Work-In-Progress Spotlights
January 29th, 2016 by Mr Wednesday

Wrath of the Traibs

A project by Possidon

What's this you say, they're letting him write the Work In Progress Spotlights now? Next they will be letting Major Helper on the ever so entertaining television show Chopped!

You probably didn't say that (because you undoubtedly think Major Helper would do AWESOME on Chopped), but anyway...today we feature a project from our very own reporter and cherub, Possidon! And as interviewing himself would be rather awkward, everyone's fifth favorite AoKH angel has kindly stepped in to ask the questions about this pretty amazing project.

That project is called Wrath of the Traibs. It features a lot of interesting ideas, such as the use of The_Slayer90's Crusade Expansion, a modified .dat file submitted to the blacksmith many years ago. Perhaps even more interesting will be its soundtrack, which promises to feature a mix of rock, metal, orchestral, and cinematic music. Now throw in a little magic and some complex storylines, and put it all on a giant map. If that isn't ambitious enough for you, Wrath of the Traibs is just one part of an entire world of stories set in this world that Possidon hopes to one day bring to life in the editor.

I sat down with everyone's favorite cherub (sorry, John!) and asked him some questions about Wrath of the Traibs:

Hi, Possidon. For someone who knows nothing about your project, how would you sum up Wrath of the Traibs?

Possidon: Wrath of the Traibs is a single-player fantasy adventure scenario. It is set in the magical world of Dystonia, which is being torn apart by a religious war between two tribes: The Xanders and the Traibs. In the scenario you take the role of Alexander, a mercenary hired by King Sebastian of the Traibs to rescue his spy Drent, who has been captured by Yassen, King of the Xanders.

The scenario has a lot of background and history regarding the world that I have created, which has expanded throughout the years of production. It focuses on various themes: religion, genocide, magic, and extremism, to name a few. You will get to play many different styles including RPG, Fixed Force, and Build & Destroy.

Speaking of years, this is a project that has been in the works for quite some time. What are some of the ways it has evolved or grown since you first started it?

Possidon: This is a project that started way back in 2010, not too long after I first joined AOKH. Back then, I knew nothing about the editor (or much else, for that matter). I contrived an initial story about a war between two tribes and a mercenary sent to rescue somebody. I made a project thread and started work. However, a couple of months later I lost the file to a virus and that was that.

About a year later I found a document on my computer that included all of the background information on the scenario. It was simple and just contained basic character details, brief information on the tribes and a simple story outline. After reading through it I decided that I quite liked the story and characters, and so I decided to start it again. By this point I had learned much more about the editor and I was confident that I could do a better job.

Over the years, the project has grown bigger and bigger. I have developed the story a lot more - it has gone from being a story about a rescue to a story of love, family, religion, and retribution. The background information is now close to a 10 page document that includes more and more characters, both major, minor and historical. It includes information on the world in which it is set and the religion that its inhabitants follow. The project has also gone from a single scenario to an ambitious and near impossible franchise that will hopefully include sequels, prequels, and spin-offs.

Interesting. I think the question everyone will think of after reading that is...how close to being done are you?

Possidon: After all of these years, the project is almost complete. It's been pushed back time and time again, but after a couple of successful playtests I'm doing some final troubleshooting for the sake of quality. It could be released at any time in the foreseeable future, as I'm pursuing a degree and I have a very time-consuming job, but I aim to have it finished by summertime.

Wow, a WIP that will actually be done! Imagine that.:)

Last question, so I'll make it a hard one. You mentioned it being a story about, among other things, religion, genocide, and extremism -- all controversial topics. Add in emotional themes about love and family, and you have a lot of complexity going on. How do you tackle telling a complex story in an isometric 2D game with tiny pixels and military units for characters? And how did you balance that storytelling with gameplay?

Possidon: While the story has some complex themes, I still believe it's fairly simple and easy to follow. A lot of the detailed material is explained in cutscenes which will be integral to the playing experience. You'll be given a background information document that you are recommended to read (but don't have to if you don't want to). That will give you information on the setting, history and a little detail on the characters before you play. The rest of the story is mainly told by you, the player - as you bring your characters to different parts of the world, you will learn more about what is going on. I also believe that the unique soundtrack included in the scenario helps the story flow and fits with what's going on, and that the tracks with lyrics are quite fitting as well. The story itself is split into three parts, with each part having a different gameplay style. Part 1 is focused on RPG, part two is more FF and cinematic, while part three is mainly B&D.

And, as a picture is worth a thousand words (right around the length of this spotlight), here is FIVE TIMES more info than I already gave you.