Designing Story For A Non-Linear World in Youngsters of Morta, Out Tomorrow

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Hello, my title is Amir, and I’m a staff chief at Useless Mage Studios. Our upcoming sport, Youngsters of Morta, is a rogue-lite motion RPG launching tomorrow on PS4. In our sport, gamers lead a rare household of guardians of their struggling battle in opposition to Corruption that’s spreading throughout their homeland.

The household’s title is Bergsons and gamers will hack ’n’ slash with them by way of procedurally generated dungeons, caves and lands as they’re presupposed to in that sort of a sport. However regardless of the style being extra targeted on gameplay mechanics, replayability and randomness, we determined that between chopping their method by way of monster-packed procedurally generated biomes, gamers will expertise an interesting story. This proved to be a problem as a result of we wanted to put in writing linear, overarching narrative and mix it right into a sport that options plenty of random parts.

At first, we wanted to choose up the primary story occasions that can form a significant narrative. The design of the household home, the place you come each time after being defeated within the dungeons, helped us rather a lot. We didn’t use normal cutscenes. As an alternative of that, we’ve got dynamic narration and important story occasions are solely potential when gamers meet sure targets.

So you could possibly do two or three dungeons runs and there will probably be no scenes between them after which, after the subsequent one, you’ll witness one other a part of the narrative. We additionally use environmental story-telling, supporting texts within the in-game encyclopedia, the place gamers can sink additional into the sport lore, and randomized narrative occasions to enhance the primary narrative and remind the gamer about its present state.

An instance of the randomized narrative occasions is a wolf cub scene that gamers can encounter in one of many dungeons. The animal is surrounded by monsters, and if we handle to avoid wasting the cub it should result in an elective crumb of story and elective side-quest the place you need to seek for substances to make medication for the animal to be totally healed. Solely then the youngsters at house will probably be taking part in with the cub and that a part of the plot will probably be completed. These sorts of aspect occasions are all the time tied to the primary story. Whereas their look is randomly generated, they by no means really feel out of context.

We hope we efficiently overcame all of the challenges and managed to do one thing that isn’t widespread within the style — inform a compelling, constant story in a sport that’s closely relying on randomness. Attempt it out tomorrow on PS4!

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