It’s no secret that I love video games and was inspired by many role playing games and the Soul Calibur series when I built the world for Sand Dancer! Therefore, it should be of no surprise to anyone that I have often thought about what my story would be like in a video game setting.
How would Sand Dancer: The Video Game work?
Could I turn the world into an RPG? Perhaps, but I think translating the linear nature of the story into an RPG would either lose the nuance or ruin the fun of an RPG environment. Instead, I could create the world and let the player explore it on their own through the eyes of a side character. The world I have created is certainly a big one with many aspects of the world and culture that will likely never get written into the books.
Or perhaps a narrative story like Sand Dancer would be best suited to an interactive story-like world with choices.
But actually, having thought about it seriously (or not so seriously) I believe the tale of Sand Dancer could only be brought to life through one video game medium; the power of DANCE!
Now, I can’t say I’m the best person at games like Dance Dance Revolution or Just Dance, but I do love rhythm music video games. Some of my favourites are PaRappa the Rapper, Space Channel 5, Vib Ribbon, Samba de Amigo, Let’s Tap, Rez, Child of Eden, Audiosurf, Beat Hazard, and the more modern Crypt of the Necrodancer. I’ve played games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band back when they were at the height of their popularity. So I think Sand Dancer, a story of a girl who defeats her enemies with sword dancing, would sit right at home in this genre.
Let’s break this down.
First, I envision this as a cute 2D pixel game with our pixelated heroes on one side, and their enemies on the other. If you’ve ever played match-three games like Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, or mobile games like SEGA Heroes, then you’ll be familiar with the concept of matching shapes together in order to deal attack damage to an enemy.
Sand Dancer: The Video Game could work in the same way, but with the gameplay mechanics of a music rhythm game. Actions would appear on the screen in time to some funky music, and the player must tap in time to the music in order to deal damage, or cast fire magic, or use items, or spin special attacks, or block strikes from the enemy and so on.
There’s already a really cool game on PC/Steam which is similar to this called Before the Echo. Check it out!
What I like about Before the Echo is that it has an intriguing story with cut-scenes and RPG elements such as unlocking/equipping items and gaining experience points to take on enemies. All things Sand Dancer: The Video Game could implement.
Each major battle or confrontation in the story of Sand Dancer could be translated into its own level to conquer. Without posting major story spoilers, some of these battles could be:
- Mina versus the butcher of Khalbad.
- Talin versus the Housemen in the sandstorm.
- Mina versus the raiders of Arlent’s valley.
- Mina versus the sand wraith.
- Mina versus the students of the Academy.
And of course there is one tiny little part of Sand Dancer which opens up a whole host of battles which could be recreated in dance form; the Solaran Tournament itself.
Not only could Mina do a dance-off against her enemies using her sword dancing techniques, but side characters like Talin, Jonan, Alistar, and Raj could also take part. And each could have their own special moves and abilities. Mina has her fire magic for one, whereas Raj, as a Green Hand, could bring his healing abilities.
And there would be a wide range of enemies, from sand wraiths to Housemen, raiders, tournament combatants, and the great Prince Ravel himself.
Yes, I have thought about this too much, and sadly, I don’t this is one idea that will ever see the light of day! But hey, you never know… There’s a market for sword dancing rhythm games out there, right? Let me know what you think!