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Dune: The Art of Kanly (A Dune FPS Idea)

Posted: 15 Dec 2013 16:06
by Jodorowsky's Acolyte
Ever since I played Star Wars: Dark Forces and its sequel, Jedi Knight, I've wondered what a good FPS game set in the Dune universe would look like. I particularly wanted the game to be set in the David Lynch version of the Dune universe, but still be true to the universe of the original Dune novel and its appendices. I don't care for the heavy hardware graphics of recent games, and I'm still fascinated with the graphics of classic pixelated games like Dark Forces, TIE Fighter, Doom, System Shock 1, and Ultima Underworld. I'm also intrigued with the idea of doing stuff in older game engines which couldn't be done when those games were made. I know that many don't care about my kind ramblings like these, but I still thought it might be of some interest.

The proposed title for the concept of my retro Dune FPS is Dune: The Art of Kanly, It is set before the original Dune book, and is played from the point of view of a Bene Gesserit priestess and assassin. She is tasked by the Sisterhood to investigate the ominous dealings of a reclusive Earl of another great House, known as House Demeter. This Earl, who is a tall bearded Aryan (except with green eyes) who dresses like a 1970s playboy, harbors rare and dangerous plant life, and a taste for human trafficking. Through sources in the Guild, the Sisterhood believes that this Earl may be plotting something that could potentially threaten Spice production on Arrakis. The source of the fear lies in one flower: a special species which the Earl has bred to specifically alter the environment of Arrakis, either to bring life to it or to toxify it. But why would he do that, and why does this particular flower have the capability to grow on Arrakis? That is where our heroine comes in.

The heroine fights with a short blade, but she can also fight with a Gom Jabbar and a Lasgun. Other weapons include a Chrysknife, Maula Pistol, a personal shield, bare fists and feet, and even some of the weapons from the Lynch Dune film (like the Sardaukar nail-gun whose bullets can slow down automatically through shields, and a prototype Weirding Module). As Kyle Katarn has Force Powers in Jedi Knight, she has Bene Gesserit powers which she develops overtime. She has the Voice (used during conversation), and the Weirding Way (which enhances her melee fighting considerably). I only just realized of the other abilities of the Bene Gesserit from the Dune wiki: Oral Analysis, Internal Organic-Chemical Control, Prana Bindu, Sensing the Truth, and Petit Perception.

The locations which the heroine explores include the Bene Gesserit homeworld, a Guild Heighliner, Ix, Caladan, Giedi Prime, Kaitain, Bene Tleilax, Arrakis itself, and the lush garden homeworld of Earl Demeter. Besides open killing and silent killing, the heroine would primarily need to talk to other NPCs, and may have to have sex with a few despicable characters to get answers out of them (as well as acquire a few useful bloodlines along the way). Non-linear exploration is a must. The heroine could sneak into the secret Spice tank rooms of the Heighliner to see what Navigators did in private, or even sneak into the secret throne room of the Baron Harkonnen while he's doing his anti-gravity dance.

For Arrakis, the whole planet should be able to be explored. The Arakeen, the Smuggler base, the Fremen sietches, and the CHOAM base where all the harvesters go. For exploring the deep desert, the dunes should rendered as a vast yellow pixelated landscape, with rocks that could be seen in the distance. The importance of the Stillsuit and walking without rhythm should be very high priority. In the deep desert, if you walk normally, the sands will be disturbed and a worm will eventually emerge. I would give the players a guide in-game on how to get the player character to walk without rhythm. While the player is wearing the Stillsuit, which has indefinite energy unless damaged, requires that the player would drink moisture from their suit once in a while. When damaged, the heroine would have to go to certain caches hidden in the rocks with additional Stillsuit gear.

When the worm arises from the sand, it would appear as a massive single-textured virtual rendition of the Lynch worm, and varies by size each time it comes up. You can summon the worm with a Thumper, and be able to climb the worm like Paul did in the movie.

I visualize my Dune game as resembling the graphical look of Dark Forces and System Shock. I already thought of a title for a sequel if I ever did the first: Dune: Private Vendetta. I know this is a bit of ramble, but it would be nice if more Dune games with more variety were made. We've got an adventure game, an RTS series, and a third person game based on the 2000 miniseries which absolutely screwed up. What we need are some inspired fan-made Dune games in other genres, especially the FPS, TPS, and RPG.

Re: Dune: The Art of Kanly (A Dune FPS Idea)

Posted: 29 Dec 2013 19:23
by Jodorowsky's Acolyte
I know this really isn't of real importance to the Jacurutu sietch, but like the Dune III idea, this is just for fun brainstorming. I'm thinking of writing it out a short story or novella before making it a design document. Rest assured, I want to use Frank Herbert's original words from the original Dune, and Dune Messiah, for my source for the universe, and not K&B's take on the universe. If permitted, I could draw some inspiration from McNelly's encyclopedia, though I'd much rather see the Orthodox Dune Concordance by Orthodox Herbertarians to be completed. Yes, I do want the visual look and some aspects taken from the Lynch film, but the universe would still be solidly based in the original Dune. I just need to study the original Dune at length to be able to make my planned story make Orthodox Herbertarian sense.

Among my story problems: the idea of the villain using a damn flower to alter Arrakis' ecosystem in some convoluted way which would render the planet only allowing the villain and his followers to breath on the planet and no one else. That seems stupid. Yet, perhaps he knows that the worms are the source of the Spice through pure research of his own, and is using the flower to make Arrakis green to purposely kill the worms, and make his personal stockpile of Spice (larger than the Baron's) to be the only source of Spice there is a la Goldfinger's Operation Grand Slam. The latter seems more feasible than altering the planet's air which only one Landsraad House could breath in, but why do I want the flower bit at all? Maybe as a retroactive tribute to the Face Dancers at the end of Chapterhouse: Dune. I know that for the villain, I wanted to make him an original villain, who can be just as nasty as the baron, but handsomer looking and subtler in in his scheming (and much thinner, of course). So I wonder: how would this villain I invented even work in the Dune universe, and what is his interest in altering Arrakis's ecosystem with that flower? The flower I'm envisioning seems like it has similar attributes as the special grass Frank described in his "They Stopped the Moving Sands" article, except in the context of this game idea, the stopping of the moving sands would keep the worms from moving freely in the dunes. The flowers could do more than anchor sand dunes: they might grow abnormally long and thorny roots when they are planted in Arrakian sand, and excrete moisture. But how would the villain set about doing his plan? Propose it to the Landsraad to implement it, and then when the flower is destroyed, all the Landsraad forgetting about it? Or would the flower thing be a secret only known to the Bene Gesserit, the Guild, and a handful of royal houses? I need to think out the logic of my conflict some more.

However, games like Shadows of the Empire , Dark Forces, Jedi Knight, Rebel Assault 1+2, and Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force came up with hyperactive scenarios to fit into their respective sci-fi universes, so my plot may not be too dumb.

But to make the game a retro first-person perspective game, with older looking graphics, which successfully renders many sets from the Lynch film which players could interact with and explore: that would be quite a Dune game to pull off. I mean, tell me, fellow water stealers. What would have wanted to do if you found yourself in your favorite setting in Dune, and found that you could interact with you favorite characters any way you wanted?

Re: Dune: The Art of Kanly (A Dune FPS Idea)

Posted: 23 Jan 2014 03:09
by Jodorowsky's Acolyte

This is an incomplete marker drawing I did awhile ago for the Dune game idea. That freaky looking bearded Aryan in green is supposed to be the game's villain, Earl of House Demeter. The flower he's holding is the not the prettiest, though the way the Earl holds it makes it mysterious enough. Why are the desert dunes green and the sky dark green? Special Arrakian lighting, I guess. Hint of the chlorophyll based poison that is House Demeter. He's green like an Ordos, but better that he belongs to an original House.

I'm thinking of perhaps writing this as a Dune fanfic before even thinking of it working as a game. If I write it out first, and submit it here, then I can determine if it is Jacurutu enough. :)

Re: Dune: The Art of Kanly (A Dune FPS Idea)

Posted: 23 Jan 2014 14:43
by Omphalos
He's obviously uncircumcised. You should talk about that in your story.

Re: Dune: The Art of Kanly (A Dune FPS Idea)

Posted: 23 Jan 2014 16:21
by Jodorowsky's Acolyte
Omphalos wrote:He's obviously uncircumcised. You should talk about that in your story.


Thank you very much, Omphalos! I'm grateful for your help. I admit I made the Earl's uniform a little too tight, and made his thing a little too protruding. Making him uncircumcised and wearing a tight outfit would be among his striking characteristics. :D