The First Totem Assets

spears - learning from history

When we first started discussing shared assets, the primary example we used was a sword. At some point, after thinking about the different gameplay possibilities we felt like the sword was a bit too limiting and needed a different game asset to explain our idea. Following our tribal inclinations, and after a little bit of research on ancient weapons, we realized that spears were the perfect in-game asset to start a discussion with.

The Schöningen Spears are a set of ten wooden weapons from the Palaeolithic Age that were excavated between 1994 and 1999 in Schöningen, Helmstedt district, Germany. The 400,000-year-old spears provide evidence of the importance of wood as a material for Palaeolithic tools and also support the practice of hunting by humans during this age. Evidence suggests that the Schöningen spears most likely had multiple uses, including for self-defense against dangerous predators such as saber-toothed cats, with whom the humans shared the landscape. It is suggested that the spears were used both for throwing and thrusting.

The idea of an ancient multi-purpose tool struck my imagination. After all, we are trying to create an ecosystem where players can use in-game assets in a variety of different contexts and where game developers feel empowered to innovate. This amazing tool, used through the ages in so many different ways, both in close and long-range, for hunting, fishing, sports, and combat, was the right way to go.

TotemJam#1 - 3 Spears

The first TotemJam event, which took place in Tel Aviv in late 2021, was the first experiment we had with shared assets. The brief for the teams was simple: Create a game for a player that has 3 spear items in their inventory - a Fire spear, an Ice spear and an Earth spear. These are the results:


Totem Game Development Network 2022