In upcoming cybercrimes RPG Gamedec you're a video game detective. As in, a detective in the game but also a detective about games. As you'd expect from a sleuth 'em up, Gamedec's story can twist and change based on your detective's choices, background, and more. Or, as we say in this here world of video games, it has a branching narrative. How many branches? According to Gamedec's new trailer, it has all of the branches. You're bound to hit a few of them on the way down when it launches in September.
Down here in the new trailer, Anshar Studios list of several different things that can "branch the narrative" including your character's chosen background, professions you pick throughout the story ("like, a lot"), approahces you take to your investigation, deductions you make, and your interactions with characters and factions.
Varried outcomes based on your choices aren't, like, groundbreaking stuff in RPGs, but given that Gamedec is a non-combat RPG about a detective, it is encouraging that Anshar are focused on the investigate-y bits. In particular, allowing you to come to the wrong conclusions during an investigation, and seeing where that leads, seems swell.
I took a quick crack at Gamedec's demo back in March, a different chunk of investigation than what Alice Bee played through last September. Throughout my short investigation I had dialogue and action choices that were available or greyed out based on all sorts of character factors. As Anshar say, this is anything from clues you've already found, to your job, to your character's background. Alice explained it after she played a demo last year:
"You can choose from several builds that affect what clues you're able to pick up, and how. I played through a couple of times to test this and it really did make a difference. The Infotainer, for example, is basically an influencer. You know loads about brands and are more charming. But you could also be a Scalpel, who's got more medical knowledge. My favourite was as a Glazier, a cool hacker type who was better at working with machines and computers."
As it's getting close to launch in September, Anshar have been posting updates on development. Their most recent post this week details various improvements to character creation, interfaces, and accessibility features they've added.
Gamedec happens to rate on RPS's list of most anticipated RPGs this year and probably mine as well. I've perhaps saddled it with some high expectations in my own mind that come with its inevitable comparison to other non-combat detective romp Disco Elysium. I can't quite predict how it'll stack up against ZAUM's joint but hey, it certainly has a branching narrative.
If you want to try that demo yourself, Anshar said it should be available again as of yesterday. I'm not seeing the magic button on Steam or GOG at the moment, but keep an eye out for that if you're keen.