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So what's your RPG story?


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#1 creatures-of-gaia.com   Members   -  Reputation: 377

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:13 AM

Hello,

These days, many aspiring game developers seem wanting to make RPGs or MMORPGs.
...which all need an inspiring story.

So, out of curiosity, what is yours?
What great story do you have in mind?

When you post, please insert a synopsis in quotes and more details after if you wish to do so.

Cheers!

Sponsor:

#2 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4569

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 05:29 PM

I'm not currently working on a game project, but I'll describe some of my favorite RPG and MMO stories I've come up with:

Gimmie Those Wings!

A race of shapeshifters lives in a true meritocracy: strung between three of the tallest mesas on the plains is their capital city Haute Ecole, where shifters who have earned their wings play at contests of arms and contests of popularity, create great works of scholarship and art, and court each other. Their children, however, cannot live there; newborn shapeshifters have no genetic material with which to modify their bodies such as giving themselves wings, or strength enough to defend themselves from adult shapeshifters. Instead whenever a shapeshifter bears a child, they lay their egg into the creche, the protected (though somewhat trash-strewn) area between the three mesas, in the shadow of the great city.

You have just hatched from your egg, and made companions of some of the other young children living there. You are just old enough to hunt some harmless animal like a rabbit and gain from it the first building block of dna with which you can modify yourself. You have only to look up to see the mighty city where the cream of your race, presumably including your parents, live. But it will take a journey around the world before you can ascend to that height. Will you pursue a path of force and intimidation? A path of beauty and persuasion? Will you come to prefer the philosophy of one of the peoples you meet along the way and settle among them instead? Will you be taken captive by a tyrant determined to build his own dynasty? Take the first step, then another, until those steps become wingbeats!


Xenallure: A Tapestry of Hearts

You are among a group of modern humans unexpectedly summoned into a world where which seems to contain a strange mix of high tech and magic. The two strange-looking people who somehow pulled you into this world were not, apparently, expecting a herd of humans; whether screaming in panic or gleeful at the possibility of adventure, your fellows have scattered out into this world before the two natives could do anything about it. What about you? Will you stay and try to talk to them? Demand that they send you back to your own world? Do you even want to go back? Or will you run before they have the chance to capture you? Will you head for the world of magic or the world of technology? Will you collect your scattered people and establish a human hometown in this world, or lead them all back to earth? Or will you go native as a magic user, a cybertech user, or one of those strange spirits that are rumored to live in the cliffs by the ocean? Will you start a war, helping one race to assume dominance over the others, or mediate between them by helping build interracial friendships and romances? What will you think when you discover what seem to be old ruins of your own world underlying this one? What strange apocalypse could have possibly converted modern earth into this oddly divided future? And could your decision to return or not to return alter history?


Becoming

You find yourself in a concrete hut with few furnishings besides a bed and a mirror. You have no possessions besides a gray set of clothing and no memory of how you got here. More alarmingly, you are not in your own body, but in a gray, bald, genderless body. When you attempt to leave the hut, a recorded message plays:
"Greetings human [name]. You have been selected to be one of your species' test group. If your test group proves to be able to integrate successfully with the [whatsitcalled] Empire, our existence will be announced to your homeworld and the rest of your species invited to join the Empire and enjoy the benefits of its technology and the collected philosophy and art of a dozen races. If your group cannot integrate successfully you will be returned to your homeworld and your species will be restricted to your solar system for a period of 100 zetti (approximately 57 Earth years), after which another test group will be taken."

Outside, an alien (but fortunately not gray) world greets you. You seem to be on a small island. You can see signs of civilization on the mainland, but you have no way to get there - you will have to craft it. Exploring the island, you find a stone obelisk with this inscription:
"Before you can shape society, you must understand society. To understand society, the first step is to BE society. To appreciate society, you must appreciate the loneliness of not having a society." Finding the obelisk gives you your first few quests - Grow a Plant, Hunt an Animal, Brew Dye, and one oddly titled Imaginary Friend. (Each of these is the start of a quest chain, working through all the quest chains unlocks the player's access to the central city of the world, which has a pvp hub, global marketplace, starting points for more quest chains, etc. The small island is retained as the player's personal "estate" which turns out to be portable and can be remodeled as desired.)


Wildwright

You are a young wildwright, a spirit with an affinity for nature. Your elders have trained you that your race's purpose is to maintain balance and add richness to the world in the forms of beauty and diversity. You could travel that path, and earn yourself a place among the heroes of your people. But there are other paths you could take. You could become a scholar hermit, pursuing knowledge of every form of life, mastering the highest levels of your race's magic, and crafting new life forms and entire habitats. You could use your abilities to create yourself a comfortable mansion to use as a home base between adventures. You could amass great wealth and treasure. You could create an army for yourself and become a powerful villain, demonstrate that strength is more important than balance, perhaps even subjugate the preachy elders who raised you and the sanctimonious young wildwrights those elders have started to send out on missions to interfere with your projects.


Seeing these all together, it's interesting to realize how similarly-structured they all are; none is a traditional linear jRPG, even though I often enjoy playing those. Nor are any tabletop-style heroic epics (but that part's not surprising because I don't like playing those). They are all interactive story setups which could contain all sorts of smaller stories about individual NPCs. They don't really have the same structure as any of the fiction I write either. Makes me think about the personal evolutionary process that led me to focus on this shape of game story. I guess this is the kind of story that I find a shortage of when looking for games to play.

Edited by sunandshadow, 03 July 2012 - 05:30 PM.

I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#3 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6301

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 02:42 PM

What great story do you have in mind?


That's actually a trick question.

I thought my story was pretty neat and straightforward until I realized it was the story of the world of my game and not the story of the game.
The standpoint of the player, and their story within that game does touch on the backstory every now and then (actually very oftently) but it is something else altogether.

Sunandshadow's first example is linked together in a unique way where the backstory and story of the player are one. It's perhaps a bit too convenient for my taste. It pretends that the story you are living is not just a byproduct of the society in which it was created but the actual plot of the world's story. Such story can only go to Epic level and will be hard to ground as anything that happens to the world also happens to you on a visceral level. I can hardly see this story ending humbly.

#4 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4569

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 04:19 PM


What great story do you have in mind?


That's actually a trick question.

I thought my story was pretty neat and straightforward until I realized it was the story of the world of my game and not the story of the game.
The standpoint of the player, and their story within that game does touch on the backstory every now and then (actually very oftently) but it is something else altogether.

Sunandshadow's first example is linked together in a unique way where the backstory and story of the player are one. It's perhaps a bit too convenient for my taste. It pretends that the story you are living is not just a byproduct of the society in which it was created but the actual plot of the world's story. Such story can only go to Epic level and will be hard to ground as anything that happens to the world also happens to you on a visceral level. I can hardly see this story ending humbly.

That's an interesting interpretation. I normally think of my stuff as the exact opposite of epic, as there is never any danger of the world ending or battles that destroy cities. I see my structure as basically a bildungsroman (coming of age and finding a place in society for being great at something), filled out with some romance and adventure (adventure being composed of some fighting and some creative problem solving). They typically end quite domestically - the main character, having earned wealth, safety, and love, retires to enjoy them and raise some kids.

Personally I think it's not a good writing technique to talk about the world's history independent of any character's perspective. IMHO history is a good story weakened by being told from the wrong perspective - several years too late. But, I know some people are much bigger fans of a historical perspective than me. Though I personally see a novel set in a historical period as a much better storytelling choice than a faux history book or journal about that time period, others might reasonably disagree.
I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#5 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6301

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:35 PM

What I meant is that by having a backstory independant from the player's experience of the story, you get to have the player be the victim of the events.
The problem with a story handcrafted for the character is that you can hardly justify things 'happening to them' out of the blue, but with a backstory, the player can reasonably see how a large scale war unrelated to him might affect his ability to go from one country to the next.

#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4569

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 11:15 PM

Things aren't really supposed to happen to the main character of a story "out of the blue" anyway, right? It's a violation of unity of theme and tightness of plot structure. The root cause of things that happen to any character has to be another major character, or an organized and consistent natural or paranormal force that functions as a character. If a player is accepted where he is, but will be rejected somewhere else, that's usually a reflection of a conflict between the thematic points of view represented by the two places.
I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#7 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6301

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:44 AM

Well, in most games I've played, there are unexpected turns of events that are not intrinsict to the plot and I tend to enjoy these.
In Final Fantasy 5, at regular intervals, the player is confronted to the consequences of asteroids falling. While these are integral to the overall plot of the story (how inhabitants of the other world seek to cross the rift to warn/help the locals of this world), it is entirely unrelated to the story of the game itself where the protagonist is trying to prevent crystals from shattering.
I loved this duality that gave a strong dynamic to the events that follow.
From the perspective of the player, these are "random" but they actually have meaning to the greater plot of which the protagonists are only one part, not the whole.

You'll notice similar narrative in the Game of Thrones books where the author is more concerned about the whole than actually retelling the tales of individual characters.
People come and go, live and die, but the plot continues. I like this emphasis on the persistence of the world as the main plot denominator, but experiencing this from the perspective of individuals. This is everything but an Harry-Potter-centric story ;)

#8 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4569

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:08 PM

I went and read the wikipedia entry for FF5 and it says the meteorites are used by people of the second world, where the big bad and the second set of crystals are, to travel to the first world, where the protagonist starts out. After failing to protect the crystals on the the first world, they travel to the second one. Thematically there's probably also a connection between space as a void and the big bad having been sealed into something called "the void" by the original division of the two worlds and set of four crystals.

I have to confess I don't like the storytelling style/structure of Game of Thrones, or the Malazon series which is the same kind of thing. They just seem like a sadistic soap opera to me, no offense intended. I'd argue that those stories which aren't about individual characters but instead about some great upheaval in a large setting are inherently epic, and I'm just not a fan of epic. It's probably connected to the issue of plot-driven writing rather than character-driven writing. IMO a good story is both but the characters should be where everything begins and ends because they are what I really care about (and I imagine that many readers feel the same way, though not all). And what the audience is supposed to care about is how you determine where to start and end your story - you start it where some character (generally either the antagonist or the protagonist) has a strong desire to do something, and you end it when that desire (or what it has morphed into over the course of the story) is satisfied or exhausted/destroyed.
I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#9 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6301

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:29 PM

Well with that said, I'd say we've sufficiently derived the topic of this thread (apologies to fuzzy fizz for that).

#10 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4569

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 08:56 PM

Well with that said, I'd say we've sufficiently derived the topic of this thread (apologies to fuzzy fizz for that).

Just post a synopsis of one or more of your stories, that will put us right back where intended. Posted Image
I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#11 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 921

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 02:08 AM

I went and read the wikipedia entry for FF5 and it says the meteorites are used by people of the second world, where the big bad and the second set of crystals are, to travel to the first world, where the protagonist starts out. After failing to protect the crystals on the the first world, they travel to the second one. Thematically there's probably also a connection between space as a void and the big bad having been sealed into something called "the void" by the original division of the two worlds and set of four crystals.

I have to confess I don't like the storytelling style/structure of Game of Thrones, or the Malazon series which is the same kind of thing. They just seem like a sadistic soap opera to me, no offense intended. I'd argue that those stories which aren't about individual characters but instead about some great upheaval in a large setting are inherently epic, and I'm just not a fan of epic. It's probably connected to the issue of plot-driven writing rather than character-driven writing. IMO a good story is both but the characters should be where everything begins and ends because they are what I really care about (and I imagine that many readers feel the same way, though not all). And what the audience is supposed to care about is how you determine where to start and end your story - you start it where some character (generally either the antagonist or the protagonist) has a strong desire to do something, and you end it when that desire (or what it has morphed into over the course of the story) is satisfied or exhausted/destroyed.


Actually GoT is totally character driven. All the events are derived from the characters actions. Because a character does this or feels this way such and such happens.

I think maybe you really enjoy stories with a single protagonist or group of protagonists who are allied are unambiguously the good guy and focus of the story.

GoT and BotF both focus on complex stories where there are both varying levels of bad guys existing at the same time and complex characters who often have done and continue to do terrible things.

For instance I am a huge fan of Valdemar but its hard to argue for any shades of grey. Malazan stories are just more complex and interesting. Valdemar can even be epic, but its cut and dried. Its a fantasy world, where fantasy is used in the most positive sense. Malazan is a fantastic world but its not really a fantasy world. Each of the nations has a story that is just as complex as the story of the USA which is a country that has done many good things, especially for its own citizens, and for allies who are basically parts of the global north whole, but which has done terrible, terrible things also to people who disagree with its guiding ideas, and no, I didn't misspell ideals and to countries who have no way to respond.

Those series are not SADISTIC. They are REALISTIC.

#12 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6301

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:40 PM

Those series are not SADISTIC. They are REALISTIC.


The author is sadistic though ;)
I really love how they're able to dismiss incredible characters because the story demands it. This is something, I, as an author, would chicken out of, and this is why they are much better authors than I'll ever be. They don't do it just because its fun or because it brings a nice cliffhanger, but because the story demands it.

#13 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4569

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:15 PM

I think maybe you really enjoy stories with a single protagonist or group of protagonists who are allied are unambiguously the good guy and focus of the story.

GoT and BotF both focus on complex stories where there are both varying levels of bad guys existing at the same time and complex characters who often have done and continue to do terrible things.

For instance I am a huge fan of Valdemar but its hard to argue for any shades of grey. Malazan stories are just more complex and interesting. Valdemar can even be epic, but its cut and dried. Its a fantasy world, where fantasy is used in the most positive sense. Malazan is a fantastic world but its not really a fantasy world. Each of the nations has a story that is just as complex as the story of the USA which is a country that has done many good things, especially for its own citizens, and for allies who are basically parts of the global north whole, but which has done terrible, terrible things also to people who disagree with its guiding ideas, and no, I didn't misspell ideals and to countries who have no way to respond.

What I really like are stories where there isn't anyone that's outright evil or cruel, instead the characters are all mostly-good people who have conflicting philosophies and desires. Problems where sufficient creativity can find some sort of win-win solution even if not everyone is perfectly happy with it. Sometimes there's no solution, but everyone endures and moves on and finds ways to be more or less happy. I think that's realistic, because that's the majority of what I see every day in the world around me. People dying right and left is a lot less realistic - in 30 years of life I've never seen anyone be killed in front of me, no one I know has died from anything other than old age, illness, or accident. When I see people suffering it's mainly due to the economy, or some kind of prejudice, or the pervasive problems with our legal system. I understand the concept that fiction typically places characters in a world freed up from a lot of the laws and bureaucracy of the modern world, and that some real places and times are/were very violent. I've written about one character killing another when it was important to the main part of the story, and I think murder and death are things that can be interesting and meaningful to write about. I just think that the popular taste for "darker and edgier" isn't really very mature or tasteful, it's like... the equivalent for anger that being emo is for sadness. Or like "reality" tv which is totally scripted and exaggerated like a soap opera.

For RPGs in particular, IMO the goal is to create a world that players can enjoy their adventures in, not one that depresses them, scares them, embitters them, grosses them out, or makes them cry. That's what I want as a player, anyway, so that's what I think is the ideal to aim for in creating them.

The author is sadistic though ;)
I really love how they're able to dismiss incredible characters because the story demands it. This is something, I, as an author, would chicken out of, and this is why they are much better authors than I'll ever be. They don't do it just because its fun or because it brings a nice cliffhanger, but because the story demands it.

For me, since I don't want to write or read a story that demands that kind of thing, it seems like a sadistic choice of thing to create, and yes a sadistic way to treat your characters. I mean, I'm fine with other people enjoying writing and reading stuff that's dark, violent, tragic, horrific, dystopian, or whatever. I just don't want to and don't at a gut-level understand why anyone would. I understand being afraid that the world is headed for a grim future, but it's generally unwise and self-damaging to dwell on that kind of fear in the way that would be necessary to write about it. I only object strongly to unpleasant content in fiction if I manage to accidentally consume something like that because it's packaged misleadingly, or it's a new dark twist on characters I like from an existing IP.

Edited by sunandshadow, 07 July 2012 - 10:54 PM.

I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#14 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 921

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:09 AM


I think maybe you really enjoy stories with a single protagonist or group of protagonists who are allied are unambiguously the good guy and focus of the story.

GoT and BotF both focus on complex stories where there are both varying levels of bad guys existing at the same time and complex characters who often have done and continue to do terrible things.

For instance I am a huge fan of Valdemar but its hard to argue for any shades of grey. Malazan stories are just more complex and interesting. Valdemar can even be epic, but its cut and dried. Its a fantasy world, where fantasy is used in the most positive sense. Malazan is a fantastic world but its not really a fantasy world. Each of the nations has a story that is just as complex as the story of the USA which is a country that has done many good things, especially for its own citizens, and for allies who are basically parts of the global north whole, but which has done terrible, terrible things also to people who disagree with its guiding ideas, and no, I didn't misspell ideals and to countries who have no way to respond.

What I really like are stories where there isn't anyone that's outright evil or cruel, instead the characters are all mostly-good people who have conflicting philosophies and desires. Problems where sufficient creativity can find some sort of win-win solution even if not everyone is perfectly happy with it. Sometimes there's no solution, but everyone endures and moves on and finds ways to be more or less happy. I think that's realistic, because that's the majority of what I see every day in the world around me. People dying right and left is a lot less realistic - in 30 years of life I've never seen anyone be killed in front of me, no one I know has died from anything other than old age, illness, or accident. When I see people suffering it's mainly due to the economy, or some kind of prejudice, or the pervasive problems with our legal system. I understand the concept that fiction typically places characters in a world freed up from a lot of the laws and bureaucracy of the modern world, and that some real places and times are/were very violent. I've written about one character killing another when it was important to the main part of the story, and I think murder and death are things that can be interesting and meaningful to write about. I just think that the popular taste for "darker and edgier" isn't really very mature or tasteful, it's like... the equivalent for anger that being emo is for sadness. Or like "reality" tv which is totally scripted and exaggerated like a soap opera.

For RPGs in particular, IMO the goal is to create a world that players can enjoy their adventures in, not one that depresses them, scares them, embitters them, grosses them out, or makes them cry. That's what I want as a player, anyway, so that's what I think is the ideal to aim for in creating them.

Well, I live in the most dangerous city in America crime wise, although compared to something like Ghana its not that bad. I only know a few kids under 18 who got shot as opposed to whole villages getting torched. But still I dunno if its so bad. Even compared to medieval times its pretty realistic. Hell a game of Crusader Kings has like 10x the assassinations and back stabs as all of GoT. And its not like Malazan is popular. Its arguably darker and certainly more supernaturally dark than GoT and its cultural phenomenon status is not even in the same ball park.

I mean I understand if you live a relatively sheltered life it could be pretty intense.

Also, in all fairness, there is a book more popular than almost any other in the world with more ficticious violence, death, rape, incest, murder, stealing, mutilation and general nastiness than GoT and Malazan put together. It rhymes with libel.

#15 tim_shea   Members   -  Reputation: 460

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 04:02 PM

Also, in all fairness, there is a book more popular than almost any other in the world with more ficticious violence, death, rape, incest, murder, stealing, mutilation and general nastiness than GoT and Malazan put together. It rhymes with libel.

And that puts a most interesting spin on sunandshadow's comment about mostly good people, with conflicting philosophies. The early Israelites, in a world of violence and depravity, were violent and depraved, but rationalized it with an in-group moral philosophy. Its fascinating, really, and I think makes fertile ground for a game plot (thus, you can both win! it will be a dark, violent, but realistic, and uplifting, and probably confusing, story).

So, for awhile I've wanted to make an entirely story driven, single character rpg (in the old fashioned sense of playing a role). The story is entirely derivative (because, I think there are a lot of good themes that have never been properly explored in games, and it makes sense to try those, as a stepping stone to more complex and original work), but would hopefully be engaging or thought provoking:

You are on a journey. It's not clear where you're going, but you've been walking for a long time and you'll be walking for a long time yet. There is a haze far overhead that makes the sun look enormous, but does nothing to lessen its burn on your neck and arms. As the miles stretch on, your feet ache and your belly growls, but you don't stop walking. Desiccated grass and leaves crunch underfoot, methodically marking time. You occasionally pass dry, dying tress, leaning back towards the dirt that pushed them up, but mostly the landscape is bright, and empty...
Eventually you reach a river, but it's dry. A few boats lay sideways on the rocky bed. Bleached scum coats the rocks, but there is nothing green or living in sight...
After a long time, you will come to the city, and you will find her dying, her broad avenues crumbling, her powerful skyscrapers collapsing. She will not be empty like the other places.

What I want is basically a reverse-RPG, in which the character is slowly dying in a dying world. The story is sort of a pilgrimage, in that the character is seeking some sort of understanding, except that there may not be any to find. Feel free to share any thoughts. One concern that I've considered is that a game that focuses entirely on the minutiae of a dying man's journey through a dead environment is likely to be boring, but I'm hoping it will be a new kind of boring.

Edited by bimmy, 09 July 2012 - 04:03 PM.


#16 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 921

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:17 PM

Sounds kinda like the Book of Eli.

#17 tim_shea   Members   -  Reputation: 460

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:30 AM

I haven't seen it, but mostly this was influenced by The Road, only without the kid Posted Image
Edit: I mean, most directly influenced, not mostly influenced, as of course, there are dozens of other stories with similar themes.

Edited by bimmy, 11 July 2012 - 10:31 AM.


#18 RedBaron5   Members   -  Reputation: 573

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:06 PM

http://gamasutra.com/view/feature/173819/on_player_characters_and_self_.php?page=4

This entire article is good but the relevant part is the "Storysense" section. It's what I am trying to strive for in my game. A well thought out world with lots of story threads and hints but little actual story involving the main character. It lets you in a sense interject the character into the little stories how you want. It can be very jarring to a player to have a certain type of character in mind and them have him act completely out of character in a cutscene.

The GTA example is probably the best. Say you want your Nicolai to be a pedestrian murdering psychopath. You can, but then you get a cutscene where you save someone's life or something that your character wouldn't have done. The cutscenes can vary in extreme ways from how the player sees the character and this is no fun at all.

#19 tim_shea   Members   -  Reputation: 460

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:06 PM

I read your comment, thought, "man, this guy should read that article about the player character" then clicked the link. Apparently, Tadhg Kelly has a lot of ideas about game characters! I've thought about that before. I think it's especially important for non-linear games and games where you can customize your character. It just doesn't make sense in those cases to try and force some designer's story line on the player's avatar.
I think this kind of storytelling could work really well in an open-world zombie game, where you can sort of briefly look in on, or take part in, the lives of apocalypse survivors, but the story of your character is really that of the people you meet.

#20 lrh9   Members   -  Reputation: 174

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 06:20 PM

I'd like to write a story about modern issues framed in a fantasy genre. If done well I think it would be a great way for players to explore ideas, experience situations, and grow personally.

For instance, in my fantasy world all individuals and creatures would be grown forms of a single type of organism. If I had fantastical species or races like dwarves and elves, then they would both be grown forms of the same type of organism, but they would have differentiated based on different factors. Factors might include where the organism grew up, who its parents were, and other inherited and environmental factors. This would also apply to the benign and malignant creatures populating the world. Now in this world, conflict would arise between various groups over this base type of organism. One group could believe that all instances of this organism are sacred and must not be killed for any reason. Another group could believe that it is acceptable to kill this organism for any reason, and has members that regularly do so. And of course there would be various groups in the middle. The player would get to explore how this system works, what happens, experience the various situations that can arise out of this interplay, and select how to respond.

Say a famine in an area causes the base type of creatures to differentiate into monsters that steal food or eat people. The player could witness the group believing in the sanctity of these organisms defend the base type of creature until it turns into the monsters and fight anyone who tries to cull these creatures. Or the player could witness the endangered villagers killing the creatures that - in different circumstances - would grow into regular people. The player would have to internalize this, and choose how to respond. They could protect the creatures and cause a village to be destroyed, but maybe a few people would grow out of the saved creatures. Or maybe they could cull the creatures themselves and have to live with their conscience.

It's a idea I haven't really spent a lot of time on. I don't even have anything committed to paper.




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