7 Grand Steps preview: The Bob Dynasty begins

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7 grand stepsIt started with one man and his wife. Khet and Selk Bob were humble people, and worked in a field by a river. There were cities at this time, though they were nothing like anything we can imagine now. It was a far simpler time, but eve then, the Bob family had noble ambitions. They wanted to climb high in society, to one day be among the noblest people in the land, perhaps even the world. For now, Khet the neighborly and his wife Selk the maverick set out to improve their family’s station, brewing, irrigating and building in the hopes of finding a better life with 7 Grand Steps.

Before I continue with the noble story of the founding of the Bob family in the Copper Age, allow me to take a moment to explain. 7 Grand Steps is about attempting to build a legacy. The board is a wheel, representing time and tasks. As time passes, people grow nearer to the crocodiles, representing death. The goal of the player is to keep the family alive through many generations, gathering beads by landing on certain slots on the wheel. If enough beads are collected, the family’s legend will grow and their status and standing will improve.

Success in 7 Grand Steps comes from balancing the use of tokens and ingots. Tokens can be placed in slots for adults to make them move forward on the wheel, to collect more beads to build a legend and survive. They can also be distributed to offspring to build their skills and make them stronger should they head the next generation of the family. However, tokens run out and can only be replenished by placing an ingot in a character’s slot, thus sending him or her closer to the crocodiles and death. Thus, players must keep stock of their family, moving forward and back to ensure survival. There is no wrong way to play 7 Grand Steps, but it seems survival is key.

But back to Khet and Selk Bob. Initially, the two had some troubles. Khet was best at irrigation, while Selk was more capable and known for her brewing and masonry skills. Still, they loved each other greatly, and soon bore a daughters named Lilis, Ramla and Pasht. Unfortunately, Selk’s intelligence and ingenuity couldn’t keep the wheel of time from turning, and she perished while her daughters were still young. To make matters worse, the land was barren and the children starving. Fortunately, Khet was able to convince the priests to spare extra food, and his daughters’ lives were spared.

Speaking of the children, they were all loved equally. Still, despite Khet trying his best to provide equal training for each girl, Ramla often felt animosity towards her elder sister, Lilis. It was understandable, as she was already designated as the one who would carry on the family line. Still, there wasn’t always strife in the family, as Ramla and Pasht often went on adventures together.

7 grand steps
It wasn’t long before Lilis came of age. She would carry on the family line and undertook the Rite of Passage at the river temple. She succeeded, and was dubbed Lilis the Loving as she set out to live her own life.

Unfortunately, it didn’t start out as she planned. She loved a man named Wennufer, but it was not to be. He was claimed by Tefenet. That didn’t mean she would set out on her new life alone. A wealthy man by the name of Sisuthros watched her from afar, loving her and spending months making her an elaborate raft of reeds. Lilis rebuffed him, but when the floods came and he still offered his charity and heart, she was unable to refuse. She never loved him, not in the way that she loved Wennufer, but realized he was a good man she could trust.

The two were happy. Shortly after the wedding, Lilis and Sisuthros’ daughter, Kanika, was conceived and more beads were added to their line to increase the Bob family’s notoriety. Their wealth and family would grow even more, with a second daughter, Oseye, coming along unexpectedly. Still, despite the unplanned addition, Lilis still went out of her way to share her food with her neighbor Inet when her home burned down, showing the Bob family’s loving nature and devotion to neighbors.

Still, even the happiest couples can have problems. As I mentioned earlier, Lilis never loved Sisuthros as much as he loved her. Which is probably what lead her to visit the city with Horwebbefer when the two had time off. It was during extravagant excursions like this, when Lilis was searching for what she couldn’t have, that would lead her to squander some of her fortune in the markets. It obviously took a toll on their marriage, as though opportunities for more children arose, Kanika and Oseye were the only additions to the family line. The children didn’t care though, and were the best of friends.

Surprisingly though, as their midlife crisis approached, Lilis and Sisuthros shared a night of passion and a son, Neter, was born. His sisters never really accepted or let him into his world, and the Bob family never really nurtured his talent, so he sadly never received the acceptance he craved. So, he lashed out. On one occasion, he even physically assaulted Oseye, attacking her arm. Some say that’s why her brewing skills never developed.

When the time came to pass on the Bob family name, Lilis and Sisuthros were conflicted. Both Kanika and Oseye were similarly skilled, especially in irrigation, and didn’t know which should attempt the Rite of Passage. Eventually, with Oseye’s love, blessing and support, Kanika stepped forward as head of the clan.

Unfortunately, Kanika’s passage was difficult. She didn’t pass easily, and had to remain in the temple until she was paid for, properly. This caused a massive rift in the family, and as a result she was dubbed Kanika the Cold. As did her mother before, Kanika found herself marrying a man for convenience and security. She didn’t love Ebo, but he cared for her and was from a good family with a substantial inheritance, so she commited herself to him.

7 grand steps
Kanika’s complicated Rite of Passage would go on to influence her whole life. For a long time, she and Ebo only had one child, a daughter named Kapes. She’d go off wandering with friends, like Wennufer’s daughter Shesh, and would ignore people in need like a prostitute begging for food. Indeed, it often seemed like she used her husband simply for his luck with acquiring beads and building up the Bob family name. However, she did have her moments, as when she beat off a brute who bumped into her friend Ma’nakhtuf, who had accidentally bumped into him. She also did her best to educate her only child, to ensure Kapes would have a better life than she did.

Her efforts were worthwhile. When it came time for her Rites of Passage ceremony, Kapes was in a much better position. Her Brewing, Irrigation and Masonry skills were all above average and she would receive an adequate inheritance. Se approached without fear, succeeded and was dubbed Kapes the Maverick, as her grandmother Selk before her.

Kapes Bob was the kind of girl who would not go unnoticed and wanted an equal. She took notice of Khakaure, a rich young man with an A GPA. Unfortunately, he didn’t care for her. He wanted more than a secure life with a notable woman and moved on to another woman. It was a mistake, as his chosen woman murdered him a few years later. The mistake left Kapes jaded, so when the modest and average Joe, Joseph, proposed marriage shortly after, she agreed.

7 grand steps
It was probably for the best. Not only did the marriage almost immediately result in a daughter and son, named Kamilah and Utu, but something the Bob family had worked generations for game to pass. The family was uplifted after 100 beads had been collected. Kapes purchased a potter’s wheel to begin making Amphorae. She watched other potters to see what should be done, and managed to capitalize on the tail end of abnormal demand for the pots. She gained an enemy, as one potter felt the Bob family was stealing his designs, but it didn’t matter. The gamble was a success and the Bob family moved from common field workers to potter artisans. with this opportunity came the chance to chose what goal her family would seek to achieve next. Kapes decided now that she had a craft, to try and revolutionize the industry by writing a legend of invention.

With that, this tale of the Bob family’s 7 Grand Steps story ends. However, it is only the beginning, both for this family and Mousechief’s game. The 7 Grand Steps beta can be purchased right now through the Humble Store. The current price is $12. If you decide to wait, the full, finished game will be released before the end of May 2013, but at that point the price will go up to $15. All people who purchase the beta now will get the full game, as well as a Steam key for it, once available.

Keep an eye on GamerTell in the coming weeks for a 7 Grand Steps review and eventual interview with Mousechief.

Site [7 Grand Steps]

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