Memoir of the past
What stood before them was the liberal arts college where the sweeping trees, the vast expanses of green, and the classic Gothic architecture blended in with the Midwestern-style houses on campus. The campus was like a maze of cloisters, archways, and pathways interwoven, making it look like an ancient medieval-era town.
Kiyro had seen many college campuses before, and they were vastly different. The only thing that differentiated this campus from the others was the canopy-like trees displayed at the entranceway leading to the main building. It was a beautiful display of green foliage that was rarely seen. The trees were not forced to grow a certain way; instead, they grew naturally over time. As a result, he felt the land and building seemed old and alive to him.
A place of constant movement of energy and peace, an area that felt there was something present, something old and powerful. Kiyro did not know what but knew he needed to be on alert.
“So beautiful,” Eve spoke out, breaking the silence between the group. “I wouldn’t mind going to school here.”
“Me too.” Isabel agreed with Eve’s statement. “I wonder what’s a school like living here.”
“I’m not sure, but it could be interesting.”
They took a step forward, and everyone received a message simultaneously on their Alive gear.
Real World Hidden Quest: Alpha Division individual quest
You have been given a quest by an unknown user. This quest has been transferred over to Zero. Therefore, this quest cannot be given to any other person anymore. The time limit has been reduced to six hours. An automatic call out to the nearest group of players has been accomplished, and all six players are present. Each player has bought a selenite at the Fire and Ice Bookstore. There are three parts to this quest.
1st, head over to the designated room to find a hidden message.
2nd each individual player will go to each specific location on their respective map.
3rd, Speak the ancient name of the elements.
Total Individual quest that needs to be completed 3333 worldwide. 1453/3333 completed at this time.
Time Limit: Two hours out of six left
Quest Level: B
Reward: Depends on your completion of the quest. Each individual party member will be different.
“What an odd quest. Speak the ancient name of the elements? Which one is it talking about?” Jack spoke out loud. He scratched his head, trying to find the answer to the question. “Is it talking about the dead languages or English?”
“Could be anything,” said Isabel. Her face became pinker the more she smiled and spoke.
“We can figure that part out when we get to it. Let’s go find this hidden message,” replied Eve. She pulled on Kiyro’s arm to hurry him up. She was excited about having her first real live quest. Kiyro, on the other hand, was on alert. The last quest had put him on edge, and to see the level of the quest to be a B meant that there was something more to the quest that he would normally need to be wary of.
Even shadow men were not enough. What else could be there that would top it off? Kiyro silently beat himself up for thinking such a thought. He knew better than to think there weren’t things out there that could be more than normal.
Kiyro’s group walked through the college campus as if they belonged there. Eve and Jack livened up the situation by talking about random everyday T.V. shows, while Isabel and Will were talking amongst themselves about guild matters. Alex and Kiyro were the only two who did not speak as much during their conversation. Although he caught glimpses of Alex winking at passing girls, he could hear their giggles as they passed by.
Pushing the front door open, they walked into the building. Security in the college was a lot laxer than in other colleges that he went to. So it wasn’t difficult to blend in with the surrounding students without being out of place. Most of the students looked around their age, so the only person that would stand out a bit was Jack and maybe Alex, but nobody took much notice except the squealing girls that seemed to swoon every time they made eye contact with Alex.
“It seems the library is the location we need to go to. What could be in a library that we all need to go and check out?” Jack quietly whispered to the group as they headed inside the large double door. Upon opening the door, an old papery smell wafted through my nose. It was not a terrible smell, but a small one, don’t forget.
“Take a right. It seems it’s in the nonfiction section. Oh, look. There is a small glass room up ahead. It seems to be taking us over there.” Isabel pointed toward their destination. They quietly made their way towards the small glass room without disturbing the studious students that were studying.
While walking through, Kiyro’s keen ears heard a couple of students whispering behind one of the aisles. Two students were talking with one another with a book covering their mouths.
“Did you hear? The lady’s appearance has happened again in the clock tower,” said the male student.
“You serious? Are you sure it is not some kind of prank?” The female student said with a bit of fear in her voice.
“No. I even witnessed it first hand as well.”
“No way. So the rumors are true that this school is haunted. So then what my friends are saying is true? Walking down the female dorm corridor at 3 am at night, you will hear a crying baby.” Her voice squeaked with fright.
“I don’t know, I’m not like this. Lately, the sightings of these supposed ghosts have been going out of control. I’m not so sure if it’s true or fake. So let’s not talk about it anymore. It gives me the creeps.”
“Yea.” The student’s voice faded into the distance, and silence followed.
Kiyro was skeptical of what he had just heard, but he kept the information in the back of his mind.
Isabel was the first one to open the door. Upon opening the door, a table and a couple of chairs were in the middle of the room. Around the interior of the walls were small bookshelves lined with different mythical stories and religions.
“What are we even looking for?” Jack walked around the room, picking through shelves for answers.
“Not sure.” Alex replied, “It could be some small trinket or recording device.”
“Maybe some form of digital chip or possibly a handwritten note?”
“You’re kidding me, right? A handwritten note, you jest. Do you think they would go to a location just to put a paper here? Why so much effort for one thing?” Alex asked, baffled by the statement.
“It’s just a thought. Plus, the company has money to spend. Why not?” Jack shook his head in disagreement with Alex.
“Look, before you guys go into a full disagreement, we should-” Kiyro was interrupted by Eve’s sudden shake of his shoulder. He turned around to see a life-size holographic image of Dion in his prime days appearing before Kiyro, Will, Eve, Alex, Jack, and Isabel in full size. It flickered on and off like an old static T.V. Eventually, it became clear and solid.
“Hello. My name is Dion.” Dion bowed before them. “This is a recording of my past self. I’m glad that an Adventurer has found this recording. How do I know this is an adventurer? It’s because only an Adventurer would be able to unlock this message. I had made this in the event of someone finding the Oculus-Morpheus. I was lucky to find one of these valued treasures that record events. I’m not sure who or what made this, but its value is exponential for the use in Noriene. The number of images that we could record and possibly help advance our society.
Though I must say, I have still not figured out how to reproduce such a creation. One day, maybe
I’ll find the creator of this Oculus-Morpheus.”
“Is he who I think he is?” Jack pointed towards the holographic Dion.
“Yep. He’s the vampire that attacked the city during the in-game world quest,” Eve silently whispered, leaning towards him to whisper into his ears.
“Oh,” he mouthed quietly. “What’s he doing here?”
Eve shrugged, not knowing the answer, and the rest quietly listened to the recording.
“I have a warning to the Adventurers in the world of Earth and Noriene,” said Dion.
“Wait, Earth? How does he know?” said Jack confused.
Eve nudged him to stay quiet.
“I already imagine your surprised face. I expected such reactions. You are wondering how I know this? For centuries I have found small disturbances that lead me to believe that the Adventures have not been born in the world of Noriene but brought forth from another universe by the gods. I have even found ancient messages that took a long time to decipher that there is a world called Earth.” He paused to breathe and continued, “When the world of Noriene called for a hero, you Adventurers were brought here. New generations of powerful Adventurers were born from their descendants, mixed with our people.”
The scene in the background of Dion changed to a lush green field that was once where Lilith and Samael had their wedding. His eyes cast off into the distance reminiscing the past.
“The past heroes have all passed away, but there have been some strange rumors that one or two of them are still alive. From what I have remembered from our last fight with the
Demon Prince, they were all heavily injured to death or were killed. I assumed they had all died because of the fatal wounds.” Dion’s voice grew solemn thinking about the past. His shoulders slouched forward as if it was weighed with a heavy burden.
“So they all died? Wow.” Whistled Jack. Eve punched him on his side and gave him a glare.
“We have failed to kill him, but we were able to trap him in the sixth dimension where no beings can step forth. So even though we are no more, our powers should keep him in check for thousands of years.” Dion’s voice stalled for a moment, and he continued forward, “But just like the world moves on, our powers will wane and disappear. No more would we be able to protect our beloved world and instead must suffer the consequences of what is to come forth.”
The world around Dion shifted into darkness as claps of thunder and lightning flashed before them. Loud thunder clouds rolled in like rolling drums. Lightning strikes in cacophony as one hits the grasslands. A cackling sound could be heard as twigs broke, the fire had begun, and smoke rose from the grasslands and towards the sky.
“The signs are apparent. There are nine stages before the enemy encroaches upon us like a venomous snake. Each is stronger and more powerful than the next. Then, finally, the lady of life will move forward to cast her seeds outwards to the world, trying to find the selected people who can withstand the future to come.” Dion closed his eyes and breathed in a deep breath that seemed like life had escaped him. “I don’t know if what we left behind is a curse or a blessing. Even the lady’s gift is just another stall for time. I cannot help but wonder what the world of Noriene has set for you all.”
“But there was one thing I heard over time: the race of Drezo Regalia knows the history to the Ancient art of Words and has lived longer than I. The amount of knowledge that they know is enormous.” Dion’s eyes opened, and a glint of hope appeared in his gaze. He started toward them with more dedication than before.
Dion’s eyes turned scarlet as they glistened with devious intent. “As a vampire who has lived for a long time, I have seen the cycle of life come and go many times. Maybe this is just another stage of a cycle closing, or possibly an evolution to help the world ascend to a higher stage.
Whichever the path may be, I know I will not be able to see the end of the beginning of it. My path has taken me into a darker path….” His voice lowered and hinted at an animalistic growl,
“Lilith.” He worked in a soft, tender voice, his vision cast towards an unknown area where no one could see but him.
“I have tried to stop the progress of contamination, but I still haven’t found the answer.” Dion’s hands balled into a fist, paced back and forth. “I know I can make her better.” He stopped and turned towards them once more. His eyes gleamed with darkness. “The demons are rushing, and they are planning something. Already I have found that these tears in the fabric of dimensions are causing problems for both worlds. Amending these problematic holes is possible. Small tears are simple to fix, in which case tools from natural stones and crystals can be used, while something larger takes more power that needs a stronger will and power to close. There are worse things that go bump in the night than demons. To you Adventurers who watched this from the beginning, I pray that this is not the end of your journey, and it is instead a beginning towards a brighter future. Even though I pray to no god, in my last solemn days, the hint of a god has crossed my mind more frequently.”
Dion started fading away, becoming a transparent ghost. “Remember, this is not the end.”
The hologram buzzed and turned off. A message appeared before Kiyro.
In-game Quest History of Drezo Regalia and Quest Learning the Ancient Art of words quests had been combined. As a result, a new Quest has been formed.
New Quest Drezo Regalia Guardianship.
Quest combination of History of Drezo Regalia and the Language of Ancient Art of Words.
1st part: As the guardian of Historia, you have been tasked to find who and what you truly are before becoming the True Guardian of Historia. You must find the lost history of your race and record it in the book of Historia. Dion had stated that the Drezo Regalia knows the answer to the end and the beginning. What does this all mean?
2nd part: Bishop Etran has given you the task to fill the blank books with knowledge of your adventures, but now it is recommended to write the first volume of the history of Drezo Regalia to complete the task given to you. It seems that both quests have something to do with one another.
3rd part: Learn the fine arts of the Record Keeper by finding the other eight that are situated around both worlds. (1/9 completed.)
Difficulty Level: B
Reward: Information of Hybrid Form + other unknown items
Failure to complete a journal will not allow you to learn the art of words. Bishop Etran and Bishop Sanya will be wary around you and not listen to what you say. The Church of Infinity will close its door to you.
The first part of the Real World Hidden Quest: Alpha Division individual quest has been accomplished. A map has been sent to your Alive gear. Please go to the specific area to place the Selenite to close the fabric of the dimensional tear.
Time limit left 01:51:56
“Dimensional tear? Is this some kind of joke?” Alex said in disbelief. “I don’t know if this game pulls my legs or what?”
“Come on, it is not too bad. It’s just placing a selenite in a certain location. It’s not going to hurt you or anything,” said Jack. “Better yet, you don’t have to do this quest if you don’t want to. You can leave right now.”
“I’m not saying I’ll quit. But, this quest is just getting crazier by the second.”
“It seems you have a reason to stay, especially for someone so outspoken about the quest.”
“Something smells fishy here.” Jack walked over to Alex and leaned in towards him. He closely examined him, trying to figure out some kind of clue or motive from Alex. “It would make more sense if we all came here to gain something from this quest. I personally tagged along with Eve for this quest.” He faced each person.
“Yep. I do not deny anything about that.” Eve spoke up first. “I wanted to know what a real-world quest would be like. Thought the experience might be interesting.”
“I agreed to do this quest because of a possible business opportunity with a client for a reward. I heard that this client only interacts with people who play the quest. Quite a strange client, don’t you think?” Will replied.
“Information. That’s all.” Alex quickly replied, not delving into it any further.
“Money,” said Kiyro, his mind was focused heavily on reading the new game quest he had received.
“See, we all have a reason, even though it might be a bit odd of a reason to stick to a quest,” said Jack. Their voices trailed off into the distance while Kiyro was too busy thinking about the reward for the new quest. He wondered what this hybrid form was going to be. Would he be some oddly shaped being that he never knew about, or was it some kind of human with a dragon head? New ideas of what it could be kept forming in his mind.
“Hybrid Form.” Kiyro quietly worded. He was amazed that the hybrid form he had seen on his menu would come up here on this quest. The answer to his question has finally appeared before him, but the problem arises when the two quests are combined and are made into one new quest.
The difficulty level has skyrocketed from D to B and split into three parts. Each part is more difficult than the next.
If he didn’t know any better, this quest might take a lot longer than he expected, and he wanted him to work three times harder than normal. But was this all worth his time? In a sense, it was; the answer to finding the hybrid form, the past of Drezo Regalia, the book of Historia, and possibly the new enemies that are supposed to come in the future.
“Did you say something?” Eve asked; she peered at him. Her blue hair fell to the side, covering half her face. She pulled back her hair to see clearly.
“I was just thinking to myself.”
“Oh, but you know Dion has spoken about your race. Do you know something that we don’t?”
Everyone turned towards Kiyro, wondering what Eve meant.
“What do you mean?” Alex asked. “Do you actually know something that we don’t?”
“I really don’t know anything. All Dion stated was the name of my character’s race.” Kiyro raised his hands to stop them before they bombarded him with questions he did not know of.
“What are you?”
“Excuse me? I’m a bit confused. I’m a human just like you.”
“No I mean what is a Drezo Regalia?”
“Well, all I know about a Drezo Regalia is a couple of things. First, they are hybrid humans: a mix between humans and a dragon. For some reason, there are no Drezo Regalia except me for now.”
“A dragon?” Isabel chimed in, “You’re really a dragon in the game. That’s so cool. Can you breathe fire?”
Kiyro nodded as a grin slowly crept on his lips. He couldn’t help but feel a bit proud and unique from everyone else, even though it was a game.
“Can you fly as well?” Isabel’s eyes sparkled with interest. Her face fell as she slouched forward in huge disappointment when he stated no. “If you can’t fly, are you even a dragon?”
“That’s what I said,” Jack replied. “I thought he was some kind of giant fox demon.”
“There are eastern-type dragons, too, just without wings.” Kiyro quickly replied; the coolness factor of his character was slowly going down the drain.
“Besides the point that he’s a Drezo Regalia, why is the vampire Dion even out in the real-world quest. Shouldn’t the real and game world quest be different?” Alex asked.
“The Yami Hikari company had made the game, so it wouldn’t matter if the game world quests start falling into the real world. So it’s their game?” Eve replied.
“Then what is this Oculus-Morpheus?”
“I can answer that.” Kiyro raised his hands to grab their attention. “It’s a recording device specifically for the game. Normal recordings don’t work in the game, so there are these magical crystal balls that capture the recording for you.”
“It seems you know something about them. Where do you get them?”
Kiyro was silent for a moment; he wasn’t so sure he wanted to divulge the information as of yet. Instead, he wondered if he should even tell more, but a brilliant idea struck his mind.
“I make them.”
“You what? Really?” Will shouted in surprise. “How are you able to make them? No, the question comes down to do you think you could sell me a couple?”
Kiyro’s mind raced with the possibility of earning some money in seconds. He was the only one that knew how to create O.M.’s and who to gain the skill from. The thought excited him, but he was cut short by the mountainous amount of possible customers and the number of O.M. ‘s he had to create in the future. It could become so overwhelming that he might be stuck creating O.M.’s for the rest of his life. The thought made him weary.
For now, he was going to play his cards right; even though he did not quit the game yet, he would exploit it the best way he could to raise the ranks as quickly as possible. It also seemed like his brother was somehow entangled in the game of Growth. If he plays his cards right, he will surely meet him soon.
“Yes. I could. Right now, I only have two O.M.’s made ready. Would you like to buy one now, or if you bring me the materials of rare monster eyes, I could make them for you.”
“How much?” Will asked. He was already pulling up his game bank account in front of him.
“10 gold for the ten-minute O.M. while the one hour-long special ones with extra bonus features are around 50 gold and up. So every hour added is another 10 gold. So I’ll throw in one free one if you buy ten stacks.” Kiyro threw out some numbers to see if Will would take the bait.
“Deal. I’ll take the two ten minutes right now, and I would like 20 one-hour-long ones with the extra bonus features. I have some materials in hand right now. How soon do you think you could make them?”
Kiyro was stupefied that he would take the deal; he sighed as he thought he could have raised the price because he was a guild master, but the deal was already set, and he could not go back on his words. “As soon as we can go back into the game. Give me a day, and I should have them ready.”
The deal was set and the money transferred over. In one transaction, he had made over 1000 gold which would have taken him weeks to make an equal amount of money through farming and selling monster parts. He wondered how much he could gain if he had rarer O.M.’s for sale.
“I wouldn’t mind a couple,” Jack replied. “I would like to order two O.M.’s. I don’t think I would need so many like Will here. It’s not like I would be creating a movie or something.”
“I’ll take three. Please.” Isabel chirped in happily. “Who knows, it could be useful later on.”
“Give me five and some discount, please,” Eve asked with doe-like eyes. “For old friend’s sake?”
“Nope. It’s not easy making O.M.’s, you know that.”
“B-but I’m your friend.”
“Business is business.”
“Fine.” She crossed her hands in defeat. “You’re so stingy when it comes to business.”
“You know me too well,” Kiyro smirked. He was not going to budge at this moment when he could be reeling in a large amount of gold.
“Fine,” Eve said with a disgruntled voice. Everyone sent their respective game money to him with a memo stating what they wanted. Kiyro felt elated with a sudden large boost in income. “With that done, why don’t we get this quest underway. Let’s keep our Alive gear in contact until we finish placing the selenites.”
Each one of them sent an invitation to stay connected through the Alive Gear. Five small icons were present on the corner of his Alive gear of each of his teammates. Isabel had a flower icon, Will a gryphon, Jack a hammer, Alex a twin dagger, Eve a bunny, and Kiyro was a baby dragon.
“We’ve got less than two hours. Be careful not to get caught because we won’t have a second chance,” said Kiyro. “It’s easier to pretend to be a student than to cover up as someone else. So improvise. Let’s try to be back in an hour?”
“Gotcha,” said Jack
“I’m fine with that,” Will nodded.
“Shouldn’t be too hard, right?” Eve glanced around, a bit too excited.
“I hope so,” Isabel squeaked, worried that she would get caught.
Alex gave him a short nod, and they all went out the door and parted ways. Kiyro looked at his map and noticed the icons of his teammates splitting off into opposite directions spreading out like a star.
Kiyro rubbed his hands to calm his nerves and breathed in deeply. He had done a lot of impersonation missions in the past, so it wasn’t too difficult to do. However, in reality, he often changes his persona to fit the environment, people, and circumstances. It was only around Eve he acted like himself. Since the beginning of the game and meets Eve, he realizes that it has been a long time since he acted like himself instead of putting on a false mask.
To put on a mask again was like using tissue paper as if it was nothing. With his nerves calmed down, his demeanor changed to a timid, shy student. He ruffled his hair, so it was slightly messy, his hands were in front of him rubbing each other slightly, and his eyes darted back and forth like a frightened doe. Then, adjusting his Alive gear, he walked forward towards the exit of the library.
Glancing around, he checked the walls for any possible cameras and people. There were none in his vicinity. Passing by a desk, he noticed a stack of workbooks, pencils, and a backpack laid on top of the desk. He picked up a few workbooks lying on the edge of the table and exited the door.
He could have taken more, but he knew that taking as little as possible was the best possible route to go without being caught. Especially since he didn’t know when the owner of the bag and books would come back and notice his things missing.
Walking with his head held slightly downcast, Kiyro walked through the arching hallways. He scanned his surroundings with his peripheral vision to watch where he was going. The doors suddenly burst open, and students streamed out of classrooms like a flood. He had to watch his steps to avoid crashing into anyone.
Do these people have no eyes and don’t see where they are going? Kiyro grumbled his distaste. He had to dodge a couple of times to avoid being run over.
Walking continually till the crowds slowly dwindled, he noticed a black hat hanging off the side
of a male student’s backpack. Walking toward the student, he purposely collided with the student. Kiyro stumbled backward, and his books fell to the ground, while the male student tumbled with his own books scattered around him. A couple of students turned their heads to watch, but in a matter of seconds, they turned back around.
“I’m sorry.” Kiyro bowed timidly, averting his eyes.
“Hey, watch where you are going.” The student spoke, annoyed.
“I’m really, really sorry.” He bent over to help pick up the spilled books that scattered around the ground at that moment; when the student turned his back on him, he carefully pickpocketed the male student and stole the black hat.
Quickly gathering up his books, he slipped the hat underneath him. Then, reaching out to the male student, Kiyro handed him the spilled books that were the male student’s. The male student got up and left, leaving Kiyro on the ground. He watched him leave before he got up from the ground.
Kiyro pulled out the stolen cap. He put on the black cap, covering half of his face. It was not that he liked stealing. He noticed a couple of cameras that he passed by and kept his head down, trying his best to keep it hidden. Now with the hat on, he didn’t need to keep looking down; it gave him a neck cramp.
Turning right towards the next hallway, he eventually came to a classroom. Opening the door, he noticed a dozen students already seated in their respective seats. He stopped and scanned around, trying to find where he had to place the Selenite. It was next to the windowsill, where a group of students had huddled.
“You’re kidding me, right?” Kiyro silently worded. He noticed a seat behind them and began walking towards it.
Right behind him, the professor followed him in and walked up to his desk. The chattering died down, and they turned towards the professor. Kiyro made his way, sat behind the group that scattered like flies, and went to their seats.
“Good afternoon. I’m glad to see that you all are present.” The professor skimmed around and noticed Kiyro. “It seems we have a new student today. I did not expect to have a transfer this late in the summer.” Everyone’s attention immediately turned toward Kiyro. His mind went into overdrive as he thought up an answer on the spot.
“My name is Kyle. I’m just a temporary student sent by the foreign exchange program to check out the classes.” Kiyro even threw in a slight Asian accent. He checked his Alive gear and had less than two hours left. He couldn’t just up and leave the classroom when he completed his task. He needed to leave on a quiet term without interrupting the classroom and creating suspicion.
“I see. Well, then welcome, Kyle. Please take off your Alive gear; even though this is a liberal art gaming class, I would appreciate it if you didn’t use it while in class unless I allow it.”
Kiyro reluctantly raised his Alive gear and placed it on his cap. This was going to be a bit harder than he expected to keep in contact with his teammates.
“Now then, today we will be studying the continuation of game design from our last lesson.” The professor picked up an erasable marker and began writing on the board. “The designer creates an experience for the players to enjoy. It’s not only the story, the gameplay, mechanics, and music. As a player, we all want to know what it is like to live in our character’s shoes. With that being said, as a designer, we need to create a world and events that let players experience the different emotional roller coasters that the main character will experience throughout their journey. The more our senses are pulled into the game, the more the players will feel like they are the character. In the past, we had games that only stimulated our visual and sound senses. Now in virtual reality, all five of our senses are stimulated, bringing it close to reality. Whether it be a full-on deep immersion to the game giving you the interaction of a lifetime or a dangerous addiction that replaces drugs.”
The professor draws a bubble on the top and a line downwards towards the stick figure of a human.
“One must create a world for the experience to take place. From the world, different stories, characters, aesthetics, and spaces must be created.” He formed more circles around the experience bubble. “It is up to the designer or a group of designers to create the game. In a sense, a designer must remember that creating a game is not the only process. One must consider how to profit off the game, which the client would be, and how they will pitch their games to their team. With their respective team in mind, a schedule must be created, and a game document that could be hundreds of pages must be written for the ideas to be set in stone. It is the designer’s responsibility to take the initiative to lead the team towards the end goal of the game. They are the only ones who fully understand the game they have created from start to finish.”
The students listened diligently, interested in what the professor had to say. Even Kiyro was interested in what the professor was going to say. “In the end, a game designer creates the game based on realityt.”
“A game must start somewhere.” The professor raised up his closed marker and pointed to his head. “It all starts with the idea that is put into action from a simple decision. A spark of energy that is converted into a reality.”
One of the students raised their hands.
“Professor Stein, what are the main reasons designers make games?”
The surrounding students chuckled at his question, thinking the answer was simple.
“That question in itself sounds simple but is a difficult question to answer.” Then Professor Stein walked back and forth in silence, deep in thought. “Everyone has a different answer to that question. Some are simple, others are complex, but most of the answers would be for entertainment or fun. Think of it like this, as a designer, you are creating a world you want to experience, fantasize about, and possibly live in, just like an author that thinks up a story to write for their books. At first, it is only for themselves, but as the audience grows, they share that same world and experience with the people around them. In that story and experiences, some designers created their world to emphasize something important to the players by creating hidden messages that the players have to uncover. Other times it’s for the immersion and an escape from reality for the weary souls living in the real world. The list goes on and on, each different and unique.”
Kiyro raised his hands with a question in mind.
“Then, sir, what about the game Growth? Someone like you who has designed games before and teaches the class. What are your thoughts on the reason behind the game’s creation?”
“That is a bit of a difficult question to answer. However, I noticed some things about the game of Growth and the division of the Two gears.”
The students that were once falling asleep jolted awake and leaned in closer to listen to what he had to say.
“The first one is the Alive gear. It seemed to be aimed at creating more social interaction with their surrounding neighbors and people that they had not ever talked to with the help of real-world quests. Doing this forces the younger and even the older generation to interact more with people by making it a fun social activity. In the past, there has been a sharp decline in who you knew next door. As the introduction to the quest, the number of social settings has increased exponentially. With the forcing of players to stop playing the virtual reality game for a week in a sense, it gives players a different route to play the game and keep the activities between people.” Professor Stein stopped for a moment collecting his thoughts. Then, he placed the marker on the desk and faced the student head-on.
“To know your neighbors and start to take the initiative to understand and learn them brings people of different races and religions together. Yes, there would be bickering and arguments, but the goal of the Alive gear is interaction, whether good or bad. The outcome is always changing.”
“Then what about the Sense gear?”
“That one seems a bit complicated. I haven’t truly seen many detailed patterns yet, but being the first game to have all five senses is an achievement. The coming of new-age technology opens up new doors to different activities one could not do in real life, but now it can be done in a virtual setting. Though there has been something that has been bothering me….” Professor Stein’s voice trailed off into the distance as he thought about something. “It’s not important. All in all, it seems the concept that the game focuses heavily on is the interaction between people. Anyways back to our main focus about game design.”
Professor Stein continued on with his lecture. One-by-one his teammate’s voice was heard softly through his Alive gear. Kiyro had to focus on hearing Professor Stein’s voice. Luckily enough, he was able to hear them.
“I’m in location,” Eve called out.
“Same,” said Jack in an irked voice, “I’m in a damn female bathroom. What the hell. Let’s get this over with.”
“Are you serious?” Eve whispered and laughed. “Don’t get caught, pervert.
“I’m not trying to be one. Let’s hurry it up, people.” Jack was peeved at where he was at.
“I’m in the maintenance room. It’s quite dark in here,” said Isabel.
“You guys are better off than me.” Alex’s voice-over encompassed the others. “I’m in the principal office.”
“That’s not too bad,” replied Jack.
“I think I’m in trouble.”
“What happened?” Eve gasped. “You alright?”
“Got into a small fist fight.”
“You serious? You could’ve avoided all that.”
“I know; something happened where it was necessary to pull a few punches. It’s fine; I’ll get myself out of here today. Either way, it seems almost all of us are ready. Who else are we missing?”
“Kiyro,” Eve called out. “Hey, Kiyro. Are you there?”
Kiyro slipped the Alive Gear off his head and placed it on the desk. He hunched over with his arm around it and whispered into the Alive gear.
“I’m here in a classroom. There is a class going on.”
“Are you going to be fine over there?”
“Yea. Give me a moment.” Kiyro rummaged his hands in his pocket and pulled out the small pyramid selenite, and held it out in his hand. “I’m ready. What next?”
“I’m not sure. We wait?”
“How much longer?” Jack asked impatiently. “I can’t stay here forever.” He whispered into the Alive gear.
“Same. I think I hear footsteps on my end,” Isabel’s voice was in a panic. “Come on…Yes! I got something.”
Please recite this word on the Selenite.
“Ignis,” whispered Kiyro, trying not to bring attention.
“Sonus,” said Eve
“Ventus,” said Isabel.
“Aqua,” said Will.
“Humus,” said Jack.
“Inritus Irritus,” said Alex.
Each said their words simultaneously.
Please place your empowered Selenite onto the designated area and follow the map to complete this quest.
Kiyro’s Alive gear pulled up a map on his gear, and an arrow blinked towards the window. He leaned over towards the window, gently reached over, and placed the Selenite to the window. Satisfied with his deed, he quickly returned to his Alive gear and whispered back to his group.
“It’s going to be a bit difficult getting out of here. Let’s meet up at the end.”
“Affirmative,” replied Jack. “Now, I just need to not get caught.”
“Way ahead of you all,” said Eve. “I think I’m close to you, Kiyro. I’ll hook up with you soon.”
The others agreed, and the line went quiet. Kiyro sat back onto his chair and scanned around the room, trying to figure out a way to slip out of class. The professor paced back and forth in the front while the students sat around the professor like a semi-round table. The door was on the right, whereas he was on the other side of the room. He would use the old routine that everyone used to be excused for a moment.
“Sir,” Kiyro raised his hands. The professor stopped what he was doing and faced Kiyro.
“If you don’t mind. I’d like to be excused from using the bathroom.”
“You do know we are in the middle of a lecture.”
“Yes. I do. I’m sorry, but I can’t hold it any longer.” Kiyro pretended to squirm in the chair. It was embarrassing to act like a child, but he needed to get out of the classroom to finish the quest. The normal lecture for a college class usually runs for three hours, and he didn’t have time to listen to the whole lecture. Even though he didn’t mind listening to it.
“Sir.” Kiryo wiggled harder, emphasizing how serious it was.
“Go.” Professor Stein rolled his eyes and continued on with his lecture.
That was easy, though, Kiyro. He was glad that it took little effort. He got up as quickly as possible but without paying much attention to the group. Kiyro walked out without many difficulties.
The other students watched him leave in a hurry, Kiyro closed the door behind him, and he sighed. The deed was done, and Kiyro pushed himself forward onwards towards his goal: to end the quest.