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sunandshadow

Forum Game Redux

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sunandshadow    7426
Hey all, thought I''d start another forum game before it''s been so long people forget how to play. And also because I was reading a very cool book _The House of Make-Believe_ by Singer and Singer, and it gave me a neat idea to start a game. Today''s subject is: imaginary friends. According to this book, there are two main types of imaginary playmates that children manifest - the ''self-based playmate'' emphasizes some aspects of the child''s own personality; these may be either aspects the child wishes they had more of (bravery, confidence) or aspects that the child is afraid of (sadism, bossiness, fear). Let''s call this first type the ''Mary Sue'' or ''Marty Stu'' since it is essentially the same as a writer using a self-insertion character to empower or explore her or himself. The other type of imaginary friend is quite different in conception - instead of being a modification of the child''s self, this is the child''s complement, the ''ideal other'', who may later appear as a fantasy romantic object once the child has matured through puberty. This type of character also shows up in self insertion fanfiction as either a best friend or a romantic object. So. Now let us consider the eternal menage a trois of the game player, the game protagonist, and the primary NPC. Do you see how neatly to two ideas overlay? The protagonist is the player''s idealized or dangerous self. (Best fighter on the planet? Horrible guilt or confusion over my past or the things I''m slaughtering? Too shy or full-of-myself for the npcs to stand? A clear oportunity to work on refining my personality by identifying my avatar''s errors and imagining what I would have done better, and if I''m lucky getting to implement this fix-strategy via dialogue or action choices.) The primary NPC is the player''s complement. This may be a repeating villain like Sydney in _Vagrant Story_, a half-remembered childhood girlfriend like in _Harvest Moon - Back To Nature_, or may be the second playable character like in _Wild Arms_. Often this character is split into two, one male and one female, so that one can be assigned the friend/brother aspects and the other can be assigned the romantic aspects. And now, the forum game! ^_^ Come up with a game design that gives the player the opportunity to shape the personalities or truly roleplay both the self-insertion protagonist and the ideal complement secondary protagonist or primary NPC. Use whatever techniques you want, but you must get the player to characterize these two characters within the game, and the game must them reflect/express the personalities the player has created. And a suggestion for the theme - imaginary friends are generally created by a mind in social isolation, either because they are outcaste from their society for some oddness about them; or because they have literally lost their society by means of plague, slaughter, or abandonment; or because a language/cultural barrier separates them from some adopted society. Pick one of these situations, drop our protagonist into it, give them an imaginary friend, and then start a plot sequence through which the two can be characterized. Go! ^_^

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
I might not have your idea exactly, but I''ll give it a shot.

Gamplay: Player controls two characters, switching back and forth.

Setting: modern medium-small town USA

Character 1: Gooney the Goth. Gooney wears black and pancake makeup, reads dreadful poetry, and doesn;t realize that Goths haven''t been fashionable in a decade. Gooney likes to be depressed. He has a Depression score, which goes up and down with the things he encounters or actions that he takes. Ex: reads Gloomy poetry, +5. Every (time interval) the player scores a number of points equal to Gooney''s depression score. But if Gooney gets too depressed, he kills himself, and hte game ends. So the player is stirving to surround Gooney with depressing stuff, but not too depressing.

Character 2: Perky the cheerleader. Perky is happy, really happy. She likes everything bright and cheery. She has a happy score, which works like Gooney''s depression score. While playing Perky, the player earns points for keeping her happy. If she gets too happy, she gets delusional - singing animals, skies awash with rainbows, followed soon thereafter by a trip to the looney bin.

This kicker is that the things that increase Perky''s happiness score are the same things that decrease Gooney''s depression score (and vice versa). So gameplay shifts back and forth between the characters and the player spends time making the surroundings eitehr bright and cheery or dark and gloomy, always trying to maximise his score.

The game probably needs a time limit too (something generous) to push the player to maximise the silly behavior of the two characters.

JSwing

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