Defender's Quest II: The City of Ennekar


#1

LARS: As the Defender's Quest II engine and Defender's Quest HD get further along towards completion, we've been building up a huge internal backlog of story and art materials as our writer, James, keeps churning on. He's currently up to his fifth draft of the DQII story and we figured


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://www.fortressofdoors.com/defenders-quest-2-the-city-of-ennekar/

#2

Just reading that makes me want to play it even more! I love that the setting isn’t a black and white, good or evil, overly simplified vision of a society undergoing change…it’s much more interesting as a multi-shaded mosaic. There’s just so much more to work with when you have the messily authentic dynamic of competing-yet-interconnected pockets of society fighting for their personal vision in a world of limited resources. Should be fun. Not sure how the previous concept of “revenant” would be applied to this new world though… mist-born, perhaps? Is that what unifies the disparate groups, a common enemy?

Can’t wait!


#3

Heya! :smile:

So when we first designed the story for Defender’s Quest I, we realized we had basically three types of enemy archetypes that would make sense for a Tower-Defense game:

  • “Zombies”
  • “Robots”
  • “Ants”

In DQ1, we went with “Zombies”, ie, Revenant. In DQ2 we’re going with “Ants.” Because of the mirk, the domed cities have a very limited ability to directly engage one another, and their vehicles are too expensive and scarce to produce en masse, especially since worldwide civilization is in a millenia-long decline. So instead, they deploy vast armies and hives of semi-trained monsters at one another. The surface world is absolutely crawling with critters that can breathe the mirk, so scavengers will encounter feral monsters all the time in battles simply against “the environment,” whereas certain story battles will feature special monsters that have been specifically bred for war in large numbers by enemy city-states.

That’s the basic idea.


#4

Oh god a cliffhanger before the story even begins being told! Heh


#5

Yeah, the TD genre really needs that “endlessly numerous” quality in baddies, I see why you went there. Do you already have all of the monster types and/or animal inspirations for the monsters picked out and animated? If not, I’m sure the community would be willing to supply some ideas for some crazy critters that might wander out of the mist… :smile:


#6

Hm… this somehow reminds me of the anime “Chrome Shelled Regios”:

  • World filled with some kind of Gas (or whatever it is) that’s harmful to people.
  • People live in “Domed cities” (but those cities are overground and move around)
  • The World is filled with giant insect-like monsters that in turn give birth to a lot of little insect like monsters
  • Whenever two cities meet, they fight against each other for resources (but they usually fight in a civilized manner, without destroying each other… it’s more like a sportive competition, but with real consequences as loosing might mean the end of the city in the long run)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to accuse anyone for “stealing” the idea, it’s just that the short excerpt vom lars reminds me of that (and when you think about it, the basic idea sounds generic enough that numerous people could think this up. How you flesh the story out is the key and it sounds unique enough :smile: ).


#7

I could think of a few more, but I couldn’t say how good they would actually be.

“Still living, mind controlled enemies with no regard for their own safety” (But then you’re essentially killing normal people who can’t act for themselves. Moral conflict. I suppose this is a ‘temporary’ version of ‘Zombies’)
“Berserker raging enemies with no fear of death”
“Forces of nature” (‘The Happening’-esque enemies, where the planet has rebelled against humanity living on it, mutated animals or animated fighting plants. Or animated golems of Stone, Ice, Fire, Tree, Crystal, etc.)


#8

This is turning out to be much more interesting and intricate than I thought it would be! The relationship between the factions are complex and deep seated, unable to be solved so simply that anyone could do it.

I am worried though, that all the intricacies will be given through an exposition dump either by some character rambling or some index in a menu. It’ll have to be shown through character interactions or something, else it’ll be unengaging.

Looking forward to future updates!


#9

This is an excellent and very clever read.


#10

I am worried though, that all the intricacies will be given through an exposition dump either by some character rambling or some index in a menu. It’ll have to be shown through character interactions or something, else it’ll be unengaging.

Yeah we hate exposition too, you’re preaching to the choir :slight_smile: For what it’s worth, DQ1 had a ton of backstory material that you never actually saw in the game, so you can expect the same sort of pacing and character-driven story introduction style that we used in the first game.

Also, remember how one of the pre-order tiers is “Art & Story book” ? Gotta write the content for it sometime :smiley:


#11

James, you are such a good writer! I really hope much of this kind of brilliance shines forth in the game itself! The music is also perfect accompaniment. I am looking forward to the game so much.


#12

Hi! Long time follower / lurker of Defender’s Quest 2 updates, and it’s great to be able to see more of the story and get a better sense of the world that you guys are trying to create. Love updates like these, not just as a behind the scenes look but also to get an idea of how the plot and general themes of the game will be.

I get that most of this is exposition and backstory and is unlikely to make it into the game as is, and that it’s still a work in progress, but as much as I love the general concept, there are a couple of things that don’t quite seem to make sense about Ennekar or the whole domed cities thing. Having overpopulation and sending out people to die is very grimdarky, and as a concept it’s neat, but why not just population control by things like instituting a one-child or no-child policy or limiting the amount of children per family by social class, or even just having mandatory sterilization? And then kicking out parents or families that go against this rather than just letting people rampantly overpopulate the city? Seeing as such measures do work in the real world (China and Singapore’s one child policy and stop at two campaign respectively), enforcing them in such a contained environment as a domed city sounds like it might be would be even easier.

Also things like the miner society might work in general, but what about women who don’t want to have children or can’t for whatever reason? Or girls who are more masculine in build and nature and not intelligent or just can’t match up to their peers? And with the miners, if a lot of them have a short life expectancy and are dying young, I’m actually more surprised it doesn’t look more like polygamist societies such as the FLDS where you did in fact have a lot of young men being pushed into doing hard menial labor when young, left uneducated, and then kicked out of the group (see: FLDS lost boys). The concept doesn’t answer what happens to men who are older or discontent with the role they are given, also.

I know it might seem like a lot of nitpicking, but it does feel sort of irritating to play a game or a story and then think ‘well wait a minute, why didn’t they just -’ about one part of it and not have it answered. DQ1’s story was certainly delivered well, and I’m absolutely hoping DQ2 has the same kind of feel to it in terms of how it draws the player into the world.


#13

Ask China how well one-child or no-child works. It turns out telling people ‘Don’t have sex’ traditionally doesn’t work very well.

I don’t think it’s worked out well at all for China, it’s just lead to parents murdering their firstborn daughters or having multiple kids anyhow.

I assume because they want people to go out into the world and find artifacts, or fight off monsters. It’s nice to have disposable people, I guess.

Again, my assumption, but men probably don’t survive to ‘older’ status. The mines are probably a when, not if, you will die sortof thing. Those discontent are probably sent off into the mines to face their fate, or just not fed. If you can just opt out, why wouldn’t you?


#14

Lower population growth with increased wealth actually is a huge factor in stopping people from having children. China’s one child policy WAS successful. They’ve actually stopped it now. The rate of population increase slowed dramatically. Also, I’m Singaporean myself and a child born during the period that the population control measures were put in place. My mother was the oldest of eight children, my father the sixth out of seven kids. I’m an only child. Out of all my aunts and uncles who got married, only one of those families (on both sides) opted to have more than two children. Shit’s effective, yo. Of course you can’t just tell people to not have kids, you have to provide some sort of carrot and stick. The easiest is education. Free schooling and stuff for maybe the first one or two children for population replacement purposes, and state support for that, then any extra and the parents have to pay for them themselves. The problem will practically fix itself.

And if they want disposable people, then have that as a penalty for having more children. I mean, I get the whole ‘let’s encourage overpopulation to get more mooks to toss out into the wilds to scavenge’ thing, but why isn’t having less people but focusing resources on research and upgrading technology so that resources are used up at a slower rate not also possible? Also, the entire way the post was written framed overpopulation as a problem, not as something that was actually encouraged and incentivized and built into the system - if it had been written in that way I would’ve not had so much of an issue with it. Like I said, it’s not about what the issues brought up in the story are, but how they’re brought up and whether or not it makes sense to me overall; right now I don’t feel like it does.

And I can easily see men surviving to older status. What if they’re disabled and can’t mine, or are born blind or deaf, or get crippled and can’t work any more but can still provide advice and help? Or are experts in how the mines are run and promoted into supervisory roles? Just because they don’t have political expertise doesn’t mean they don’t have other sorts of specialized knowledge that might be useful. Or do the underground people just cull any guys they deem as no longer able to mine? If they do then who culls them? The women? Other men? Do they kill themselves? Trying to just accept things as they are just opens up a lot of other questions that makes immersion difficult.


#15

I think “overpopulation” in this case means there is way too many people, so much that implying a one-child policy isn’t very succesful.


#16

In practice generally it’s agreed that a two-child policy works just as well if not better as a one-child policy, and keeps up the population replacement rate somewhat. However, the issue with overpopulation is the question of why there are so many people in the first place. What kind of social pressure keeps making generations (and it does seem to have been generations, given the information we have so far) of people continuously pump out kids even though most of them will die or there doesn’t seem to be a lot in the way of resources and so on? What sort of culture is actually encouraging this? Why WOULD policies meant to curb overpopulation fail? None of those questions seem to have been answered satisfactorily thus far, and it’s coming off a bit ‘oh we have so many people so we’ll just kill them off because grimdark!’.

I mean, it’s just - if you’re going to make a big political game, then questions about the politics of the world and why certain simpler alternatives have failed or don’t work are going to come up. ‘There’s overpopulation’ - okay, why? How come it couldn’t be stopped? What methods have been tried? Why don’t economic incentives or disincentives have any effect? Why send out the young people who are fit instead of just culling the old or disabled as they’re more of a drain on resources and aren’t able to contribute directly to things like going out and finding stuff? If previous attempts at curbing the population have been unsuccessful, then I would certainly love to know why or how as it’d help me get a sense of what the world is like better.


#18

We are getting so close for DQ2! HYPE!!!