puzzles that were left on the cutting room floor that you would like to revisit in another installment? (if there's one coming :P )

TotalMayhemGames14 karma

Hi! There's plenty of ideas and puzzles that unfortunately didn't make it into the games - funnily enough one of the later puzzles in We Were Here Together (where you mix certain ingredients together) was originally intended to be in We Were Here Too!

JFKcaper9 karma

Hi! No question, but a little story instead.

I was in a call with a three friends and two of them had just tried this game called We Were Here and I noticed it had VR. Having a headset I also wanted to play it, so one of them joined me.

Long story short we played it through, we panicked, we had a good time.

So the thing is, the fucker I played with knew every single puzzle but was acting like he didn't the entire time. We were absolutely amazed by how well he kept the mask and the guy that did know had to keep himself from laughing the entire time!

Anyways, thanks for a good game and I will check out the sequel!

Actually, I do have a question, will the sequel be playable with one person on PC and one on VR unlike the original?

TotalMayhemGames5 karma

Hi! Thank you for sharing your story, we love reading experiences like this! Our designers would like to create a VR mode for our other titles, however currently we have no announcement to make on this!

raysoyama8 karma

Hello!~ I've been a huge fan of the series ever since the first game launched. Congrats on your 3rd title release. I am currently a student studying Game Programming, and I have always wanted to ask, "what did you think you did right that attributed to the success of your first game?".
"If you could've have changed something, or done something better when releasing your series titles, what would it be?"

TotalMayhemGames13 karma

Hey! We believe the success of the original We Were Here was because of the lack of (similar) dedicated coop-adventure titles, the vast popularity of social games like escape rooms/tabletop games and the (free) price tag! ;) As designers and artists we're never truly satisfied with the end product, but always incredibly proud of what we have achieved. That said we would have loved for We Were Here and We Were Here Too to have a more involved storyline and ofcourse more puzzles, two aspects we put more focus on in We Were Here Together!

obenj7 karma

Your games are incredible and I’m going to buy We Were Here Together the second I finish my day. My question is how do you write the puzzles? Also do you take existing puzzles and reformat them in your own way, make originals, or both?

TotalMayhemGames18 karma

Hi there! Thank you for your support! Our game designers take inspiration from lots of things to make a fun challenge out of; including existing/classic puzzles and real life encounters such as trying to explain to your parents how to open their e-mail in Firefox through a phonecall!

hardcoregandhi6 karma

We played through both games, but immediately used Teamspeak rather than endure the walkie talkie audio quality. I like the audio effect, but the actual audio quality left something to be desired, has this been improved at all with the latest game?

TotalMayhemGames7 karma

Hi there! This has been a big priority for us and We Were Here Together has vastly improved on the quality of our voice chat!

Meltius4 karma

Will you be releasing your newest game on Xbox soon?

TotalMayhemGames4 karma

Hey! The plan is 2020, stay tuned for more news!

LaKamikaze4 karma

Oh my god! I LOVE your games. They are so awesome. Thank you for making those :)

Why did big companies never published games like yours? I think that puzzle coop games have a lot of potential on the market.

Greetings from Germany

TotalMayhemGames7 karma

Hi there! Thank you very much your kind words! We believe dedicated cooperative games have a big future ahead of them and I hope in time big companies won't shy away from similar creative experiences!

HyroVitalyProtago3 karma

Hi ! That's really awesome ! What's your thoughts about couch-coop or buy only one copy to play on two computers ? Is this possible if I share my steam library and play in offline mode ? Did you use steam servers or another solution ?

TotalMayhemGames8 karma

Hey! We adore couch-coop, we have section of the office dedicated to consoles and love playing together! Our designers have been experimenting with couch-coop ideas for a while, maybe this will lead to something fun in the future! Currently the only way to play the We Were Here games is to play the game on two seperate devices via an online connection where they connect to a network that handles the voice chat between two players outside of Steam

pepino_leonardo2 karma

could you make your games available for Linux-based operating systems?

TotalMayhemGames1 karma

Hey! Unfortunately, currently our new voice system has severe compatibility issues with Linux-based operating systems - however the first two titles are fully compatible with Linux.

gniddup2 karma

Hi, me and my friends loved your first game in VR, are there any plans to bring that functionality to this version?

TotalMayhemGames2 karma

Hello! Thank you for your support! We had a ton of fun creating the VR mode to the original We Were Here. The designers are interested in adding this mode into the other two titles aswell, but currently we have no announcement to make on this yet!

Akiraktu-dot-png2 karma

Hey, I loved playing the first two games and I'm looking forward to playing the newest one soon(can't rn because of school 😔). The trailers have me really hyped, great job!

I have two questions:

How long is the new game? and If it's okay to ask, where did you study game dev?

TotalMayhemGames3 karma

Hello there! Thank you for your support! The newest title exceeds both the first two in game time, combined! We have seen single playthroughs taking over 8 hours to complete!

Almost all of us attended the University of Applied Sciences Rotterdam

zigzagscarab82 karma

What is your favourite puzzle out if all of the games? Also what is your process for coming up with new puzzles?

TotalMayhemGames8 karma

Benjamin from the design team here, my favourite puzzle is still the paintings puzzle in the original We Were Here. The way people describe the creatures and symbols never ceases to amuse me!

When designing a new puzzle we try to create a simple concept on paper first, then move this into a prototype that can be tested with the rest of the team without requiring any programming work (though this isn't always possible). If the concept creates fun and interactive play between the players we expand on it further!

MiloticMaster2 karma

Hi Total Mayhem Games, glad your game was able to grow from a student project to its 2nd sequel, with each one increasing in quality and polish!

My question is, with every co-op game usually having players in the same room coordinating, what made you decide to isolate each player with a walkie talkie? Also how much were you inspired by escape rooms?

TotalMayhemGames5 karma

Hi there! Thank you for your kind words. One of our biggest inspirations was Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes and social/tabletop games, we wanted players to describe their situation (like a dungeon master) to their partner as they solve the challenges laid before them using only their voice!

We have a couple of avid escape room enthusiasts in our team, but most of us have actually only ever visited one or two real ones!

anacolyte2 karma

My friend and I downloaded we were here too this past week and on her Mac there was extreme lag and freezing every thirty seconds.. even when lowering the graphics settings. Do you have any recommendations for this?

TotalMayhemGames2 karma

Our developers regularly browse the Steam community discussions board and the recently launched We Were Here Discord group for issues players might have, my advice would be to try to reach out to them there

mellowfellow222 karma

Local co op or online only?

TotalMayhemGames2 karma

The We Were Here series is online only

Chimuss1 karma

Hi guys ! Love the We Were Here series. Do you plan on adding additional content as dlc for your latest release ?

TotalMayhemGames3 karma

Hi there! Additional content for We Were Here Together has been a topic in our meetings, currently we have no announcement to make on this yet!

NostalgicBear1 karma

Hey guys, good effort with We we’re here together. Fun mechanic with the walkie talkies (when it works)

For me the fundamental problem with the game is that it just wasn’t polished enough. There is a real student vibe.

  • you can get through geometry into rooms you are not meant to be in.

  • you can get stuck in empty game objects that then block your raycast

  • The audio quality on the walkie talkies (photon voice?) has such an infrequent delay that you often miss part of what the other player says

My question is, what are you doing to try and improve the game, and what have been the more widely reported bugs?

TotalMayhemGames1 karma

Hi there! Thank you for your support! We're trying to improve on any issues players might have with our titles, one of the main focus points for We Were Here Together was improving our voice chat systems and we feel there is a clear improvement over our past titles!

Widely reported bugs are usually performance troubles from the many, varying devices our fans play our games on. For We Were Here Together we had a large-scale beta test to garner as much information about bugs and performance issues as possible before launch!

NitnoYT1 karma

Will you resist the big money when a Chinese company tries to buy you out?

TotalMayhemGames6 karma

Our titles were created with a budget of passion and love for our fans, we have no plans on changing how we work at Total Mayhem Games :)

kenneth81121 karma

Love your stuff guys! going to pick up my copy on steam after work today! Just wondering how much thought goes into each puzzle room and how you decide who needs to relay what details in their room? also i would love to know if you plan on expanding this series further? (maybe something like 4 person puzzles?)

TotalMayhemGames2 karma

Hello! Thank you for your support! Our design team starts off with a basic puzzle concept, they then decide how to fragment as much of the information as possible and balance this between the two players to keep both of them engaged. An important rule is to create a back-and-forth information chain where one player requires information from the other before being able to provide the next step!

A three and even four player mode has been discussed within the design team aswell as vastly different settings for our explorers to get trapped in!

Mushe1 karma

What other subtitles you considered? Too, Together... Tonight, A Ton?

TotalMayhemGames3 karma

Hmm. We Were Here Too Late? We haven't really thought of any other names ;)

Connorj1771 karma

What were your biggest hurdles when first making and later releasing your first game?

TotalMayhemGames7 karma

Hi! A major hurdle was play-testing. We were essentially creating two seperate experiences that rely on the players' ability to communicate the various clues and elements present in their challenges. It wasn't easy finding enough playtesters in the very short time-span we had as a student project, so for most of these concepts the design team locked people up in actual escape rooms with physical versions of the puzzles and a real walkie-talkie! A large hurdle I feel when building up to a release is getting- and staying in touch with the players!

Gregory-J-Smith1 karma

Busy day at work, so late to the party, but a silly question I've been thinking about too much. How often is you sales number even vs odd? Or is this something you never paid attention to?

TotalMayhemGames2 karma

Hi there! I've never actually paid attention to this.. Interesting question! We'll have to start a tally on the office whiteboard!

mengplex1 karma

How many of these are you planning to make? I presume you all enjoy your work - is the plan to just keep putting them out as long as people keep buying them?

I feel it was mentioned elsewhere, but if its possible to have a local game without 2 computers, for 2-4 to play (similar to ktane) that would be awesome. Perhaps a grimoire or similar would be a good fit for your world?

TotalMayhemGames1 karma

Hi there! Our designers are full of unique ideas to expand upon the world of We Were Here, including locations and settings outside of the frozen arctic wastes! We see alot of love and support for the series, but we are also very interested in creating other cooperative experiences outside of We Were Here.

One of the very, very first ideas we had was a little too close to our inspiration source (KTaNE and Myst) where one player would indeed be in a 3D escape room, and the other players using a physical, mystical grimoire to aid them!

abd-wqr1 karma

What would you suggest an aspiring student in 3rd world country with little to no resources to get started?

TotalMayhemGames2 karma

Hello! During our student project a lot of our creative concepting had to be done with paper prototypes since there was not enough time for our programmers to create working prototypes to test with. Once these 'real-life paper-prototype escape rooms' were fully tested they were implemented into the free student version of Unity we used at the time. Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions or seek advice we can hopefully answer :)

MazeMagic1 karma

Think me and my friend downloaded this. But in vr and it was really buggy. It was about a year ago and it was free to be fair but we didn't get to play it.

Would you say it is worth revisiting or is the vr still in a bit of a story state?

TotalMayhemGames1 karma

Hey! The original We Were Here was designed and developed as a student project in just 14 weeks. A handful of bugs and performance difficulties remain but I would definitely recommend playing through it with your best friends for a unique and hopefully unforgettable experience!

Spadie1 karma

Have you considered for 'We Were Also Here Together As Well', upping the number of players to 3-4? Maybe a spinoff title?

I love the 2 person stuff, and I think that's 100% the best way to do it.

I just have two friends, one who I played the first two games with a year or two ago, and the other who I played through them again with recently, who both want to play. All 3 of us love 'escape room' style games, but they're few and far between, moreso multiplayer ones, and moreso 3-4 player ones.

Here's a terrible idea, you can have this one for free; each person gets a ghost player who can see different details in the areas. So it's two teams of two. Ghost 1 relays to Player 1, who relays to Player 2, who relays to Ghost 2!

That wouldn't be a mess at all!

Also, absolutely love the games, the puzzles are fun, the atmosphere is fantastic. I'm picking WWHT up this weekend and I'm very excited.

TotalMayhemGames5 karma

Hi! Thank you for your support! The game designers had some crazy ideas themselves such as a dungeon master mode where one or two players could work against the two explorers and hinder their way! ;)

SawkCawk1 karma

Whats the most difficult of the business part of developing and launching games?

I don’t know what the team consists off, but usually with smaller (student) teams. The creativity and developing skills are high, but the business skills less high.

TotalMayhemGames1 karma

Hey there! You hit the nail on the head. As recently graduated students we're actively taking additional courses and seek out as much advice on running a business from friends and family! Marketing your game is another difficult but very important aspect to handle. Releasing a game and expecting it to get picked up by players is incredibly risky and could cost you everything.

bunnygum1 karma

Will the humble bundle keys ever be restocked? i bought mine yesterday and still have not been restocked ;(

TotalMayhemGames1 karma

Hi there! Thank you for your message, I will relay this to the correct people! Apologies for any inconvenience!

selvanvn1 karma

Will you support Stadia?

TotalMayhemGames1 karma

Hi there, currently we have no announcements regarding Stadia :)