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#21 RealityFails   Members   -  Reputation: 155

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:13 AM

I'll try to find a way around it. I'll probably go to just frisking her, better?

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#22 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:56 AM

Certainly better, but if his goal is the locket and she's wearing it, he doesn't have to check her over anything upon see it around her neck. :) Then (because he didn't frisk her) she can produce a hidden weapon with which to secure her escape.


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#23 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:22 AM

Extra Credits had an episode where they talk about the dangers of writing out the entire story before making the game:

 

http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/how-to-start-your-game-narrative



#24 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:45 AM

I love Extra Credits. All of their stuff is very well worth watching.


I was previously serratemplar; a name I forfeited to share a name with an angry rank-bearing monkey.

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#25 Milcho   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1177

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:43 AM

I read about half of the story you posted - I'm sorry, but it's hard to read, and not just because you could use paragraph breaks, and line spacing - those are minor things.

I've rewritten this entire post nearly three times now to try and keep it as constructive and professional as I could.


I have real trouble telling what scene I'm reading, who the people there are or where things are. I had to re-read sections again and again to figure out what was going on - which is why I only read about half.


In short, it reads a lot like a contrived and poorly described fan fiction. Let me elaborate on that more:


Most of the events in the story seem to happen without a good reason - like in the first page, "hunger sets in within minutes" - so she decides to stop at the local store, where she finds the boy. Ok, she has been away from the club for minutes, according to that, and she was going to rescue her kids. Hunger doesn't really become an issue for at least a day without food. It doesn't seem like she had any reason to stop at the store at all, except that the story seems to dictate that she would meet the boy there. Perhaps
give her car a flat tire when she’s near the store? It would at least seem more believable.


Another example is going to city hall to get the city plans; they decide they have to get through the sewers. Wait, why? Why can't they enter the front door? Or why do they have to go to city hall for the city plans at all? Maps are very common in newsstands, and if this is modern day, so are electronic maps and GPS. I realize that West is the mayor and he’s at city hall, and your plan is to have Amy lead Jenna into a trap, but that’s more reason why it seems so contrived. It’s also by this point that Jenna seems to
have forgotten about her kids, and is just going around following Amy.

 

Those aren't the only two examples, but I'm keeping this
short, so here’s some other things that have no good explanation:

Why does a locket given to a boy contain a chip to control
monsters from an asteroid?

Actually, how does a chip control alien monsters from an
asteroid?

Why would John continue working for West if he knows that
West killed their kids?

How does Jenna kill so many people without seemingly caring?
It makes her look like a psychopath (a person who has reduced emotions,
including compassion), yet she clearly wants to rescue her kids.


A lot of the dialog seems forced too, and very unnatural. It doesn't seem like the type of things a normal person would say in a situation like that at all. It's even worse with the kid to be honest - he's acting like everything is fine and normal, and just says "I'm scared" occasionally.


Ok, that's why I think it reads as contrived and forced story. Here's why it reads like fan fiction:


There's a very pointless scene with Jenna in the shower, and someone spying on her. Why? There's absolutely no good reason why that scene is there - it doesn't add the story, it introduces no new information. The same happens at various other places in the story where someone had to reach into Jenna's bra, or she tries to seduce a random guard. It just sounds like it was written as a sort of juvenile fantasy. Now, I'm not saying you're juvenile, I'm just telling you how it looked to me.


And then there are the sexual assault scenes. I read three of them, one attempted with Amy, one actual rape scene with West, and then a third one where you describe it as "sexual assault" by West on Jenna again, which was then followed by electric torture.


You do not have any good reason or explanation for any of those. Not only that, but they were badly written, badly handled, with unrealistic reactions and consequences, in all cases being dismissed almost casually by the involved parties.


You cannot use sexual assault as your go-to plot device to make someone look evil. This is just wrong and completely ignores the whole issue, merely treating it like "he's a rapist, thus evil". I don't know what else to say - I'm really trying to keep it as constructive as possible here, but suffice it to say, those parts ticked me off more than a
little. I know you said you were going to try to work around that, but you posted the story like this, so I thought it was worth mentioning again.


I strongly suggest that you avoid the whole sexual assault
of any type in your story COMPLETELY.


That’s my two cents on the story.



#26 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:01 AM

Milcho's post is fantastic and packed with good advice and constructive feedback. +1

 

My professional advice is to shelve this idea and come back to it in two to four years. Start from scratch on another idea and also do a lot of research and reading on things like character development, personal relationships, and psychology. In general, anytime you want to include any thing in your story - from a weapon to an interpersonal event - research the crap out of it. You want to know everything you can about it from every angle before including it, so you can make it fit (or see that it doesn't).

 

If you're in college, try very hard to get into their residence life staff and to be a resident assistant/hall leader/whatever they call it at your school. Very often those programs give you access to reasonably good (and virtually always free) seminars that discuss how one can and should approach very sensitive topics and issues like the ones we're recommending you stay away from in your writing. Colleges in general very often host seminars that anybody (res life or not) can attend to learn from. (Sociology departments and women's studies departments in particular, at least where I went to school.) Sometimes you don't even have to be a student at the college to attend these kinds of workshops, so you can sign up or just go and learn some stuff. :)


I was previously serratemplar; a name I forfeited to share a name with an angry rank-bearing monkey.

http://thadeshammer.wordpress.com/


#27 fr0st2k   Members   -  Reputation: 132

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:25 PM

But you seem to think I don't have a reason for why that is in the game.

Respectfully, that is not my assumption. What I'm saying (and, as I've read it, what others here are also saying) is that you could have the most amazing justification for it ever and you should still not put it in your game. It's not appropriate, it's a trauma trigger that could potentially really hurt people you don't know, and - if for no other reason - it will most certainly make it very hard for you to secure a deal with a publisher or even to go indie.

 

Pick another vector for the cure that does not dehumanize your protagonist by exploiting the sheer fact she has female reproductive parts. She's not a plot device or an incubator. She's a main character and she definitely deserves better.

 

Ok, I agree that a rape scene in a video game is one of those things that SCREAM "Im goin for the shock value here!" and agree that it shouldn't be part of the story..but your reasoning doesn't really make sense to me...at all.

 

IMO, youre getting way to close to a character in a video game, seemingly relating it to problems you have been close to in real life.  "She's" not a real person, nor a plot device, and having her go through a traumatic experience doesn't exploit anyone.  It might, if done improperly, demean actual victims.

 

The main problem with including a scene like this as mentioned above..is that it is purely shock value.  Unless of course you focus the entire story around it.  Which the author isn't doing.  In that sense, "the rape scene" (not the "female lead") is merely a plot device and is one that doesn't need to be there.  Go the alien route, or have her get injected with cells to get the same effect.



#28 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:53 PM

In that sense, "the rape scene" (not the "female lead") is merely a plot device and is one that doesn't need to be there.  Go the alien route, or have her get injected with cells to get the same effect.

Respectfully, this is a done-to-death trope which perpetuates stereotypes against women in media. It's used so often in novels and TV that - even if it wasn't intrinsically bad for the reasons I outlined - it's horrendously trite. In its best uses, it's lazy storytelling. If you want lazy story telling, just go with the "Mysterious serum in a flask" method; the character does not need to be the container. Best yet, invent a new way to go about it.

 

Here's a decent rundown of the trope. The focus is TV and movies, but the same would apply to the story in a book or a video game.


Edited by thade, 06 February 2013 - 01:22 PM.

I was previously serratemplar; a name I forfeited to share a name with an angry rank-bearing monkey.

http://thadeshammer.wordpress.com/


#29 RealityFails   Members   -  Reputation: 155

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:24 PM

Im not shelving my story or starting anything over.

 

First off I asked about 5 women about the rape scene. They're all for it as long as she comes out on top and is standing a hero.

 

Video Games are plagued with follow ups, remakes prequels you're all afraid of something new for the industry. thats what I think. the story was there for staple support so when my team asks whats next I can tell them.

 

You make a rape scene which wont even show anything. In fact im making as west starts to touch her she blacks out and wakes up and see's John.

 

again this is a video game......

 

You should watch this video and tell me again I'm crossing the line:

 

 

Game Design documents and stories change all the time, I was showing what I have so far :)

 

 

Dead Space 3 just got slammed by reviewers for not being Survival horror.

 

I will personally save the genre



#30 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:44 PM

Showing me examples of other game designers grossly failing at their jobs but getting them through due to clout doesn't sway me; nor do your other arguments. It's your game though. Good luck.


I was previously serratemplar; a name I forfeited to share a name with an angry rank-bearing monkey.

http://thadeshammer.wordpress.com/


#31 RealityFails   Members   -  Reputation: 155

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:49 PM

its not that. the gaming industry needs to wake up.

 

Unless you enjoy playing CoD every year.

 

I'll have demo soon for game dev



#32 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:50 PM

Get back to us when you have a playable demo. <3


I was previously serratemplar; a name I forfeited to share a name with an angry rank-bearing monkey.

http://thadeshammer.wordpress.com/


#33 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4354

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:29 PM

I will personally save the genre

Well that escalated quickly.


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#34 Milcho   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1177

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:07 PM

its not that. the gaming industry needs to wake up.

 

You may have a point there. But there's a few things I have to say about this.

Edit: After writing the below, I just wanted to say: This is my opinion. I am human, and thus not without flaws. I'm not trying to pass my views as universal truths, but I hope you see the reason behind them.

 

The game industry is rather new, compared to the majority of other popular media. Literature, films and even comic books have dealt with topics and situations that are currently not acceptable in the video game industry. This is largely due to the fact that games are still considered to be more child-oriented and thus require different standards. This isn't entirely true, some things are starting to change and we, as gamers, are making headway in getting the general public to accept games in equal terms as other media such as film.

 

That being said, every game made is still being put under a lot of scrutiny, and being critiqued to its fullest. The only way to show the general public that games are an equal medium to films and the like, the only way that other mediums have demonstrated that before - is by carefully and maturely handling the topics they release to the public. Sure, there's always some critics who will oppose everything, but if you can handle a controversial topic, such as sexual assault, in a mature manner that shows the true reality of the situation, people will start to realize that perhaps there's more to games than just the superficial criticisms of those few always-opposing critics.

 

To fully achieve this effect, controversial issues need to be handled carefully, researched even more than you would normally research any other topic you put in a game, and all criticism should be taken to heart to make sure no angle is left unexplored, and that critics have as little as possible to grab onto and critique. Only then can you being to convince your audience that games have matured enough to take on these controversial issues the same way that, say, films do.

 

On the other hand, if you make a game that handles these situations poorly, the general public will tend to agree with the critics, and it will only drive the idea that games are immaturely written medium that should not touch 'big boy' issues deeper into the minds of those people. In other words, a gaming studio that doesn't do its homework on a controversial topic is just going to hurt the gaming industry as a whole, and not help in the slightest.

 

It's not enough to throw controversial topics into a story to make the gaming industry "wake up". These things need to be handled with extreme delicacy in order to help society accept games handling these issues. This kind of change can only be done by someone who has the experience in writing controversial topics and understand that while equal, games are a different medium that needs to follow its own rules.

 

I'm going to be flat out honest with you - I don't think your story handles these issues maturely, or even tries to handle them well. A number of us have given you feedback on this, I really think you should follow it. If you progress to write a game in the current state and release it, it will likely end up hurting people's views, and only drive developers in general to stay away from issues like this in games. 

 

No great author strikes with their first book. Don't try to reach too far with your first game. As thade suggested, perhaps delay the game longer until you have put significantly more research into this subject. Talking to five women is not good enough research. Coming on here and posting this was a good, though small, step. If you really want to help the industry you'll make sure that your story is bulletproof against all reasonable criticism, and take your time to research into this. 

 

Meanwhile, make a zombie/monster survival game - build a little reputation as someone who can handle the life or death situations, as well as flushing out full characters with a developed personality. You don't need to include such a controversial topic at first to gain reputation. And at the end, if you do your research, publishing a game that truly handles the topic maturely will mean even more coming from someone with a bit of reputation build up for this sort of thing.

 

As usual, that's my two cents, I hope it doesn't fall on deaf ears.



#35 GeneralQuery   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1263

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:46 AM

"Edgy" topics such as rape can work as a device when handled competently and "appropriately" but there is far, FAR more to lose if it is badly executed (i.e. it will sink you far more than the bad execution of a less "edgy" device). Can this device be interchanged with anything else for the same effect? Almost certainly. Therefore, is it worth the risk of badly handling such a sensitive issue? Probably not. Does that mean that such issues are never appropriate for games? Certainly not, but like I say, it needs to be handled with skill and competency.






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