Dev Talk #3 – When RPG-lite Meets Narrative
In today’s dev talk, we delve into why PortaPlay decided to add RPG-lite mechanics to Gerda: A Flame in Winter and what they bring to the experience. We speak with Shalev Moran, the Lead Designer at PortaPlay, about why the game needed the addition of RPG-lite features and what RPG means to them.
Why did you decide to add RPG-lite features to Gerda: A Flame in Winter?
Shalev: Gerda is a narrative game with RPG mechanics. We’re calling it RPG lite. It’s a game that puts the player in many situations where they have to manage the relationships and other types of stats and abilities while handling a lot of tense personal situations with human conflict.
RPG is all about long-term shaping the character that you are embodying. And in our context and in our narrative, when there’s a lot of moral grey zones and things that are not clear cut, it really helps that we have a mechanic that tells the player that what you’re doing now doesn’t just solve your immediate problem, but also has long term consequences. And the tension between doing something that maybe is right at this context but wrong at the long-term context or vice versa, can really, really elevate those themes.