When I started this project I understood little about Sumerian culture. After spending a few weeks researching, I understand Sumerian Culture even less. Part of the reason is nobody else seems to know much about Sumerian culture either. But Not knowing much certainly doesn't keep them from posting online and contributing to Wikipedia, though! So I'm basically stuck with wildly different interpretations of a world cooked up from fragments of broken clay tablets. And... as it turns out, the source tablets we have are an adaptation of a translation of a retelling. (No seriously, look it up.)

I have roughly the right names for the cities, and they are roughly in the right geographical places. (With a slight license for where Encyclopedia Britannica notes "we just don't know where this is", and I have to make an uneducated guess.)

The best scholars in the world only have a faint clue about everything else. We have some famous names of nobles (Good luck getting a consistent spelling). We have a pantheon of Gods that change names (AND ROLES) with what era the tablets were written in. The several century gap between the events in the story and the story having been written down doesn't help matters either. And the several century gap between the different versions of the tablets helps even less.

Going strictly by the text, the story has the plot consistency of stew. Characters die. The editions can seem to agree when they died. Or why they died. Or who killed them. Or what killed them. And despite dying they show up again in later tablet. Even the names of the Gods you see referenced in the texts differed. In Akkadian Utu was Shamash. Inanna was Ishtar. The family tree of the Gods actually changed between some translations of the texts, so certain relationships and interactions are... shall we say, odd?

So here is my plan: I'm going to just stop obsessing about getting the details right. I am going to keep the name Gilgamesh. I'm going to keep the map I've produced. I'm going to keep the gameplay ideas that I've carved out so far. And I'm just going to make up everything else. Or have the computer make it up.

And we all know from Joseph Campbell that the stories themselves are more or less templates.

Travel to $FARAWAY_PLACE and retrieve the $LEGENDARY_ITEM guarded by the $MYTHICAL_DEMON. Gain the blessings of $DIETY_ONE. Piss off $DIETY_TWO.


Seek out the $LEGENDARY_SECRET from $MADE_UP_SAGE who resides in $FARAWAY_PLACE. Gain the blessings of $DIETY_TWO. Piss off $DIETY_ONE.

And with this decision I get to do some things that being a slave to historical detail would not have allowed:

Don't get me wrong, this game will not be Politically Correct by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just going to make sure the non-PC humor is fun for everyone, not just Psychopaths and Chauvinists. Basically: I want to make a game that my wife, daughter, sister or mother would play, and have fun.

Maybe judge me a bit... but still have fun.

My thinking is that what if your character was a less successful contemporary of Gilgamesh? Instead of having the Sun God as a patron... what if you had something a little less glamorous? Or what if the Gods were like sponsors in sports? And to start off you end up sponsored by some sketchy outfits at first. The God of Door-to-Door Insurance Salesmen. (Who is desperately trying to get people to upgrade to dwellings with doors.) Or the God of Questionable Medical Devices? (Who is trying to get people to invent medicine.) What if you were immersed in a spoof of the DotCom world where people are off trying stupid and outlandish ideas... mostly because we don't know they are stupid and outlandish.

I mean, wall laughed at Utnapishtim when he was all about that giant boat craze, didn't we?

I'm thinking the more outlandish the better. So... stay tuned.