New Devlog: Vive Pointe-a-Pitre! Part 2
In part 1 of this devlog dedicated to the revamp of France’s regional capital, Pointe-á-Pitre, we looked at the development of the new city and some (if not all) of the inspiration for some of the features, places, and characters you’ll meet there. This time out, we’ll be looking at specific storylines, locations, and NPCs that will make “Point with Clown” an entertaining and rewarding destination for players of every nation.
Dude, Where’s My Fire Monster?
In addition to new art and layout, the revamp of the town gave us an opportunity to explore different ways to construct missions that didn’t necessarily put all the outcome on combat. Not that Pointe-á-Pitre visitors won’t have plenty of opportunity to smash their enemies beneath their stocking’d feet. Even in mission chains where combat is not the primary focus, fighting will come into play at key moments. Making missions that aren’t all about combat helps us flesh out the world and make it more believable, and this isn’t the last town that will see such innovations. We hope you dig ‘em like treasure.
What we haven’t included, upon further reflection, is the infamous Point with Clown fire monster. Turns out that was a myth based on shoddy Wikipedia translation. I know, who knew?
Musketeers Sans Muskets
What begins as an investigation into an overdue cargo ship leads to intrigue and betrayal (two of our specialties) among the French Musketeers of Pointe-á-Pitre. The ship is loaded with muskets the musketeers desperately need to defend the town, and you will enter the story when Magistrate Dehogue asks you to escort the tardy vessel into port. Naturally, things don’t go quite as planned—pirates have also spotted the foundering ship, and want those muskets for themselves. It’s a race against time that eventually leads to a much larger mystery I won’t spoil here.
The Captain’s Table
What would the French capital be without a resident master chef, a cooking academy, and a fast-paced cooking tournament where reputations are on the line and the heat, as they say, will be on? A lot less tasty, that’s what.
This mission chain begins with an appeal from Monsieur Roger Etin, master chef and dark horse competitor in the first annual Captain’s Table Tournament at Pointe-á-Pitre’s Academie de Cuisine. M. Etin was once a famous chef in Paris, but slanderous accusations (and an admittedly dodgy encounter with a scullery maid or two) led to his disgrace. Exiled from the world of fine cooking to the dangerous Caribbean, he hopes to rebuild his reputation with your help. He’ll dispatch you far and wide to collect the freshest and finest gourmet ingredients. But Etin’s not the only competitor vying for the people’s acclaim forever, and the master chef’s unsavory enemies are simmering. Can you help him win the tournament before this troubling stew boils over and burns somebody?
I have a confession to make—my degree is in Drama (University of Washington, class of ‘93 or ‘94, I forget). So when I was casting about for non-combat mission content for Pointe-á-Pitre, one of the first things that occurred to me was Moliere, one of my favorite playwrights of the era. This led to the creation of the Pointing Clown Playhouse in Pointe-á-Pitre, a place for patrons of the fine arts to enjoy performances that have delighted the crown heads of Europe—and maybe see some good old-fashioned romance and bloodletting(18th-century style) in the bargain. It also gave the animation team a chance to research and create some authentic baroque acting gestures that look fantastic.
This chain begins with an appeal from Director Marianne Picard, who runs the playhouse. Her leading man, Guillaume Chatnoire, has disappeared in the middle of a performance of “Le Misanthrope.” Since he’s playing the title role—and the director’s a bit busy with the actual play—she dispatched you to find him and get his amorous derriere back onstage. Sounds simple enough . . . though I wouldn’t blame you if you boned up on your Moliere before playing this chain. (Look for the Richard Wilbur translations to read them in the original rhyming style.)
I’ve Got a Theory
The culinary institute isn’t the only Academie headquartered in Pointe-á-Pitre. The Academie Nationale—France’s answer to Britain’s Royal Society and a frequent rival of same—is home to some of the finest philosophical minds in the French Caribbean, including the maverick archaeologist Suzette Demont. One of the Academie’s most respected natural philosophers, Demont is preparing to present findings that support her extremely controversial hypothesis about who, exactly, were the first non-natives to visit the New World—and she’ll need your help to gather the evidence. Going along for the expedition (but not at all convinced that Demont’s theories are correct) is Perceval Sautier, a young lion of the Academie who takes a more conservative view of the relics and discoveries the three of you will make. But don’t be surprised if there are others who take a less gentlemanly approach than M. Sautier—why else would a scientific expedition require the services of a bold captain such as yourself?
Mimes, Mimes, Everywhere There’s Mimes
No, they’re not really everywhere. But there are a few, and most are plying their trade without the approval of the French Actors Brotherhood of the Stage (the local performers’ guild). Get in good with the guild (and with a playhouse in town, I can’t imagine how you’d swing that) you could find yourself taking on missions to shut down these silent and unlicensed nuisances . . . if, that is, you can resist falling under their hypnotic spell.
Beyond Point with Clown
I had a ridiculous amount of fun writing these missions, and the designers who made it all happen are some of the most talented people I’ve ever had the chance to work with. This town in particular and the unique missions it contains would never have happened without the tireless efforts of content designer Anna Murchison, who embraced these ideas for some inexplicable reason and made them great; and the many artists and developers (too numerous to list lest I forget someone) that made it all look so good.
While you’re enjoying Pointe-á-Pitre, we’ll be getting back to work on even more new content. Watch for a new supernatural epic mission along the lines of Bey’s Retreat, many new missions spawned by loot items you’ll find randomly in your battles, the conclusion of the long-running British national storyline in Basseterre, and the proverbial much, much more in future patches for Pirates of the Burning Sea.