Worlds of pain

Written by CJ Hurtt, Writer/Content Planner.

Morinaïkharóth, The Temple of the Moon

I’ve never had much use for a pretty new world. Give me something that’s been lived in. Show me a street that has a history. I want to see land that has tasted the tears of joy and sadness of countless generations. I don’t even like that new car smell. I want a world that has been shaped by the triumphs and defeats of those that live and die in it. That beat up and grubby world? It matters to someone.

Those details tell a story.

This is the kind of game world we’re trying to build with Dawn of the Tyrant.

When Sándor first sent me the creative brief for the game back in December of 2012 I remember not only how excited I was to get a chance to play in this sandbox, but also thrilled to see how much attention was given to the lore of the game setting. It brought me back to what made my favorite games so compelling to me. A world as full of wonder and vileness as our own. Stories, although fantastical, that felt real. Real because they were messy and human. Games like Arcanum and Fallout and the classic White Wolf tabletop RPGs grabbed my brain in a way that no simple shooter or dungeon crawler could. Those games allowed their settings to show the scars of living. Nothing was simple. Decisions mattered and always left their mark.

As we grew the lore document from a collection of copious notes to a novel sized “game bible”, we refined the story. We added turns and twists to the setting and the trials the players would be facing. We zeroed in on what we felt made a great horror sci-fi game set in a lived in and extremely dangerous world. We’re pretty proud of what we’ve been able to do and it is almost time to turn it loose.

The characters that live in the Vónekh system here in Dawn of the Tyrant are not divorced from their history. The cities and fortresses wear the bruises and scrapes of war. There is no separation here of lore and gameplay. The myths and history of the Kheïtanni and Lánaraï are woven into their daily lives. It is our goal to have the player get lost in this world as they fight their many, many enemies. The streets and fields bear the mark of endless struggle. From gilded spires and unnerving technological wonders to the broken glass and graffiti, we have sought to create a complete world that will mean something to those in it.

Mostly what that something is though is pain.

I never said this was going to be a happy story.

Image: "Mórinaïkharóth" (The Temple of the Moon)
Artist: Eren Arik

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