Frankly, I was very reluctant going on IndieDB again with Total Rendition. Especially considering I will forever associate with my previous project Fifth Column. I felt that while I - and possibly Fifth Column itself - would benefit from a hiatus, Total Rendition is probably the one thing I should be working on.
Following an approach I call Iterative Prototyping (that is to say, make lots of early demos to see which one has the most interesting mechanics), I want to involve you closely in its development. While I may have a certain view of what I think Total Rendition should be like, it is your involvement that it will make it a polished and engaging experience. The result of this approach are the Villa Therese Tech Demos. Indeed, the name itself is emblematic of this approach as it was coined by Total Rendition's composer Stefan Klein, who named the demos after the location featured therein.
My approach to building games is admittedly very narrative driven. The premise was created well before I decided on the gameplay mechanics at large. And at large, the gameplay mechanics were decided upon because I deemed them to help player getting immersed with the story. Hence, books and newspapers can be read, following the Elder Scrolls and Deus Ex series. This is just one example.
During an event with Edinburgh video-gamers, I had the very same Villa Therese Tech Demos (apart from the latest version, 0.0.9.4) showcased to them. It soon turned out to be a treasure trove of novel ideas which were to be used in 0.0.9.4. Those who played the Villa Therese Tech Demos felt Total Rendition's gameplay would benefit from more interactivity. I was intent on delivering on that. Every single container can now be interacted with. It is quite possible this interactivity will be extended further, to (re)create an interactivity similar to the classic (i.e. the first two) Fallout games.
I felt that thus far, the increased interactivity is a meaningful addition to the gameplay. Especially considering certain skills such as Lockpicking and Sabotage will be necessary to open certain containers that have goodies and other aids for the player, making the choice whether or not to invest in these skills an important player choice.
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