Gamasutra’s Story Design Challenge

Was a little bit rusty because of all the Quality Analyzing I’ve been doing lately so I decided to send a last minute entry to Gamasutra’s Story Design Challenge. I only got an honorable mention but I guess that’s not too bad for something I made during my one hour break. Here it is:

World of Hellespoint 

The first thing any person see as he steps into the spaceport of Hellespoint is the crimson glow emitted by the world’s atmosphere(in fact this low permeates everything in the world so that almost everything an inhabitant sees will be tinted with a crimson hue). This reddish glow coupled with an almost perpetual drizzle creates what the natives of the world call the ‘tears of blood’. People describe Hellespoint as ‘ a world trapped in time’ and this title is given rightfully so, as a traveller journeying across Hellespoint will find structures dating back across all eras of human civilization. These structures, an uninformed traveller will observe will not be as weathered by time as he expects, and in fact they look quite new.The structures were made by the inhabitants of Hellespoint. Both the living and the dead.

Above Hellespoint is a massive, swirling storm. It is from this storm which comes The Bound. The bound are the souls of people who have passed away. Once in a while the storm will let loose a barrage of souls(in the hundreds), and these souls will be seen falling from the sky in flames. A traveller seeing this event for the first time will find it magnificent and scary as hundreds of fiery souls fall down to the earth screaming.

No one knows why the the storm above Hellespoint sends out this barrage of souls, and when the bound are asked what is in the other side of the storm they can’t remember.

Hellespoint, the Storm, and the Bound War 

A long time ago, Hellespoint was just like any other world colonized by humanity but somewhere along its history something went awry. The natives of the world said that it was an experiment gone wrong or something, but whatever happened it changed the fate of the small planet. The massive storm which appeared above Hellespoint sent hundreds of the bound to the surface of the planet. The bound found themselves hungry, and growing mad with hunger they found that they could feed on the will of the living. Thus started the Bound War. During the bound war, the living found that their weapons did not have any effect on the bound and they found themselves on the losing end of the war. Fortunately, one of the living scientists found a way of ‘binding’ a soul to a living being so that a soul does not need to feed constantly(and thus not grow mad with hunger). Using this process, both the living and the dead lived in symbiosis(the living gaining some special abilities during the process as well). The tide of war was turned as the souls found that binding with a host was better than killing them(they were still thinking like humans after all).

The Unbound 

When a soul falls down to the surface they are immediately beset by a very strong hunger. If a soul cannot find a host in time, it grows mad and forgets that it was once human or dead and feeds on both. The inhabitants of the world call them the Unbound and they pose the greatest danger to all life and unlife in Hellespoint.

The City of Hellespoint 

The city of Hellespoint is the center of the world, It is a massive circular city that extends underground and inhabited by both the living and the bound. At the center of the city(and almost directly below the eye of the storm) is the Panoptica, a rotating orb floating above the city(at the center). It is here from which the rest of the world is kept in order.


The architecture of most of the buildings in Hellespoint is similar to most buildings found in 1950s New York(or during the great depression), but with some cyberpunk technology thrown here and there. There are also gothic styled buildings like cathedrals with spires reaching up to the skies. Generally all types of architecture can be found in the city because of the bound

Other parts of the world: 

The Reich 

To the south of the world is the Reich. A totalitarian state built by Adolph Hitler when he fell to Hellespoint. Adolph found a weak willed host and went to work again. There are rumors that the Reich is experimenting with technology to control the unbound.

Games set in this world 

The games set in this world will have a film-noir feeling to them. A stereotypical story would start with: ‘It is a dark and stormy night..(the soul storm). The hero would be a private detective who finds an unlikely client in a girl who enters his office drenched in the ‘tears of blood’, and the game begins.

Casual Connect Asia 2012

So in a previous post, I mentioned that I’ve laid out several goals or ‘missions’ to help me improve as a game designer or game developer, and one of the harder goals in my list was to attend several game conferences. Last May 22-24  I had the opportunity to just do that(Well a part of the mission at least) by attending Casual Connect Asia 2012 in Suntec City, Singapore.

Off to the lectures! We decided to just walk from Chinatown to Suntec city.

With Margaret Wallace CEO of Playmatics. Can’t wait to play Shadow Government!

During the course of the conference I had the opportunity to meet other game developers from around the world, and to learn about the latest trends in the casual games industry. I was particularly interested in augmented reality and gamification so most of the lectures I attended were related to these topics or in game design.

To make the most of the whole Casual Connect experience I also attended some lectures on game developments as businesses. These lectures were about getting into Asian markets, the use of analytics(found out that I am interested in this), getting more players using various game portals,  knowledge that I won’t be able to use yet this early in my career but I’ll probably use in the near future if ever the plan for the start up pushes through.

So yeah, it was a really great and fun learning experience for me. However, the most important lesson I got during the whole event, I learned not from the lecture rooms but in one of the networking parties hosted by the sponsors. With a Heineken beer in hand, and bored as hell I realized that I knew very little about game development as a business. There I was feeling out of place(well I was out of place) in the midst of the business men and women of the casual games industry, and I had no idea what they were talking about(that’s an exaggeration). An unpleasant experience but a very valuable one at that. So I guess that’s one more thing for me to learn as well.

Anyways, that’s my whole Casual Connect experience. I would like to elaborate more on some of the lectures I’ve attended but I haven’t had the time to fix my notes yet. The Casual Connect slides will be available in a few weeks however so you can check them out right here: Casual Connect Asia .