Moon Hunters Update: the Dustfolk and the High Tribes

If you’ve already subscribed to the newsletter, you’ve probably already seen all of this! But for the rest of you…

Xin and I have been working on defining the different people and cultures of the Moon Hunters world, starting with the mountains, deserts, and forests.

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The Dustfolk

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The desert tribes are some of the friendliest, relying heavily on Blood magics to detect water beneath the surface, digging incredibly deep wells as needed. Even the smallest children of the tribe can usually recite basic Blood prayers, giving the desert folk a reputation for quick healing and practical wisdom.

Desert priestesses speak of an ancient thirst that draws all of humanity down into the cavernous flesh of the earth, safe from the evil sun. However, two storytellers rarely agree on what happens down there, for those that answer the call and indulge their thirst.

Here’s an assortment of villagers drawn from a few different tribes, side-by-side for comparison with the heroes. The differences can be rather subtle, but you can learn the style and customs of each tribe after spending more time with them.

The High Tribes

The people of the wind-chapped mountains are hunters, not farmers, as there’s neither enough fertile soil nor sunlight to sustain most vegetables. Even in mid-summer, the evil Sun is a distant, pearly figure, not so much brighter than the Moon. Of all environments, the peaks may be the most similar in night and day, seemingly trapped in a constant dusk.

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(The beetle in the gif probably isn’t native to that climate, but it sure does look happy about its travels! We’re not sure whether it’s dancing to impress its reflection or it’s just trying to keep warm. Either way, dance, beetle, dance!)

Most tribes prefer to build in wood, mud, or grass, but the High Tribes legends say they moved to a higher elevation to test their strength and self-discipline. They revel in the challenging permanence of stone and metal, with artisans excelling in Bronze magics and careful stonework. As a result, the finest jewelry, metal blades, and architectural advances tend to come from the mountain folk. In addition to hunting for meat and skins, they supplement their supplies with trading.

The High Tribes’ most profitable export is in weaponry. The Spellblade wields weapons forged by High Tribes on the jagged peaks of the Zaragos Mountains, where winds ceaselessly dig ore out of the very stone. After many years of hermetic study, training, and meditation, a Spellblade fuses his or her own will into the very metal, until the blade can anticipate its master’s whims.

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(Note for the detail-oriented: it’s not a scabbard, the wrappings hold together multiple layers of leather.)

Unfortunately, looking down on the world from their elevated viewpoint, the High Tribes tell themselves that they are closest to the Moon and most deserving of Her power. Most of its leadership are arrogant, possessing very little respect for those with more compassion. There are always exceptions, of course, particularly among merchants and rebellious youth, but the High Tribe culture is dominated by a sense of prideful superiority, valuing strength, purity, and loyalty over other, “lesser” virtues.

Crowdfunding?

A few people have asked whether we’ll crowdfund using the Square Enix Collective, but the honest answer is that we don’t know! Maybe! We haven’t decided yet what the best course of action is. For now, we’re keeping our heads down and working on the game.

At this point, we’re hoping to be ready for crowdfunding in July or August. We want to make sure we put our best foot forward and offer as much gameplay footage as possible. In the meantime, we’re glad to have you along for the journey!

Moon Hunters: Character Creation, Monsters, and More!

Hey Moon Hunters!

We’re in our last week on the Square Enix Collective feedback round. We’ve been working on the art and design for Moon Hunters and I thought I’d share a few bits and pieces with you. Most of this was already sent to our newsletter last week, so be sure to join it if you haven’t yet!

First, we can show you a glimpse of a landmark we’re developing.

In Moon Hunters, we want to make things that not only look cool, but also have a reason, even if it’s not immediately obvious. The world is relatively new, with civilisations still rising and figuring out what laws and technology really mean for societies. So the temple of the Crimson Eye, for example, is a site of worship that sprang up in recent years, yet is sealed off from casual visitors. The reason, and method of access, can be found elsewhere in the world…

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Of course, the Temple is only one of dozens of landmarks, not to mention the dangerous monster territories your personal version of the world. Building up your hero’s mythology will depend greatly on your exploration strategy – are you the type to run amok over the continent, or do you prefer to ensure the safety of an area before you move on?

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Meanwhile, Xin is sketching up a storm, working out different enemies and allies you might find on your journeys. Here’s a few of the wilder denizens of the Moon Hunters world, who may not take kindly to uppity players invading their territory. At least, not without the proper rituals being observed!

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Also, we’ve gotten so many questions about classes and personalities, we thought we’d share our designs for the character creation, to help illustrate what we’re aiming for. Each of the character classes plays quite differently, and you can mix and match your class, personality archetype, and color palettes. The Occultist, for example, is a fast yet fragile character that can slip in and out of attack range, and summon a shadow blade in an emergency. Still, it’s up to you whether her personality is more of an intellectual genius or a soft-hearted priestess.

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That’s all for now! Make sure to sign up for the newsletter for more information on Moon Hunters and how you can help make this game a reality!