SETTING & STORY:
My game environment is set in a temple, located on a hilltop above a city in a semi-realistic game world. The religion, climate, and plant life are loosely based on northern Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, while the architecture is loosely based on Moroccan buildings.
All the buildings on the temple grounds are old and overgrown, but not in a complete state of ruin. The flowering vines that grow within the walls are revered as sacred and are allowed to grow wild. Small cracks have formed in the stone over time as small flowers and grasses push through. Colorful flowering vines wrap around the columns and cover large sections of the roof.
The temple is dedicated to a bee goddess who is believed to support agriculture, longevity and productivity. She was once one of the most important deities of the primary religion in this region, revered especially by farmers. As the society moved forward into a more industrial and trade-based economy, she gradually became less significant, and is now considered a minor deity. A small group of devoted priestesses still maintain the temple and grounds, but few outsiders now visit.
The temple was originally built on the site of a large beehive. It originally began in the hollowed stump of a tree which had grown above a natural spring. Over time, the spring tunneled out a channel beneath the tree. The tree’s roots eventually rotted and broke through the roof of the tunnel, allowing the bees expanded their hive downwards through these holes, lining the walls and ceiling of the tunnel. When the temple was built, a special entrance was constructed to allow human access to the underground portion of the hive, and a small shrine was built beneath the tree.
The bees themselves are believed to be the reincarnations of former priestesses, so loved by the goddess that she would not be parted from them by death. Their honey and wax is the goddess’ gift to the people of the city, and a healthy, productive hive is a sign of her continued blessing and goodwill.
The player character is a young priestess at the temple, who will be controlled in third person.
Her appearance is based on a combination of ancient and modern beekeeping techniques. Similar to a modern beekeeping suit, the fabric is loose to keep bees away from the skin, with tight wrappings sealing the neck, wrists and ankles to prevent bees from becoming trapped under the fabric. Her head is shaved based on the ancient belief that scented oils in hair agitated the bees.
My level will be primarily exploration-based, with the focus being on the artistic aspects of the design. The player will be able to explore both the upper temple and the tunnel below. It will be like the beginning of a game, intended to establish a setting and introduce the first part of the story. I particularly want to try to explain the back-story through the setting, especially the carvings and artwork in the temple.
If it were extended into a full game, the player would have to embark on a journey to find a cure after a mysterious sickness infects the beehive. If I have time to implement any dialogue I would like to start telling this story as well.
The style is semi-realistic, with vibrant colors and slightly stylized characters. I want to give it a slightly otherworldly feeling to emphasize the idea of a sacred place. The game will be set in mid-afternoon, with bright sunlight illuminating the plants and buildings. The palette will be primarily greens, yellows, and white.
The level will have a small amount of nature sounds, especially the buzzing of the bees. Music will be light and simple to complement the natural landscape.