Feral Blue — Devblog #5 — Decisions

June 7, 2018  |  Feral Blue

Hi everyone,

At the moment there are really no ‘pure’ genres of videogames, each game combines a number of them — platformer with management elements, shooter with RTS elements, visual novellas with skill trees. However, as a rule, there is always one genre that acts as a foundation for other additions. In our case, that foundation is roleplaying.

In the name of the genre itself, it seems, is missing the term ‘leveling up’, though it’s always expected. In Feral Blue you can level up all kinds of things, but the focus here is to decision making and playing your role.

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We won’t be giving your character a lot of rich background, like Geralt of Rivia has, for example. You’re just a Captain, the character is yourself, so the story is entirely up to you as well. And when your character dies — you’ll be writing the story of his successor (which can be assigned beforehand, if your deceased character was prudent).

What kind of decisions does a captain make? Well, the usual: let’s say you’ve captured a ship, and in its cargo hold there’s wood and slaves. The ship is overloaded, but you can place the prisoners on the deck and into the service cabins. Then, of course, there is a risk of getting epidemic on board — but you can always sail to the nearest port and sell those slaves profitably. Or you can take aboard only a part of prisoners, sink the rest with the enemy ship, and the rescued slaves can then be handed over to the cannibals. Or you can use them as food for yourself, if you expect a long voyage ahead with little supply. If it turns out there are more qualified specialists among those slaves than ones from your own crew — you can invite your soon to be former mates to the captured ship, sink it, and welcome your newer crew. If you want to play it kinda boring — you can save all the slaves, let them join your crew and die of cholera later.

We want to get away from too refined, too literary ‘moral dilemmas’, when players are forced to choose between two characters to kill (and what Clementine will remember). Such things are not really fair to the player, and often look silly. If players are presented with an unpleasant choice, we need to give the opportunity to avoid that unpleasant choice. If players do everything right, they should be able to free the slaves, improve their reputation and avoid the epidemic — only if their ship is ready for a situation like this. Or if they are lucky. If not — they can always try their best and die of cholera.

So this is what we wanted to say about the nature of the captain’s decisions. The missed ‘leveling up’ aspect in the post is present in Feral Blue, and we’ll talk about it soon!