I have decided to continuing to work on my story idea for the beginning of a new indy game, possibly Avernun 7 (or another fantasy game within this trope). I have previously tried to take pictures of the old hand-written stuff I came up with one afternoon on a whim for a game idea and the scanning, or images created from the notes, didn’t turn out well. However, I highlighted some of the key ideas along with some art and marketing writing for such games, particularly Spiderweb Software’s, in this blog post.
As many of you know who have been reading this blog, I am a huge fan of Jeff Vogel’s Spiderweb Software and its games, particularly Avernun: Escape from the Pit. This game has a strong message behind it that I would summarize with the nouns exile, anguish, survival, rebellion, and above all else, triumph.
I originally played this game on an iPad Mini on a plane ride and trip to Poland from the U.S. and got hooked. It felt like the true WRPG or CRPG that the iPad at the time lacked and had no alternatives (even Baldurs Gate Enhanced Edition hasn’t come out back then on iOS or mobile). So it reminded me of one of my favorite genres of games: titles like Divine Divinity, Diablo and the Infnite Engine games (Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Planetscape Torment).
Images are taken from Spiderweb Software’s website and based on in-game art
Although I have not played any of the proceeding games in the series — the latest remake series now offers three of them already released although Avernun 3has not been released for iPad yet — I have read, researched and analyzed them. I have read many of the latest reviews of Avernun 3 and it, along with the initial Exile 3 release back in the 90s, seems to be the most ambitious title in the series. I have also been following Jeff Vogel’s recent interviews and he said that in his youth when Exile 3 came out he had many crazy ideas he liked to implement in his game design, and he recreated the title faithfully with the latest remake.
I was not able to complete my initial Avernun Escape from the Pit game run due to my iPad Mini being stolen along with the save data being wiped. This is why I have decided to replay it before purchasing both Avernun 2 and 3when it is released on the iPad (hopefully soon). I actually got almost to the end, or where I had different paths I could have taken like chose to fight the guardian dragon and escape to the surface. However, due to my saved data being wiped, I never got to properly see any of the possible endings.
Right now I am about a half way through the game now and enjoying it immensely. It is a living, breathing world, full of wonders and surprises. There are caves to explore, huge number of towns to navigate as well as various quests to complete; There are magical orbs that speak to you in the game to find, various artifacts, weapons and items to salvage; and a variety of ways to upgrade the characters in your party. The Avernun series are a complete RPG package and you can play them comfortably on any of the iPad’s touchscreens.
This brings me back to my initial point I wrote this blog post about. I wanted to showcase my ideas for Avernun 7, or a similar game in that veil of storytelling. Thus, it is a way to showcase my game writing skills and ability to tell a story. Here is the beginning of a potential Avernun 7 or a similar fantasy/RPG game I have written:
Storyline idea… In PDF format
A United States prisoner sits in a dinky cell in San Quentin who has been acting unruly and ended up in isolation not long after arriving during reception, or the take-in process for new prison inmates. He has been unruly and slow to accumulate to his surroundings at the facility as he was just brought in from a county lockup facility. However, he notices that guards are moving with shackles toward his cell and ask him to cuff up.
“What is this?” he asks”
To which a guard replies, “You just earned yourself a transfer inmate.”
The prisoner thinks about replying, but hesitates as though he understands how unpredictable things are within the prison walls and he is hoping he earned his way out of reception to a state facility quicker than expected.
However, as heis being escorted by two guards he realises he is being taken to a strange place he only heard about from other inmates through the grapevine. He sees them open a door that he was told was not in use for many decades into the old part of San Quentin through a sealed door that he was told was overflowing with water from the bay.
“I thought this area of the prison was not in use anymore” he said to one of the guards escorting him. just as he starts turning one of the big keys on a chain inside a sealed door
“For you we are making an exception,” the guard replies.
As he walks inside a dinky and mouldy interior of what looks like a part of an old ship that used to be stationed off the San Francisco coast before San Quentin even became a prison or was being constructed.
He walks in to an corridor that is almost pitch dark in appearance with some faint hissing sounds coming from the corners of the walkway below. Meanwhile, the guards close in on both sides of his being and he feels an almost drench of wetness hit his neck with a cold sense of the spirit from beings that once existed here.
Finally he is thrown inside a cell that has concrete rocks around it and a bed made out of stone and the keys are locked behind him.
As the guards leave, the one who threw him in says, “see, you should have confronted better to the environment you were destined to be in and was placed here by the law abiding society and not us. Now you will face the consequences of your unruly behavior.
The prisoner at first simply tries to take in this new surrounding and make sense of it, however he then sees there are puddles of water hitting corners of his bunk and he wonders how he can even get any sleep with water dropping on his bed in the exact spot he usually puts his head at.
He also noticed some light shine through the back of the cell into the vastness of freedom as he barely has a view of the endlessness of the Pacific Ocean.
Some say that San Quentin literally as originally built on the ocean itself with inmates living and working out of a boat to create the structures existing as a prison today.
As he ponders this and realizes the rumors are true and they are still using the old part of the prison thought to be no longer even existing much less a fully formed super hole unit connected through a tunnel to the main prison grounds.
He soon hears the sounds of rats squirming around him excited to see or hear a new hot body in this area of the compound.
“Just great… just what I expected on my first and last prison term: rats!!.,” he says to himself.
He starts to reconnect with his former life and ponder what got him in this mess, but snaps out of it quickly as he realizes that reminiscing about past events is pointless for him to survive the current moment.
He cannot shake the concept of freedom, however, no matter how much they tried to break him and continue to punish him for him not confronting to this sort of life. He still has hope and realizes freedom could be his one day despite receiving a life sentence for an alleged crime that occurred in his vicinity.
As he closes his eyes softly he noticed a song playing in his eardrums. It is a soft humming-like sound of drums and trumpets playing ia soft tune. However, the song soon grows louder and he noticed that it sounds like an inspirational battle song or something he would see in a historical film full of knights and warriors on a battlefield.
He walks to the main pathway and sees no light is visible outside what is inside his cell that is coming off the holes in the wall from the outside world shining some light in. So the prisoner closes his eyes in disbelief what just happened to him and wonders if he is hearing things now due to severe stress and trauma.
However, as he opens his eye the scenery grows even stranger as he sees a colorful teal light start to form inside his cell. He sees the light grow brighter and brighter with what he interprets as flashes of lighting coming off the epicenter of the light.
He then notices a portal formed. However, he still thinks he is dreaming and does not know what to make of this portal.
After a second of thought he decides to approach it and wonders when he will wake up from this nightmare.
As he gets up his bunk and starts to walk toward the portal in order to inspect it, he grows even more sure he is dreaming and to him an even more unbelievable scene unfolds.
A voice calls out to him from within this portal and he wonders if he is hearing things in his mind or if the voice is real. as it says, “step forward my child. Do not be afraid.”
He pauses for a second trying to make sense of what is happening only to hear, “This is your destiny. We have been waiting for you.”
The prisoner now wonders if he completely lost it, but decided to playa long with this dream of his or what he thinks is one and steps into the portal.
He walks inside the portal not knowing what to expect and feeling both anxious and perplexed. He then sort of snaps back into reality and feels a sense of euphoria at the idea of potential freedom.
As he steps inside the portal he instantly steps inside a strange new world full of wonders he could not even dream of. He sees a medieval-like landscape full of knights with heavy armour greeting him.
In front of him are two men dressed in medieval garb and strange attire such as long necklaces full of jade and shining crystals. One of the men seems to be truly dressed up and the prisoner feels he has an important position within this world he just entered.
His dress is made out of not just colorful attire, but has what looks like gold and jade embedded into its fabrics. Meanwhile he has a neckless that not only includes jade but a large teal crystal it the end of the string.
This man is the first one to speak and greets the prisoner .
“We have been waiting for you Aldricht, welcome back to Avernun.”
The prisoner is surprised by this and responds with a question.
“Who is Aldricht and why do you say welcome back here.”
“Aldricht was your name when you used to live within this lands and before you were cast off into the other dimension with your memories erased.,” the man replies.
The prisoner looks at the man dumbfounded.
“Avernun? What is Avernun? I have never heard of this place. Are we not in San Quentin right now?”
“You have been summoned again to Avernun, a land you once knew but forgotten,” the fancy dressed man replies. “You may have dreamt of it and remembered bits in pieces throughout your dreams, but did not realize you have seen this place have you? The dreams may have felt real to you because they were, they were memories you see.”
“We represent the high king of Avernun and have summed you as a result of turmoil going on in our land,” he continues. “Knowing the situation you were in in your world, we figured you would not mind being summoned back here. Wenwant to give you a chance to make your way as you intend to or were born to and choose your own path in life. This is a perfect opportunity for you to do that.”
The former prisoner looks confused as he is still dressed in tight orange clothing from the prison he just escaped. He eyes a set of freshly ironed clothes, armour and a sword on the corner of his eye as it sits on top of a table.
The high priest or leading person of this expedition to summon him who is addressing him notices his gaze at the set of clothing and says, “If you choose to stay in our world and make your destiny known away from the perils of confinement in your world, please take this set of clothes and armour and meet us at the castle up ahead.”
The former prisoner looks up to see an amazing sight. A castle sits on top of a high rock formation overlooking the valley he is standing in. It has majestic towers with dome on top shinning brightly the reflections off the sun rays hitting the surfaces.
“Otherwise you can just simply walk back through the portal behind you and go back to your confinement in that dark cell we summoned you out of, the high priest continues. “The choice is yours.”
The prisoner then sees a flash and a ball engulfs the party that was standing in front of him of strangely dressed men as they disappear into the mist before him. It seems so magical and separated from reality to him that he goes into a mild shock.
He then hears a voice in a fading whisper address him:
“We had that portal set up for eons as you were meant to be here and be in that ell at that given time as our legends predicted. Our land is being overrun as we speak and we need all the warriors we can muster if you are willing to join the cause. With magic and sword we can turn the tide.”
The voice than disappears as the prisoner thinks to himself:
“Warriors? Magic? Where am I? What is this?”
He starts to make his way to the castle and decides to try to make it in this world rather than go back to what was before it waiting in that portal now slowly fading away…
I may continue to work on this story so keep checking back as I will probably be adding to it over time. I also wrote another game story idea for a level of a Berling Wall game for some people here in Warsaw. I will look for it to see if I can paste it on here as I lost contact with those people and I do not believe they used the sample, although they said it had potential so who knows.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed it and keep checking back the site and blog for more similar content. I have also created some digital fantasy artwork to go along this story idea and may post some more here in the future:
All my images, visuals or art added on here or anywhere on this site is my copyright and if you want to work with me, commission me or hire me for additional work or to use any of my work, please contact me.