We wanted to introduce the IndieDB community to the five elements that rule over Semisus, the world of Profane. They have deep meanings behind them that are tied to Fel-Vedai culture, a sapient and the playable race that inhabits this world. Let's learn more about them.
⚠️ Remember: these are studies that are still undergoing the development process! They might change before launch.
Shadow and Light Elements.
Despite being commonly associated with the good and evil duality, that is not exactly how these elements will work in Profane. They are not opposites.
They don't depend on one another to exist.
Shadow does not represent evil, necessarily.
Light does not represent good, necessarily.
Shadow represents knowledge and the past. It's the reflex of what was.
It can be beneficial when used to tap in ancient knowledge to help with the present; or to learn with the past, revisiting memories and traces left in the world, from objects to footprints.
It can be malevolent, too, when used to bring to surface traumas that torment an individual.
Shadow can even make corpses move, lacking a conscience, acting solely on residual memories within them.
Light is protection and order. It is the belief in an idea, be it an entity or not, religious or not. It is the faith in your own skills and capabilities. It is order in chaos.
It can be beneficial, such as when an individual has a belief strong enough to make him achieve what was thought to be impossible.
It can be malevolent when it twists and manipulates others' faith for personal gains.
Instinct and Life Elements.
Life represents the entire cycle of all living beings in Semisus, from beginning to end. It's blood and sap, birth and aging. It's wound and healing.
It's a network that connects all life in the world and can be felt by those sensitive to it.
It represents the now and what's finite.
Many Fel-Vedai believe that time only exists because of life. Without it, all would be constant and dull.
It can be beneficial when used to reinvigorate someone's life force, healing them or being able to restore their life force completely, even if it was gone.
It can be malevolent when its natural forces are used to cause harm, through poison in an assassin's dagger, or by spreading diseases.
Someone might even be able to manipulate it and create roots in a place that's filled with life in the soil.
Instinct is pure emotion, reaction. It's what makes life go beyond simply existing and departing. It's the search for survival, the heat for emotion and desire.
It's the driving force of civilization.
It represents aggression and reaction.
It separates plants from animals, and many associate this element with the heart, pulsating energy in our bodies.
More violent cultures use their enemies' hearts as a font of power in powerful rituals.
It can be beneficial when your instinct is triggered to save you at the last second, boosting adrenaline and granting you extra energy to deal with a dangerous situation.
It can be malevolent when it's deprived of another being, making them dormant, repressed, or crippled.
Mind represents that which makes you think and glimpse towards the future. It is the creativity that separates the Fel-Vedai from others creatures that inhabit Semisus. It is the ability to imagine and to abstract. It represents movement and the future.
In Fel-Vedai culture, it is closely associated with intelligence. Some attribute it to giant and fast creatures of the sky and sea, as, for them, it would be impossible for something big to move so quickly. It is commonly manifested through water and wind. For some, this Element can also be understood as an expansion of your mind. As if all things could be connected to it through an invisible web. The bigger your power over it, the further your reach through these webs.
It can be beneficial when used for astral projection or to foresee bad events in the future.
However, it can be malevolent when users tap into its psychokinesis power to drown others in torrents of water or to deceive with mental manipulation.
Victor Natan is our VFX Artist responsible for creating the last update to this Element.
Although it could still go through changes before the release of our game, it is in a good state to be shared and get your feedback.
As Mind is an Element about fluidity and connection, he thought liquid ties would be the way to go. So he tried to put a calm and continuous flow to it.
One of the reasons that led to the Element's visual rework is that the early versions would limit a lot of what could be created over it. It was a very cool idea, but we believe the new one absorbs its essence and amplifies the possibilities of what can be done to bring life to this Element.
His biggest challenge was definitely finding the right color balance in different environments. Still, he says that the whole process was enjoyable overall and that we can expect new interactions and applications of the Primordial Elements soon 👀
Fun facts: Victor's favorite Elements are Shadow and Instinct (he can't decide between these two, hehe). He says (spoiler alert!) that combining these two was one of the most satisfying VFX he created. Out of the Fel-Vedai Heritages, Lergas are his favorite.
Semisus' universe is ruled by these five Elements. It is crucial to notice that they can't be placed in a "good or evil" spectrum. They are forces that permeate the universe, all of which can be bent for good or evil deeds. They have no will or personality themselves but influence all living beings both psychologically and physiologically.
Of course, these ideas might change or improve over time and are not set in stone, but it's an excellent way to learn the direction we are going with Primordial Elements.
Which Element did you identify the most with? Let us know :)