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  • Griffin Carlson

Making Memories Real

As me and my team have been moving forward with development on our new Tactical RPG titled "Through Rust we Are Returned", we have finally found ourselves nailing do

Concept art by the team's artist Lee!

Ultimately, Through Rust we Are Returned is a game about memory and identity. This game will ask players the question of if you made a copy of a person's mind and put it in a new body, would that be the same person? The game reinforces this core theme though what were are calling the "Memory System" (although this is in reality two different connected systems). Instead of the traditional leveling system found in most RPGs, Through Rust we Are Returned uses a dynamic progression system that ties both story and gameplay together.


The first part of the Memory System is called the "Memory Map" and is what I will be focusing on working on this semester. This system is basically is a series of interconnected "nodes" and "links" that create a network of a character's memory. The nodes are memories and the links are how that character associates the memories in their mind. The exciting thing here is how many things one of these memories is going to be able to do in the context of the game:

  1. It will contain lore explaining the memory and what or who it is of (giving the player more insight into that character).

  2. It will give that character a permanent, passive-boost when the memory is acquired (which will allow characters to become more powerful over time like a leveling system).

  3. Finally, it will have an active ability that players can slot into their "Thought Process" and use much like a skill in other RPGs.

What excites me as this game's narrative designer is that this centrality around memory mechanics in the game is going to constantly be reinforcing the themes I am expressing in the story. Players will (hopefully) resonate with the idea of memories making up who we are because their character was literally made through memories!


This project still has a lot of challenges but everyone on our team feels like we have a really strong concept: it is only the implementation that remains.

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