Anshar Studios unveiled Gamedec just before Gamescom, which led us to quickly book a meeting to see the game during the convention.
Gamedec calls itself an “Adaptive Cyberpunk Isometric RPG.” It sounds like a big deal, and it is, especially when it comes to player choice and how it affects the gameplay, story, and character development.
Gamedec is an adventure RPG set in a rich cyberpunk world, where people prefer to live in alternate virtual realities. You are a Gamedec or a “game detective.” They are the people you call when your husband has been playing a game for a full week straight, or you think someone trapped your wife’s consciousness in a virtual game and is has hijacked her body.
They are detectives that solve mysteries inside and outside of virtual reality video games. You do so by exploring, talking with NPCs, collecting and connecting clues, and making a lot of decisions.
We sat down with the team behind Gamedec, who took us through one such investigation. As we started exploring a free-to-play farming game, the developers at Anshar Studios explained how they prototyped the different cases as pen-and-paper scenarios.
By playing the scenarios as a table-top adventure before making them into in-game cases, the team was able to come up with many different approaches and things to do in each. For example, you start the investigation by entering a bar where you can choose to investigate the bartender, the strippers, or even the waiter bot.
The choices you make during your initial character creation also come into play when investigating, in the form of “aspects”. Aspects are traits that define your character. Some are only good for one-time use, such as gaining wealth, but others can be used many times, like your character’s origin. In our case, our Gamedec is a legendary eSports player, and his renown helped us continue to the next stage of our investigation.
The investigations in Gamedec can’t be solved just by talking to people in the real world, so eventually, you’ll go inside the game. When you enter a game, your entire UI changes to fit that of the virtual world you inhabit. When investigating the Farmville-clone free-to-play title, we could see a coin counter at the corner of the screen.
Another interesting feature in Gamedec’s gameplay is a chart depicting the state of your investigation. As you collect new clues and pieces of information, you add more and more branches to your case map, until you can make your final deduction. The conclusion of each case will determine how your story will progress.
Your final deduction doesn’t have to be right, though. In fact, the story doesn’t penalize you for making the “wrong” decisions in an investigation. The developers explain that instead, the game “adapts” and takes you through different routes, all of which are still interesting, so even if you “mess up” you can still enjoy an exciting playthrough.
You can also gain certain aspects by failing skill checks, which could serve as trump cards later on in the game. That way, even if you have bad luck and keep failing skill checks, you still gain something, and your story remains entertaining.
Gamedec is set to release next year on PC, and we can’t wait to solve its virtual crimes and mysteries.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.