Why I’m Excited About Living World Scenarios

Hi, I’m Nathan Weisman. I joined the Harebrained Schemes team full time about a month ago to work on communications, marketing and world building.

One of the projects that I work on is the Living World scenarios for Golem Arcana. The first Living World Campaign, Shadow of the Khan, went live last week, and will be continuing through December with two more scenarios.

While the Scenarios themselves work to leverage the digitally enhanced nature of the game, using quest encounters and other mechanics, these aren’t actually what I am most personally excited about. To me, the Living World Scenarios are the most direct way that we, as developers, get to interact with you in the world of Golem Arcana.

When you play in a Living World Scenario, every action you take is being tracked and recorded. Note that I said every action, not just who wins the game. While victory will certainly be tracked, and be important, it will be far from the only aspect of the game that has an effect on the world.

For example, let’s say you were fighting in a story scenario as the defenders of a siege. Mid-way through the battle, you may find yourself confronted with a choice of some kind. For example, it turns out there are group of civilians who are caught in the fighting. Do you leave them to their own devices to escape the fighting, or do you pull a Golem off the front line to help escort them?

Your choices and those of other players will have a direct affect on future scenarios in the campaign and in the fiction. Scenarios can be affected in many ways, from deployment zones changing to having completely different objectives based on the results of previous scenarios in the Living Fiction campaign. In addition to these large changes, you will also see how the interactions you have with characters in the scenarios will reflect past events.

Using the example of helping the civilians again, let’s say you choose not help them flee the fighting yet still won the battle. In the next game, because your faction won the previous battle, you may have a slightly advantageous starting position over your opponent. However, not helping the civilians will haunt you. This could be shown in a character losing faith in your faction, or as a quest where the civilians families have risen up against you.

I also want to mention our new Twitter feed  - @HeraldofEretsu. This is a dedicated twitter feed that will give the story of the back and forth of the battles that are being played out in the Living World Scenarios when the scenario is “live”. Using data from the games being played, I will write tweets that help draw a picture of how the battle is going. For every scenario, there will many different aspects for me to draw from.

Through the Living World scenarios, my hope is that we can create a game play experience that is individually engaging, immersive, and ultimately, very social – something akin to a role playing campaign with your closest few thousand friends.

The Battle of Two Rock, the first installment of The Shadow of the Khan, is available for play through Wednesday, November 12 so be sure to play it this weekend! And then be sure to play the next two Story Scenarios: The Caves of Metis running November 19 – December 3 and The Lords of the Line running December 10 – December 24. We hope you’ll play them all!

The Shadow of the Khan is just the beginning of our plans and ambitions for Living World game play for Golem Arcana and I’m really looking forward to seeing how you all make it all unfold!