Especially after writing about Andromeda, I feel that I should remind everyone that anything a developer says before the game is out should be taken with a grain of salt. We don’t even know the title of Ghost Story’s game yet, and I don’t think they do either.
Nonetheless, we can at least get an idea of what Ghost Story has in mind during the development of the as yet untitled game. Ken Levine, creative director and co-founder of Ghost Story Games, spoke to Eurogamer’s Oli Welsh at EGX Rezzed in London and shared some of the influences on the new game.
One such influence, was apparently Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor‘s Nemesis System, something that was recently revamped and revitalized in the upcoming sequel Shadow of War.
More specifically, how NPCs remembered and reacted to your actions in addition to guiding how the player will experience the game. Levine states that this is the direction the new project is going to take:
“The game that inspired me most – that we were maybe onto something, on the right track – was Shadow of Mordor with the Nemesis System. […] That was a very limited, rudimentary approach to it, that covers a very narrow area. It’s more of a metanarrative, and there’s not a lot of dialogue support for that stuff, so our thing is much more ambitious. That sort of gave us, like, ‘OK, maybe we’re not completely crazy in what we’re trying to do.'”
Levine also explained something awfully sexy sounding, called Radical Recognition:
“One of the most important things about what we’re doing now is this concept of Radical Recognition […] that if the player does something, the game should – as often as we can – recognise that accomplishment, or failure, or whatever it is, and find ways to have the world feed back that it cares […] The heart of that is something that’s central to our game.”
But it’s not like a Telltale game! It’s got so much more to do, according to Levine:
“They’re still built on a different model, sort of a branching structure model […] Our game is a deeply systemic game, underpinning everything from gameplay to narrative. To be able to then have a narrative that seems traditional – like our other games [Bioshock or System Shock 2], one of those kind of narratives – but can react and comment on much more small-level actions the player takes – that’s the goal.”
Influences are well and good, and the Radical Recognition does sound fairly cool. But again, we should keep in mind that Ghost Story’s game is very much in the concept phase and none of these is concrete yet.