“You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.”
― Chuck Palahniuk
When I was young (I mean really young!) the future for me was represented by just one date: the 2000 AD.
That was the date when everything would be changed forever. For me, but we can say also for every child of the 80s, that date was some kind of magic.
For everyone, after that date nothing would have been the same.
So, when I was 10 years old and just a bunch of little bones, imagining myself in the year 2000 was quite simple. The picture in my mind was clear: I was driving a flying car, through some kind of never-ending desert, almost bald – except an ugly tuft of hair on my head -, with cool sunglasses in which it was reflected a giant dome, just in front of me.
Yeah, because you need to know that during the 80s there were just two possible versions of the future: one corresponds exactly to what I described above, and the other one was somehow even grimmer (if you have ever seen Blade Runner or the great Escape from New York, you know exactly what I mean).
Since that date 20 years have passed, my car still doesn’t fly (except when I have one of my spectacular accident…) and my hair are still where they should be, but that idea of future still remains. It’s a little scary as only the future can be, but it’s fascinating at the same time.
Probably I may not live long enough to see a future like that but, at least, I will be able to try it playing Encased!
1st Turn ) Let’s start talking about the gameplay. How much freedom will have the player in order to complete the quests? For example, at the very beginning of the game, when you are stuck in the lift, I noticed that you can solve the problem in many ways. There will be the same degree of freedom throughout the entire game?
In our opinion, the player’s freedom is the most important aspect of a quality RPG. We strive to provide a real variability, which would be manifested not only in dialogue options but also in multiple ways to complete quests and overall NPC and world interactions. If a player wants to get an item, he can use force or cunning, buy or bargain. We don’t want to limit players even in obviously bad actions. For example, you can break a capsule on which you’re transported under the Dome. That way you’ll kill everyone inside and finish the game in 1 minute.
Each quest in the game can be completed in many ways, which is important for an RPG. It is often very difficult to predict the consequences of such decisions. Most significantly, in Encased, there is no right way to play through the game. Everything depends on the creativity of the player, his perseverance and interests.
2nd Turn) What can you tell us about the loot system? I saw that, wherever you are, the rooms are littered with lootable containers/chests/dustbins. At the beginning, this feature seems exciting but soon you realize that they don’t seem to contain anything really useful. Is this something you think to correct?
During Early Access, our loot system may look odd, but only at first glance. Its main task is to show players the important role that items will play in the future.
The game will have a huge number of interactable objects – they can be used, searched through, turned on, repaired and used for something specific.
It is very important that most of the story will take place in a world that survived the apocalypse. There are no useless items in it. People can build houses, create weapons and equipment from any garbage. This is what inspired our craft system. Makeshift grenades, fancy melee weapons, and armor, all of this can be made from seemingly useless garbage and fragments. Such items can be useful both at the beginning of the game and even at higher levels.
The most valuable items, though, will be in the most protected and inaccessible places, so you’ll have to look hard for them. A persistent player can find servo shell armor, energy batteries, and amazingly powerful weapons, but no one would leave such valuable items in a forgotten box in the middle of the desert, or…
3rd Turn) The game starts in a very big city, full of things to do and to see, but I read that many players have complained about the lack of action, that is to say: too many words and too little action. Is there any hope for the players who like to shoot rather than read?
The first patch has already changed this situation. In the past, to understand the plot, players had to read a lot of dialogues and notes about the foundations of the world and the story of Encased. After the update, everything has changed. Now the protagonist immediately gets to the heart of the story, perceiving the information as you go along. You train, shoot and get resources right away. You can even try to kill every living thing on the station. Players who like to use the “Run and gun” tactic will be able to do what they love. But the opportunity to explore the world around has not disappeared, it’ll let you dive deeper into the atmosphere and adventure setting.
4th Turn) In my opinion Encased offers a world so beautiful and detailed that it is really a pity to have a “timer” on the main quest (not only on this one, to be exact). Do you think to implement an option to disable it or is this a core feature of the game?
In Encased we try to create a living world that exists according to our own laws. Not everything here is subject to the will of the player. The timer works only in the first part of the adventure and counts down the time to “Incident”, the turning point of the story, which will divide the game world into before and after the apocalypse. The main character will not be able to influence it. So if a player just slept for two days at the base or decided to join the gang on the first working day, instead of doing the mission, then during the incident he was not in the right place and most likely died. As we have already said before, the consequences of your choices are very hard to predict.
But after the “Incident” the protagonist will get into the world that survived the apocalypse, where he will be able to study literally every corner, talk to all the characters, scan every bush and collect all valuable items. There will be no timer or other restrictions.
5th Turn) In the past years many indie developers tried to give birth to an unofficial sequel of Fallout 2 (we cannot consider Fallout 3 from Bethesda a REAL sequel). It comes to mind Underrail and Atom RPG (maybe the best so far), but I have to admit that Encased seems to have a nice and special touch who’s really able to bring the player back in time. So, in your opinion, what is the secret of Encased?
Of course, the original Fallout games are one of the main sources of inspiration for our whole team. We love these projects and inspired by many ideas from them. But we’re not creating a remake of a classic. Encased events take place in the original universe, where post-apocalypse is closely connected with science fiction. We strive to give players the same freedom the classic games gave, but we also remember that times are different today. The game will get modern technologies, graphics, and ideas that we learned from other projects that we love. Many mechanics were created from scratch, so they will give players a completely new experience. We bring new ideas and features to the project, but we’re also paying tribute to the classics. After all, everybody loves good references!
6th Turn) Ok, now let’s talk about the combat. Even in this alpha state, I liked very much the combat system, but I would like to know if there is the possibility to see in the future features like “taking cover”, “crouching”, “attack of opportunity” and overwatch in the game.
The combat system from the early versions of the game was just a sketch of what will be implemented in the final version. Even now, before the release of the second content patch, you can see how the combat system has evolved. There are skills that not only cause damage to the enemy but also can stun, make him run away in fear or confuse so that he will start shooting at his own comrades-in-arms. Misses in combat, can also end badly, for those who stood next to your target, because the bullets now fly not just in the chosen enemy, they have a certain trajectory.
In the future, we will add covers, as well as skills that can traumatize specific limbs, which will diversify the fight even more. There will also be anomalies in the game that affect the battles. They will bring variety to the combat and will seriously challenge player’s tactical thinking.
7th Turn) What can you tell us about the survival aspects of Encased? How important they will be in the game?
Encased is primarily RPG, not survival. However, the action unfolds in a world that survived the apocalypse, which means the hero will have to survive and gather necessary resources. The character is alive, which means he has to eat and drink, weapons and armor tend to wear out, and the chaos and madness under the Dome only increase. Of course, we don’t plan to drive the player into a constant fight for survival, he must have time for the story and to study the environment. But for the world to remain realistic and self-consistent, the player will have to understand that the starving for three days character is very easy prey for the raiders. In addition, the character will be able to use the toilet, have a romantic relationship, drink and chat with companions. He’s even able to participate in bar fights. All of this should create an atmosphere of the living world and environment that everyone would like to interact with.
8th Turn) Usually when we talk about games who are inspired by the classic CRPGs, the players can expect very little help from the game in order to understand what they have to do (so forget features like exclamation point just above the npcs’ head, map marker and so on). So now I ask you: how merciful will be Encased in this regard?
In terms of complexity and hints for the players, we decided to find the middle ground. We don’t want to oversimplify quests to the point of constantly blinking markers on the screen, but we can’t leave an ordinary player without help. That’s why all dialogues related to the quests in the game, very thoroughly reveal the essence and stages of the task: the characters tell us what and how to do, where to get to, and what you can expect on the way. But that’s not all, the hero has PDA, which displays all records, quests to be completed, NPC descriptions and found notes. All of which will help you determine your nearest target. Hardcore players will be happy to know that we’ve also got several really hard side-quests.
9th Turn) Ok, now a mandatory question for an indie cRPG: are you thinking to release modding tools for the game?
We really want to add mod support. However, it is a complex tool and we will need time and resources to prepare the editor for players and enthusiasts. During the Kickstarter campaign, mod support was one of our additional goals, but we could not achieve it. However, in the future everything may change and support for modifications might be released in one of the updates to the game.
10th Turn) Encased is now in early access and in a full development state. Can you tell us when do you think the game will be released?
We follow a rather strict development plan, it has room for maneuver, but the main stages are defined rather precisely. We are well aware of how much time it will take to develop, test and polish all the content and the mechanics.
Right now we can confidently say that players will be able to fully play through the story and explore the world under the mysterious Dome this year. To find out more, keep an eye out for updates, which we constantly publish on our social networks and on Steam.
11th Bonus Turn) Before leaving you, just a bonus question. Which is the latest turn-based game you’ve played or still playing?
We really like Pathfinder Kingmaker! Kingdom management, nice graphics and a great story are very addicting. Considering that sequel is already in development, we were glad to support the guys from OwlCat Games in their Kickstarter campaign.
Thank you so much for the time you have dedicated to us! Obviously we will continue to follow your amazing project.
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