Runemaster - Developer Diary 7 - Change vs Stability

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SolSara

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Welcome to the 7th developer diary for Runemaster where we will talk about Loki and Thor and the struggle between Change and Stability! The main plot in Runemaster revolves around where you as a player try to decide whether to trigger the end of the world as you know it or postpone it for as long as possible. You will choose who to side with - Thor or Loki.

The myth
When mighty Thor’s brother Balder died by the machinations of the trickster god Loki, Thor swore he would do all he could to make sure Loki would not be able to escape his punishment. Loki was fettered to a stone slab with the entrails of his son Narfi, and a venomous snake was placed above him whose teeth drips poison onto the fettered god. Loki’s wife Sigyn is the only one who stays at his side, with a bowl in her hands which she uses to collect the drops of poison. When the bowl is filled and she leaves to empty it, the pain when the droplets eat into his skin makes Loki howl in pain and writhe upon his stone slabs, making the earth shake with each of his tremblings.

Thor
Thor, the Thunder god, son of Odin and wielder of Mjölnir stands for Stability and wishes to avoid Ragnarök. The worlds his father Odin created from the flesh of Ymir together with Vili and Ve are not to be changed in any way, for better or for worse. Ragnarök will bring destruction and death upon all the worlds, and only a few will be left alive to mend the worlds again. It is better if the current order is kept. Keep Loki fettered forever and there will be no Ragnarök, no change, no pain and no destruction. The gods will remain as the rulers and protectors of the worlds.

Loki
Loki, the Trickster, the Chaos god, Odin's blood brother, is bound to stone slabs with the entrails of his son Narfi and he must be released in order for Ragnarök to happen. The Norse mythology paints Loki as a troublemaker, a trickster, the chaos god that can both help the gods but also put them in difficult positions. Loki stands for Change and sees the truth of the worlds - that the gods favor some races and ignores the plight of the rest. The new world is a chance to change the current order and shape it so that every being is equal, in both gods’ and other’s eyes. Ragnarök is necessary, and inevitable. All you can do is accept Change, for better and for worse. The death of many gods during Ragnarök will leave the races able to determine their fate without the gods meddling.

Change & Stability
Runemaster is not about the struggle between Good and Evil, it is the struggle between Stability and Change. If Ragnarök occurs, the old world will be destroyed but a new world will arise. Change is not evil; it is only change which can be both bad and good. Same with Stability. Stability is accepting the old world and doing nothing to change it. Stability is set in its current ways and have no desire to change, no matter how bad the current tracks are. Change might not always be good, but it will always take you forward and you decide whether Change is good or bad. In the end, you will reach the choice where to fight Thor, free Loki and make sure Ragnarök happens in order for a new world to take the old ones' place or fight Loki, bind him firmly to his stone slabs and make sure Ragnarök will not happen.

Runemaster_dd7.jpg
Bonus teaser: A Hero outside a small farm in Midgard (WIP).
 
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Trin Tragula

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Is that Alexander Bard?
 

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An aesthetic question:

Are there going to be added wildlife to the world? The current released screenshots seem somewhat barren of natural life which cuts away immersion a bit. At least in my case.
And perhaps some vegetational variance? Right now the brown and green colors seem to dominated the game quite a lot.

Some colorful examples of Nordic enviroments:

Mowed-montainous-hay-meadows,-which-are-not-fertilized,-have-a-very-high-plant-biodiversity-.jpg


20090120$093516$img$j07tiD1qYVP2APoTCLUZ.bmp


Aside from that, the game sounds very promising. The thought of a RPG set in Norse lore has always been a secret fantasy of mine ^_^
Working on it :) Well, I am not working on it, but our art team is.
 

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Is the X next to view hero on the screenshot an xbox controller x?

We are aiming to have Runemaster playable on Steam Box/Big Picture and are testing gamepads. I am more of a PC-player than a console one, though I have a PS3, but I like the feel Runemaster has when I play it with a gamepad.
 
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SolSara

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:blink:

Really?

:blink:

Paradox is in danger of becoming too mainstream for me. I enjoy telling people "Oh, I play games made by Paradox. You've probably never heard of them." ;)

I'm sorry, but whenever someone says "[...] too mainstream" I think of hipsters and the whole "Oh, I liked them before they were cool/famous. Now they are just sellouts." :p Think of it like this: the more who knows about Paradox Development Studio and the games, the more games we sell and the more games we can make. It is a win-win situation for all :)

...And you might have been just a bit ironic and I might just have realized the joke ^^ No offence taken?
 

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Yes, I was being ironic. I am genuinely surprised (in a good way) about the Steam Box stuff. It seems like a good fit, I just didn't expect it.

True story about Paradox and being mainstream:

As an academic, I often attend conferences. But the biggest one I attend regularly is the Congress of Medieval Studies held in Kalamazoo Michigan every year. It is the biggest academic conference for all things medieval in the academic world. (As in, any intellectual you've seen on History Channel documentaries is there.)

I am just a no-name guy still working on his PhD, but I love networking there. One of the things I do to network is participate in the "Festive Gaming Workshop" hosted by the MEMO group. (We do all the multimedia medievalisms, including games.) For the past two years, I've brought CK2 on my laptop and shared it with the academics who come and see what's cool in the industry.

It literally takes me an hour to explain CK2 to these folks. And being medievalists, they have all kinds of detailed questions, like "Can I imprison those heretics?" and "Did you just borrow money from those Jewish communities and then kick them out of your realm? I just wrote an article about that stuff for an academic journal." It always steals the show and the younger academics all want to run out and buy a copy.

So, the great irony is that CK2 is popular among those with enough education to appreciate the game's mechanics... but they are also not mainsteam audiences, either. :p

But the products sell themselves when someone can sit down with it. The real trick is getting it to people who would enjoy it and pay for it. And so, getting it to more people in general is always a good idea.

(Too bad the older academics are frightened and confused by computer games; I'd love to see a CK2 MP game between the top five medieval historians featured on the History Channel for the past ten years. We'd see how they really think. :) )




Son, I've gone from hipster to "get off my lawn yelling at cloud old guy." It's a fine line. :D

That's awesome, and it would be even more awesome if we could get people playing CKII on the History Channel :D
 

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I dunno, it seems rather harsh that change means "DESTROY THE WORLD" can't you guys just invent cell phones or something.

:p :p

It is not just "Destroy the world", it is "Destroy the World to give place to a new (better) one".
 
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