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Super-cliche


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#1 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 05 June 2000 - 11:41 AM

The main character of this RPG is a young male amnesiac monster hunter, on a quest to avenge his foster father's death at the hands of the evil empire. On his quest, he soon finds that the evil empire has plans to do something shady that could destroy the world, somehow, and assembles a band of quirky adventurers to help save the day. In order to defeat the emporer the player will need to go to all (4/3/7/9/12) locations in order to (aquire magic items for each member of the party/foil the emporer's shady schemes/collect the four elemental thingies/speak to certain people). There is a complication during the last one in which we learn something we didn't know about one of the other characters. We take this time also to reflect on the fact that our character is amnesiac. Along the way, something happens to jog the amnesiac's memory, and he realizes he is (the son of the emporer/the son of a hero or prince) despite this trauma, he continues and eventually overthrows the evil emporer against all odds. (get magic key...elves... dwarven mines... mythril...) "Hey! What was that last bit?" (nothing.) Anyway, if anyone ever makes another game like the above, I will personally laugh at you. Thank you. This post was brought to you by the letter "Land", and the number "Fish"! Edited by - Landfish on 6/5/00 5:43:43 PM

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#2 Facehat   Members   -  Reputation: 696

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Posted 05 June 2000 - 12:41 PM

hey, that sounds like a kewl idea!!!!! u wanna help me mk it?!!?! we will be 3l337 w/ ur original ideas!!!!!

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#3 Facehat   Members   -  Reputation: 696

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Posted 05 June 2000 - 12:42 PM

NOTE: That was a joke! Don''t take that seriously

--TheGoop

#4 Morbo   Members   -  Reputation: 218

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Posted 05 June 2000 - 01:59 PM

...what happens when people take 'tried-tested-and-true' to an extreme.
Thank you for bringing this point up, Landfish. Too many times I see gameplay/story elements put into a game because "that's how everyone else does it".
My line is, before you put something into your game, think about WHY it should be there. Stories are NOT made overnight, so spend some serious time thinking about them.
BTW, ever read The Designer's Notebook: A Letter from a Dungeon (http://www.gamasutra.com/features/designers_notebook/20000126.htm) over at Gamasutra? Very interesting read. Check it out.

Morbo

Edited by - Morbo on June 5, 2000 9:00:03 PM

#5 obsidian   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 06 June 2000 - 04:13 AM

See, I think that it depends on how smart the designer is. There is nothing wrong with using cliche and then adding a twist. The player will figure that you''re going one way with the story, which will throw them off track. The resulting suprise then has much more impact. I can''t think of any examples off the top of my head, but I''ve seen it done quite well before.

By the way, A Letter From the Dungeon is a must read. I had tears in my eyes the first time reading it from laughing so hard.

#6 Voodoo4   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 06 June 2000 - 06:53 AM

And you call this cliche?
It takes an originality award compared to THE ONE AND ONLY:

The year is two-thousand-some-hundreds-of-years AD.The *evil* aliens from the galaxy of Andromeda attack
//guess what...

THE Earth.

//Well done you''ve found it!

You are the only capable man (and none else!!) that can destroy the alien fleet and save...
//Guess again...

THE Earth.

//Yes!You guessed right again!

So take your spaceship and save us from the alien hordes.
The planet depends on...
//On whom?...

ON YOU!

//Wow!Correct again!
The End

Now if this story was a dollar we would be millionairs!
This scenario holds from the early 80''s until now.
When will this cease?
//Maybe when aliens really come
Voodoo4

#7 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 06 June 2000 - 11:24 AM

::Grin::

Xenogears suprised me in a few ways. It WAS just another freakin Square RPG about a freaking amnesiac, but it screwed with some giant robot conventions. A trade off, I suppose. Play it if you like Square''s games or giant robots. Stay the hell away otherwise.

#8 AtypicalAlex   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 07 June 2000 - 05:16 AM

Here here, Landfish! Strike the evil cliches at the source ... indie game developers!! God, what is it that makes everyone think that amnesia is such a great plot element?

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Changing the face of adventure gaming...
Atypical Interactive

#9 aDasTRa   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 07 June 2000 - 05:21 AM

amnesia is a contrived plot element. it is the easiest way to force the player to uncover the main character''s background. unfortunately, most players dont care (which is why developers probably feel the need to contrive a reason to discover it).

i also just love how 90% of games are the same man-alone-in-hostile-alien-place cliche. actually i think it is more than 90%, but who cares. why are all characters such loners? no body likes them. we should playing as the ''bad guys'' and put these losers out of their misery. just look at what a screw up gordan freeman was? can you blame the marines for being pissed? personally i enjoy walking into sentry guns.

<(o)>

#10 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 07 June 2000 - 05:27 AM

I think that character was a good idea. He reminds me of myself. Nobody likes me either

#11 Whirlwind   Members   -  Reputation: 134

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Posted 07 June 2000 - 07:22 AM

Why not make the character a homocidal paranoid skizoid who can''t remember who or what he is, but everybody is out to get him so he had better get them first.

#12 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 07 June 2000 - 10:30 AM

I didn''t want to mention it here because I''d be saying like, "Hey, look how much better I can do it than these fools who rely on cliches!" But it''s too damn tempting. I have to say it:

When asked to design a game plot in a fantasy world, I made the main character a whiny, aristocratic brat who could never agree with the other members of the party. Why? ROOM FOR DEVELOPMENT! You watch this punk take a beating from some real badass in the game (the best badass is the one who you CAN''T play!) and actually EVOLVE into becoming kind of cool, so that when he needs to grow up and solve a real problem, you''re really proud of him.

"But how could anybody enjoy playing a character like that?"

Easy. He wasn''t annoying, just selfish. He enjoyed using his title to kick people around (like Ray Fines'' character in Schindler''s List). He wasn''t bad in combat, either, actually he was quite strong. But his ego lead him into situations beyond his power, where he gets his ass kicked.

A common mistake amongst RPG developers is the very idea that we are supposed to "Play the Role" of the character. Screw that. If the characters are deep enough, it doesn''t matter if they''re assholes. Take Richard III! Yes, Shakespeare applies to games, just like it applies to everything else that has a story.

Hubris. In all good stories throughout history, the hero has had some kind of weakness (yes, even Beowulf and Superman). Start writing them in games, people. Forget "Role-Playing"... it doesn''t happen in games. They should be called "Advanced problem solving and management in order to bring a story to it''s ideal conclusion." But I guess "APSMIOBSTIC" I a little long for an acronym, right?



This post was brought to you by the letter "Land", and the number "Fish!"

#13 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 08 June 2000 - 08:45 PM

HA HA!

That article was the Ballz! Go read it! All of you! The address is in Morbo''s post eight steps back! Go now! Quick, like a bunny!



This post was brought to you by the letter "Land", and the number "Fish!"

#14 Ingenu   Members   -  Reputation: 743

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Posted 08 June 2000 - 10:22 PM

I read the ''letter from a dungeon'' as soon as available.
It makes me lol.

However I had to say that the character background is really a problem.
If you''re playing a character you must now yourself and remember important events of your life.
But cause you''re beginning a while after your birth when action is beginning, you don''t really know who you are.

The question is how do I do who I am and having fun with the game.

I personnaly have found three answers, but others are welcome

-Simply tell the story of the character to the player.

-Make the player play the important events that have build up the character and use the way he solve the problems and get ride of the problem to define his character abilities/traits and proficiencies/class/carrier.
(This is the technic I''ll use in ''Fedia : Legend.'' or the next.)

-Instead of building the character at the beginning of the game, make it tell the other members of his party the important events of his life, and let him play them.
[Like in Final Fantasy VII when Cloud his back in his memory.]

I want to point out a fact that I find very important :
Movies rely mainly on the discovering of a new world and of character in depth/dark sides, so a game will try to follow that idea, even if it''s not quite good.


Notice that I did use an amnesia similar trick in ''Fedia: Legend.'' for one of the six playable characters.
But you didn''t discover that you''re the son of your worst ennemy.
I also use the classical ''save the world'' story near the end of the game. Could it be otherwise ?
The next opus (Stroy already partially written) will not rely on the save the world story. (You already saved the world, you don''t want to do the same job twice?)


-* Sounds, music and story makes the difference between good and great games *-

#15 Captain Goatse   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 09 June 2000 - 12:02 AM

quote:
Original post by Voodoo4
...
THE Earth.
...




THE USA!

And when the PC has beaten shit out of alien mastermind who looks like Al Gore, the president keeps speech under fluttering "God bless America" sign and is sorry for other world which unfortunately destroyed.

Well, TSR/Black Isle cartel should hire better desingers, because every game uncounting Fallout they have had this stupid amnesia problem and player must rescue the world.

In my next game there will be option to destroy the world and rob/abuse people. In my games I try to be little bit more broad-minded than current yankee desingers who think that there is no life behind Atlantic, mexico and Pacific

Time comes, time goes and I only am.

#16 ManaSink   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 09 June 2000 - 06:49 AM

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

I think that character was a good idea. He reminds me of myself. Nobody likes me either


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quote:
Original post by Whirlwind

Why not make the character a homocidal paranoid skizoid who can''t remember who or what he is, but everybody is out to get him so he had better get them first.


I thought these were funny ''till I realized Whirlwind''s post is about me.

(Gulp) Now I think something ''fishy'' is going on here, and the fact that Chicken of the Sea started it makes me even more nervous. Crap....


#17 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 09 June 2000 - 11:04 AM

FISHY! HA HA (urp) ha... ummm...

Well, I think the amnesia thing stems entirely from a BIG misconception about Role Playing Games. Warning: I may be repeating myself.

In Tabletop roleplaying games, you have the benefit of creating your own character, character background, and you certainly have the power to guide the course of his/her story. It''ll be a long time before computers catch up to this, and I don''t think it would be very fun, either (DMBot! Run us a game with Zombies!)

Computer RPGs really arent trying to be like tabletop. In fact thay aren''t really trying to be "Role Playing" games at all, and if they are, they''re doing a horrendously shitty job. Why can''t we just admit that these things are linear or semi-linear stories? What is so wrong about that?

Player begins game by being given a bit of the story. Story reaches obstacle. Player must perfor management/puzzle-solving/button smashing to over come obstacle. Player is rewarder with more story. Repeat process.

Why does everyone think this is bad? We all seem to enjoy it, because there''s no such thing as a truly interactive narrative... every game you''ve EVER played has been a linear or semi-linear plot. If it''s completely interactive, it ceases to be narrative!

So write your game without a damn about your player not knowing the details of the character''s past. As in a movie, play, or novel, give them only what they NEED to know, when they need to know it. This isn''t hard, people.

Oh. This could be a good arguement in another post. IF YOU DISAGREE, POST IN "LINEAR VS. INTERACTIVE"! AND BE ORNERY!



This post was brought to you by the letter "Land", and the number "Fish!"




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