Thinking About Story
I did some programming and spriting today. Of course.
But I also spent some time putting together Clarion’s creation myth and general backstory.
I’ve reached the point in development where I have to start making considerations about what Clarion’s universe involves. How it works, what the conflict is, how it all ties into gameplay progression, and how it affects the environment and characters.
I’m keeping the details secret, just in case anyone cares not to be spoiled, but the main elements are…
-Clarions, (you know, the thing this game is named after) are fountains of burning-hot light that shoot out from underground into the sky. Each is guarded by a boss enemy/s who may or may not explain parts of the story to further it along.
-Magic exists and is explained via the creation myth, but most creatures on Grond have limited use of it if any, magical talents are rare and rarely used (exception being the player). The existence of the “sprites” and the reason weapons and equipment have random modifiers is also explained. The races themselves, and the dichotomy between animals and monsters also has roots in the creation myth.
-There are no active gods. There are beings similar in form and function to angels and demons, but neither are inherently good or evil, they are individuals from far away that happen to have stronger magical powers, immortality, and greater knowledge of the game’s conflict.
-The protagonist possesses an object that allows only him/her to resolve the conflict. This object is “upgraded” to give the player more abilities as the game progresses. For most of the game, the protagonist will only have vague knowledge of why he/she has to do what he’s doing.
-The antogonists have an actual motive, as opposed to “I’m evil, so I’m going to do evil things.”
-The player will have three choices at the end of the story. They can ignore the situation and continue playing (and come back to it later), they can choose one ending to start a more difficult new game+ on a newly-generated world, or they can choose the other and allow the antogonists to have their way, which forces the player into an infinite dungeon that they cannot return from that’s on a timer, when the timer is up or the player dies, the story concludes, and the player’s file is replaced with a tombstone accessible from the main menu that contains playthrough stats and a special spot for how far you progressed in the final dungeon. (Retiring a normal save or dying on a permadeath save will give you a similar tombstone, but there will be no final dungeon score.)