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Character backstories in Curious Panda's upcoming turn-based RPG The Iron Oath will be dynamically generated by weaving together a series of events that will determine each character's traits and loyalty quest, and add a bit of flavor in the process. You can read all about these backstories in the latest Kickstarter update that also shares some work in progress art. An excerpt:
Hey everyone! We're back with our January update and we have a number of things to share with you. Chris has recently been working on the implementation of backstories and how they shape your characters. Here's some insight into the process:
Character backstories are dynamically created by selecting a number of events that build off one another, shaping how that character came to be. These events take into account the world history and what has transpired so far in your play-through. We do this by first determining how old a character is, and then during each major milestone event in their life(their birth, childhood etc), we can look back at what was happening in the world during that time, and select events that are appropriate to build out their backstory. For example, a character born during the events of a war might have a part of their backstory detailing how their parents were killed by invaders during said war.
In order to create a character an "Origin" is selected. An "Origin" is the broad overview of where they grew up. This determines if they were born in a small village, a large city, or out in the wild, etc. Next, we select a "Family" event. This is what kind of family were they raised by. Were they raised by farmers, did their parents own a shop, were they bandits, did they even have parents? Only certain "Family" events can be selected based on the "Origin" for the character. So if the newly created character has an origin of growing up in the wild, it won't be possible for their "Family" event to be one of a noble family who lived in the capital. After the "Family" event we select a "Childhood" event and then a "Young Adult" event. These events also build off the previously selected ones. There might be a childhood event that says their parents were murdered by bandits while working on their farm. This event would obviously only be chosen if the "Family" event dictated that their family were farmers.
The goal is to build out a dynamic backstory that makes the characters feel more realized, with a sense of belonging to the game’s world. Additionally these backstories are not just fluff, and most events will play into that character's loyalty quest. If their parents were murdered by a well known group of bandits, they may approach you once you have earned their trust, and request your assistance in bringing their parent’s killers to justice. Additionally, these events will generally play into which character class they ended up becoming, and what traits they possess.
Here is an example backstory generated for a new character:
"Braeda Wheatfield was born in the heart of Langster in the year 1181. She was raised by a couple of farmers who led a mostly quiet life and kept to themselves. One day, soldiers from House Haevir attacked her home and slaughtered her parents. Braeda managed to escape but never forgot the faces of the men who crossed her. She vowed to get revenge if it was the last thing she ever did. Alone and distraught, Braeda managed to eke by an existence by stealing food and supplies. This life in the shadows helped hone her budding talents, teaching her to move and attack without being seen."