Somi's Journey: An Intro and Short History
I was asked recently how Somi came to being, and more specifically, where her name came from. I stood there for far too long thinking about her name, and for the life of me, I could not remember the exact reference I used as it had been over a year since I thought of it. I remember scrolling through an Aztec to English dictionary, looking at pictures of mountains, and wanting a name that felt strong and unassuming. Other than that, it could have come from anywhere (though I can promise it had nothing to do with the Korean popstar of the same name). But regardless of origin, Somi has become a lot more than just some character thought up on an old brown lounge. Here is her history
A Small History
Somi’s story is not all that complicated, though there are secrets that I cannot yet share. She has spent most of her life growing up deep in the forest of the Sazi, a region of Fellion still shrouded in deep heavy darkness. The Sazi are a race of people found somewhere between the halfling and wood elf, finding a home both underneath and within the trees of the forest. As a village, the Sazi work together well enough together while under the watchful eye of the paranoid high council.
As of late, members of the community have been disappearing, though the town council denies that these are anything but secretive banishments necessary for the protection of the village. However, rumors circulate of a world of light unlike any other just beyond the forest. No doubt this is where the banished have gone, and where Somi hopes to visit, just to see, as well. She loves her home, her family, and her people, but she wants to know what else is out in the world. The stories of a bizarre world beyond the darkness is just too much for her to resist.
Creating a Look
Last post, I shared some of the early concepts for Somi when I was first pitching the story to Seismic Squirrel. Her first rendition unintentionally resembles Tauriel from The Hobbit with her elf like appearance and long beautiful hair. She carries a violin, which in in the first versions of the game, was going to be her primary means of action in the world.
I had imagined Somi able to change and affect the world with her music, solving quests to unlock music notes that could be fashioned into songs. Music is such powerful force, and as teenage me can testify with a hand on a Green Day album, it can be how we process and discover the world, so why not use music to literally do that in a game Unfortunately, though not before having her go through several iterations, we decided to remove that part of her story and move on with the focus on light as the primary mechanic instead.
A Small Detour
The second concept we have is from a bit further in development when we were experimenting with the Sazi race, wanting to add more a of a fantasy flair to the game. She was to look more faun like, with animal features that expressed her wild nature. We thought it would have been fun to allow Somi to travel through the woods easily with grace, setting her apart from the other races and characters of Fellion. Unfortunately, as much as I loved the thought of playing a young faun, we had to cut that as well.
That finally leaves us with where we are now. The modelers at Happy Days Studios have done an amazing job bringing the final concept to life, showing both her sweetness and strength. We’ll have some gameplay footage along with her final version soon, so subscribe and follow us on Facebook to stay up on the updates as soon as they come out!