Reflection on the narrative elements of Deadwind, post-demo
Before anything else, I would like to thank all the play testers, being a small team, it can be hard to gauge what works and what doesn’t during development, you have all been a significant help.
As this demo was mainly centered around testing various game play elements, this will probably be a brief post. If you are looking for a more in-depth response to things like combat, or leveling, I suggest reading Jason's post, as it will surely be more detailed on that end. I will be speaking on quest structure, and the general response to the narrative.
Regarding quest structure, we have used a design philosophy closer to a traditional RPG than a roguelike, this means a more character driven experience, with quests taking the players approach and choice into account. It seems this system has been received well, particularly the idea of being able to resolve quests peacefully through dialogue. We will work to continue designing quests in this manner and are striving to have a large amount of hand-designed, branching quests in the game. I personally believe that through a more character driven experience, we could improve the immersion well beyond the limitations of roguelike systems.
As for dialogue, there will be some stark differences compared to what was seen in the demo. While my main concern is making the world feel believable and realistic, I understand the need for humor and comedic relief in video games like these. You can expect humorous dialogue when it makes sense to the narrative, but in places such as mines, prisons, and labor camps, the dialogue will mostly reflect their unfortunate circumstances, save some dark humor here and there. We did however receive a wonderful suggestion on dialects for different races and groups, examples being that creatures such as Grebbolds will speak in a more primitive way, and laborers out in the frontier will reflect a more simple and earnest lifestyle through their dialogue. Nothing extreme such as new languages, but enough of a difference to make finding and speaking to a new group immersive and interesting.
In closing, my hope is to create a believable world through the narrative and dialogue. Being a game with simpler graphics and sound design, the writing will be my primary tool to achieve this. The suggestions presented through the questionnaire have been a very helpful tool in refining the narrative elements of the game, and I once again thank those that contributed.
Look forward to some more soon,
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