Of Dragons and... Dragons
So, by now, it is no secret that in our studio's inaugural game, Golden Treasure, the player is a young Draak-Kin, what humans might call a "dragon". A natural question which has arisen from this revelation:
Will the player be able to interact with other dragons, and if so, how?
The simple answer is a resounding YES! As for how, read on.
As apex predators who require a vast amount of food to survive, dragons do not have a cuddly share-and-share-alike mentality. Territory is a matter of life and death to them in the most literal sense. The presence of another of the Kin in the territory of a Draak means that their livelihood is at stake and their treasure trove is threatened. A solitary life and sole dominion over a large territory is both a necessity and a point of pride; through territorial conflict, dragons evolve so that only the strongest survive. Progress is built through boldness, cleverness and blood, and dragons have no social instincts which would make them ashamed of such a reality.
This is not to say that dragons only ever fight, however. A complex system of ritual observances exists to allow the Draak to parley with each other. This arose naturally from a clear necessity, namely mating season. If a dragon will not allow other dragons into their territory during that rather important time, they will not create offspring, and, well, you don't have to be Charles Darwin to see that as a massive evolutionary failure. From a series of dances and "songs" created long ago to ask permission to enter another Draak's territory for prospective mating purposes, several time-honored rituals developed which allowed dragons to create a kind of "safe space" for all kinds of interactions with others of their kind. Many learned that trade and the sharing of information helped their chances of survival. Conversation, negotiation and even (usually) bloodless forms of competition such as riddle contests are not uncommon.
Once the player establishes their territory, they will be able to meet with other dragons who own neighboring territories. Below, you can see an early appearance of a dragon nicknamed Tempest (proper dragon names are very long, and so most become known by monikers), who rules over several hundred square miles of marshland known as the Empire of Reeds. Tempest is strong with the element of water and is therefore eloquent and empathetic, but any who take it lightly (dragons have no concept of gender outside of mating season) will find themselves facing a raging storm.
If summoned at the territorial boundary with the proper Song of Annunciation, Tempest will be happy to converse and trade with the player occasionally. Enter its territory without permission or waste its time, however, and you might be treated to the full meaning of its name.
Treating with neighbors is the most common form of communication with other dragons, but several others exist. Dragons are educated by their mothers while still in the egg via telepathic projection of sounds and images, and the lessons learned there can set the tone for a dragon's entire life. Powerful dragons may send emissaries (typically Enkindled creatures, but you'll have to wait a while to learn what that means) to deal with others on their behalf. If you survive long enough to see your first mating season, you will surely meet at least a few interesting Draak willing to join you in a Dance of Creation (so long as you prove yourself a worthy mate, of course). There is even a rumor that a powerful elder dragon has been looking to take on another dragon as a "student", whatever that means. The elder in question is known to be rather eccentric.
Trading treasure, information, conversation and genes are all a part of life as a Kin, and in Golden Treasure, you will experience all of these. Remember, though, that all Kin are lords of their own domain and expect to be treated with utmost respect, even by other Kin. Always approach other dragons with a clear purpose in mind and proper observation of ritual. You are, after all, a predator among predators, and your territory is a reflection of your own soul in the eyes of other Kin. Weakness, stupidity and cowardice will quickly lose you the respect of others of your kind, and a dragon without respect will not long hold its territory.