We’re back today with our second installment of the ACE Tuesday, bringing some insight into a not very palpable but yet very important aspect of the game: the lore!
Today’s episode is presented by TheDarthDucan (check out his youtube channel!) our current lore lead (we already deposed 6 others from that role) (I jest, of course) that will tell you a bit about what is the Lore Team’s job, what are their current focus and the challenges of writing lore into an interesting and sometimes dark world yet very gentle and subtle! Among other things… coughs
So, without further ado… Here it is!
Transcription from the video:
Hello everyone! My name is Duncan and welcome to Ace Tuesday episode… whatever! Honestly, I don’t know which episode this will be, or when it will be released, that’s all up to Dani. If you really want to know which episode this is, look at the title of this video! It’s probably in there somewhere, and if not… then Dani and I need to have some talks. (Editor’s note: I’M READING THIS, DUNCAN!)
Anyways, as I said, welcome to Ace Tuesday! Today, hosted by me, Duncan! Now, some of you may know me from my own Youtube channel known as TheDarthDuncan where I play several games, including StoneHearth, but that’s not who I’m known as in Ace. Here, I am known as Lead Lore, which means that I am the leader of the lore team.
Now, the lore team is, as the name most likely already implies, the team that goes over the lore of the game. This includes about anything you see written, ranging from simple flavour text on a wooden chair, to a deep and overarching story hidden within the different campaigns the player can explore. Our job is to bring life to the game, give it a history, give it meaning and not just a sandbox game in which you randomly build.
With this, our most difficult task is most likely to keep it all true to Stonehearth. With this I do not mean true to Stonehearth’s own lore, but true to what Stonehearth feels like. Keeping true to Stonehearth’s own lore is rather simple. Radiant was kind enough to supply us with a lengthy and in-depth document regarding the lore of the game. This document describes the current state of the world, where the different races come from, and what is happening.
An example of this would be that the world of Stonehearth as we know it, exists out of Eons. An eon being a rather long period of time. I know them better as Eras, but Radiant chose the name Eon instead, so let’s stick with that. Throughout this world, several eons have already passed. Within an eon, one of the animal gods of the worlds would ascend into sentiency. The previous eon was the eon of the rabbit, and surprisingly the current eon is the eon of the snake, which explains why there are so many goblins, orcs and kobolds. So, then why are there humans? Simply put, the monkey god created humanoids. This includes the humans, elves and dwarves, but this isn’t the eon of the monkey, this is still the eon of the snake.
Now, why is this so important? In one of our very first drafts for the dwarves, we came up with the idea that the dwarves are the children of another god. The mole god to be precise. They would be the oldest race of Stonehearth, having existed even before the rabbits. Now, with this information from Radiant, it is clear that that isn’t the case, so we had to scrap that idea and work with something entirely new. What that will be is something to be discussed in another episode. It’s not a difficult process, but one we keep a close eye on. The other point, the one regarding the feel of Stonehearth, is a bit more tricky. What we learned from the game by playing it, is that Stonehearth tells a rather deep and surprisingly dark story, but presented very kindly and funny.
This can be very easily seen by just looking at the different characters within the game. Ogo Skullbonker for example, a very intimidating character with a lust for blood, but due to the way he talks it’s rather hilarious to encounter him. Or Clan Amberstone, survivors of an event that nearly brought their race to extinction, being the few survivors of a horrible event, but their appearance and manners being adorable. This way of presenting the story is something we try to keep true to as much as possible. Trying to tell a serious story, through a lightweight presentation.
My personal favourite example of how we’re planning on doing this would be a character from the Order of Applied Equivocation campaign. This character, known as Jacob the Mad, is a pirate leader. Allow me to quote a small bit of dialogue from the campaign that we are working on to shed a bit more light onto this character.
[Okay… So why are you here?]
[Jacob the Mad]
“Well, to plunder, raid and pillage of course! But… not with you. I like you! I think… Or is this hatred? Maybe it’s love… Am I in love with you? No, that can’t be. Mama always told me you shouldn’t trust a woman you just met. But are you a woman? I can’t tell. Anyways! Because of this… hatred, love, liking? What was it again… Doesn’t matter! Because of that, let’s work together! How about that?”
[What do you mean, work together?]
This character, tells about how he normally plunders, raids and pillages. Basically going from town to town and spreading terror. This all whilst his personality is rather… funny. He’s got the mind of a child and constantly confuses himself. We have more characters, created with this idea. The idea of a serious story, but a lightweight approach to it. And each of these characters will be discussed in more detail in future ACE Tuesday episodes!
Right, so now that you know who we are, and what we do, you don’t quite know what it is we’re working on. Of course, each of these topics will most likely be addressed in further detail in future ACE Tuesday episodes, but let’s just make a small list so people can see what they can expect.
Currently, a few of our biggest tasks are the Pirates, Ninjas and Politicians, also known as the Order of Applied Equivolation, and the Dwarves and their quests. We’re also working on Alternate Planes, more races the player can encounter similar to Clan Amberstone, and more elementals. Each of these tasks are divided into the team, with each member working very hard on it to create a high quality product for you to enjoy.
Hopefully, this episode would have given you a bit of insight into the Lore team and what we do! If you have questions, we have this lovely comment section you can write in, and as per usual I hope you enjoyed it, and I’ll see you next time, bye!