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StarCrawlers Kickstarter Funded, Interview at RPGWatch

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StarCrawlers Kickstarter Funded, Interview at RPGWatch

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Fri 28 February 2014, 23:52:43

Tags: Juggernaut Games; StarCrawlers

StarCrawlers is a sci-fi randomly generated dungeon crawler, and it is now 100% funded on Kickstarter, and RPGWatch has done an interview about it. Have a snippet:

RPGWatch: I noticed that dungeon crawl games seem to be on the rise with indie developers. Was there a reason on why you guys choose to make one?

Juggernaut: We grew up playing games like Dungeon Master, Ultima Underworld, Unlimited Adventures, and more recently Etrian Odyssey and Legend of Grimrock, so those are obvious influences for us creating a dungeon crawler. We knew from the beginning we wanted to do a party-based RPG with a Diablo 2 style emphasis on character specs and loot, giving you virtually endless potential for developing and improving your crew. Plus we just really like dungeon crawling.

RPGWatch: In your game description you mention mention the game will be randomly generated. Can you go into more details on how it will work, and how the story will tie into it?

Juggernaut: Our procedural content generation is something we’ve gotten a lot of questions about, and more than a few raised eyebrows, which we welcome. The obvious question is “how can you tell a compelling story if your content is completely randomly generated?”. Well, you can’t - if we’re just slapping rooms together and sprinkling in random mobs and items, then the player is telling the story with their actions and we’ve got something more roguelike. While that’s awesome and can be fun to play, that’s not what we’re trying with StarCrawlers.

On the mission level, we’re focusing on content generation that is based off a specific story. The Narrative AI system looks at the scenario of the mission you’re on and creates appropriate content, with randomized elements, that match the story. For example: you accept a job to infiltrate Titan Metallurgy and extract one of their employees for another corporation to interrogate. The employee in question is being transported in cryo to one of Titan’s remote facilities, so you’re going to sneak aboard the transport ship and extract them before arrival. Given that scenario, the Narrative AI has a lot of factors to work with when building out the mission level: your reputation with Titan, the corp offering the job, your difficulty settings, your reputation for being bloodthirsty or professional, and so on. This all can be factored into random variables in the level: where the employee is and how much info you have going in, how they’ll react if you accidently wake them, how long until the ship reaches it’s destination, the security detail of the ship, etc.

The goal with our procedural content is to tell a fresh take on the story with successive playthroughs, and we’re excited by the possibilities!

RPGWatch: Looking at the project you decided to ask for $65,000. Is it enough to fund the game, and how did you decide the final amount?

Juggernaut: We’ve already invested about twice that much in the development of StarCrawlers, and what we asked for is enough to take the game to the finish line, at least the base version. We’d love to get into some of the stretch goals as well so we can expand our selection of character classes, add hero class enemies and elite mini-bosses as well.​

The Kickstarter campaign has 13 days left to go, so you can still jump in if you want.

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