Written by CJ Hurtt, Writer/Content Planner.
It’s really easy to paint the Kheïtanni as the bad guys. I mean, look at them. Very angry faces, bones everywhere, weapons always bloody, and they wear the skulls of their fallen enemies on their burnt and disfigured wing nubs. They do not look like heroes. Not like those respectable Lánaraï with their functional wings and flowing robes and all.
Given the history between the two people though (more on that in an upcoming post), it’s not fair to label one “hero” and the other “villain”. The Lánaraï are not blameless in this. Not at all. But, if we had to put one of the two in the Bad Guy camp, it would probably be the Kheïtanni. Like I said. Look at them!
Writing for villia…let’s call them Morally Non-Normative Characters, there’s the occasional expectation to make them a cartoony evil. Take all that is bad about people and dump that into a character. They don’t have friends. They don’t feel anything but hatred. They’re not smart. There’s nothing remotely interesting about them and they certainly don’t have any redeeming qualities. They never win in the end.
I’ve actually gotten negative feedback in the past (not on DOTT) for allowing a bad guy to be human. To have a bit of charm and frailty. It’s odd to me. Who wants underdeveloped characters? This sort of empty boogieman is expected by some I guess, but enjoyed by no one.
So when writing for the Kheïtanni NPCs, I wanted to give their personalities a little more than what may first appear on the surface. Yes, the main purpose of their existence is the utter destruction of their enemies. But they have carved out a home and built a culture for themselves on this almost dead world. They have families and friends. They laugh. When they talk about the cause, they talk about it in a way that lets the player understand that it is a struggle and not some random storm of violence.
They have had everything taken from them. A great many Kheïtanni died due to a messianic mad man that saw people as mere resources. The Kheïtanni got kicked in the teeth. Hard. So, yeah, they have anger over that. They do things that will chill your blood. They kill with no remorse. To them, the war is retribution for crimes against entire solar systems. They do not see their actions as continuing a cycle. To them, they’re the heroes and they act accordingly.
While we are dedicated to creating a game setting where the player is in control of their character’s lives, we want the full on gut punch of emotional ramifications to be felt for their actions. We want it to be possible for the player to identify with their enemy and to relate to their fellow warriors.
In a few weeks, we’ll start introducing you to some of these in-game people and a bit about their history. Also, keep an eye out for the other unique features that we’ll be announcing soon.
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