AFNEWSIES #1: Testing, Testing, 1 2 3
Hello! My name is Adanna, and this is the start of my game development blog. I’ll be posting a mix of personal projects and personal articles. I don’t have a strict schedule for these “Newsies,” but I’ll try to make at least one post a month!
Personal Projects? What Personal Projects?
The main project I’ll be discussing here is a turn-based role-playing game (currently) solely developed by me, titled Team Y Project [Working Title]. This game is about the adventures of Yiesha Stoker, a young mage from Windmill Island, and her journey in search of her missing aunt while helping those in need along the way. During her travels, she is joined by a vampire heiress and a flirty thief to form Team Y and discover the truth of her aunt’s disappearance. The game is inspired by some of my favorite role-playing games including Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, Persona 4, and Octopath Traveler. The setting and characters are heavily influenced by Caribbean-American and African-American diaspora and my personal experiences as a second-generation Caribbean and queer woman because as much as I’ve loved these games, I’ve never felt represented. I’m hoping to include skill-building, turtle petting, and romance options in addition to random encounters and skill-building.
What’s a role-playing game without the protagonist? Yiesha Stoker is the player character and mage of Team Y. She’s twenty, she loves strawberries, her pet turtle, her favorite book series is Emerald is Indestructible, and she puts the Y in Team Y. What’s not to love?
Yiesha originally lives with her mother Hediya on Windmill Island, helping her heal islanders in need with her magical abilities. Healing isn’t Yiesha’s passion though — she’d much rather explore the world the way her aunt Gloriosa did. Hediya insists that Yiesha never leaves the island for her safety, so Yiesha reluctantly stays home. Gloriosa was the one person who encouraged Yiesha to pursue her path and explore the world but has been missing for several years. This changes when Yiesha discovers a hidden message in her aunt’s belongings; a message describing a dire prophecy of an evil that will rise from the earth. Determined to find her aunt, learn the truth of the prophecy and stop it, she leaves the island and begins her journey.
Yiesha has many inspirations with three main pillars at her core: Identity, Legacy, and Expectations (with her teammates fitting in the different intersections even though they do all blend together.) The characters in the diagram below are ones that I consider Yiesha’s main influences that fit these pillars in addition to being part of the black diaspora. (Happy Black History Month, by the way! Check out these series if you haven’t.)
Even though Yiesha doesn’t have a secret identity like Virgil Hawkins/Static Shock, her magic abilities have considerably complicated her life. A majority of her childhood was spent training with her mother, severely limiting her social interactions with other residents. Yiesha also knows that her mother immigrated to the Windmill Islands when she was a child but has no idea what her origins are. She also knows she doesn’t want to be the healer her mother wants, and that she wants to find her place in the world while still upholding the Stoker legacy of heroism and benevolence.
Like T’Challa, Yiesha initiates a new chapter of her family legacy. She’s a mage like Hediya and Gloriosa before her. She fears she won’t live up to their expectations — after all, Gloriosa led a legendary band of demon-slayers while Hediya quietly healed Windmill island residents and rescued shipwrecked sailors, while Yiesha is just… Yiesha. The Stoker legacy causes Yiesha both advantages and adversity throughout her journey, always looming over her. She struggles with what her family wants and what she wants, along with the future of the Stoker line.
Before and after leaving her island home, Yiesha is subjected to great expectations like Miles Morales. Some expect her to cure their ailments and solve their problems. Some expect her to fail and end the Stoker line once and for all. She’s a rudimentary mage trying to discover her lost aunt and related to one of the greatest mages that ever existed. She’s lost, but she still knows where she needs to go. The Yiesha and Stoker aren’t mutually exclusive of Yiesha Stoker, despite the anticipations of friends and foe.
I hope that you’re excited — I am, and I can’t wait to bring this to life one way or another.