That’s the setting I seem to have falling in a small passionate embrace with. So, up until this point I have mostly been doing design work on finding a proper setting and foundation to help this game move forward because (crappy but sincere excuse) I haven’t found the time to spend on working on this game.
Enough with that. Now for the real deal.
The norse gods and Germanic history has been interpreted by Christian scholars and thus told from their probably biased perspective. It’s almost as if the history of Islamic culture was told through the perspective of a Israeli. They may not have been that subjective, but I am sure you can understand how stories have been filtered and over exaggerated like Euhemerism. This may be bad for getting the exact historical details for historians, but for designers and creative people or a young aspiring game developer this is a great time period to dabble in.
The lack of detail and existing records of norse mythology around the Viking age allows for a lot of room for interpretation. Mix this in with a nice fantasy and magical sparkle and we have a setting for a video game.
In terms of norse mythology, the earth was known to be a flat disk connected to a larger system of other disks eventually meeting up in one place known as Asgard. These disks are also seen as branches of a tree and the tree is known as Yggdrasil. There are 9 connected worlds known as:
- Asgard world of the gods/supernatural/deities known as Æsir
- Vanaheimr world of the Vanir – Similar to Æsir but different. Complicated, check wiki if you really want to know.
- Alfheim world of the Elves
- Midgard world of the Humans
- Jotunheim world of the Giants (Frost and Rock)
- Nidavellir world of the Dwarfs
- Muspell world of fire and Fire Giants
- Nifhel world of ice and mist where the dead are
- Hel world of the inglorious dead located within Nifhel
After reading about this I had about a thousand ideas rushing around in my head and I tried to connect all of them to make one game but that would be way over scope.
A few if not all, but most likely a few will be used as settings for the actual game.
Influencing “the Game”
The game will still be played by hacking and slashing away your enemies with edged weapons in the great barbaric style of the Vikings with their giant swords, axes and spears and chain mail. However, the player system would work out better if it was governed by a class system similar to Mass Effect and their Online mode. Where you are able to pick a race (Giant, Human, Elf, Dwarf) and you pick a class to fight as. However, I don’t want to pick a battle system and just make it plain chaos. I’d like to work on the structure of it and see how it works. I have put it upon myself to deliver a proper handheld gaming experience that can be between 5-30 min of fun in the palm of your hand. This means something easy enough to pick up and play with a really smooth learning curve, but it needs to have a backbone that will allow experienced players to submerge themselves deeper into the gameplay.
The one key element of Norse mythology that I want driving the plot of the game forward is the idea of Ragnarök. Ragnarök is a series of events known as a great war that leads to an apocalypse where Gods fight and the worlds are plagued with natural disasters. At the end the world gets submerged with water only for it to resurface later with only two human survivors (Adam and Eve? – Christians…).
Why was that information useful? In Norse mythology there are three things that can happen in death. If you are a wicked and evil human, you are sent to Hel, in Nifhel. If you had died in battle, the goddess Freyja would take you to Fólkvangr, a meadow similar to heaven. The great warriors who die in great battle are led to Valhalla by Valkyrie’s. Valhalla is an enormous hall in Asgard where legendary heroes prepare for the battle of Ragnarök.
This will be the main driving force of the game. You play as a norse warrior in Midgard. The events leading up to Ragnarök foretold in the scriptures have been happening around you. It is up to the player to decide if they want to fight for glory and pride with Odin and join the heroes in Valhalla. Or to fight for power and destruction with Loki.
My current vision of the game is to start as a Norse warrior. I’d like to have this game have both genders instead of pure male. Even though female Norse warriors were mainly seen as Valkyrie’s. What I could do is create an Oblivion like gender system, where one gender has distinct advantages over another with a bit of Mass Effect alien characteristics. Mass effect has a race of pure female biotic warriors that are almost to badass, with this game I can have a race of all female members. Maybe Elves, or a group of Amazonian warriors (Greek mythology and Germanic?).
I want the main battle system to be comprised of taps and slashes on the touch-screen. Rather then having a plain one-handed weapon attack. There should be room for two finger gestures for dual handed weapons or quick slashes. Taps for quick arrow shots, long swipes for giant claymore slashes and swirls for flail attacks.