GearHead Caramel is making its way to Steam

The third installment in the illustrious GearHead franchise will soon be up and ready on Steam, and right on time for its 20th anniversary. GearHead Caramel takes a few pages from its ancestor, GearHead Arena, and refines it to suit some more modern sensibilities. One thing it kept was its good old-fashioned procedural narration–the progenitor of the roguelikes we’ve come to know and love.Indeed, a tried and tested mechanic that guarantees that no two playthroughs will ever be the same.

The three-quel takes place in a nuclear-ravaged planet Earth where wandering mecha pilots called ‘cavaliers’ roam the lands in an attempt to strike the balance between doing good and simply surviving. There’s clearly a lot of old school Mecha anime influence in this franchise, and it’s guaranteed to tickle any‘Giant Robot’ enthusiast’s fancy.

GearHead Caramel Computer Game

GearHead Caramel features a variety of vehicle types, from the massive robots and zoanoids, to your run-of-the-mill tanks and fighter jets. The game incorporates turn-based RPG-style tactics, a la Super Robot Wars–which is definitely a fine nod to the latter. Caramel also features highly detailed vehicle engineering and customization, both mecha and personal scale combat, and a lifepath-based character creation system.

However, at the end of the day, it’s a true-blue roguelike. GearHead Caramel makes extensive use of random generation, meaning the consequences of your actions will be permanent. Procedural narration ensures that NPCs will remember the things you say and do, regardless of how nice or horrendous. This ensures that the story will branch out differently with each run.

Check out the gameplay trailer here:

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The game’s creator, Joseph Hewitt elaborates a bit on the game’s conceptualization.

“It’s my training in English Literature, rather than my knowledge of computer programming, that allowed me to create this system. Most of the procedural narration techniques used by GearHead rely upon closure–the ability of a reader (or in this case, a player) to mentally combine disparate elements into a coherent story. You could say that every GearHead story really has three authors- me, the computer program, and the player.”

GearHead Caramel will be available for PC via Steam on July 22. For more information on the GearHead series and procedural narration as a whole, you can check out their official website.

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