David Forest
Canada
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Hi everyone! For this third diary, we'll be going over how we came up with Dust, our traveling warrior from the desert. Perhaps surprisingly, she is the first character we designed when we started imagining the fantasy water world of Tidal Blades, and we’d like to invite you behind the scene of this creation process!

One reason we came up with Dust so early is that we felt we needed a sense of scale - we wanted Turtles and Crocs to look huge, Betalods tiny, and to get that across visually, nothing compares to seeing a human next to them. The second reason is we wanted to create contrast. We wanted a character that would stand out from this peculiar water world and be very easy to relate to. That's how this vision appeared of a tenacious swordwielder crossing the desert and reaching the Blue City for the first time. She doesn’t know anything about this city, just like us, and so through her eyes we can discover it all.



Because of some particularity of the game design in Tidal Blades: Part 2, each character needed to have a proficiency in one of the four traits. We decided Dust was going to be the character embodying Resilience, and that's how we came up with her story. It goes like this.

On the other side of the Great Desert lived humans. Some foraged and some farmed, but only the best of them could become Traders. A Trader's life meant embarking on a long and dangerous journey every year to cross the endless desolated dunes, bringing back crates of exquisite fruits for everyone's delight. The road was full of perils - sandstorms, bandits, sandacondas. A hundred slow-moving Droskas laden with food were bound to attract danger, and so in this unpredictable, scorching landscape, trading usually meant a lot of fighting too.

Dust had been observing the Traders practice the art of the sword ever since she was little. She dreamed of the Blue City, and everytime she bit into one of those strange foreign fruit, she could feel her vision crystalize. The Traders did try to explain to her that these fruit had a real, proven effect of heightening focus, and that it didn’t mean she had to get herself killed for some improbable dream, but she wouldn’t hear it. Once Dust had set a goal for herself, there was no one stealing it from her.

Every year, on the day of departure, she would go to Nyrock’s caravan, the Traders’ leader. “Let me come with you!”, she would ask, and without a word spoken he would raise his heavy bone sword, challenging her to prove her worth. Each time she’d charge with all her might, only to meet a dance of deflected swings. And each time, as the master swordsman climbed back on his Droska’s back, the same words would burn her to the core: “The Caravan is not your calling, young girl”.

But she did not get discouraged. Every year, she would train harder and harder until she became the strongest of her village. Facing further refusals, Dust would take it no more: “Why? What more do you expect from me? I could defeat any of your Traders here - I deserve to come with you!”” And with his same, implacable tone he replied: “As I told you, young girl. The Caravan is not your calling”. “Well, we’ll see about that!”, she thought. And on that day, without looking back, she grabbed her sword and started walking behind the Caravan.

The voyage took 30 days. Though she faced many perils, she never called to the Caravan for help. Nyrock had not invited her and she would not ask for his pity. She had no choice but to keep walking. Even though her body was breaking, even though each step pierced her like a knife, she pressed forward. Then, as she covered her eyes from the blinding sun, reaching the top of a stark white dune like she had done a thousand times, her tiredness suddenly evaporated. There, glimmering like a jewel at the horizon, was the Blue City of Naviri. It had nearly cost her life, but despite all odds she it had made it through the Great Droskani Desert on her own. To her left, she could see the Caravan and Nyrock looking solemnly at her. He nodded, climbed back on his Droska’s back, and gestured her to jump on board for the final miles.



Humans don’t just go wild for the fruits of Naviri but also bring valuable crystals from the mountains to trade in exchange. Yokaranite is used for many blades and construction throughout Naviri and is part of the secret alloy behind the notoriously unbreakable Trinite swords. It is in fact no surprise that the Glassforgers Guild established their largest furnace near the beach, where they can get a steady supply of the precious crystal they require to run their operations.

Finally, no story of the desert would be complete without mentioning the famous Droska Ring. Droskas are large beetle creatures tamed by humans and used for travel. In the early days, The Crooked Rock was used as a resting place for Droskas, a place where they could sleep in the shade while waiting for the caravan to leave. Over time, the caravan grew bigger and as demand for Yokaranite expanded, the traders started staying months on end on the beach. The Crooked Rock was eventually turned into a permanent arena called the Droska Ring, providing respite and distractions for humans - and fish-folk alike -, as they waited to journey back to their mountainous homeland.
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Filipa Tato
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What a strong character, thanks for another entry on the diary
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