Mechajammer Update #33 - Gameplay Preview

Whalenought Studios are currently putting some finishing touches on the next backer build for Mechajammer, and in the meantime, they bring us this Kickstarter update for their cyberpunk RPG that lists some upcoming improvements and shares a developer-narrated gameplay video showcasing the game in its current state.

Check it out:

And here are the text parts:


We consolidated some gameplay from the city into some general overview stuff on navigation. Three Hand Harry is a punk, and Hannah gives a few recommendations on how to greet your neighbors on Calitana[...]

We're nearing ready to summon you all for some larger game area testing. Prior to this we're finishing some focused improvements on:

enemy / companion AI

NPCs have various ranges of how stupid they are, from attack-flee-wander to actively searching for you through shadows like the terminator. We're finding a nice balanced in-between feel for the median encounter and companion.

UI upgrades

Reflect some of these AI visual updates (noise indicators, suppression meters are louder, etc.)


Some gameplay tweaks to make things easier, based off feedback. Sneaking will now happen anytime you are holding shift and click to move somewhere, or click on yourself to just crouch. Sometimes you just want to duck behind a box, but then you want to run after that, and don't want to enter a sneak mode where you're committed to a slow quiet movement. Much more versatile, and easy to remember, shift for shifty.

Adapting to Chaos

The way the game is laid out and [very] open-ended, it ranges from infiltration focused to very casual exploration and driving. The gangs react to you(r violence) in logical ways — gangs friendly to ones you've attacked will turn hostile to you, and ones also against them open up as allegiances. But what about everything else? There's a city of laborers and citizens at the disposal of syndicates, the gangs, and the newcomer: you.

Knowing how most tabletop sessions go, and most games, we needed reactivity for setting the sandbox on fire. With perpetual saving, we also wanted your actions to have enough consequence to be considered (permanent) decisions, but enough leeway to also have some freedom to experiment. Killing a gang boss is cut and dry, but what about everything else?

There are syndicates to steal from, gangs to conquer, drug dens to bust for property keys, and a whole lot more that are inevitable threats. One of the avoidable things you can do in the game is beat the crap out of all the citizens and laborers. They aren’t terribly easy to pummel on accident (you’re welcome, as you’ll find out), but if your going around and convincing hordes of them to join you there’s going to be consequences.

Like the 13 gangs, Calitana itself has a meter to determine its current threat level. For the gangs, you'll usually cross the line on being able to ally with a gang if you kill their agent, or enough of their laborers/patrols. Likewise for the city meter, the civilians in the city are MFI’s laborers, and too many disappearing is going to raise some flags, or guns, in this case.

The stability of the relationship between the civilian laborers, gangs and syndicates of Calitana is pretty shaky at best. As we’ve said, it’s a pot ready to boil over. Someone just needs to turn up the heat. Driving waves of civilians to your violent bidding is enough to raise some eyebrows of the city administrators.

Threat levels can ease with time until it hits a new grade. As the city’s threat level rises, the civilian crowds thin out. Feeling threatened on top of an already dead-end existence, you tip them over the edge, and the denizens band together to form more small-time gangs in the streets. More bodies, more rats, and more MFI patrols.

This is manageable for the player, but resource management can get tighter when your usual peaceful streets are full of enemies to avoid or waste ammo on. Not is all at a loss though. Paying some heavy tribute to The Faith syndicate will replenish civilians back to an indoctrinated state, dropping the Threat level, and giving them a new lease on life.