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Game conceptualization


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#1 Shane C   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1103

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 07:34 AM

I need some help building my education and knowledge of game storylines in order to write a really good and deep storyline for a game. As far as increasing education goes, I want to learn more about philosophy. Are there any good links on storylines or even game design that will lead me to conclusions on this subject without making me read three books worth of material?

I'll give you an example of what 'I' consider a good storyline, this is from a game that is actually poor due to being buggy and it is a kid's game strangely enough, but I consider the story on paper to be top-notch - dramatic but not as confusing as something like Final Fantasy:

Wikipedia (Sonic 2006):

In Soleanna, the Festival of the Sun's opening ceremony is disrupted by the arrival of Doctor Eggman who seeks the Flames of Disaster from Princess Elise. He captures Elise before she tosses the blue Chaos Emerald to Sonic the Hedgehog who arrives there. He meets Miles "Tails" Prower and they rescue Elise; Tails distracts Eggman's robots while Sonic and Elise escape. Meanwhile, Shadow saves Rouge the Bat, who dropped the Scepter of Darkness that unleashes Mephiles the Dark, a creature in Shadow's image who reveals Shadow sealed him within the scepter ten years ago, before opening a wormhole which transports Shadow and Rouge to the future: a post-apocalyptic world that is caused by the Flames of Disaster and a fiery monster named Iblis. There, Silver and his friend Blaze the Cat meet Mephiles who reveals Sonic as the Iblis Trigger and sends the two back in time using the purple Chaos Emerald. Silver and Blaze are separated upon arrival, with Silver witnessing Eggman's attack on Soleanna and Sonic's departure. He meets Amy Rose who accompanies him to find but defends Sonic when they find him, while Eggman recaptures Elise. Sonic flees and meets with Tails and Knuckles the Echidna, before Eggman lures them into a trap sending them into the future where Tails discovers Elise and Eggman died one day before Iblis was released. Shadow and Rouge find a shutdown E-123 Omega, and reunites with Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. Using two Chaos Emeralds, they return to the present. Shadow faces Mephiles, but learns in the future he was imprisoned by Omega, blamed for the destruction. Shadow and Omega returns to the present-day.
Shadow and Silver travel ten years into the past and learn Iblis and Mephiles are parts of the Duke of Soleanna's project to harness the power of the city's god Solaris. The Duke gives Shadow the Scepter of Darkness, which he uses to seal Mephiles, while Silver and the Duke seals Iblis into a young Elise's tears, the dying Duke asks his daughter not to cry for her tears could release Iblis. Sonic fails to reach Eggman's destroyed ship with Elise inside it, but Silver sends Sonic back in time so he can save Elise. With Shadow, Rouge and Omega defeats Mephiles' clones, Silver and Blaze (at the cost of her life) stop Iblis in the future.
After surviving Shadow's attack, Mephiles holds up the purple Chaos Emerald in use and seemingly kills Sonic with an energy blade behind him, causing Elise to cry and unleash Iblis. Mephiles bonds with Iblis, recreating Solaris to rip the time-space continuum apart. As everyone mourns Sonic's apparent death, Silver notes that seven Chaos Emeralds' power would revive Sonic, telling everyone to find all of them. As they are all gathered, Elise gives Sonic a kiss which allows him to transform into his super form who copies some of his powers to Shadow and Silver, and together they defeat Solaris. Sonic and Elise go back in time, finding Solaris' original form as a single white flame. Elise blows out the candle to erase Solaris from existence and the story's events so that Solaris can befriend Elise again, rebooting the timeline. The game ends with Sonic watching Elise in the festival show; the two display signs of faintly recalling their friendship.

This storyline features:
Death (multiple times)
A deceptive villain, Mephiles
Originality (sealing a villain in a young girl's tears)

Could the storyline be even better? Yes. But it's still what I consider a pretty good story.

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8490

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:33 AM


I'm posting this in For Beginners because I need help and am just looking to get my feet wet

 

But the For Beginners forum is a technical board -- where people get help with beginning programming. I'm moving this to the Writing forum, where you'll get better help with your question.


-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 Shane C   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1103

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:33 AM

Thanks. I wasn't sure.

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8490

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:44 AM


I want to learn more about philosophy. Are there any good links on storylines or even game design that will lead me to conclusions on this subject without making me read three books worth of material?

 

If you want to learn more about philosophy, I would think three books would be just scratching the surface.  There's no lazy man's path to learning about philosophy.

 

If you want to learn about good story structure and/or game design, of course there are lots of good links -- they should be easy to find if you just work at finding them.  It's great that you yearn to learn.  Three books would be a good way to start.  Reading a lot of links and finding only a few gems makes you a well-read person.  A big part of writing is reading.  It takes work to get good at something.

 

As I told someone else here recently, some good authors for story (and story in games) are Joseph Campbell, Lee Sheldon, Christopher Vogler.  That's three books you really should read. Also Laurie Hutzler.


Edited by Tom Sloper, 04 October 2013 - 09:27 AM.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#5 Shane C   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1103

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:47 AM

I'm in school for Game Art & Animation, so I'm really busy. When I'm not learning in school, I choose to learn further in my free time. But I agree about three books not being enough for philosophy. So if I had to choose an area of philosophy, it would be metaphysics.

#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4538

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 02:43 PM

@Shane C Uhh... this is normally the kind of question I respond to, but I kind of think the example story is awful, so... maybe my taste in games is too different from yours to make recommendations.  For examples of really great game stories I'd pick something like Vagrant Story or Okami or Sanitarium.  But, the non-fiction recommendations don't have much to do with what type of story one likes, so I'll do those.

 

But you might be interested in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series of books - I read the supervillains one recently and it was great.  There's a harry potter one, a lord of the rings one, zelda, star trek, dr. who...  Or for an intro to philosophy book, Does The Center Hold is great because it has humor and cartoons.

 

If you want to read about thematic structure and plotting stories, the most relevant books are: Lajos Egri's The Art Of Dramatic Writing, Ronald Tobias' 20 Master Plots And How To Build Them, and Ayn Rand's The Art of Fiction.


Edited by sunandshadow, 04 October 2013 - 02:44 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.




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