onsdag 30 oktober 2019

Dauðra Dura (the doors of the dead)


His home village attacked by a giant ogre, driven from his home and out of options, a young rabbit heads for Helgafjell, the abode of the dead...

Once upon a time, there were no islands, no green grass, no life or trees. There were just a gigantic gap, with swirling icy waters below and fire in the sky. The fire and water coalesced to form Imert, the world giant. That is when four gods came to this land, and made the islands and the great continents from that same giant. One hurt his arm, one hurt her leg, one hurt his chest and one hurt her head. That is the story about how glorious Grangard came to be! The following story takes place in Grangard and concerns the child of two of Grangard's greatest heroes.

After having his hometown attacked by ogres Swiftdale has no other choice. He must go to Helgafjell, the abode of the dead and seek his father's magic. Will Swiftdale make it down from the cold mountain in time to stop the ogre king or will his bravery leave him, and the dead take him?

Main characters

This is a short game I made for a contest last year. The challenge of the contest was to create a game with an interesting story that took place on a single map with only ten events (events being everything that "happens" in the game). 
It is based on the norse poem Groagaldr where a young hero summons his mother from the dead, as she has instructed him to do in times of need, to learn her magic. The scenario is both macabre and strangely heartwarming and so I thought it would make a perfect fit for Alexander and one of his sons!
The game is only 10-12 minutes long and should be suitable for everybody to play. It is not really combat-focused (there are only two battles, one of them optional) but emphasizes exploration and using tools to overcome puzzles. The genre is suspense/horror and hopefully a good little character-building tale in the faraway land of norse myth!

A gameplay video of me playing the game from start to finish. You can also use this as a walkthrough if you get stuck!

It can be downloaded and played here:

tisdag 29 oktober 2019

The use of supplemental materials in creating a video-game narrative pt 2

The pastich Era

Team Fortress 2

The design philosophy of the storyline in Team Fortress 2 grew from the game and gameplay itself. The world and story of Overwatch was made from the ground up and thus have a bit of a "designed by commite" feel to it. It is more consistent than Team Fortress though, which wary in style and quality over the years. Today we are going to look at these two games and how they both pastish an era. Team Fortress, after their initial characters introductions detailed in my last post ended up gravitating towards a sixties cold war narrative.
This was consistent with gameplay and the two teams fighting each other over spy bases and such. In order to create interest for updates to the game supplemental material during this era was often written in the style of comic book adverts or the "Men´s Reading" magazines of the time.

Complete with chair-kicking action!

Just another day as a reverse-quadruple-double agent.

The storyline also ever so slightly started to solidify with references to the typical advanced supercity of Silver Age comics (except it is Australia) complete with "Radioactive materials fixes everything" except in the TF verse it is called Australium. This aspect ended up taking up the storyline completely, but that is for later on.
If you are interested in using supplemental to enforce the feeling and style of the game I would consider reading up on a few points of interest in the era you are trying to capture. Exagarate them, give a new context to them. The reader/player will feel like taking part of a real breathing world and hopefully even see the original inspiration in a new way.

More examples:
Men doing manly things!
Unknown materials makes the world a better (?) place.


Coincidentally, Overwatch takes a lot of inspiration from the sixties as well! Overwatch isn´t really interested in the negativity of the time but rather the can-do attitude of the space race and Silver Age comics. Technology can solve everything and all bad guys work together in a legion of doom and can be defeated with heroes who show true fortitude and virtous human spirit. The main point of doing this, as detailed in the developer commentary, is to foster a friendly and welcoming community. Eveybody can become a hero!
The main point to take away from comparing Team Fortress and Overwatch is if you want to play the attitude of the era straight or not. Both Overwatch and Team Fortress uses exaggaration as a tool but whereas Overwatch really do believe in the righteousness of that attitude Team Fortress subverts it and uses it for humor. It really depends on what kind of game you are trying to create!

Heroes fighting bad guys.

Inspirational role-call!

Alex and Adva (my game)

The supplemental material for my own game can be found in my signature. They have not ended up complementing each other as much as I had hoped, but I did get a prequel comic made for the game. A small sequence from it can be seen here:
Unfortunately, it is in Swedish. Also, warning for some nudity (no genitals or anything, though).

End notes on the pastich era

As the story of the two games grow we enter a sort of limbo state. Supplemental materials have grown beyond just using pastich to enforce a mood or make people interested in updates, but apart from a few vague references they have still not coalesced into a proper ongoing plot. The next part of this tutorial we are going to further study this limbo state and see how the games handle them. What works? What could have been made better? See you soon!

onsdag 16 oktober 2019

Byleif's fiskefänge del 5/10

Denna kanonad var grov att skåda
Men hararnas herre hade inget problem
Bomber, åska och pilar som flög
Han kastades dock rätt snabbt ner i vattnet
Höga smällar vråla i örat
Att ta sig härifrån var plan 1A
Omrikta skott, få båten med, varna folk hemma för platsen
Istället spolade han sig till ön bortom muren

Äventy följer på äventyr
När Byleif dyker i böljan den blå
Bakom muren av bullrande järn
Kaninernas kung flämtade och fick i lungorna vann
Inandades luft och inandades dåd
Byleif fortsatte mot det han såg
Mot himmelens höjder över molnen
Sträckte sig ett regnande torn

Klart man vill se vad som finns i tornet
Klättra, falla, ej går den vägen
Gräva, sprängas, vägen är stängd
Byleif är inte den som ger sig
En timme finns för att undkomma
Nu en halvtimme, femton minuter
Innan himlen faller
Över tornet dödliga ej kan nå

Byleif hade nu
Tre olika val
Ett att fiska
Ett att skatta
Ett att fortsätta
I jättarnas värld
Detta ett rev
I tre delar
Farligt att åka
Men manlig utforskning
Ger fantastiskt rykte
Byleif träffade Val

Krok i vattnet
En baddare nappar
Byleif hade nu nog till sig själv, men folket då? Världen är oviss
Även om ödesgudinnorna vet
Ro och ro
I främmande farvatten
Stammen måste gå över egna intressen, detta vet en god kung
Nära trekantsöarna styrdes färden

Huvudstaden för havets herrtige
Ichtuskr innehade evinnerlig rätt
Sväljaren av salt och sugaren av vindar
Havets mun bodde under denna ön
Den vindande val som var alla drömmars drönande herre
Kaninernas kung och hararnas herre
Var mån om att vinna mod att se och skåda
Den dörr som leder till framtiden

Fisken skälvde under vattnet
Folket på ön såg honom som en gud som krävde offer
Byleif offrade Fången till den store
I en grotta under ön Ichtuskr bodde denna gigantiska val
Kunskap uppväckte hans öron
Valen simmade in där ung och kommer en dag att spränga
Talaren av vinden kände i Ichtuskr de evige böljornas språk
Detta påvisar stammarnas livstro 

Det finns en mystisk ö som består av ett svårnavigerat rev runt en tom landmassa
Till den mystiska ön kommer Byleif nu
Kaninernas kung ville prova sitt mod i mörkret
Men undinerna runt varnade han
Mystiska månljus ses på natten och snärjer de som seglar här, farligare än revet självt
Nu kvällas det men Byleif räds ej
En manlig man har ibland kort i huvudknoppen
Låt oss utforska

Byleif nådde nu en våg av småöar
Först så reste han mot norrort
Sen så reste han åt österled
Sedan reste han rakt neråt
Sedan reste han åt fanders
Nu så gjorde han helt raskt en storsväng
Sedan reste han mot syd
Först sedan kom han ut därifrån