SANCTUARY OF THE SEAGODS - INSPIRATION
This dungeon is located on the Mediterranean island where the player begins the game. Both in terms of story and game mechanics said island is part of a tutorial phase during which the player will be bound to this island until they have cleared the dungeon. Afterward, the player is free to leave for the open ocean and explore the other regions. As a premise, the player has done a small tutorial for Mare’s basic controls (movement, climbing, pulling/ pushing blocks) and has acquired the first garment in the game: the Manta Garb, which will be upgraded and gain a gliding skill once the player defeats the dungeon’s mini-boss. Additionally, the player has been exposed to the island’s culture and mythology, especially the three specific gods through NPC dialogue, clothing, house decoration, and other small details.
As much as I love classical fantasy settings I wanted to do something different than the medieval Middle-European that is often found in those settings. Instead, I chose to opt for a more Mediterranean region that initially was supposed to be loosely based on ancient Greece. But by research soon got me really interested in the Minoan civilization instead. Maybe it’s just a personal impression but it seemed to me that the achievements of this culture had been a bit overlooked in favor of the ancient Greeks - which is a shame because not only did Minoans have impressive architecture but from what I have gathered they had a very distinct aesthetic (not to mention very lovely skirts but that is a personal preference).
So I decided to base the island’s culture - and therefore the first dungeon - on the Minoan civilization to show the player something that they might not be fully familiar with and hopefully entice some curiosity. On the other hand, I did not intend to make a historically accurate recreation of life in ancient Crete, not only because the sources for research are relatively scarce but also because I didn’t simply want to copy and do a fantasy version of it. Despite all inspiration, the region was still supposed to have its own culture, history, and mythology.