Epoch Dev Blog – #9: 01/03/2021 – Steam-Cyber-Retro Future Fantasy


Epoch is taking a really fun turn in its overall thematic elements and technological aesthetic. The title of this entry kind of gives away that I’m reluctant to name it any one of those broad terms, primarily because it’s still got such strong magical and traditionally fantastical aspects to it that I don’t think they really fit.

However, the cultural aesthetics and technological ceiling across the entire span of the world that I have been developing recently has me transitioning some of the more low-tech ideas I had into more dystopian versions that have the capacity for more ‘modern’ ideas. Swords and bows are proving to be an issue, as it can be difficult to rationalise their use in a world that has relatively ubiquitous access to firearms and magic, but those kinds of intricacies aside the cultures of peoples across the different species and their cities are the things being evolved.

I’m excited to work out exactly how it will end up, and I’m sure it’s probably going to be fluid as I develop the world, but not restricting myself with the kinds of cultures, societal set-ups and technologies present in the universe should allow for some really interesting storytelling. Of course, the wider cosmological narrative behind the micro-level stories might feel a little jarring with a technologically advanced society; traditionally, you wouldn’t expect to find those kinds of grand high-fantasy style plots in, say, Blade Runner or Mirror’s Edge. We’ll have to see about that – it could be very interesting to bring those two distinct styles of narrative together, Warframe style.

Here’s a small extract from something I’m working on right now, which demonstrates the kind of thing I’m talking about with this entry.

For a few moments I fight to break my way out, trying to follow the line she effortlessly walked through the bodies, but the flow of patrons from bar to dancefloor to seats and back again wrests control from me. I panic for a moment, suddenly awash in the sea of brightly coloured clothes, body paint and masks, wondering why the hell we keep choosing this place to hang out. A moment longer and I remember that it wasn’t like this when we chose it, years ago – new management and a new dancefloor have a lot to answer for. I take a deep breath and give in to the momentum, letting the drunk and rowdy party people knock me about like a pinball, while trying to aim myself roughly at the small square of light in the wall I know to be the exit. It takes a few moments more, the crowds pushing me slowly closer and closer to the door, until I am finally spat out into the cold evening air.

There’s a snap in my ears as the din of the club abruptly drops out, followed by a ringing that persists for a minute or two. The crowd’s momentum carries me forward a few steps before I get a hold of it, coming to a stop in the street and doubling over to catch my breath. I close my eyes, drawing in the air through my nose to try and slow my heartrate. I can handle a lot of things, have done in my time – but man, fuck clubs.

Said club, Kell Fire, has a line of patrons waiting at the door and down the street, chatting and laughing with one another; they waste no time in sharing a variety of colourful looks at my sudden appearance.

As always, thank you for reading. Stay safe, stay well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s