Hi, Adaptory fans! Story Director Cass chiming in here with a little bit of background on how the story elements of the game are progressing. Hopefully I’ll be able to provide a little insight into what we hope to achieve with the narrative elements of this game, along with some updates on what we’ve done so far.
When Jevon first contacted me about coming on board to help with the story elements of this game, I was excited but a little intimidated. I’ve made a few text games in the past, and mostly work in the theatre world, so I’m much more familiar with carefully shaped, mostly linear narrative. Jevon wanted something quite different for Adaptory in which the characters would be randomly generated each game, gameplay would not follow a linear path, and additional events would be randomized. I also don’t have a huge history playing base building games, so probably irritated poor Jevon by constantly comparing everything to The Sims…
We started off by deciding what the tone of the game would be, and talking about the overall arc of the player’s experience as they went through it. Both of us are interested in how we can make character a real focus of this game; since Adaptory is all about keeping your team alive and thriving, we want to try to forge a connection between the player and their team, so they’ll have a vested interest in looking out for their little crew. Having only four crew members (at least for now) means that each one can be quite distinct from one another.
To make these distinct characters, I created nine distinct personality types (modelled very loosely off Enneagrams), which are mixed and matched with different national backgrounds (characters can currently hail from four countries: Southrun, Kyhun, Uvia and Jionstan, though I’m planning to add more), different previous jobs before they came on the mission, and different likes and dislikes – we’re planning on adding a lot more likes and dislikes as we go.
One aspect of the game that emerged early in our discussions was the idea of each character having a personal diary, which the player can peek into. These diaries are getting more and more complex with each release, and we’ve got a revamped version of the diaries that are responsive to recent events in the upcoming release of the game. We’re also interested in finding more ways to communicate the characters’ personalities to the player, perhaps through speech bubble type pop-ups triggered in different situations.
There is still a lot more story to go! Currently, crew members’ likes and dislikes can affect their mood, but later down the line their likes, dislikes, personality traits and even personal histories will affect their mood and their actions. A chipper Enthusiast character might have a more permanently upbeat mood, for example, but they might get on the nerves of a more serious Challenger or Achiever character if they have to work together in close quarters… As the game develops, we’ll be making the characters’ relationships to each other more complex; right now, everyone starts the game with a best friend and a ‘worst friend’ from within the crew, but later on, relationships will shift over time.
If you haven’t already checked out the diary function, have a look next time you play the current release, and play around with the revamped version on the next release. You can also jump onto our Discord and let us know if you have any further suggestions for developing the story and the characters further!