Golems and Podlings and Wisps, Oh My!
Everybody needs friends, and in TUG you’ll find a whole stable of companions! You will, of course, be playing with your real friends as a community of Seeds, but what about those times you are on your own, or need a helping hand? That’s where your companions come into play!
As a young Seed starting off in the world, one of the first companions you’ll be able to enlist is the Pet. Pets are the simplest of critters that the player encounters and can tame. Pets are non-combat creatures and will hang around the Seed on their journeys through the world. Pets won’t engage other Critters or monsters, but can be injured and must be tended to and fed, otherwise they will go feral and run away. A Pet isn’t really useful at first, as all they will want to do is hang around and eat your food, but if you are diligent, you can raise these little Critters into something much more! After a period of training, some of these Pets can evolve to become Guardians or Mounts for your Seed.
A Guardian is the next stage of a Pet that has become fiercely loyal to its Seed. Guardians have the same requirements as a Pet -- they need to be fed and taken care of -- but Guardians provide protection in return for this relationship. A Guardian’s nature is derived from the Critter that the original Pet was based on. If the Pet was a predator, the Guardian will have a very aggressive nature and attack any threats that get near the Seed. A Pet that started off as a prey Critter will have more of a defensive nature, staying near their Seed and attacking only after the Seed has been attacked.
Mounts also derive from basic pets, but their purpose is to serve as transportation for the Seed. Mounts also require the basic care of Pets or Guardians, and their nature and abilities derive from their Pet base behaviors. Mounts raised from fast-moving predators are fast with the ability to sprint short distances, but due to their slim frame may have a limited carrying capacity. Mounts raised from slower, larger Critters may be slower, but can carry more weight and be able to withstand a lot more damage if caught in battle. Some of these abilities will overlap depending on the starting Pet’s abilities.
A second type of companion creature, known as Podlings, are the hardest workers found in the world of TUG. These creatures are very dedicated to their task and are usually found specializing in what they do best. Podlings behavior is dictated by a special item called a Totem, and Podlings must stay near their Totems and perform tasks only within range of this special device. As such, these Totems can be hidden or very hard to find, but if a Seed manages to uncover one, they can begin to train a Podling to do tasks for them. Podlings can be taught a variety of tasks, but they will never perform their secondary tasks as well as their main primary one. Since Podlings are dedicated to remain near their Totems, Seeds may move or carry the Totem in their backpack to cause the Podling to follow them to a new location.
A third type, called Golems, are completely autonomous creations usually found in the wild, composed of elements of their surroundings. With advanced technology, Seeds can eventually craft their own Golems, but early on, the only way to acquire a Golem will be to locate one in the wild. Golems are the most powerful of companions, and by using a Totem imbedded in the Golem’s back, Seeds can program their behavior and alter them in a variety of ways. Golems can be set to be offensive or defensive in nature, commanded to guard a location, serve as a pack mule for very large amounts of resources, or just be the Seed’s personal bodyguard while out exploring.
Totems consist of two parts: a power source, and an item called a Relic. Relics are small items used for logic programming in TUG. They can dictate the behavior of a tamed Podling or Golem, and will play heavily into the magic system in TUG.
A fourth type of companions are the Wisps. Wisps are creatures made of pure energy. These companions are usually formless, but some special occurrences of Wisps resemble critters found in the world. The true nature of Wisps and their purpose is a mystery. They definitely offer something to the Seeds they follow, but what exact uses they may have are for players to discover. Because of the mysterious nature of Wisps, it cannot be said how or why they choose to be companions to Seeds... but this is one of the many secrets of the hidden lore you will uncover in TUG!
p.s. If you like what you see in TUG, you should totally have a look at Son of Nor! We love the ideas they're putting together for their project, so if you have room in your heart for a cool-sounding adventure game where you can change the world with magic, go have a look!