Oxenfree Creator Explains Endings, Teases Sequel & Next Game

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Oxenfree is a game with toy-like communication mechanics, beautiful art and, most importantly, an engaging narrative. Like most titles created in this mold, there are many possible endings players can unlock. We spoke to Night School Studios Co-Founder Sean Krankel about what it all means. He also teased a bit about the next games in the company’s pipeline.

SPOILERS are ahead for those who have not finished Oxenfree.

While Oxenfree offers quite a few permutations of Alex’s relationship to the spirits of Edwards Island at the end of the story, its basic concept is almost always the same. Our protagonist and her friends are stuck in a time loop and it’s up to alternate versions of Alex or other travelers to get them out.

Even though that concept is standard across play sessions, Krankel was clear that he and his team did not intend to invalidate the choices of the player by making things that way.

“The feeling that we hope people get is that they did inherently change that version of Alex's life and all of her friends,” he affirmed. “It is not the Inception top-spinning thing where you're like, 'is it, is it not, I have no idea.' We think there's a pretty definitive version of that Alex that they played and all of her friends...

“The goal is not to be open-ended and have it feel like your choices not feel like they matter. The goal was to feel like you have forever permanently changed Alex and her friends' lives for better or worse.”

In that sense, Krankel still sees the choices of Oxenfree as something that will hopefully make the player reflect on their decisions, whether right or wrong decisions. “Not right in terms of [traditional] right or wrong,” Krankel qualified, “but what’s right for me as a person.” In other words, did I strike relationships with people that have my best interests in mind? Was it right for me to repair or disregard my fractured relationship with Clarissa? Each one of those pivotal moments creates your Alex and makes your version of Alex real. She just so happens to hang out on an island with paranormal, interdimensional activity.

For fans that want a more complete answer to Alex’s problems, Krankel recommends the new game+ mode that kicks off right after the first playthrough. In what he calls the “definitive version” of the narrative, the player is able to dive deeper into the island’s secrets to truly understand what’s going on.

If that’s not quite enough, Krankel also offered us a hint regarding Night School’s still-developing work on an Oxenfree sequel. “We have a pretty solid idea for what that is and what the situation is for both the island and for the characters,” he teased.

Before that game gets here, Night School is also getting ready to announce its next project that’s “early on in the discovery phase.” The Co-Founder admitted that people will see similarities between it and Oxenfree, but it’s got “a brand new story, lots of new mechanics and a very different look and feel.” It won’t be too much longer before we get an official update either. “We’ll probably be announcing it in the next two or three months,” he said.

Oxenfree is available now on Xbox One, PC, PS4, Switch and mobile devices. For more from this interview, read Krankel thoughts on Oxenfree ’s creative process and Nintendo Switch development.  

How do you feel about the ending of Oxenfree? What would you like to see from the sequel or Night School’s next game? Tell us in the comments section.

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