To Tell the Worlds Stories

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“To Tell the World’s Stories” is our mission statement at Prophetic Sky. It sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Everyone loves stories – we watch them on television and in movies, we read them in books and in comics, we imagine them at night in bed.

But what is a story, exactly? Merriam-Webster Online has an answer, if a dry one:

a: an account of incidents or events
b: a statement regarding the facts pertinent to a situation in question
c: anecdote; especially : an amusing one

It isn’t exactly thrilling when described that way.

Stories are really about emotions. We make connections with characters when we get excited, feel sympathy, or draw inspiration.† It’s these emotional highs and lows that cause us to walk away saying – “That was an incredible story!”.

We all prefer particular emotions over others, of course. Personally, I look to find inspiration in tragedy – Moulin Rouge was simultaneously the most painful tragic love story I’ve every seen, and also the most uplifting and hopeful.

We find these points of contact in movies and books, as well as poetry and song. Oddly, though, they seem conspicuously absent from mainstream video games. So why is it, then, that video games deliberately shy away from emotional content? Clearly this isn’t true of all video games – Silent Hill 2 has possibly the deepest and hardest hitting story I’ve come across in any media – but most popular games don’t even reach out for it. Even the most trite movie tries to touch its viewers in this way, while almost all mainstream games run on hollow adrenaline.

Perhaps game studios are afraid of starting a relationship? We all have that fear when trying to make an emotional connection – we go out on a ledge, try to share something meaningful, but risk being rejected. It’s much easier to just be friends, and not try to forge a unique bond with someone. Likewise, game studios are happier just being ‘fun’ games, than stepping out on that ledge and trying to make a connection. After all, in their situation, being friends is just as profitable.

Having that emotional connection, though, means you have an opportunity.† It is an opportunity to change the course of that person’s life; with it, you can grant them insight, forge new memories, or inspire them to greatness.

We created Prophetic Sky because, at our hearts, we’re aware of our basic human desire to make connections: to make a difference in the world around us. We choose to risk rejection because a meaningful relationship with a player can actually impact their lives. At the end of the day, we want to look at what we’ve made of our lives and done with our work, and see that the world has changed for it.

A year ago we released Townrs Defender, a hero defense game, to the public. It earned a very passionate user base – but what amazed us most was how many people loved the very simple story we used to introduce the game! So, we decided to take on a bold endeavor – merge an extensive story with the popular gameplay of Tower Defense! This may not seem like the most natural of compatriots, but then – we’ve always forged our own path. As we thought about what kind of story would fit around this concept, pieces started falling into place, one after the other. At the end, we knew we had a story that had to be told. We called it ‘Spires‘.

The protagonists of Spires are known as Makers, sorcerers who can conjure physical objects out of thin air. You will step in to the role of three students, under the tutorledge of the wise, but old, Iaro. Iaro is from a forgotten age when Makers were prolific – but then the Dark Maker Draelus struck, seeking to kill them all. Draelus’s plan was noble, if misguided – mankind had become complacent and lazy under the leadership of such powerful sorcerers, wanting for – and seeking – nothing. By eliminating the Makers, Draelus sought to free the world. Eventually, after many Makers were killed, the remaining three defeated Draelus, and imprisoned him in the Hollow Realm – a barren realm of nothingness. Iaro, seeking his own solution to the problem, founded a great university where Makers would be taught how to aid – but not rule – their fellow citizens.

For many years, the world has been at peace. But all that is about to change. A giant army, led by a mysterious woman, is about to surprise our young heroes. They will have to learn how to summon more powerful spires, and use great strategy to defeat them. Only then, perhaps, can they try to discover the oncoming darkness’s true intentions…

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