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Communicating - Devlog #30

If you read the little introduction to Bug & Claw that I re-wrote a while back you may have noticed something hidden away in there– I grazed over some of the communication concepts.

What I don't like about language options in some games is how similar they all are in application. There is more, I think, that language and communication as a whole can offer to actual gameplay, all while providing a more diverse and inclusive approach.

Modes of communication


One of the modes of communicating is spoken. Spoken word can be heard and can also resonate at certain frequencies, causing crystal interactions.


I have to admit that Thumpah is based on how the spiders in one of my favourite books, The Children of Time. It's like morse code where the communicator uses appendages to pound away on the ground or pluck on something like a strand of web. The listener places their own appendages on the surface and "hears" the message. The pounding or plucking of Thumpah could be heard, but this may depend on the material by which is being communicated through.


When you translate Thumpah into a musical instrument or melody it's considered a type of speech known as Fluttah. Those who don't understand Thumpah probably can't understand Fluttah and it will just sound like chaotic rhythms.


Gesture is the sign language of Bug & Claw. Unlike human sign language, Gesture can be spoken even using antennae, wings, or other appendages. It can often depend on overall body language (no pun intended) to interpret properly. It can also be discreet, and often understood as long as the appendages the kin is gesturing with can be seen.


Every Bug-kin has a crystal that grows inside their heads. It's literally part of their brains, helping store information and providing other abilities. Some Bug-kin may eventually be able to cause their crystals to resonate at various frequencies as well as receive the frequencies of others over short distance. Think less like telepathy and more like a crystal radio.

Available modes

Not all bug-kin may know or be capable of all modes of communication. Big-kin may lose the ability to speak, for example, or have never had it to begin with. Or they may just have never learned how to use a certain mode of communication. These modes will continue to be fleshed out, each with advantages and disadvantages to them. I hope that is a different take on how communication works in a lot of games right now, causing more inclusivity, and interest to gameplay.

Adding language to the mix?

So, those are modes of communicating, what about language on top of that? To make games simpler, assume NPCs and players who are able to use the same mode of communication also speak the same language in that mode. If you like, you can add additional languages to your game but it's suggested that you consider using one of the other modes of communicating instead.