Voyageur » Devlogs » 4. Storytelling

2016.6.24

4. Storytelling

Welcome again to Voyageur’s development log! Last week, after an extra-long diary about the game’s alignments, I asked Voyageur’s Twitter followers what they wanted to see next.

So this week, as promised, I’ll be going over how story works in Voyageur. I’ll also be sharing the first pre-alpha screenshot of the game running.

The main location view in Voyageur

As you hop from planet to planet, you will encounter different things to do on each world. Those potential story branches (or “storylets”) are available based on the features of the planet. Story branches lead into choices, each one with different potential costs, risks, and rewards.

You will encounter the same storylet on different planets, but it won’t always be the same. What you find when you explore a branch can vary depending on the planet you encounter it in, and sometimes at random. The same starting point can lead to different outcomes.

What makes Voyageur a role-playing game is that as you play, you will gain traits as a result of your story choices. Those traits, in turn, open up more choices. Because the worlds you visit are procedurally generated, Voyageur features nomadic storylines with chapters that will settle wherever they find appropriate ground. You might find an abandoned robot on one planet, and the technology to fix it on another planet; traits provide that continuity.

Traits are similar to the qualities you find in Fallen London and Sunless Sea; they’re resources, abilities, and sometimes ways of tracking progress in specific stories. They’re a really transparent and simple way of making the mechanical consequences of story choices very clear to the player, and I knew from the start I would be using this model to make storytelling work in Voyageur.

And as you play the game, you will encounter longer storylines that will be resolved by visiting several worlds, spending different resources, and making choices. Those stories will delve deeper into the backstory of the Voyageur universe…

Next week, I’ll talk about the planets themselves, how they’re generated and the different types you can expect to encounter.