I figured it might be nice to use this time between voting and waiting for results to write a little bit on pieces of lore in my game that weren’t expanded on, so here goes!
Let me start off by saying that this game was originally an assignment for my IF class final (not publicly released or anything, don’t worry), and was only my second attempt at writing a parser game, which some of my reviewers picked up on. There had to be at least 3 puzzles I think, and I just threw in more because I enjoyed them :). When I started making up the plot, I went with using vague terms because, to me, they sounded more genuine than spouting super specific “original idea” concepts and gave me the freedom to build on ideas as I went, so we ended up with things like “sacred darkness”. Overall, the whole universe is still pretty vague to me as well, so it makes sense that people viewed it as being lightly sketched out- not to mention there were some things I knew were true, but that couldn’t be brought up organicly during play.
The term “familiars” in Finding Light was my attempt at relating a well known concept with what I was doing, but in reality, Ezra and those like him are called “Guardians” in their world. Guardians are similar to familiars in that they are bonded to a particular person and are theoretically meant to aid and protect them throughout their life with the use of their astral gems. Their gem contains some of their life force and allows them to change into a particular animal. Ezra happens to be a fox, but other guardians have taken on forms like birds, cats, dogs, deer, etc. The astral gem forms from their inner light when they are pulled from the darkness and will shatter when they die to return them to said darkness.
A really important thing I wanted to note, but couldn’t in the game, is that although those are the ideal relationships between humans and guardians, it doesn’t always work that way. Some guardians do not fulfill their duties, possibly from personal choice or because they have received undesirable treatment from their partners. (Usually guardians are paired when their human is young and they age with them to a degree to promote closeness.) In a case where they rejected their duty, the Guardian would probably leave the clan, but there isn’t exactly a punishment for it that would be enacted. The idea that guardians protect is preached, but it’s not something that elders train them to do either; more so, guardians are companions or soulmates in a broad sense. (Bad example, but think of Pokemon a little? As in, yes, it’s a little friend that helps you out, but it’s also a relationship that has to be developed and could go multiple directions depending on how the two interact during that relationship.) So the guardians aren’t exactly second class citizens, though I’m sure there are instances where people in the clan have abused their roles with them. I mentioned this in a different post as well, but the whole illiteracy thing was a red herring: it is by no means the norm for other guardians or people in the clan and there isn’t a law against it-- Ezra is literally just stubborn and didn’t want to learn.
Although humans and guardians share a bond, the connection isn’t a total 50/50 Golden Compass “You hurt and I feel it too” split. I thought over this A LOT when writing because I wanted to know-- what happens if you die? What about if only your partner dies? SPOILER FOR ONE OF THE ENDINGS. If anyone played through the ending using the crowbar, then you got the answer to one of those questions. If a guardian’s human dies, their gem becomes grey and they lose the ability to see color to signify their loss… (If anyone remembers, guardians gain the ability to see once they are bonded to their human.) If only the guardian dies, then all I know for now is that that person loses their guide, which in Aurel’s case means he will be killed-- I want to add a physical impact to the person if their guardian dies too, but I haven’t decided on what that should be yet. (Point being, they aren’t totally codependent on one another for survival, but having the other alive IS in their best interest because they are both at a disadvantage if their partner dies.)
Aurel’s clan (which I have NOT figured out a name for lol) is all about the stars. Guardians are basically stars that are pulled from a limbo of sorts, and the darkness is a mixture of actual space and a mystical in between. Aurel name’s Ezra after the brightest star in his sky (it’s not a real star though, I made it up), and if anyone read the journal fully, Aurel mentions that Ezra loves telling him stories about the constellations and that, in their legends, a shooting star is a guardian finding its way into the darkness so it can emerge.
Well, that is all the random stuff I can think of right now lol. I would really like to do a sequel to this game where you would primarily play as Aurel, and possibly Ezra, so I could give people more information and backstory on his character. Some people said Aurel was sort of underdeveloped, which makes sense. I tried to give information on him indirectly through Ezra and his journal, and then in the actual conversations you have with him, but unfortunately unlike NPCs like the raven and horses- Aurel IS supposed to be someone the player character knows intimately, so it wouldn’t make any sense for Ezra to ask him about himself or where they are from, you know? The sequel would delve more into moments in Aurel’s life that were alluded to and give me the opportunity to write from his perspective though, so look forward to that if I ever get around to it.
Let me know if anyone has any questions about what I wrote or if there was something I didn’t mention that you wanted to know… You know, on the off chance anyone was super into it and is bored like me rn.
Good luck to all as we count down the hours!