The Dumbest Quest in the World
Jon Selin from Dreamlords returns with another Developer Journal. This time, he tells us all about The Dumbest Quest in the World.
The Dumbest Quest in the World exists. And more disturbingly, for a brief moment it existed in our game. The other day I was watching one of our designers exerting all his piss and vinegar as he was working on a new quest for Dreamlords. Then he shook is head, turned to me with a sad look on his face, and asked: "What do you think when we create utter crap for your game?"
I didn't know what to say at the time, and to be honest I don't even remember what my answer was. Given the question, it is more likely than not that my retort was a pun of questionable character.
A few days later, I was glaring at the true meaning behind his question. The Dumbest Quest in the World. Behind closed doors we call it "The Gay Quest", and no, it's not about gay bashing, the quest is actually about interracial homosexual relations, but it doesn't stop there... Oh well, I better explain it from the top.
The quest is what we call a Spirit Quest, which means that you play it with your avatar, the Dreamlord. In case you are unfamiliar with Dreamlords, there is also RTS-style quests and battles in our game. This one however is played in more traditional third person view with your character. I'm going to show you some screenshots of the quest, now apparently I was doing this on a test version of the client where the effects on the Dreamlord is broken, meaning that it looks like crap compared to how it should look. Hence, the artists would kill me if they knew that I was showing you these so please don't tell them.
Anyhow, as the quest starts, you find yourself in one of our, well, usual quest areas. You are quickly informed that you are searching for some old ruin reassembling an arch. This arch however is gone, lost, hidden, VANISHED. You have NO IDEA how to find it as NO ONE HAS SEEN IT.
Yeah, you heard me; you can see it from where you start the quest. IT IS RIGHT THERE!
Then you get a hint saying that maybe you could find someone that knows where it is.
Ok, maybe that's not so bad. I've had worse. Between the place you start at and the arch, there are a bunch of houses and a small guy standing there. I'm ignoring the fact that I can SEE the bloody thing from where I start and approach the fellow. Now, again, if you're not familiar with our game, your avatar is the very spirit of the land, an ancient being with awesome powers, holding life and death in his hands. With all this in mind the following development seems highly appropriate. I approach the guy, and he tells me:
"You're an odd looking fellow... Do you need my help?"Odd looking fellow? Perhaps a little respect would be in order? Then he continues:
"Of course I know where the arch is, everybody knows that! You're not from around here are you?"
I'M THE OMNIPOTENT SOUL OF THE LAND! OF COURSE I AM FROM AROUND HERE!
It gets worse however, it seems that he wants me to do him a favor. It turns out that when this geezer was a kid he was over in some woods to the northwest and became lost. But then he was rescued by a beautiful girl, and ever since that day he has been hopelessly in love with her but tragically unable to do anything about it. I pan my camera around and notice the "woods to the northwest" he is talking about.
It's three trees. Give or take.
They are 50 meters from his house.
That's not the worst however. In front of the threes stands his long lost love, and it's safe to say that either there is a significant difference in taste going on between me and this guy, or she must have lost whatever beauty that was every in her. I rub my eyes and look again. It's a Thul warrior. A 5 meter tall wolf-like beast of a thing. I click on her and what do you know, her name is "Alpha Male". Makes sense.
By now I'm giving up, what the hell, let's just get this misery over with. I approach his lost love that apparently has been living within a stone's throw from his house since he was a kid. A dialogue starts and now she (the Alpha Male) apparently goes by the name "Ugly monster" (the most sensible thing I've heard so far). It turns out that the Ugly Monster has been in love with the old man as well, and want's to have him run away and come and live in the forest. Check.
I return to the old man. He thanks me (which is the first time he is not openly rude to me, his god) and tells me that the arch is to the west, and apparently "You can't miss it". Well duh. I have been looking at the thing for the last five minutes, good thing that it was hopelessly lost and I went on this grand quest of rediscovery.
Then the old man promptly splits into THREE copies of himself (What the hell is going on here...)
The three clones saunters away towards the huge beast over at the trees. On their (his) way over there they (he) tell me that they (he) will go and meet their (his) destiny, but that it would be kind of me not to tell their (his) wife... ?! WIFE?!
By now my poor tortured mind has had enough and ejects, leaving me giggling and sobbing. I want to see what will happen when they (he) reach the "Ugly Monster" but I can't take it anymore and use my last remaining drops of strength to mash alt-f4. I'm still not quite sure exactly what series of events resulted in someone making this quest, or if I ever actually want to know. What is curious however, is that for the months that this quest was playable by our testers. Not one of them commented on it.
This brings us back to the original question; I don't feel good at all about crap in my game, which is why, luckily, this quest is no longer in it. Just two days before this little scenario unfolded I went to a tattoo parlor that a friend of mine owns. Just as a heads up, putting a needle to your wrist hurts like hell.
And this is the result:
Yep. It's the Dreamlords logo. Now the reason that I feel so strongly about crap in the game, is that for the rest of my life when I look at my wrist I don't want to associate it with The Dumbest Quest in the World. I want to associate it with the three wonderful years I had working on this project, all the friends I've made, all the things I've learned and all the things I have promptly ignored.
What happened to the queer quest in question you ask? It has been stashed away, and one day when I deem that humanity is ready for it I might unearthen it. Don't get your hopes up though; some secrets are best kept buried.
/Jon Selin, your champion against dumb quests.