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I need someone to expand my idea....

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Ok, I''m doing a lil text adventure game ala Zork. I have no idea what kind of story to have though, ive almost wrote the whole game engine itself to pretty much mimic the original zork game (with some add-ons to make mine a little orgininal). So far all I have storyline wise is that a guy wakes up in the middle of a clearing without any memory of how he got there, and thers a forrest surrounding him.... any additions to this would be greatly appreciated!! (hell just shred up other games and mix them together if you want)

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I''m afraid I''m not particularly familiar with Zork, but...

I guess the biggie here is ''Why the hell am I in a forest?''

So you''re going to look around... Try to walk into the forest... Good place to find
A) A wrecked ship/car/thing
B) A powerful mage
C) Something that''s chasing you...
D) About a million other things that are kindof random and forest-specific, just for the hell of it...

I guess you could have either wrecked, been dropped off, gotten lost and knocked unconscious, been mind-wiped, or stuck in a game. I like the last one...

You could have gotten marooned here, or whatever, and you (after walking through the forest a little ways) meet this guy who you talk to. He tells you he''ll let you off the island iff you can stay alive for, say, 24 hours. You get maybe a one-hour head start and a knife. And he has a dog to help find you. So if you can survive (or kill him), you can go to his house-thing and get in the boat and leave.

Maybe twenty, thirty minutes spent wandering around, realizing you''re on an island, finding random things in the forest. You get to his house, spend maybe ten minutes there looking at weird weapons and other odd devices that would belong to a weirdo who lives on an island and does this kind of stuff. Then a few minutes talking to him, getting everything explained to you. Then most of the rest of the game avoiding him and getting through specific events and setting a trap for the blasted dog. Then at the end you have to either find him (if he is alive) or getting back to the house. Maybe throw in a surprise at the end (lemme think... You CAN''T get off... and you end up like him? Or maybe not).

Well, I would play it. If you like it, I''m sure I could come up with some specific events and things to go along with it.

(red eye)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
lets see here does this remind me a little of JOHN DOE the tv show?He wakes up in the forest not knowing how he got there and some how manages his way to become a cop chasing someone to find out he is a victim. seems familiar to your game idea. no disrepect but i think you need to change the whole forest thing and go with something like being chained up in a cabin and some one walks in asking you all these questions about something that the whole character doesnt even know.Some how the main character gets away ( this is up to you ). See this changes the whole forest thing. Just one minor detail the cabin. Any other questions or ideas post here okay then good luck and all.

jumping lizard


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you want weird "start situations" ? you guys have got to watch _Memento_!
Just to let you know, the hero in this movie has no long term memory anymore : he cant create new memories. Anything that interrupts the current action makes him forget what happened in the previous mninutes altogether.
The movie plays massively on this, but to show the spectator how disorientating this would be, the movie''s chronology is cross / reversed, starting with the end, kind of... it''s really hard to explain how nicely it''s done.
The point is, some of the predicaments the hero ends up in are absolutely cool.

For instance, at some point he "wakes up" to find himself running up a street, with someone else on the other side running as well. So he assumes he is pursuing the guy... until the man shoots at him "ah no, running away from him" he says.
Freaking hilarious, because you as the spectator are discovering this as well.

Anyway, just my two cents if you want some inspiration for more original starting predicaments.

Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

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memento is one great movie


given only that less information it''s more like inventing a story by oneself...

IMHO going the other way around in developing a story is way better: starting with the philosophical (or any other main intention) background and then developing the actual setting, characters, etc

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Sounds like a case of white room syndrome. From the Turkey City Lexicon:

White Room Syndrome

A clear and common sign of the failure of the author''s imagination, most often seen at the beginning of a story, before the setting, background, or characters have gelled. "She awoke in a white room." The ''white room'' is a featureless set for which details have yet to be invented -- a failure of invention by the author. The character ''wakes'' in order to begin a fresh train of thought -- again, just like the author. This ''white room'' opening is generally followed by much earnest pondering of circumstances and useless exposition; all of which can be cut, painlessly.

It remains to be seen whether the "white room" cliche'' will fade from use now that most authors confront glowing screens rather than blank white paper.

In this case, substitute ''generic clearing'' for ''white room''.

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You could do a thing where he gradually learns more and more about who he is and where he came from.

I wrote a mod for Planets: TEOS back in the day about a robot who forgot his mission. You went around trying to piece everything back together. Then Square stole my idea in Saga Frontier. Ha - I've never forgiven them for that.

-- Steve --
Blue Fang Games

[edited by - spg on May 30, 2003 10:46:12 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
oh dear... and why did you write a whole engine when there are very nice free ones available? well, if you want to...

Anyway, I hope you''ve been to the IF Archive and seen what the current state-of-the-art in text adventure is all about.

Most people will groan in horror at yet-another-amnesia-story - even a really good amnesia story. (I did an unusual one that won a contest, and *still* every review started with "I hate amnesia stories."

If I were you, I would back up, start over, come up with a whole story (that does NOT involve amnesia) and get it worked out in your head before you go back to programming it.

(Other Somewhat Overdone things in the Text Adventure genre:

A game set in your house or your relative''s house
A game set in your workplace
A game so intentionally surreal that even the author doesn''t know what the point of it is)

Now, if you scrap the amnesia, a robot crash-landing in a forest could be a good concept. Imagine a technological being that is used to an incredibly sterile and controlled environment, suddenly trapped in a place full of DIRT and BUGS. It''s fascinating and horrifying all at once. Everything''s so much more detailed than the flat metal surfaces of the ship''s interior... so many textures and colors... everything keeps moving (branches wave, animals rustle around)

This can give you a lot to work with from a writing perspective. From a design perspective, of course, being a robot gives you lots of tools to play with to solve puzzles. Of course, you''ll have to be careful not to set the entire forest on fire.

(I still would suggest that you look at some of the well-developed frreeware engines like Inform or Tads - I prefer Tads, it''s very c++ where inform is supposedly very Lisp, which I do not speak - rather than kill yourself trying to build your own engine, which is unlikely to be as robust. But anyway. Don''t forget the yearly IF Competition, if you can get done in time - www.ifcomp.org)

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