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  • Writer's pictureGriffin Carlson

Through Rust we are Returned: What Makes it Unique?

This week, our team has moved full steam ahead into prototyping our Victiorian-Cyberpunk RPG now titled "Through Rust we are Returned". This first week has been a lot but also really allowed us to start defining what will set our game apart in the market if we get the opportunity to actually release it.

Character art by out artist Lee!

I believe that for starters, our game is worth pursuing because of the unique theme of Victiorian-Cyberpunk. It is a strong aesthetic choice that I personally have never seen in any other game. Our artist has already found some amazing ways of combining these themes through the character and environment concepts for the game.

Another key aspect of our game that will set it apart from competitors is the memory system I have been developing. I'm really excited about this because developing narrative systems in one of the aspects of game design I am most passionate about. The basic idea of it is that every character you can get to join your party in the game has a number of "memories" that reveal some sort of character arc. All the characters in the game are robots patterned off the brains of humans, so remembering who they were as people is key to the gameplay. What is cool is that as you unlock the memories, you not only learn more about the characters in your party but also get power them up. This is because each memory comes with certain bonuses that effect a robot's stats or give them cool powers. In addition, all memories increase the "Aura" of a robot: the spirit-power used to trigger their powerful abilities. Because of this, we are able to encode narrative progression into the same system as gameplay progression.

With all of this said, I really think we are developing this game for people excited about interesting new narrative experiences in gaming. Our ideal user would be someone who enjoys both the gameplay and story of our game and wants a game where the two work hand in hand.

One of my favorite ways to think about the kind of game I am designing is a schema called the Four Keys to Fun (created by Nicole Lazzaro). In it, games are categorized into four different groups: Easy Fun, Hard Fun, People Fun, and Serious Fun. I believe Through Rust we are Returned is defiantly targeting players who enjoy Easy Fun. Easy Fun games are those built around curiosity, exploration, and role-play. At least from the narrative side of the game, these are the experiences I want my player to be immersed in.

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