What is Deliverance?
“What is the sword of Deliverance?”This question needs a little bit more back-story, so that you understand why it was such a sharp question (pun not intended). Hannah-Sue explained after hearing the pitch of the game that she had just recently finished a church service where the primary subject was “spiritual warfare” (An epic subject, Mr. Pastor out there, whoever you are!). She explained that she was taught that the Bible was the Christian’s “sword,” the weapon that the Christian uses to fight spiritual battles. So if this was a Christian game, what was the game’s “sword?”
My AnswerIt was one of those moments where the Holy Spirit said, “Move over, Andrew… I’ll be doing the answering!” I was up in my head, but my mouth was speaking. I don’t want to sound like I’m smarter than I am, but I will tell you that I wish I could have recorded the answer. This is my attempt to recollect the answer for you all.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” – Ephesians 6:17-18The answer is rooted in the verse above – the Christian’s weapons to battle the very real darkness that comes against them. Swords, shields, or even guns and nuclear bombs for that matter, are of no use in a spiritual battle. You need to bring your spiritual weapons![/caption] Swords, shields, or even guns and nuclear bombs for that matter, are of no use in a spiritual battle. You need to bring your spiritual weapons! The verse above actually showcases TWO weapons – I refer to them as the sword and the bow.
The SwordThe sword is, as Ephesians says, the “word of God.”
“…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…”Plainly, this means that the Bible is our sword. The words within the Bible have more than enough spiritual power to cut down evil spirits. In medieval times, if you are ever caught in a battle without a sword, you were an easy target. You might have armor, but the only effective tactic you had is to run! And you cannot run forever. The words of the Bible are tied into the Prayer Cards (read more about Prayer Cards here) through thematic flavorful text that boosts the epic feel of each one of those cards. While you do not need to read these words, they are ever present, and ever powerful. The verses upon the Prayer Cards are the sword of Deliverance.
The BowIn addition to a sword, you must be equipped with the ability to fight at range! Going back to medieval times, you trained with one of several weapons that could turn the tide at range: The javelin, the spear, the atlatl, the catapult, and the sling… But none ever became as famous, nor was more effective at range as an arrow shot from a bow. Many times in Ephesians 6:18, we miss the other weapon at our disposal: Prayer.
“praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…”Prayer is our ranged weapon in the spiritual fight against the darkness. We must wield it in order to be effective for others our of reach, or for events that remain out of our view and out of our control.
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” – James 5:16bAnother translation puts it this way:
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”We need to be effective and powerful with the use of our ranged weapon, the bow! The Bow is mirrored in the prayer action of the game. For those of you that have played, you must fight the demons in front of you – you cannot win while demons are on the battlefield! However, the darkness that grows every round will slowly overtake you unless you pray against it.
The StoryboardI am a big believer in doing things right if you’re going to do it at all, which is why the game trailer for Deliverance needs to blow me away. I received a vision for a sweet epic intro to the game: A monologue by Michael, the Archangel lamenting the fall of Satan. This game isn’t some light-hearted Christian family game. It’s dark, real, and deep. And people won’t get that until they see something that changes their perspective. I will say that there have been many that recollect the old 1979 movie by the same name that features a very ill-fated river rafting trip, playing banjos, and other unfortunate events… sigh. But after they hear the completed sound clip for the game (as some of you have if you attended Alpha Omega Con!)… They never mention it again, and they take the game in a completely new light. It’s almost as if to subconsciously say, “Wow, I didn’t realize you were actually serious… This game sounds good!” Thanks to God’s guidance, the story is as epic as any I have ever seen out there. I have one goal for this trailer: To rival the most epic World of Warcraft cinematic intros I have ever seen! Except I have to do that on a budget of about 1/1000 the budget of the big guys. Thankfully, we have a really beautiful and trendy new style – still art with moving details! So much more affordable than 3D animators 🙂 I’ve been working on this game for over two years now, and literally thousands of hours between myself (the gamer, developer, designer, and the visionary), Adam Glass (my graphic artist), Dan Maynard (my concept artist), and my wife (our art director and best play tester ever). And we are closer than ever to seeing this vision come to reality. Thanks for following along the journey! If you feel so inclined, please share this blog on social media with one of the buttons lurking near the top of this blog, and if you haven’t yet… be sure to join the e-mail list below for more awesome content!
This is a special blog series dedicated to what is going on behind the scenes on our journey to bring Deliverance to life. Hope you enjoy!
A little Deliverance update for you all…This has been and continues to be quite the journey! While we are constantly moving forward, it seems as though some hurdles take a lot more prayer and time to overcome. One thing we can say for certain in all of this toil: God is good, and He has the leading role in this project! From the beginning God has made it clear to us that this game is to be for His Glory. As we are working hard to make fine tweaks to artwork, testing minor tweaks to cards for game balance, or picking out what scripture to use as flavor text on various Prayer Cards, we are seeing that God often has an opinion to consider on these matters!
As it is in life, so it is in spirit…The progression of this game is so much like our everyday life. Giving it into God’s hands has been a challenge, because doing so takes patience. As humans, our “flesh” wants to take control and get the job done to the best of OUR abilities and to get it done quickly, when in reality our abilities are absolutely minuscule in comparison to God’s Mighty Hand. We often work so hard while never even thinking to ask for His direction or help. Can you imagine how we look to God trying to do it all without him? Funny enough, it reminds me of watching my little daughters trying to operate a juice box. Patiently watching them get more and more frustrated as they work to stick the straw in the juice box as it repeatedly bends and snaps back and forth isn’t as easy as it sounds! Finally, after a very long and painful display of straw cracking determination and stubbornness they turn to ask for help from mommy or daddy. I know what you’re thinking… Tangent much? The point is, we are learning ourselves to hand God the juice box before our straw turns into a messy and twisty irrigation system. … or something like that.
How it relates to our work on Deliverance…We have been doing tons of play testing, and the anticipation is getting stronger as we come closer to revealing the game components. One of the toughest parts of the development of Deliverance has been waiting for the appointed time to release information – God’s timing, not ours. It’s not easy keeping silent when you want to scream out to the whole world about the awesome revelation you got on a certain mechanic, or the artists’ latest epic weapon finished painting, or long-completed battle systems that have never been done before… and every other fine detail there is to putting this game together. But following God’s direction will all be worth it soon!
God cares about Deliverance!Again we say, God is good. And we praise Jesus that His hand is leading us on this project, because it is no easy feat. It’s exciting and encouraging to see how much He cares for the success of this game. We are praying constantly for His wisdom and guidance. Though we may not get it all right, He is merciful and forgiving and quick to help relieve the burden when we ask. This scripture was one that truly inspired us this morning, and we wanted to share it with you…
“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” 2 Timothy 4:17-18This was written by a man named Paul at the end days of his life to his fellow brother and son in Christ, Timothy. If you have time, we’d encourage you to read the entire chapter (its not long). After reading it together this morning, we were reminded of the whole purpose of Deliverance: Pointing the world to “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Yes, its extremely important to produce a game that has a great story line, awesome art, and mechanics that are different and engaging, but the most important thing is to stay focused on Him and to be constantly seeking Him to follow His plan and purpose for us and this game.
The conclusion:We understand that He is the reason this game is going to come to fruition. We pray that along with the fun and epic times it will bring to families and groups of friends, that it will also produce good fruit. Thanks for listening – if you want to drop some encouragement our way, please send us a message on our FB Group or leave a comment!
Unleash powerful gifts of the Heavenly Angels on the forces of Hell
Battle the Forces of Darkness in tactical spiritual combat
Cast down Strongholds and guard the saints from Darkness
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