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Gamedec Gameplay Footage at Shacknews

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Gamedec Gameplay Footage at Shacknews

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Sun 22 September 2019, 18:28:08

Tags: Anshar Studios; Gamedec

The cyberpunk virtual world detective RPG Gamedec is another one of the recently announced European RPGs that had a low profile presence at Gamescom last month. A number of previews of the game were published, but no gameplay footage surfaced. Gamedec was also at PAX West and it looked like that was going happen again, but now Shacknews have belatedly published some gameplay footage they captured there. The game is an isometric adventure RPG that feels a lot like Shadowrun Returns without the combat. In the demo, the player character is summoned to a bar where he quickly jacks into an F2P MMO virtual world called Harvest Time to meet a client who represents a guild of players who have been suffering from unusual persistent glitches. Skill and reputation checks are everywhere, and the game also prominently features a Sherlock Homes-style deduction board that must be used to solve cases.

You can find previews of Gamedec at RPGWatch, CramGaming, RPGamer and TechRaptor. Our friends at the Watch wrote the most detailed one, so I'll post an excerpt from it here:

As mentioned you need to find Stan who is in the virtual game named Harvest Time. As a Gamedec you need to login to the game by going to a location that has special couches for this. By putting up a helmet and wear a special suite that preserves your bodily functions, a connection with the virtual game can be made.

Harvest Time is a hardcore free-to-play grinding game, where people grind resources, similar to Farmville, to earn money and to compete against each other. The developers are at the moment working on three other virtual games; a world with dinosaurs, a Sin City type of gangster world and a dating sim world.

The intention is to have each virtual world feel like you are part of that game. It will also show UI elements that belong to the type of game you are logged in to. In this virtual game, people are harvesting goods, cows are making milk and the UI has elements like the amount of money that you have earned. The developers want to make each virtual game feel different and for that reason every virtual game will have different game mechanics.

However you as a Gamedec, are not here to play the game, but to find Stan. By talking to people you can find someone who knows where he is and who can mark him. In that case some small moving chevrons show that point you in the right direction towards Stan. Augmented artefacts, like this, are only possible inside virtual games.

Once you find Stan you will learn what the problem is and you will be asked to help him. You can do this by talking to the various people in the virtual game to gather information. Usually there is more than one way to find the information you need, so if an option to gather information is blocked, there most likely will be another option available to you. When you have gathered enough information a deduction can be made. This is supported in the game by means of a deduction window. It shows on the left hand side the information that has been gathered up to now. Depending on what information is gathered one or more deductions will show (or none if you have not gathered enough information yet). You can select the deduction you think fits best. This is not necessarily the right deduction, but by selecting the deduction you want to go with, you are choosing your truth, because it fits your agenda or because it matches your personal views. The game will adapt to your choice and will present new options in the deduction window, belonging to selected deduction, for which further information needs to be gathered in order to reach a conclusion of the case. This might not lead to the absolute truth, but it leads to an outcome, which is based on your choices and decisions. It is also possible to finish the case in an early stage, by selecting the solution you think is the right one. This might not be the right one, but the game will adapt to your choice and go with that. It also makes you 'solve' the case a lot faster.

Each case in Gamedec that you have to solve, has more than one possible ending. However, the game itself has a linear structure where you solve one case after the other. The choices you make in each of the cases will impact the characters that are involved in that case. In later cases you will meet some of these characters again and your previous choices will influence the attitude these characters will have towards you.

The developers aim for you to spend 45-60 minutes on a case when you play it normally. But when choosing the shorter path, as described before, this can be reduced to about 20 minutes.

Gamedec has no combat system. There is violence in the game, but it will play out through cut scenes or dialogs and not via interactive combat. An example was given where the Gamedec was meeting a gangster, supported by two bouncers and two turrets. My character could say "I'm going to kill you", but the turrets or the bouncers will likely kill the characters first. I could however, hack the turrets to kill the bouncers, or bribe the bouncers to hack the turrets. In that case my actions would not lead to my death, but to the death of the other. All this takes place without a combat system in placer, which is a deliberate choice as the developers wanted to make a narrative game where choices matter.
The game looks pretty good graphically, but I have to say the writing seems crude and amateurish, especially for a game that's going to live and die on the quality of its dialogue. I hope they plan to hire somebody.

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