Hi, Els here! Today I wanted to talk about some of the deeper lore and story of Path of Kami, and the inspiration behind it. At Captilight, our guiding principle is “making games that give you the FEELS”, so story is a massive part of that!
The story has gone through a few iterations throughout development. By the time I came on as a narrative designer, it had already gone from a story about a pack of wolves, to a more personal story between the main character Kazeyo and a single other character, the Wisp. Aside from letting us focus more on the gameplay and mechanics, I think focusing on a single relationship allows for a deeper and more intimate story.
Without going too deep into spoiler territory, the original plan for the story was very Greek-tragedy in its inspiration. I’m a bit of a nerd for different storytelling methods, so while that version was good, I wondered if it was possible to do a more Japanese-style story to match the visual theme of the game. Luckily, Kazuma Hashimoto was willing to sit down with me and chat about what differentiates traditional Japanese folktales and family relationships from Western ones, and the result is what we have now — the story of Kazeyo journeying to become a god, being supported by the spirits of his ancestors.
The next question became, “how do we tell that story?” Some of it is relayed through conversations with Wisp, but equally, we wanted to convey the story through the world itself. By paying close attention to the environments you explore, you might be able to piece together some of the larger elements of the story. There’s also the collectibles, like the teapot or the magatama beads, which hint at what may have taken place before Kazeyo’s arrival. What were the events that lead to Kazeyo’s death? Why has he been put on the path to godhood? Such answers will be hard to come by, but a keen eye may be able to piece them together.