Let me tell you a story

One by one they are disappearing
Friends, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers
When they return they aren’t who you think

They look the same. They sound the same
But they are no longer the same…

The most unholy of spells incanted,
Undead fire burns in its victims’ eyes…

The Nethermancer has spoken
His was the last voice they heard…
Before they were perverted into monsters with familiar faces

In a world without heroes
Who can you trust?

In a world where the dead are rising
Who can you turn to?
No one.
No one is safe

Can you save the world from everyone you ever cared about?

This, my friends, is the promotional snippet for Deathfire, designed to whet your appetites. Because of my vacations and all the stuff going on here, it has been a while since my last Developer Diary update, but today I thought, I’d give you a bit of a glimpse at the game’s story.

As you can certainly tell from the blurb above, there are some sinister things going on in the world. From villages, people are disappearing at random. Families are torn apart and the people are mourning and heartbroken.

But that is not all there is to it. At the same time, hordes of zombies appear and threaten the once peaceful villages. Flesh-eating monsters that tear into anything that lives. The worst part, however? These are the same people who went missing… These are the fathers, mothers, sons, sisters and friends… and they do not distinguish friend from foe. They simply… feast!

Rumor among the villagers has it that it is all the doing of an evil Nethermancer, who is hiding out in the hilltop runs of the old Apocryphic Temple. Abandoned long ago, haunted they say, and a cesspool for wicked and foul creatures, the Temple can no longer be reached directly. Thickets and forests, ravines and collapsed bridges make it all but impossible to reach the ancient structure. And yet, as its ruins claw at the sky like skeletal fingers, flickering lights can be seen among the walls. Shrieks of the tortured souls can be heard emanating from its crumbling walls and a strange, unholy glow permeates the place, as fell creatures prowl through the woods, spreading further and further, spewing forth the undead in a never-ending stream of walking death.

This is the premise of Deathfire, a story in which the Nethermancer Endergast has uncovered an ancient spell so devastating, so frightening that it had been banished for centuries. By burning his victims’ souls with an undead flame, he reclaims their bodies to do his bidding. He is gathering an army and soon, the legions of the undead will outnumber those of the living.

So this Nethermancer is really just a Necromancer, you may be tempted to think, but alas no, let me allay that misconception right here. The craft of Nethermancy is far more vicious. Unlike Necromancy it reaches out not only into the realms of the dead, but also… hey, what am I saying? I wont spoil this for you. You’ll find out in the game, because this is where you come in.

When your father has disappeared like so many before him, you rally a small group of adventurers. While you know there is no salvation for the poor souls taken and destroyed by the Nethermancer, at least you can try to put their bodies to rest and put an end to Endergast. And if you will find the same grisly end as all those around you, at the very least you died, trying!

This is only the “front end” of story, of course. The part that we present to you, the prospective player, in order to get you intrigued in the game’s premise. Once you enter the game you will very quickly find that there is a lot more to it. Nothing is as simple as it may seem and with many plot twists and turns, the story will quickly take on a much more elaborate and grander scope than you may initially suspect. In a way, I wish I could share with you many of the cool ideas we have prepared for the game’s plot, but that would truly spoil the fun for you. However, throughout the story there will be encounters with various other characters and I think in the weeks to come I may introduce you to a few of those. It may give you a better understanding of the various factions and key players in the game and hint at some of the dilemmas you may encounter as a player.

Meanwhile I hope this little glimpse into the game’s story has gotten your attention and will rev up your own imagination as to what Deathfire will hold in store for you. In my next update, however, I plan to give you an update on the Focus Group we did a little while back. Not only will I tell you in detail what it was about, but more importantly, I will break down the results for you so that you, too, can see how other role-players felt about some of the questions we posed. Naturally, the post will also let you know what conclusion we came to on our end, and finally reveal the actual title of the game. Remember, up to this point Deathfire has always been merely a project title, in reference to the Nethermancer’s horrific spell. So, stay tuned. Until next time…


6 Replies to “Let me tell you a story”

  1. Mark Coburn

    Okay I am hooked already! 🙂 Just the premise of the story has endless and boundless potential. And I am upset that I myself (being an old CRPG veteran player) did not think of the EPIC combination of Necromancy and Nether World magic disciplines. They kind of go together like chocolate and peanut butter…absolutely brilliant! Cannot wait to hear more.

    Was an honor and pleasure to be a part of the Focus Group 😀

    I wish I could contribute more….you have these old untapped creative juices flowing now…lol. Good luck and thanks for the update!

  2. AbounI

    A very well written entry that thirst me.No doubt the whole story will quench it.keep the good things about Deathfire going up.It makes more sense for the title now.Thanks

  3. Sacred_Path

    I hope that Endergast isn’t the real antagonist. Giving away the antagonist at the start ruins all suspense IMO

  4. Guido

    I’m not sure I agree entirely. It depends on the story and how the story plays out, I suppose. Some of the greatest stories and movies introduce you to the antagonist right from the beginning, and oftentimes the excitement comes from how you’re going to bring them down. Apart from that… unless you play and finish the game you won’t know if he’s really the antagonist or not, so there’s always a lot of room for surprises.

    The same goes for basic premises as well. One could argue that this is just another army of zombies game, but if you look at it that way, “Planescape: Torment” was just another amnesia game, “Star Trail” was just another quest item game and “Baldur’s Gate” was just another stop-the-bad-guys game. Ultimately, it comes down to the execution and how a story unfolds as you play it and where the actual focus turns to.

  5. Sacred_Path

    I admit that I simply have an aversion to this. Baldur’s Gate was ruined for me because I knew exactly who I was going to face in the end, and the relatively open world lost its appeal because BG was the only inaccessible location on the map making it clear where the showdown would unfold. So despite being relatively open world it sure felt like being railroaded.
    If you just take things back one step, i.e. it’s clear the undead are a major problem but you don’t know the specifics at first, really improves things IMO.

    But yeah I don’t really know anything for sure yet… thankfully 😉

  6. Sean

    I really like the story so far and look forward to future developments. Obviously the main thing that draws me to this is the darker story telling, I love it! I couldn’t help but notice you are using Unity. I think that is awesome, and on a side note I saw that there are dungeon assets available as of recently from Richard Garriot’s game project Shroud of the Avatar. I would love to see some of your work and inspiration in that game as well as the game is being opened up to the backers and I guess anyone who wants to purchase the assets from the google market.

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