This week’s blog is about the story of OverCast, immersion and our belief that the first principle of a good game is to have solid foundations in every aspect of it. For example, a competitive and skill-based player vs. player game like OverCast does not necessarily need to have detailed lore regarding its setting but we felt that we have to create a deep and intriguing storyline nevertheless. Since the fundamental element of video games is interactivity, we are planning on presenting most of our lore details through the gameplay experience but as a sneak peek into the universe of OverCast we decided to summarize our ideas regarding the setting we are aiming for:
- It is a world of city states. There are no nations or even extended big states. The bare resemblance to the city states of ancient Greece or Renaissance– Post Renaissance Italy. The society is organised in castes/classes. There is no clergy or gods. There is no royalty.
- The highest caste is the nobles. It is an oligarchy that is able to create magic and they are acting as the government body of each city state. There are plenty of intrigues and machinations between the nobles in order to gain higher positions. There is equality between genders. The only real measure regarding relationships is the potency in magic. There are no fixed ethics based on good and bad actions. There are no strong families or clans. Genes do not play a role in the ability to have magic, therefore regardless of their family, people who have the talent, also have a shot to become powerful.
- There are however, some attributes that are kept in high regard. In practise there are only two actual classes in society. Nobles and the rest, or those who can wield magic and those who cannot. Thus, talent in magic and intelligence/efficiency are highly esteemed attributes that help a person excel. If people are not able to create magic, they can still gain some status by showing potential through managing situations efficiently, be that directing a simple farm or being good hunters or merchants.
- The last attribute nobles care about is their fame/social status. Indeed nobles are the absolute authority of a city. They retain the ability to judge, resolve and execute on the spot but they still keep in mind the public opinion and sway in beliefs of the plebe. Until the creation of arenas, attempts on influencing the public sentiment was almost the only option the lower caste had to spice things up (spreading rumours of the deeds of a noble) and a perfect tool for the nobles to defame rivals and ruin their chances to higher positions.
Share your opinions on the setting and lore in OverCast forums: http://forum.over-cast.com