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Questioning The Setting In My Work


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#1 RiiSEN   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:35 PM

I am writing a story that will be combining the Renaissance era with pieces of Steampunk, and I'm wondering if the gap will just be awkward. 

 

The basic premise of the game: A thief gets tricked into stealing an ancient relic from one of heaven's fallen guardians, handing it to the forces of evil. He goes back to the guardian who he thought was a simple tinker. The guardian saves his life, and decides to assemble the other guardian's still loyal to God. With both of them seeking redemption, they leave the city to stop the plans of hell.

 

Longer version, opening hours of game outline. Obviously this includes gameplay pieces as well as pure story, which means there are some generalities. Dialogue is not exactly a forte of mine, I placed it in for overall picture.

 

 

  • Player character is sitting at a desk talking with a priest about a stolen artifact from the church, which the priest declares has been taken by a notable and wealthy tinker on the other side of town. It is introduced that the player is a thief, and gladly takes on the job after negotiating a ‘fair’ price.

 

  • Night has fallen and the player is on the roof of a building next to a chimney with a rope going down it. The player descends into the place, and begins to look for the stolen artifact. The inside is cluttered with papers, mainly designs for gadgets and the like, until you go down into the basement. Under a blue glow you find the artifact, but the owner of the establishment confronts you, attempting to grab the artifact, and after a bit of a struggle you run out of the building with the owner calling for guards.

 

  • Outside, you can hear the guards abuzz, searching for you. You flee for your life, running, as they fire rifles at you. Continuing to run through corridors and alleyways, you head towards the church. When rounding a corner two guards stand facing you with their guns ready to fire. They order you to halt. If you don’t, they kill you.  If you do, they begin to come towards you. An inner monologue begins, gauging how close they are and when the time is right to attack. When they are close enough, you lash out at one, disarming him and knocking him unconscious. As the first falls, you turn around and fire at the guard still on his feet but he returns the volley, severely wounding you. You now must find a place to find help and sanctuary, and continue on to the church. At the gates the priest waits for you, though you begin to lose balance and fall to the ground. Your eyes close.

 

  • You awake, on a cot. You can see your bandages, but that is not what interests you. On the other side of the room, the priest and a nun have begun incantations over a man. He twists and turns violently, then raises up off the cot, held down only by the strong restraints on his appendages. Coming back down, he laughs, looks at you, and then smiles. Immediately your vision blurs and blackness enfolds you, and all you see is the priest and the man on the cot. The man talks in a language unknown to you, but for some reason, you can understand it. “Is this all so amusing to you, priest? Let me have this one, it has been too long since I could amuse myself.”  The priest surprises you by replying in the same tongue. “Not yet. I need you to send word to him. I have it.” An amused expression comes across the man’s face. “Let me tell him now. Pretend I’m still here, like you have control over this scenario.” The man goes limp, and the priest shouts out incantations as if driving the spirit out. The man gasps, and gives that eerie smile once again. “ He says to begin immediately. He also says its time to let me play.” The priest seems utterly terrified. “But you have no strength here, in this place of holiness.” The man laughs. “That is why you brought the sinner.” At that, the man begins to shudder, opens his mouth and darkness comes streaking out of him, filling the air above. The nun screams and begins to run, but the darkness comes toward her, and while she stands she is lifted off the ground and thrown against the ceiling, darkness going into her through nose, mouth, and ears. She falls, then gets up, and smiles that creepy smile. “Black was always my favorite color” She runs out into the building, the priest following. Before leaving the doorway, the priest looks at you, smiles and says “You did a wonderful thing helping me. I best be off though. Have fun in here,” and with that leaves. You pass out soon afterwards.

 

  • You awaken to pitch darkness. Getting off of the cot you begin to fumble through the darkness, attempting to leave the church. You wish to find a light, and find an unlit candle and some flint in the room with you. As the light spreads you begin to see the massacre of the building’s inhabitants. Priests and nuns are decapitated and sprawled throughout the building. You also notice a lot of blood but no bodies. You question what part you played in this, and wish to find truth. The best place to look: The tinkerer. After exploring through the catacombs and up into the main corridors, you exit out the main door.

 

  • When you come out into the moonlit sky, you instantly see what has become of the missing clergy members. They are all possessed, running around rampantly slaughtering passerby’s, going into establishments and homes, massacring those inside. Once most of them are either inside or off in the distance, you deem it safe to move, and begin to go towards the tinker’s place. You must stealthy go through the town, with the possessed searching for people to slaughter, and those up in the rafters waiting for passerby’s. You can see and hear the people nearby dying. You get to the door of the tinker’s when a guttural roar comes from nearby. Without having a chance to turn and face the attacker you are brought to the ground, a possessed woman with hands on your throat laughing as she suffocates you. “A clean death for the one responsible. Fair, isn’t it? It’s too bad really, you’re just so intoxicating. I’d love the chance to fu-“ The tinker comes from behind with a large sword and cleaves her head off, which falls next to your face as your head falls again onto the pavement, blood spreading everywhere. “You...” the tinker whispers. “I had a feeling you’d be back, but not exactly under these circumstances. Let’s go inside, it will be safe there.” The man helps you up, and you both enter the house.

 

Overall feedback is always nice, but more importantly, does the setting feel forced onto the story, or would there be a better setting to go to.

 



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#2 Kyan   Members   -  Reputation: 395

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:49 AM

Overall feedback is always nice, but more importantly, does the setting feel forced onto the story, or would there be a better setting to go to.

 

First of all, I greatly enjoyed reading that.  Nicely done!

 

Secondly, I should mention that I'm chock full of anti-cough related products and operating on a low amount of sleep; if I say something that isn't coherent, my apologies.

 

Thirdly, I really like the idea of the setting.  That said, you might go into further detail about various setting related items.  For instance, what specifically does the tinkerer do and what kind of specific guns were the guards using (i.e. how Steampunk is this?)?  Similarly, what kind of architecture is the church and town in comparison (High Renaissance or early 15th century or maybe an older style that's somewhat out of place with the new for suspicious creepiness?)?  Blending Steampunk and Renaissance can work well but the locations in the story seem somewhat generic; there's nothing to suggest a "gap" because a lot of the action takes place in very time independent locations (inside a dark church, etc.).  It feels like, despite your intent on the Renaissance, you could potentially transplant the story all over history with the only requirement being after the advent of gunpowder and it would work well.  There's nothing wrong with that, per se, but I feel like it needs something to make it unique to the Renaissance period itself.

 

Where I'm a bit lost, however, is the main character.  In my opinion, you need to answer the question of why a thief would do what he or she did; that is, change from their life of crime to seeking redemption after a single event.  A true criminal would just run away and save themselves, why does this one choose to stay and fight?



#3 RiiSEN   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 07:12 AM

I would probably say that maybe the problem is not that the setting isn't working, but that the setting doesn't show because the setting "is in the details" which, I may add, are not exactly a prominent part of the outline. 

 

As for the steampunk element, this will come into the story gradually. In fact, I'd say that perhaps the steampunk isn't a 'natural' part of the setting at all. In the beginning, this feels like a pure renaissance era. After one of the most literal versions of 'all hell breaks loose', humans are forced to adapt. They need to be better, stronger, and have easier ways of communication. They begin to toy around with the working of machinery, with help from some neighborly immortals. 

 

Even all of this doesn't quite describe the world that I have envisioned, or the overarching story that takes place. The story has 3 MAJOR parts:

1) The initial disaster, the unraveling of the true scheme (why the demon took the artifact, where he is going, what he plans to do with it)

2) The breaking of the two realities and what happens when they collapse into one (mortals and immortals are now on the same phase of reality)

3) The Final Confrontations.

 

In a different light those 3 could be also envisioned as:

1) Man + Fallen Immortal vs The Possessed +Fallen Immortals

2) The Fall of Man & Man + Immortal vs Man + Immortal

3) The continuation and finale of Man + Immortal vs Man + Immortal

 

In stage 1, there will not be a whole lot of steam punk, because Man is still weak. Man does not understand the danger it is in as a society. In stage 2, Man falls, still weak and surviving only with the help or tyranny of its immortal brethren. In stage 3, they are ready to stand toe to toe and shoulder to shoulder with the immortal armies.

 

That leaves a LOT of story to be told, and with the type of gameplay that I think would fit the style of storytelling (that being First Person Action Adventure with horror elements), would probably require each section be its own story, whether this comes together as a game or a book. I don't know, me being such a fantasy/RPG lover has really made me like Renaissance era. Its a good cross between swords and guns, and the variety that it can bring to a game is often times quite refreshing. Also, this is when the mysteries of science really began to culminate as a field, and there was such a view of awe and creativity at the time its easy to see something like machinated wings being invented. Perhaps that's just me.

 

Once again, feedback/comments on anything I've said is encouraged. I like discussing.


Edited by RiiSEN, 11 January 2013 - 07:17 AM.


#4 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4909

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:51 PM

Have you played Vagrant Story?  That's a good example of an RPG which conveys to the player the richness of the setting, which is approximately renaissance, heavily religious, and has golems and other magic-powered artifacts which are more or less equivalent to steampunk set a few centuries earlier than the usual Victorian/Wild West era.


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#5 DaveTroyer   Members   -  Reputation: 1052

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

I like the idea. Its a little heavy handed in some of the dialog, but I understand what you're trying to convay.

 

Aside from that, when the player is escaping from the guards, you seem to have lots of guns there. I think you might want to clarify Renaissance to whether your want early or late, since it ran from 15th century (1400) to 17th century (1600) and for the most part they didn't have access to methods for smaller, more detailed cast iron until the 16th century (1500), but it was still expensive and there was a bit of debate on whether bullets or arrows were the future until nearly the end of the Renaissance. This means that most guards didn't carry a rifle except for maybe a handful per regiment. Something like 3 rifles per 20 guards. Combine that with the lack of advancements in the technology, you had slow loading, short range guns. Unless you make firearms more common in your games settings, I'd just suggest making it a less common occurance or possibly have a boss of some kind have a rifle.

 

But yeah, the story can fit well into the setting you've built. I like it. biggrin.png


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#6 RiiSEN   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:07 PM

I like the idea. Its a little heavy handed in some of the dialog, but I understand what you're trying to convay.

 

Aside from that, when the player is escaping from the guards, you seem to have lots of guns there. I think you might want to clarify Renaissance to whether your want early or late, since it ran from 15th century (1400) to 17th century (1600) and for the most part they didn't have access to methods for smaller, more detailed cast iron until the 16th century (1500), but it was still expensive and there was a bit of debate on whether bullets or arrows were the future until nearly the end of the Renaissance. This means that most guards didn't carry a rifle except for maybe a handful per regiment. Something like 3 rifles per 20 guards. Combine that with the lack of advancements in the technology, you had slow loading, short range guns. Unless you make firearms more common in your games settings, I'd just suggest making it a less common occurance or possibly have a boss of some kind have a rifle.

 

But yeah, the story can fit well into the setting you've built. I like it. biggrin.png

 

Thanks for the history lesson. I was planning on any guns being very inaccurate and slow loading, so I don't have much of an issue with this. Perhaps calling them rifles was improper, considering the technology used in a rifle came much much later in time. By rifle I just meant a a gun with a long body and barrel, most likely some form of muzzle-loader. 

 

When it comes to the overall setting I think it would make sense for there to be guns. Considering the fact that the in-game world will soon be populated with fine metal-craftsmanship, I'd say it would make sense for there to be at least SOME understanding of gun creation. I will take your thoughts into consideration and possibly rework the post-theft area to either have less guns, or perhaps blame the tinker for the city's larger then normal supply, since it would fit into his character.

 

I did have quite the laugh at my attempts at dialogue. Like I said, not my strength by any stretch of the imagination. 






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