Druid is a playful experience of the magics of celtic druidry. There are faeries and spirits, a deep respect for the earth and the energies that connect all living things, and patterns woven through the trees to travel to other planes.
I designed and built Druid as an exploration into more ambient virtual and dimensional reality experiences.
As a medievalist I have long been interested in all aspects of celtic tradition and mythology. Lately, I have become intrigued by the teachings and traditions of druidry and their connection with the earth. The famed powers of the druids stem from the earth, and serve to strengthen the bonds and energy between living things.
Druid is an exploration of some of my preliminary research into druidry, celtic lore, and plant magics. The traditional runes of Ogham mark the paths. A sense of calm and peace radiates throughout the game, and players learn while traversing the forests and planes both mortal and immortal.
The first level of Druid is the human or mortal plane shaped as a calm forest. With algorithmically-generated swaying reeds and gently waving water in the pond, a small garden to tend, and stone plinths indicating with runes the pathways nearby, the main plane of existence encourages wandering. After collecting water from the pond – by clicking the provided wooden bucket – players can return to their herb garden and help the plants to grow.
Short instructions appear at the bottom of the screen to suggest how to travel to other planes. Upon inspection of the stone plinths – all with glowing runes to draw one's attention – players can press the space bar to view the glowing energy lines connecting trees in the magical spectrum. Once seen, the player walks between the trees, crossing the energy lines in the pattern of the indicated rune – map provided in the lower right corner – and traveling between planes.
The current secondary planes are The Underworld – filled with roaming spirits made of slowly wandering particle clouds – and Mag Mell, a wide expanse of fields, trees, and ponds in which small fae twinkle in and out of the players perception. Fae are mostly unwilling to be directly seen by humans, so when a player attempts to follow or find the small glowing beings, they fliker out of sight yet again.
The plane of Mag Mell
Flesh out levels, points? specific herbs, making mixtures and pastes from specific herbs, different tasks for different levels. more info about herbs and planes
The game needs a more cohesive travel system – runic paths are currently only one direction – and more challenges for the player to accomplish while on each level. Points go against the druidic concept, but something needs to be collected and expended in the same manner in order to raise the stakes and keep players engaged.
The herb garden has a lot of potential. Right now only one plant exists in the garden – single stalks of mistletoe – but many other herbs can be added and tended. With more herbs available, specific mixtures, potions, salves, and tinctures could be made by combining them in traditional combinations.
Overall, more educational opportunities need to be taken advantage of, including more information on Ogham, the runes' meanings, the planes and denizens thereof, and also the herb combinations and usages. Druid has a lot of potential, with more research, playtests, and implementation.