‘Back Then’ is a short atmospheric first-person adventure game, with elements of detective exploration, mystery, and themes of self-discovery.

Back Then takes place in a retirement home, where the players control Thomas, an aged man in his 80’s suffering from Alzheimer’s.
He moves around in his wheelchair, and rarely receives visits from his family. Seeing himself alone and with no one to talk to, he starts to try remembering his past through the various important objects in his life - such as a wedding photo, his father’s dog tag from WWII, his guitar, his wedding ring, among various others.

Back Then is currently in development by Outriders and RP Studios in a joint effort to create a truly memorable experience.

Key Features:
- In-depth narrative and storytelling experience;

- Innovative mechanics of movement, where the players control an elderly man in a wheelchair;

- Creative gameplay mechanics related to Alzheimer’s and forgetfulness, where the character starts to remember (and forget) his past and present;

- Inspired by real events and stories of people with Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative diseases, told by family members, loved ones, and by the victims of the diseases;

- A well-blended mixture of mystery and detective exploration;

  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
Post article RSS Articles

The month of November brings a lot of good news and great strides by the team.
From conventions to national coverage, Back Then is finally beginning to take shape into something memorable.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?


We've finally introduced the first flashback scene in the game, which is placed at the very beginning.

The player crosses through a dense forest, near the coast. With the sole objective of serving as a pseudo-tutorial and to give a bit more context to the narrative, this scene will show you important narrative pieces, but you won't really know their importance or why they're important in the first place, yet.


We had not one but two conventions back to back, so obviously we had to prepare something, our idea was simple. A short 10-15 minute demo, where it's just the start of the game, there's no end, but you have a timer.

Our goal was to get the most amount of feedback on everything we had to show, menus, both levels, everything.

So we found a way to make all the scenes interchangeable in Unity and made it easier to switch levels in the middle of the convention, this prooved useful since some players wanted to replay certain sections to comment on them and give criticism, which we facilitated, since, we were prepared :)

The build for the convention had quirks, like the exit button doesn't work (because some kids don't have respect and just want to play Fortnite whenever they can), so when people try to leave the game to play something else, they can't. The alt+f4 function was disabled, so they couldn't force their way out, and the explorer.exe for windows was deleted, not giving the player any freedom apart from the actual game.

These small touches were adamant in us keeping our sanity, conventions bring all sorts of people to your project, some have no clue what they're saying, but some have valuable feedback. You have to learn how to filter what people say since most people have no clue how videogames work.

We also made business cards and fliers (we still got some left for the next event too!).


A lot happened in this particular convention, not only was it super productive from our part, we basically had a daily win for each of the 4 days of the convention.

Firstly, we had the opportunity to speak with "Público" which is one of the biggest news outlets in Portugal, and they gave us a brief interview. Us being confirmed at both conventions and Playstation Talents helped solidify our background, they saw we aren't playing around with the subject matter, and have deep connections to it.

The title says "How videogames can help us understand those who live with dementia".

Then, on the second day, Calebe, our sound designer, went to participate in a contest organized by Playstation, and literally killed it. The challenge was simple, sing and play "Through the valley", a song that's synonymous with The Last Of Us 1 and 2.

Do click the gif above if you'd like to see him do his thing! :D

On the third day of the event, we had the good renown Rami Ismail play our project. More about that on the feedback section :)

It all culminated on the last day, where Back Then was awarded the "People's Choice" award at IndieX2019. The team is very humbled for this award, as it serves as proof that our project has a long way to go, but we're not giving up that easily.

We, of course, weren't expecting an award of any sort, in fact, there were so many incredible games on display there, we kind of just did our thing and hoped for the best. No matter who wins though, everyone present should be proud because there wasn't a single bad idea on display there.

Congrats to everyone :)


Unlike the previous convention we wrote about above, Lisbon Games Week was a lot more simple, Back Then wasn't enlisted to win any awards there, as our presence was through the Playstation Talents contest and not the actual entity that organized the indie games space.

While we weren't striving for any awards, we took the opportunity to network as much as possible, going to dev dinners, gatherings and obviously, we annoyed all the press there :)


We had so many people come by our booth and we're truly thankful for everyone that stopped by. Lots of good ideas, observations and critics were said in both events. We hear you, and we're going to be making some changes that are adequate to smooth out your experience.


Here's a list of things we're changing/adding based on your feedback:

  • ->New movement system
  • ->New dandelion mechanic
  • ->New shaders
  • ->More interactivity
  • ->Bug squishing galore

And with that, we're going back to basics and truly analyze how we can make the project truly shine.

Will keep you posted :)

Follow our social media!

Discord: Discord.gg
Facebook: Facebook.com
Twitter: Twitter.com

Cya folks,


Back Then - Teaser Trailer

Back Then - Teaser Trailer


‘Back Then’ is a short atmospheric first-person adventure game, with elements of detective exploration, mystery, and themes of self-discovery.

Back Then - Devblog #6 | Renewal

Back Then - Devblog #6 | Renewal

News 2 comments

It's been quite a while since we showed you what we've been working on, with good reason. This past month of October was spent in full production mode...

Back Then - Devblog #5 | Candescent

Back Then - Devblog #5 | Candescent


The past few weeks have been hectic, but with great reason, so much has happened the past 2 weeks so let's break it all down.

Back Then - Devblog #4 | Exposure

Back Then - Devblog #4 | Exposure


Some strategies work, and others don't, we're taking a look at how we're preparing for "convention season".


Portugal newspapper right there. Im proud

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Firebal69 Creator

We were very honored to have such a huge opportunity in showing people that not all videogames are about violence, some of them, have a message :)

Reply Good karma+2 votes

indeed. But even the ones with a lot of senseless violence have an intention behind it. It's how a lot of people relief their stress. You could have a sandbag to punch but not everyone has it, so games are really good for that.
And many games now have a beautiful message and important one as the base of the game. Like this game for e.g :) I congratulate the whole team for their work

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Firebal69 Creator

Of course, violent games have a spot in the market, like every other game/movie or book. It's entertainment at it's purest, and people have different tastes :)
Doom 2016 was my GOTY that year, because of what you just said, it's stress relief!
Appreciate the comments!

Reply Good karma+2 votes

e só agora me apercebi que és português também xD desculpa

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes

Uuuuh i really want to play Doom 2016 xD saw so many good memes about it.
Always here to support great projects and the good people working on it

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.

Follow Report Profile
Back Then
Windows, Mac, Linux, VR
Send Message
Release date
Game watch
Single Player
Play With
HTC Vive
HTC Vive HTC Headset

Latest tweets from @backthengame

Memories start to appear around you. #madewithunity #screenshotsaturday #indiegame #indiedev #gamedevT.co

Dec 7 2019

From conventions to us winning an award to country-wide national coverage, Back Then is finally beginning to take s… T.co

Dec 4 2019

RT @IndieXPT: Remembering the winners for the different categories at this year's Indie X. Did you play all of them?… T.co

Nov 27 2019

The team is done with convention season, now's time for a well deserved rest. There's lots to be done. Thank you f… T.co

Nov 24 2019

We're live at #lisboagamesweek! Come by and try out our newest build! #indiedev #games #indiegame #indiedevhourT.co

Nov 21 2019

RT @tha_rami: I am so impressed by the incredible level of talent in Portugal at @IndieXPT. Played fifty games to judge the award… T.co

Nov 17 2019

It is with great pride that we received the "People's Choice" award at @IndieXPT. We'd like to thank not only ever… T.co

Nov 17 2019

#Day3 of #indiex at @XLGamesWorld is over, so many people, so many ideias and such a lovely community. We'd also l… T.co

Nov 16 2019

#Day2 of #indiex went even better, the highlight was Calebe, our sound designer, singing "Through the valley" on th… T.co

Nov 16 2019

RT @IndieXPT: Come and try our selection of the best #indiegames recently released or under development. #IndieGameDevT.co

Nov 16 2019

Embed Buttons
Link to Back Then by selecting a button and using the embed code provided more...
Back Then
Last Update
9 members