aerial photo of green trees

OLD THIESS: THE WEREWOLF'S TRIAL

GAME DESIGN - DESIGN NARRATIF - LEVEL DESIGN - PROGRAMMATION

Pour notre projet final dans le cadre du D.E.S.S. en design narratif du NAD, nous assurons le design et la production d'un jeu inspiré de la transcription du procès d'un loup-garou ayant eu lieu en Livonie au 17e siècle. Lupus Dei est un platformer 2D axé sur le combat et l'exploration, avec un accent sur l'aspect narratif. Le jeu explore les racines du mythe du loup-garou, et la relation que l'on entretient avec notre bête intérieure.

Ce que j'ai fait dans ce projet:

  • Design d'un système de combat et d'un système de crafting.

  • Design d'un niveau vaste avec des salles interconnectées contenant des ennemis, des ressources, des NPCs et un boss.

  • Programmation de l'architecture du jeu, des mouvements du personnage, du système de combat, des ennemis, des NPCs et des transitions entre les niveaux.

Le jeu est encore en production et sortira plus tard en 2024.

Boucle de gameplay

Échantillon de dialogue (les 4 fins)

ENDING 1 : THIESS KILLS EVERYONE

(Score 0-33%)

ACKERSTAFF

The situation has become quite clear to me. Not only do you admit to being a werewolf, a creature known to be born outside of God’s Light, but your claims of fighting for the villagers prove to be unfounded when examined closely.

THIESS

Beg your pardon, Your Honour, but… The last few years may have been hard on the village, but my dedication to its people is no less true—and all the more important!

NICKOLAÏS

Words. Tell me, werewolf, when have your words accomplished anything other than bringing deceit and falsehood?

THIESS

Your Honour. I believe the witnesses have been carefully selected to present the court with the… less successful side of my mission.

ACKERSTAFF

Do you deny the pleads for help that these villagers have sent you?

THIESS

No, of course not. However, there are dozens of other villagers that I have helped with better success over the past decades. Venturing to Hell in the hopes of recovering stolen goods, to set a young soul at peace, to drive away a bothersome ghost, or to close demonic portals… These are endeavours not easily accomplished, and to my deepest regret, I have sometimes failed to help those who would put their trust in me. But I do want to believe that over the years, I have brought more good than bad to this village. Without me, the villagers would have known even greater woe, and might not even be here today to testify.

(turns to the villagers)

Is there no one out there willing to stand up for Old Thiess, and avow his tale?

And so the cult was defeated, its leader caught, his power lost. The following years, the villagers of Jürgensurg lived through a period of unprecedented peace, with good harvests and a prosperous community. Demons from Hell were no longer seen in the vicinity of the village, and its people enjoyed this long-awaited respite.

Long after the death of Old Thiess, the inhabitants of the region spoke of the werewolf as a heroic figure, who had journeyed to Hell and back in order to protect his community, and who had taken down by himself a powerful cult of Satan’s followers. Songs were written in his honour, paintings created, and kids played games inspired by his adventures. Thus the old peasant was forever engraved in the local folklore as God’s Wolf—Lupus Dei.

Epilogue CRAWL TEXT on black screen :

FADE TO BLACK

THIESS

Your Honour… I cannot thank you enough.

ACKERSTAFF

You do not need to. You have already done enough for this community. Jürgensurg is lucky to have you as a guardian and protector. Rest assured that Nickolaïs and his cultists won’t be a problem to you anymore.

Thiess' rage bar decreases.

NICKOLAÏS

(as he is being dragged outside)

No! Your Honour, I… Werewolf, curse be you and your kind! I will not let this affront be forgotten!

ACKERSTAFF

Thiess of Kaltenbrunn, I believe an apology is in order.

THIESS

It is not necessary, Your Honour. My aim was always simply to protect this village and its people.

ACKERSTAFF

So I see. Very well then. Thiess of Kaltenbrunn, on the account of theft, you are pronounced innocent. On the account of heresy, you are also pronounced innocent. May you live your last years on this Earth in peace.

Guards come take the bishop and drag him off-screen.

THIESS

During my travels to Hell, I have encountered a great number of foes and demons. Among them were the aforementioned cultists—followers of Satan. They were the ones stealing crops from the village, and opening all those portals for demons to come into our world.

NICKOLAÏS

I fail to see the connection with the topic at hand—that of your mingling with said demons.

ACKERSTAFF

Please continue, Thiess.

THIESS

Some of those cultists were devious sorcerers holding positions of power within this cult. As I encountered more of them, I came to learn some additional information about this organization. I happened to find this piece of evidence on the body of a sorcerer I vanquished.

ACKERSTAFF

And what is this I am holding, pray tell me?

THIESS

This is the contract of Bishop Nickolaïs, leader of the cult, with the Devil himself. It is supposed to grant him magical powers and control over certain demons.

NICKOLAÏS

Nonsense! What is this treachery?

ACKERSTAFF

This is a grave accusation, but… This document does have your signature on it, Nickolaïs. How do you explain this?

NICKOLAÏS

It was obviously forged, Your Honour! With all due respect, you should not trust the word of this despicable creature. Werewolves are known to be malicious and cunning. This one clearly intends to trick you and sow disarray in our midst.

THIESS

I have no such intention, Your Honour. If you examine closely the details of this contract, you will come to realize that it is authentic.

NICKOLAÏS

Your Honour, please hand me this supposed contract, it might be bewitched. Holy hands should be handling it.

ACKERSTAFF

Silence! If you now consider yourself holy, Bishop, you have clearly run astray from your path as a servant of God.

NICKOLAÏS

Your Honour, I beg you. Do not let yourself be swayed by the werewolf. His words are venom to your ears.

ACKERSTAFF

I think I have heard enough, yes. Seize him.

Thiess takes out Nickolaïs' contract and gives it to the judge.

Thus Old Thiess was declared innocent and spared, thanks to the support of the villagers of Jürgensurg. For the last years of his life, Thiess remained, as he wished, the guardian and protector of the village, despite no longer journeying to Hell. The village went through several harsh years of bad crops and demon invasions, but always Thiess kept guard and managed to reduce the damage brought by these hardships. Famine was kept at bay, and eventually good fortune returned to the village.

Old Thiess had fulfilled his purpose. Not long after passing on his wolf pelt and his power as a werewolf to a younger successor, he died peacefully in his home of Jürgensurg, and was mourned by the villagers he had helped all his life.

ENDING 4 : THE CULT IS DEFEATED

(Thiess beat all 3 bosses)

ACKERSTAFF

A lot has been said of you by others today. Do you wish to say anything in your defense before your judgment is pronounced?

THIESS

If I may, Your Honour… There is a piece of evidence I have withheld up until now, but I think the moment would be suitable to present it to the court.

ACKERSTAFF

Is that so? Please enlighten us.

Epilogue CRAWL TEXT on black screen :

FADE TO BLACK

THIESS

Your Honour… Thank you. Thank you very much.

Thiess' rage bar doesn't increase.

Thus Old Thiess was lashed ten times and taken to the village’s edge, given only the barest means of survival. The old werewolf disappeared from the region, never to be seen again.

Like a curse brought upon Jürgensurg by Old Thiess, what he had foretold came to be. The years following his exile were especially harsh for the villagers, who more than ever struggled with famine, and with torments coming directly from Hell itself. As the village was consumed by misfortune after misfortune, the villagers started remembering with regret their old protector who had once shielded them from these hardships.

ENDING 3 : THIESS IS ACQUITTED

(Score 67-100%)

ACKERSTAFF

I must say I am surprised. The villagers’ support of the defendant is overwhelming and near unanimous. I did not expect such a strong reaction from the population of Jürgensurg.

NICKOLAÏS

Your Honour, it is clear that the werewolf’s manipulation has reached deep into this poor community. This scourge must be cut at its head.

ACKERSTAFF

Your Excellency, you seem convinced of the wrongdoings of the defendant. When I look at him, though, I only see an old man, whose community has gathered to support him in this time of need.

NICKOLAÏS

He is a werewolf, Your Honour. His offenses must not go unpunished.

ACKERSTAFF

And yet I see no offense that he has committed. Nothing that can be proven beyond doubt, at least. Are we not here to serve God’s Justice, Nickolaïs? Isn’t God fair and just?

NICKOLAÏS

Y-yes. But werewolves are creatures of the Devil. His presence among us… is heresy!

ACKERSTAFF

Mmh… Thiess of Kaltenbrunn?

THIESS

Yes, Your Honour.

ACKERSTAFF

A lot has been said today about your ways as a werewolf, but we haven’t heard you a lot. Tell me, why have you stopped your travels to Hell?

THIESS

I am old and weary, Your Honour. I still have vigour for one my age, but my muscles have grown weaker, and my mind tired. Venturing to Hell in the hopes of recovering stolen goods, to set a young soul at peace, to drive away a bothersome ghost, or to close demonic portals… This is no easy feat, and I am no longer cut out for it. However, I remain ever present for my community. Jürgensurg is my home, and even though I cannot help it as I used to in my prime years, I hope to serve it as best I can. It has been my reason to be since I received my wolf pelt, and it will remain so until I die.

ACKERSTAFF

Very well. I have made my judgment. Thiess of Kaltenbrunn, on the account of theft, you are pronounced innocent. On the account of heresy, you are pronounced innocent. May you live your last years on this Earth in peace.

Epilogue CRAWL TEXT on black screen :

FADE TO BLACK

THIESS

Citizens of Jürgensurg! Remember this day! Remember the day you turned your back on your guardian and protector. Remember how you cast aside Old Thiess, who only ever wanted to help this community. And when you are in a time of great need, when Fate strikes the village once more, you shall regret forsaking one of your own!

Thiess turns to the villagers.

Thiess' rage bar increases, but doesn't reach its maximum.

Overcome with rage, Old Thiess, the village’s guardian and protector, massacred every clergyman, lawman and villager present at his trial, before tearing his way out of the village, killing and destroying everything and everyone that stood before him.

When he came back to his human form, he stood horrified by the death that lay around him. Unable to cope with the atrocities he had committed, he fled to Hell to seek punishment. To this day he remains there, wandering across the Devil’s domain, eternally burning within its flames.

ENDING 2 : THIESS IS BANISHED

(Score 34-66%)

ACKERSTAFF

It seems to me that some of Jürgensburg’s inhabitants believe you had something to do with what little good fortunes have befallen them. But the evidence is too thin, the causality too far-fetched. How can we know for sure that you haven’t simply taken credit for the comings and goings of Fate?

THIESS

Your Honour, I… What you suggest would be less than honourable, it would be… foul! I have always prided myself to be an honest citizen, always keen to help my neighbours. Besides, the villagers noticed a significant improvement in their situation immediately after I talked to them and set off to Hell. How would you explain such a coincidence?

NICKOLAÏS

God works in mysterious ways. His reasons to give and take from Men are not to be questioned, nor understood.

ACKERSTAFF

Indeed. However… I must admit that the villagers do not seem to see you as a threat, and moreover they do not pay you for your supposed services, like a charlatan would likely demand. If anything, you are just a fool trying to up his reputation, not a thief of sacred church relics. There is no substantial proof to link your activities to this theft.

NICKOLAÏS

Your Honour, the man is a self-professed werewolf. His very existence is an offense to God and Christianity. He needs to be punished.

ACKERSTAFF

That much is true. Thiess of Kaltenbrunn, on the account of theft, you are pronounced innocent. On the account of heresy, you are pronounced guilty. I think a flogging would be an appropriate punishment under the circumstances. Twenty lashes should do it.

THIESS

Your Honour, please… I am old and my body is frail. I fear I might not survive such a harsh sentence. My ways as a werewolf have been left in the past, and I wish only to live my remaining years in peace. Please, have mercy.

ACKERSTAFF

Let it be so. You shall receive ten lashes with a whip on your back. Afterwards, you shall be banished from Jürgensurg under a death penalty. No longer will you cause such disturbances in the community.

Epilogue CRAWL TEXT on black screen :

CUT TO BLACK

Thiess transforms into a werewolf.

THIESS

No! I will not let you tear my life’s work apart!

Thiess' rage bar increases and reaches its maximum.

No one makes a move.

ACKERSTAFF

I see. Well then, I think the matter is settled. On the account of theft, Thiess of Kaltenbrunn, you are pronounced guilty. On the account of heresy, you are pronounced guilty. Moreover, despite being under oath before God, you have not hesitated to spread your lies before this court. Therefore, you are also pronounced guilty of perjury.

THIESS

Please, I beg you… Don’t—

ACKERSTAFF

For these three charges, the maximum penalty will be imposed on the defendant. Court adjourned.

Thiess gets up.

ACKERSTAFF

Thiess of Kaltenbrunn, please rise.

We hear a deep growl and claws tearing through clothes and skin, as well as screams of horror and pain, which stop one by one until finally only a heavy silence remains.

(anglais seulement)

aerial photo of green trees