In the developer diary above, several members of the Ascendant team explain the title’s emergent elements, something that’s been a massive focus in all aspects of the game from the narrative to the environment.
The Improvisation Engine, however, sounds like the cornerstone of Ascendant, as game director Joe Fielder explains:
The Improvisation Engine is a series of interwoven systems that ensure that the game has plenty of variety and challenge for the player … one of the best things about [it] to me is the replayability, the idea that I can come back to a level and have a widely different experience with different quest goals; different creatures that I’m fighting; different creatures that are there that are potentially helpful.
In fact, lead engineer Will Teixeira is confident that the game is so flexible, players will do “kind of broken” things:
…the more that we allow players to mess with the world — even if it looks kind of broken — I think that’s great. I love it because it means that players have way more to do in that game.
To be honest, I’m on the fence about this. I love emergent gameplay, but not if has a negative impact on immersion (for games where ambience and setting are important). Just something to keep an eye on!
A teaser trailer (watchable below) was released simultaneously with the developer diary.