The World of Das Tal

Tell us your stories about the world and the people of The Exiled
User avatar
Emissary
Posts: 576
Joined: 27 Feb 2014, 12:36

The World of Das Tal

Postby Emissary » 26 Mar 2014, 10:37

I thought I might post a bit of an outline of the story behind the world of Das Tal. I did a 2 part Blog post entailing this a while back, but we have a lot of new people around and by posting it here I thought I might open it up to some comments more effectively. So let us know what you think of the storyline, and by all means throw in some ideas. This story line is also reasonably loose, as it is my own creation based on the more solid structure that Alex formed very early in the project and we then built on as a team.

Probably a good place to start is with saying that Das Tal does not take place in our world’s history. The only world known in Das Tal is the canyon the players will be confined to and the city that confines them. This city was built some time before Das Tal takes place, around 50 years. Those that built it were drawn from all over a sparse continent to the canyon and the river flowing into it. The canyon was rich with resources such as stone, wood and wildlife, in far greater quantities than found anywhere else.

As word of the canyon spread among the inland peoples, a slow but steady trickle of migration lead to small villages and shanty towns forming around the cliff edge where the river entered into the canyon. The problem faced by the people was that they could find no way down to the canyon floor. The cliffs were too sheer to climb and though one side was completely open to the ocean, their technology was too primitive to build any sort of ship capable of transporting more than a small group of people in calm water.

Eventually, a group of the hardiest of the population made the decision to scale the cliffs, with the hopes of setting up camp and starting work on a way to extract resources from the canyon. The party began gathering, and came up with an idea to use the power of the river to solve their problems. So began the construction of the Riverwalls, a great dam and aqueduct system that would simultaneously make entering the canyon easier as well as extracting resources possible.

The people on the river banks started diverting the flow of the river, digging channels and using the small amounts of timber they had, as the party in the valley began constructing large pillars which would support the system. While mining stone for the pillars of the system, a strange substance was found. The workers could not decide what the substance even was, some sort of clay? It seemed malleable like clay, and yet was slightly transparent like a thick jelly. There seemed no obvious use for the substance, but the workers decided to extract a portion from the earth and take it back to camp out of curiosity.

After some speculating back at camp and a lot of shrugging, the worker who had found the sample tucked it away in a simple pouch made of river reeds. But the following evening when he went to take a look at his trophy, he found something very strange. In stead of the jelly like substance he had placed there, he found a ball of green fibre which seemed to have fused with the pouch containing it. Confused, he showed several of the other workers, and after some discussion they immediately set out to gather more of the substance. Two days later, their suspicions were confirmed, as they had watched this strange jelly slowly imitate and join with stone and wood that they had placed it against. It did not take long for the people to realise what this substance could help them achieve. It was as light as hay making transportation extremely easy, and yet when molded on stone could create a colossal pillar in a matter of weeks. With 9 out of 10 workers now searching for and extracting this discovered substance, the construction of the entire dam and aqueduct system was completed in a mere 20 years.

Over the following 50 years, the people continued to use the substance to create an expansive city made of ivory and stone. The people had gone from living in tents and shacks to palaces in less than a century. Unsurprisingly, society was not so quick to catch up, and while the city was largely peaceful due to the ease of living they now enjoyed, class differences arose between the workers and those who now essentially sat around enjoying the city. Before any of these social differences could come to any sort of head, a sickness swept through the working class. Workers from the canyon and in the city became delirious with fever, and were bed ridden for days. In the weeks to come they began to suffer from growths on their skin, and many who woke from their coma were violent and incoherent.

A group of strange people began walking the streets, calling out to the citizens that they were being punished for tearing out the heart of the planet itself and using it for selfish means. They urged those who were not afflicted to cast the sick into the canyon, or watch the illness spread and destroy their civilisation. The city’s people took to this story quite easily, having only partially given up rituals and beliefs from their time living on the plains. The workers, who were now becoming less bed ridden patients and more deranged prisoners, were frantically transported to the canyon floor in the dam’s lift system. From then on the canyon was no longer a rich source of bounty for the city, but a prison and potential threat in stead.

The group who ordered the removal of the workers used the state of shock the city was in to take control, declaring themselves as a ruling council. Any who opposed them were imprisoned in the canyon along with the workers. That my friends takes us all the way up to the commencement of the game world. Players will be one of these citizens, damned to the canyon for any number of reasons the council decide.

User avatar
dbltnk
Game Developer
Posts: 2544
Joined: 27 Feb 2014, 12:52

Re: The World of Das Tal

Postby dbltnk » 26 Mar 2014, 10:40

There's also a German version that I wrote a while ago. Though it's more of a designer's take on story than that of a writer. =D

Das namensgebende Tal war einst eine grüne Oase nahe einer großen Salzwüste. Als die ersten Nomaden sich an den Klippen nördlich des Tals ansiedelten, waren sie noch in viele kleine Stammesgruppen unterteilt. Doch dann fingen sie an, eine gemeinsame Stadt zu errichten. Dazu nutzten sie die Rohstoffe des Tals. Zuerst nur sehr beschränkt. Aber mit immer größeren technischen Fähigkeiten kam auch der immer stärker werdende Raubbau an der Natur.

Bald bemerkten die Städter, dass die Erde im Tal – vor allem der Schlamm des Flussbetts – eine Substanz enthielt, die nicht nur ihre Ernte verbesserte sondern auch ihnen selbst Fähigkeiten gab, die sie nie für möglich gehalten hätten. Große Kraft und Geschwindigkeit. Resistenz gegen Krankheiten und Verletzungen. Schärfere Sinne. Und schließlich und endlich sogar Fähigkeiten, die einige Stadtbewohner als „Magie“ bezeichneten.

Mit diesen neuen Fähigkeiten wurde der Raubbau an der Natur stärker und stärker, bis aus dem einst grünen Tal eine fast apokalyptisch anmutende Minen-Umgebung wurde. Um besser an den Schlamm zu kommen wurde ein Staudamm errichtet, der das Wasser des Flusses um das Tal herum leitete. Und damit begannen die wirklichen Probleme. Die einst so erstarkten Arbeiter im Tal fingen durch den Über-Konsum der Substanz an, reihenweise zu erkranken. Die meisten starben nach langem Siechtum. Bei manchen aber vernebelte die Substanz ihren Geist. Viele wurden so aggressiv, dass die Städter dazu übergingen, sie zu verstoßen und im Tal auszusetzen.

Nach einer Zeit beschlossen die Städter, dass nun das Ende des Tals gekommen sei. Sie versiegelten alle Zugänge zur einstigen Oase und erklärten das Tal für tabu. Und dabei blieb es für viele Generationen.
In den Jahren nach dem Verschluss des Tals begann sich die Stimmung in der Stadtbevölkerung zu ändern. Die einst so großzügigen Menschen fingen an, um ihre Zukunft zu fürchten. Was sollten Sie nun tun, jetzt da der Reichtum des Tals ihnen nicht mehr zur Verfügung stand? Mit der Angst kamen große politische Veränderungen. Früher organisiert in Stammesräten erhob sich nun eine - die stärkste - Fraktion unter der Führung einer einzelnen Person, und innerhalb weniger Jahre wurde die Gesellschaft der Stadt zu einer wahren Diktatur.

Unter dem Vorwand der Sicherheit wurden immer mehr Regeln erlassen, die dem Machterhalt dieser Fraktion galten. Freidenker und politische Gegner wurden als Dissidenten gebrandmarkt und kamen hinter Schloss und Riegel. Genauso erging es wohlhabenden Landbesitzern, Intellektuellen und allen die nicht mit den „modernen Zeiten“ einverstanden waren.

Als die Kerker voller und voller wurden, kam man zu dem Entschluss, dass es eine viel billigere und saubere Lösung für das „Dissidenten-Problem“ gäbe: die Verbannung in das Tal. Im Laufe der nächsten Wochen und Monate wurden alle Eingekerkerten über einen einzelnen Lastenaufzug in das Tal gebracht und dort mit minimalen Ressourcen ihrem Schicksal überlassen.

Du bist einer dieser Menschen. Verbannt in das Tal ist es deine Aufgabe, hier eine neue Gesellschaft aufzubauen, dich mit den anderen Verbannten zu arrangieren und hoffentlich eines Tages aus der Verbannung fliehen zu können – in eine bessere Zukunft und ein sicheres Leben.

User avatar
grayfox
Alpha Tester
Posts: 150
Joined: 02 Apr 2014, 20:12

Re: The World of Das Tal

Postby grayfox » 02 Apr 2014, 22:20

hmm... the story is interesting. so the workers got sick from this substance? and got mutated into aggressive creatures and people (players) were send down to eliminate the threath but while they were at it they wanted to rule too and thats how this war started?

did i understand correctly? :P
We are not Tools for the Goverment.

User avatar
dbltnk
Game Developer
Posts: 2544
Joined: 27 Feb 2014, 12:52

Re: The World of Das Tal

Postby dbltnk » 02 Apr 2014, 23:02

Close. They got sick, mutated, got expelled. Then the valley was closed for good for a long time. Only now due to rising social unrest in the city outside are people forced to enter the valley - it's basically one huge prison.

User avatar
grayfox
Alpha Tester
Posts: 150
Joined: 02 Apr 2014, 20:12

Re: The World of Das Tal

Postby grayfox » 02 Apr 2014, 23:27

oh ok cool :P
We are not Tools for the Goverment.

User avatar
Zergash
Alpha Tester
Posts: 7
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 13:19

Re: The World of Das Tal

Postby Zergash » 30 Apr 2014, 10:13

Hi there, am i allowed to ask some questions?

- If the "strange substance" fuses with stone, wood and other plants - how can it be found anywhere? There has to be some material it does not fuse with, yes? If so, what is it? Probably some type of rock?

- it would be neat to have some gritty name for the ruling council (or the dictator?), which are in fact the antagonists of the story, and which will (maybe) influence the PVE aspects of the game. Like sending scouts or raiding partys into the valley to whipe out any threats to the city above. (after all, they are not interested to see anything grow down there!)

Cheers,
Zerg

User avatar
Emissary
Posts: 576
Joined: 27 Feb 2014, 12:36

Re: The World of Das Tal

Postby Emissary » 30 Apr 2014, 13:00

Zergash wrote:

Of course you can ask questions mate, I like it when people take interest in the story side of things :)

As far as the substance goes, I had the same thought as you when we were first talking about the idea. My personal take on it is that the substance can not alter itself without consistent contact with the same substance (so for example it can be present in flowing water without just turning into water, because it is moving around with no constant contact to any particular molecules). In addition, when encased in rock or something similar, it is inactive or dormant.

With the story we kind of want to take the approach that we don't explicitly tell everyone 'what happened', but we explore back stories ourselves that could make sense to give the ideas a certain amount of plausibility. So my view on it is that perhaps the substance arrived in a meteor that collided with the planet a long time ago, and is still encased in the rock it arrived in, and becomes active when it is brought out into the open air.

Going back to water, we are leaning in the direction of water having a lot to do with the substance. The river systems in the valley could be carrying the substance around, meaning it is drawn up into plants and sifted into the earth. With this in mind, our lead artist Michail has already had some cool ideas for buildings and tools that could be used in 'extraction processes' of sorts, dragging the water to extract accumulated amounts of the substance, or scraping out tree roots and boiling them to get small amounts. Cool stuff like that, kind of like the substance needs to be refined to become potent enough to take on these strange characteristics.

We have also discussed the dictator/council etc. and what you have said here is very similar to our own ideas. We like the idea of the city above being a potential PvE challenge, but we aren't sure how much we are going to involve them in every day gameplay, as Das Tal is first and foremost a PvP game. There will be story to support that when it becomes a bit more crucial, but feel free to throw around ideas, the storyline we have is as much up for discussion with players as our systems are :)

User avatar
Zergash
Alpha Tester
Posts: 7
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 13:19

Re: The World of Das Tal

Postby Zergash » 30 Apr 2014, 14:20

Maybe it does not really change into water but just gets watered down really fast that it appears to be water - but actually can be filtered and recombined later.

The origin of the substance can be really anything, it just could be interesting to see a specific kind of terrain in dungeons or areas that has some kind of... maybe - osidian? / vulcanic-rock feeling to it, that allways appears around original sources of the substance.

- the strange substance needs a name which the poeple of the valley call it by :D

User avatar
Emissary
Posts: 576
Joined: 27 Feb 2014, 12:36

Re: The World of Das Tal

Postby Emissary » 30 Apr 2014, 15:36

It will definitely need a name. We will cross that bridge when we get to it though :) I like the idea of giving it a fantasy kind of name, but naming it Flesh of the Earth or something weird like that could work too. We will see. We will get feedback and discuss it internally :)

The substance will very likely affect the world visually, showing evidence in colored stone etc. but I am not sure if we will have specific areas that will be 'themed' after the substance, as I think it is more likely that the substance will be spread around many different areas, but just rare/hard to obtain, so there will likely not be a place where it is concentrated in a way that would make it visually distinguishable. The terrain will have various styles and features though, don't worry about that. The desert theme we currently have is simply the first we worked on.

User avatar
dbltnk
Game Developer
Posts: 2544
Joined: 27 Feb 2014, 12:52

Re: The World of Das Tal

Postby dbltnk » 30 Apr 2014, 16:30

Finding names for things is the worst ... so hard. =D


Return to “Game Lore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests