Where does an adventure game end and an RPG begin? It used to be more clear, even in hybrids that attempted to meld the two. But now, thanks to the likes of The Council, Call of Cthulhu and especially last year's Disco Elysium, the line that once separated the two genres has now all but diseappeared. The latest game to walk that nebulous middle ground is Anshar Studios' Gamedec, a cyberpunk roleplaying adventure that is currently seeking funding through Kickstarter.
The game's 22nd century backdrop of Warsaw City is a grim one under corporate rule in which "people live in cage-like cities separated from nature, which has turned hostile." In order to "escape their daily misery, people immerse themselves in virtual worlds, hoping to find relief, enjoyment, and adventure. But wanting more leads to new problems, and someone has to solve them – a gamedec." You are just such a fixer, a detective who accepts cases to "hunt down the criminals of virtual worlds," whether "rich and spoiled businesspeople, parents who want better lives for their children, or corporations with plans to rewrite history." The choice of how to approach your investigations is up to you, and "each decision you make shapes the game world and your character’s personality."
In most respects, Gamedec looks and plays like a traditional isometric RPG that takes players through a variety of environments ranging from a "deceitful farm-like environment, through dark-noir cyberpunk realities to fantasy-based realms." Here, however, rather than focus on combat, the game tasks players with using only their wits to "gather info from witnesses and suspects, get to the bottom of deceptive schemes, save lives, and investigate the extraordinary relationships between virtual worlds and their inhabitants." Roleplaying is nevertheless a core component, emulating the "nature of a tabletop RPG by focusing on multiple, choice-dependent, character-building scenarios." With numerous decisions to make and professional skills to upgrade, players are "given the freedom to approach situations from multiple angles rather than forcing a single solution – the choice is yours and yours alone." Of course, for every choice there is a consequence, which could be "immediate, long-term, or stay hidden, surfacing when least expected."
Already "deep into development, design, and programming," Gamedec is coming along nicely but the developers have now launched a Kickstarter campaign to add additional features and get the project across the finish line. If they're able to meet their goal of $50,000 USD by April 28th, we could see the game released on Steam for Windows PC sometime before the end of the year. To learn more in the meantime, you can check out the official website and watch a ten-minute gameplay video with developer commentary.