Procedural generation has done a lot for video game development over the years, providing varied, challenging, and endless gameplay. One of the key benefits of an ever-changing world is the sheer scope of creative freedom that players are afforded from the moment they boot up the game. For readers, writers, and those who love to tell stories – procedural generation of narratives can act as a creative writing prompt for community-created content, expanding the reach of the game even further.
Trigon: Space Story is a beautifully detailed strategy roguelike that takes place in a far-off future, and is a perfect example of this facilitation of divergent storytelling. The procedurally-generated universe unfolds in every direction, allowing players to indulge their creativity and decide what sort of Captain they wish to be.
Faced with enemies, allies, quests, items, and the perils of space, every player must decide their route through a series of dialogue and action options. Each of these choices will build their Captain’s personality, as well as changing the course of their destiny and shaping the crew around them.
The endless potential of Trigon means players can dream up varied tales of bravery and wonder. With over 100 different weapons, an ever-expanding universe, and an array of different races to encounter, no two journeys will ever be the same. Here’s an idea of how just a few turns of the game could look.
After a system reboot we’ve lost all our previous logs, not to mention weeks worth of power. I’ve no choice but to start again, but that Venator patrol unit wiped out most of our crew. There’s an engineer left, I think, and a young lad on the bridge who seems willing to help. Either way, you’ve never shaken a Venator patrol ship off for very long… We need to find a safe place to lie low until this bounty situation dies down. Apparently there’s a price on our head, and it’s growing by the day.
I’ve decided to track down Ronnie, an old friend from the asteroid belt. He will know the best place to lie low. Time to rig the hyperdrive for a jump to Muscida.
We’ve reached Mucida, but no change yet to the rotten luck we’ve been having. The moment we arrived, a ship with no clear insignia began firing on us. In a fateful case of wrong place, wrong time, their first shot hit me squarely in the stomach and I was pinned to the floor in agony. Within seconds they had damaged the bridge, almost wiping out the shields in one go. Our engineer worked to repair the breach without the benefit of my instructions. My crew used the Thunderbolt rocket launcher to target the enemy hull, taking out their power systems and setting the remaining oxygen alight in one shattering blast.
The explosion left behind some food and scrap, so the crew salvaged what they could, while I was laid up to rest for the remainder of the day. My engineer mentioned something about me being “at death’s door” as he diverted power to the med bay, but I assured him I was barely past the airlock.
Healed and recharged, today we made the jump to Procyon. One step further to Etamin, to Ronnie, and to safety. We had a far friendlier welcome than we were used to – an Etari council dressed all in black hailed us over the comms and offered us a courier job. Their solemn blue faces and drab robes showed them to be a funeral procession, and our newly-stashed cargo was revealed to be an urn containing the ashes of their mayor bound for his homeland. An easy job, quick money. I’ll see what I can do.
The moment before we jumped, an EMP wave hit, though we managed to sideswipe it. Must note that when travelling through the Procyon pass in future.
An unexpected day and a change of plan. We reached the asteroid belt on Etamin but Ronnie was nowhere to be found. Not that there were many places to look – the entire system was empty, eerily deserted and silent. We noticed a series of strange emissions from a waste recycling module, and I sent the most experienced of my two-man crew to take a look inside.
Some hours later he returned to us with a broken old Taertikon with a name plate that read “Lucky Ticket”. With half his brains burned out, it’ll be a miracle if we get this guy up and running again, but I know the key to what happened here will be locked inside. We need answers. For our sake and Ronnie’s.
The only course of action now is to find a Pirate Station. That’s the only place we’ll find a Taertikon willing to turn another on for money. I find the whole thing rather sordid.
We located a Pirate Station off of Muscida, which meant travel through Procyon and its unpredictable EMP blasts. With some creative power diversions, we managed to make it through and into the station, which looked abandoned at first sight. We knew better than to expect a warm welcome, but the small children caked in dirt that watched us as we landed were a solemn reminder that becoming a Pirate is rarely a choice.
Everyone here had a story to tell, but nowhere to tell it. We took a walk around, and happened upon an eatery of some kind with a large sign reading “FOOD FOR SKIN BASTARDS”. Taking that to mean us, we entered to find a well-worn Taertikon in a chef’s hat, who ushered us to sit and eat. My eager crew stocked up on rations as I asked the friendly machine for the address of his maintenance man.
Following his rambling directions we finally found our hacker, who demanded an outrageous sum for fixing up Lucky Ticket. I suppose I could have paid, or reacted with violence, but our seasoned engineer stepped in and took the robot off to one side. When they returned, moments later, the price had dropped by several hundred credits, and the Taertikon hacker looked less than pleased.
After a few tweaks and sparks to Lucky’s internals, he began to boot up. Once fully “awake” he shook our hands energetically, thanking us profusely, and telling us that Ronnie had left him behind for us when he heard we’d had a bounty on our heads. With a few clicks, he had managed to produce a detailed map with a hideout marked out in red. All that remains is for us to follow the trail, and reach our safe haven.
This is just a taste of the stories that can be told in Trigon: Space Story. With choices to make at every turn, even the most desperate situations can turn into victories – and if all else fails, using one of the over 100 weapons at your disposal might do the trick. How will your adventure play out? Buy the game from Steam today and find out for yourself.