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Lee Sheldon, Indiana University – Cúchulainn 10 Minute Pitch

March 16, 2009

Lee Sheldon is a game writer and game designer with a long string of game, television and movie credits. He is also the author of the much recommended Character Development and Storytelling for Games. I know Lee from way back in the 1980’s when he worked at SSI and I worked at Sir-tech. Lee is presently teaching at Indiana University.

Cool Huillin Luke

Cool Huillin Luke is a modern retelling of the classic Irish myth.

In an opening cut scene Luke, a rebellious Irish-American, is framed by an angry father protecting his daughter, and sent to a chain gang for stealing weapons.

In the tutorial, a road boss, Scáthach, teaches Luke all the arts of road-building and maintenance, including the use of the Gáe Bulg, a scythe that cuts through the toughest weeds.

The player then guides Luke through several levels of conflict, both with authority and within himself:

  1. Player must kill Luke’s son’s notion of appealing his father’s conviction that he had wanted to “take to the gates of the Supreme Court and beyond.”
  2. Luke rescues Derbforgaill, a young farm girl Luke spies being forced to wash a car with her breasts.
  3. Luke prevents the theft of a guard’s prize bull.
  4. Luke accepts a bet from another prisoner, Bricriu, and manages to consume a feast composed of fifty eggs.
  5. Luke must survive the punishment of a particularly cruel guard, Cu Roi, who buries him up to his armpits and cuts his hair.
  6. Luke fights Cu Roi to the death, but then his sentence is extended to life.
  7. Player can create and execute an elaborate plan to help Luke escape from the chain gang.
  8. Player must decide whether Luke, on the run, accepts the questionable hospitality of an old woman, and eats dog meat.

In the endgame Luke is trapped in an abandoned house by law enforcement, including the main boss, the son of Cu Roi: Laeg.

IF the player had Luke eat the dog meat, the player will be unable to defeat Laeg, and must flee the battle. IF Luke refused the dog meat, Luke will be able to defeat Laeg by crushing his magic sunglasses. Luke then escapes and is never seen again.

In either case in the final cut scene Luke and his adventures are remembered by his fellow prisoners with fondness: “That Luke, he was one cool-hullin!”

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