Feral Blue — Devblog #7 — Religion

June 28, 2018  |  Feral Blue

Hi everyone,

Today we’d like to bring up the topic of religion in Feral Blue. We can’t say that the faith is barely seen in videogames, but it seems we can all agree that usually it’s presented in a very simplified way. Kratos, who’s conducting genocide on Olympus — is an obvious example, that’s about the religion of ancient Greeks, just a bit repurposed to fit mainstream audiences. Let’s take another and better example, Civilization series, where religion is one of the main gameplay systems. What we can see there: that it’s just another line with numbers, ‘morale’ of some special sort. Taoists and Christians will act pretty much the same way. We all know that Gandhi will bombard us with nuclear bombs, regardless of his religious beliefs.

This is understandable. These days, touching religious topics is tricky and at times even dangerous. But it’s always possible to think about religion in general, how it can define a person — and from what we can remember, something along these lines can be found only in Planescape: Torment. In other cases, all game characters seem to adhere to the same Protestant ethic or plain atheism.

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In Feral Blue, what most religions promised has already happened — we’re talking about the end of the world. Though, usually, after that follows the salvation, but it didn’t. This will explode the religious consciousness. Most of the in-game factions will focus on dealing with religious goals, not capital. Because only people with a peculiar mindset would put an uneducated teenage girl in a position of the supreme commander-in-chief — for most modern people it would, of course, just look like a glorified talisman of the crew. Religious people would abandon their castles and farms, willing to go thousands of kilometers to alien and unpleasant desert, just to save the world — and historians will tell us that it was the Crusaders that had a cunning economic calculation.

Of course, civilizations won’t perish. We’ll have Europeans, Chinese, Aztecs and Russians in our game. But they won’t be just ships and soldiers painted in different colors. They will act accordingly for the greater purpose — saving the world as they see fit. Players will need to evaluate the faction not just aesthetically (cool katanas guys, I’m in!), but rather ethically (catching all the bad people and throwing them into the active Krakatoa volcano? I’m in!). Perhaps, you will even be able to influence your chosen religion: for example who can be considered bad people — all murderers, redheads or everyone who put mayonnaise in their salad? Maybe skip the volcano, and drown them in the name of the Great Dolphin Mother instead? In short, there is some scope for creativity here, but before we have the first version of interface, we better stop here.