I have always felt curiosity and admiration for existing mythologies in different cultures and religions. What I am really attracted to is to know how they, with their stories, can explain the origins of life, the earth, or even the universe. Tolkien affirmed that the great story, to which he dedicated most of his life, was intended to grant England the mythology or the mystical world origin that it never had. His origin story ended up being published by his son Christopher in the book The Silmarillion.
Perhaps in envy of the creative capacity of many authors, some years ago I set out to write a fantasy novel, designing my own world from its origin. An origin that would explain all the facts in order to create a totally coherent story, and still belong to a familiar genre.
Unfortunately, I didn’t go beyond 100 pages… However, I thought deeply and documented the world I had created with a lot of details. This was done with its chronology, origin story, deities, rules, and protagonists.
Some time after, I began to read a marvelous blog titled Crpgaddict (a mandatory resource for RPG lovers). Then suddenly, I found myself enthusiastic about the idea of creating an RPG similar to the classics, which in my opinion, consist of three main elements:
- An epic story, which is original, sometimes strange, but not afraid of being too fantastic. It is something that seems to have been lost recently with the exception of some Japanese productions. Not everything in life must be serious or realistic, and not all plots must political conspiracies or about the betrayal of one faction or another. I have no intention of being pigeonholed by these sorts of themes.
- A game system that rewards intelligence, imagination, deductions and strategies; instead of skills and reflexes of the player, or maneuvering complicated combinations of buttons in a few milliseconds.
- A challenging environment…, yes, I love challenges. I love feeling small and vulnerable in a vast, dangerous world. I want my “stupid” actions to have negative consequences, and I want accomplishments to feel like my own, like I’ve earned them. I don’t want to feel like success in a game is simply the result of a programmed script or tutorial that wants to convince me that I am a hero.
And so, with these guidelines in mind, I decided to develop a game using the same story that I was writing in a failed novel project.
I started working on the whole story for a while for a while that way…, until I realized that it was so big and epic, that it surpassed the resources of a small group of developers pretending to create a game as a hobby in their free time. It is a shame, because I thought it was really good…
But far from giving up, I decided that I would develop its prequel, a story under the same mythological frame that would end the just about where a great central story would begin. If the game is somewhat successful and we can count on more revenues, then we may be able make a following chapter that would fit with the first one perfectly. That said, I don’t want anyone to think that Lords of Xulima is only a prologue. It is a complete epic narration, with a grand finale.
This is how Lords of Xulima, a story of Gods and men was conceptualized.
We will soon talk a bit more about the mythology of Xulima, and then we will cover the gameplay system.