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What's worth writing about?

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For those of you who write stories for games (or anything else), how do you decide what''s worth writing about? Once you decide on a project, what little tricks do you have to keep yourselves enthused?

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Though many people scoff at this, I actually try to put a deeper meaning in my game stories.

For instance, though not necessarily obvious on the surface, the game I am writing now comments on the selfishness and simplicity of human kind, and the delusions of grandeur anyone can suffer when they think they are achieving a goal.

On the surface, it''s just a kind of cool conspiracy-type adventure game, but the driving force is something much more interesting. This keeps me going, and it also helps the game world to fit together tightly and have it all make sense in the end.

So that''s my advice: Don''t just write a lame-ass cliche plot. Make it MEAN something, then you''ll stay interested.

Changing the face of adventure gaming...
Atypical Interactive

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Basically ideas pop in your head when you see/hear something cool. Then it becomes "wouldn''t it be cool if..." So basically you get hit with inspiration and then you decide how far you want to take it. You wabnt to stay enthused? Talk to people about it, get there ideas. Keep playing with the idea until your satisfied that''s what you want. Add, subtract, multiply ideas through out your concept. You''ll know when you are done.

"Happiness is a purple chickadee hanging upside-down in a lemon tree."

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Well, I usually get an idea from somewhere, and then I let it sit in my mind for a few weeks where I can think about it. After a while, I write down the core concept, and then work from there. One unfinished idea went like this:

A mage lord has trained a powerful apprentice. Somehow (I never got around to writing this), the apprentice becomes malicious and hateful. Eventually, he starts a civil war in the country, but before he can begin taking control, another Magewarrior thwarts his plan. The apprentice leaves, but the damage is done. The lords of the nation fight amongst themselves. The Magelord is exiled because he was blamed for all of it.
A few years later, someone from another realm (our realm) somehow is summoned to this mystical world, and he is saved during an attack on a city by the same person who thwarted the Apprentice's plan. The MC (Main Character, player) eventually meets the Magelord (nonlinear plot, he can choose to follow the Magewarrior to the Magelord, or go to a foresty elf town), and then begins a quest to resolve the conflict in the land.

The game ends when the MC has somehow found a way to unite the lords of the nation, and is then sent into his own world.

Part II
After resolving the original conflict, the MC is then summoned back after a few years, and finds that the Mage Tower is under siege by some of the tribes, and their leader is someone the the Magi called Archdeciever. This "siege" turns out to be part of a plan to subdue the Magi. You go again with the Magewarrior and a team of magi and warriors into different lands to seek the help of a Dragonlord, who is allied with the Magi. He would help you, but he seems to have problems of his own. You offer to help him, and find out that the Archdeceiver is actually working for the Apprentice.

I haven't written the plot after this, so excuse me...

Part III
This is the last part of the trilogy, and all the questions raised in the past two ones are resolved.

The Apprentice, finding that his plans were thwarted, leads an invasion of the nation himself. Over the past few years, he's become a Dark Avatar, and commands several dark warriors, and is pretty powerful.

The MC is summoned back into the land for the last time to help fight the war. Traveling to the land of the Amazons and beyond, he and a strike team fight off warriors all over the place, and discover that the Apprentice is building a war machine, and needs supplies from around the realm, and now the "strike team" must find many of these things themselves. Successfully thwarting the project, they go to the Dark Land to put an end to the Apprentice, only to find that the few parts that the Dark Warriors successfully recovered were used to build a teleporter, and all their journeys were meant simply to delay them from finding this out. The team goes into the teleporter and finds the Nation has been invaded, and they must now complete several missions to fix this. It includes finding some of the Lords to organize a rebellion, and bringing the Amazons into this. A war is fought, while the team and the Magelord go to the Mage Tower to fight the Apprentice. A final battle takes place, the team is sent out while the Magelord and Apprentice fight each other. The Apprentice then morphs into a Dragon, and attempts to eat the Magelord, but the Magelord plunges a weapon into the Apprentice (who is in Dragon Morph) and the dark energies start a chain reaction in the magical things in the Mage Tower. It crumbles and an explosion kills the two.

The story ends on a happy note, the MC and the Magewarrior help rebuild the land, and the MC returns to his world, while the Magewarrior (who is a second apprentice) becomes the new Magelord.



While that story may be full of holes, and somewhat crappy, keep in mind I never finished the design, though on second thought, maybe I should...

- DarkMage139
"Real game developers don't change the rules. Real game developers don't break the rules. Real game developers make the rules!"
"Originality (in games) is the spice of life!"

Edited by - DarkMage139 on June 28, 2000 6:47:19 PM

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Well Now,

If it''s my Sci-Fi story I''ll watch Blade Runner
and a few other Sci Flicks and go through my
old journals after a day or two of scribbling
down all of that I sift out the good ideas.
It''s strange some people say but I can''t help
it it''s just me.


Mega Moh Mine!!

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Perhaps pretend that it is clichéd, but have some twists. The player is more likely to think if they are fooled into a false sense of security... ie. they -thought- they knew what it was all about, but discover that they didn''t...

One very basic example: King says "Go kill this wizard, he''s holding XXX hostage". Yet, when you get there, you find out that the wizard is actually exiled because he knows about the King''s corrupt dealings, and then you have a completely new goal... etc...

A twist is usually much more fun than something way out from the start.

Also, consider real-world analogies. They make people think too.

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