Chucklefish on Wargroove's ambitious branching narratives and mod support

When Evan caught up with Wargroove at PAX last month, Chucklefish's community manager Tom Katkus outlined how branching narratives will affect individual playthroughs. After visiting the developer at its London headquarters, Samuel discovered how player-created mods will affect the game's outcomes further still. 

Despite being a little rough around the edges, Chucklefish's Finn Brice told us that Wargroove's campaign editor is now "almost completely functional"—and is now "on par" with Starcraft in that there are a number of flexible parts, the sum of which allows players to "basically plan a whole new game mode within a map".  

"So—there are so many things you can do with that, but you can have entirely branching storylines, you can have things where if you lose a map you go one way, if you win a map you go another or even if you kill a particular unit on a map you go a different ways," says Brice. Brice also affirms that if, say, a player kills or spares a specific character, the game will change and adapt based on said decisions. 

He continues: "The feature set is pretty much set in stone, but even just sitting down for ten minutes and sort of thinking up things you can do and you can go in all sorts of crazy directions, it’s really exciting, it’s very, very flexible. I think it’s fair to say we’re almost making a tool as much as we’re making a game, and that’s always exciting."

To this end, artist Jay Bayliss suggests the game's entire campaign could be assigned to one single map, in turn mirroring a choose-your-own-adventure-type scenario. Bayliss admits that while it's been exciting designing such a malleable tool, the idea of intuitive and inventive players creating their own masterpieces with mods is even more appealing. 

Brice feels the same. "The distinction is that all this stuff we’re discussing can be done just in the game, so you don’t need to mod, you just do it in the game and share it online and we’re aiming to make that incredibly easy. And then you can go that one step further, right, and you can start modding it, and the conjunction of those two is really interesting because... this is what I was getting at earlier. 

"So you get, for example, a lot of artist modders who want to, say, put new skins in the game—maybe they want to build a Game of Thrones mod or something, who knows—but with most games, that’s kind of where they stop—you get a bunch of new skins and then you plug them into the game. Or maybe you have a programmer modder who has a new feature that you plug into the game.

"With this, the artists will be able to make their new skins, new characters, but then they’ll go into the Campaign Editor which doesn’t require any programming or anything else and make a whole campaign and branching stories and even their own mechanics to some extent around their mod, so it can really go without much programming work in any sort of direction, and that’s really, really exciting."

Wargroove is due at some stage in the first half of 2018. Until then, read some new information on Chucklefish's other ambitious and intriguing project about a magic school RPG.