Fall of Porcupine: How We Deal with and Present Serious Issues

In Fall of Porcupine, out today on Xbox, we tell a very personal story centered on a young medical resident who, among other things, deals with a very important and serious issue. After all, the health system is sustained by the employees, but their work environment is anything but pleasant. In addition, they have to deal with serious issues, such as death or illness, on a daily basis. To ensure that we could portray this area in the game with the necessary sensitivity, we conducted dozens of interviews in advance. The people we spoke to all come from the medical profession and were made up of doctors, nurses and other staff. The answers gave us a subjective impression that is congruent with our own impressions, which we in turn used to write the emotional and believable story of Fall of Porcupine.

Finley in front of his workplace, the St. Ursula Hospital

Unique Protagonist

The story of Fall of Porcupine focuses on Finley, a young intern who has started his first job at St. Ursula Hospital in the eponymous city of Porcupine. The developers have come up with something special when it comes to character design: All characters are represented as animals. For example, Finley is a pigeon, and the other characters he meets and who accompany him throughout the game are also depicted as animals. “We decided to use animals to make the very serious topic of the healthcare system more pleasant for the players,“ says Sebastian, game designer of Fall of Porcupine.

Working in the hospital can be rough and tough

Dealing with Serious Topics

But despite the cuteness of some animals, it also deals with very serious issues that affect us all. Topics such as (serious) illnesses, in particular, can always make for less than pleasant memories for those affected. After all, as a resident, Finley’s job includes making diagnoses and caring for his patients. He also participates emotionally in the fates of his patients.

Checking on your patients is essential

Variety in the Game

Since Fall of Porcupine is very focused on the narrative and the story is very, very important to us, the characters’ relationships are the focus. By making decisions, these can also be influenced. We’re also breaking up the narrative focus on serious topics a little with various mini-games and platforming elements, along with humor. We think we’re doing a good job of that balancing act. “So far, we’re doing what we think is right, and the feedback in that regard has been positive. What we write comes from the heart and is how we feel about it,” adds Sebastian. Fall of Porcupine is out now on Xbox.

Fall of Porcupine

ASSEMBLE ENTERTAINMENT GmbH


1

$19.99

Step into the town of Porcupine and take to the well-loved scrubs of Finley, the newest fledgling doctor to join the ranks of St. Ursula’s hospital. As the seasons in the small-town change and life starts to stir, you’ll soon realize that things aren’t always what they seem: Not everyone is honest with themselves and others, the healthcare industry is not as illustrious as it seemed in medical school, and the work/life balance Finley strives toward might be impossible to achieve.

Fall of Porcupine is an original narrative adventure and a love letter to those who are there for us whenever we don’t feel like ourselves. The game tackles sensitive topics with an approachable narrative, relatable characters, and resonating dialogue featuring tons of exploration, fun mini-games, and casual platforming.

Explore A Beautiful, Diverse World
Not only is there a lot to discover in the old hospital, but also in the small town of Porcupine itself. Take the time to meet the villagers and have a beer with them in the local pub, take a trip to the nearby forest, or spend quality time with your friends.

Hardened Professionals, Sweet Friends
The blunt head doctor, the selfless nurse, Finley’s smart friends, and many other residents populate the small town of Porcupine. Engage in funny, profound, and sometimes serious dialogues, in which you’ll be able to choose your answers and influence your relationships.

Demonstrate Your Skills and Empathy
You don’t even have time to look at the clock because your patients are waiting! Investigate what’s wrong with them through your conversations and treat them in different minigames that challenge you in logic, speed, and skill.

Expose Social Injustice And Structural Problems
At first glance, the small town is a warm, friendly place where everyone knows and greets each other. But if you live there for any length of time, you’ll suspect that not everyone is as honest as they pretend to be – especially in an unhealthy healthcare-system.

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