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sunandshadow

RPing -> Writing

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Okay, probably most of you are aware that tabletop RPGs often spawn fantasy novels written by the players about the adventures the characters had during the campaign. Often these are awful books, and a common denegriating comment heard about them is, "You can practically hear the dice rolling in the background." If you're into fanfiction you may also know that people also do fan RPing, usually online and diceless, and the posts and/or chat scripts that make up these games sometimes get edited into fanfiction. Similarly again, people who are into improv acting may record improv sessions and mine them later for ideas for play scripts. So, we've established that instead of the usual turning fiction into games that we do here, it can also be done the other way around, turning games into fiction. Now, the thing is that what makes a good game often does not make a good story or vice versa. We as game writers either have to learn to write the way a game plays, or we have to write fiction and then hack at it until it becomes game-shaped. So, here's a new idea: What if we tried writing a game script by RPing it? Anyone interested in trying this out to see how it works? The idea being that content we generated by RPing would be much more naturally suited to being turned into a game than regular fiction, but in the editing step to turn the RP materials into a game script we could add that coherence and polish that would make it good writing. Who wants to try? Shall we try with the AI Love Game, with my romance game design (Or are you writing that now, Boolean? Don't want to step on your toes...), or do you have another suggestion? [edited by - sunandshadow on March 24, 2004 12:56:27 AM]

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Its been my opinion that these online RPs never turn out very well, but if you want to give it a try, I would be willing to give it a try all though a framework would have to be established first, the game would have to be decided, people would have to pick characters and some game rules would need to be decided.

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

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quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Shall we try with the AI Love Game, with my romance game design (Or are you writing that now, Boolean? Don''t want to step on your toes...), or do you have another suggestion?


mmmm, I dunno. Im just a little worried someone might post a plot twist that I had by luck, or something like that.

I think the idea of this Online RP sounds like a good idea though. Ill try and come up with some settings and rules tommorow when I have some more time if you like (in between the AI love story project!)

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quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
So, here''s a new idea: What if we tried writing a game script by RPing it? Anyone interested in trying this out to see how it works? The idea being that content we generated by RPing would be much more naturally suited to being turned into a game than regular fiction, but in the editing step to turn the RP materials into a game script we could add that coherence and polish that would make it good writing.



It''s my personal opinion that this will not work. I mean this in no offense to you, Sunandshadow, but I really don''t think you can leave a good story up to a group of different people. They''d each want to come from their own genre with different ideas about what they want to do and so on.

I roleplayed on AOL for about five years and I''ve been roleplaying on Yahoo! anytime I get the random urge since then. For one, I think most public chatroom RPG''s have gone to hell. They''re too many people who just don''t know to play in the chatrooms. If you put out a call to the public about starting a chatroom RPG which will be used to write a script, you''ll get a bunch of these people.

Then, you have the diversity of the people who RP nowadays. If you open a chatroom, you''re likely to get a gambit of character types, i.e. dragons, samurai, slaves, anthros, aliens, et cetera. You have the problem of names, where one person will want to have a Greco-Roman name, another will have a German name, another will have a Japanese name, and another will have a made up name, and I don''t think they''d mesh well together.

I don''t want to dissuade you from RP''ing in chatrooms though. It''s just very hard to have some organization to it. I''ve tried before. You could still get ideas from it. For instance, I once printed off a session of roleplaying so I could keep it as reference. You could go into a chatroom, observe other characters, interact a little. If you like a certain character, you can change it around a little bit and make it your own. Lastly, Google "RhyDin" and see what shows up.

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Okay, I have some ideas for rules, which would hopefully get rid of some of the problems OrionX103 is predicting.

(This is how I would set it up for my game design which has an avatar whose personality is determined by the player; naturally it would be a little different for the AI love game which has predetermined main characters.)

How the gameplay would be: You start out as an adult human. Technologically or magically superior aliens have a first contact with the humans. The aliens determine that you have some sort of power that they don''t want to be in the hands of any species but their own. They kidnap you. To make you easier to control and loyal to them rather than your birth species, they turn you into a child of their species and put you into a school for people with these sort of powers. This is very disorienting as you might imagine. Now the game starts - you have to grow up and choose whether to stay true to your roots or go native, take your revenge or cooperate with the aliens'' project...

And the alien species you have become has some interesting abilities you must master if you want to have any power within their society. I was thinking they would be the genetic vampire shapeshifters like in the GTW! design, although I''m open to other suggestions if anyone has one.

(For those not in the know: the genetic vampire shapeshifters are a race of people like the evolving animal in the game _E.V.O.: The Search For Eden_. They acquire bits of dna and use these to modify themselves similarly to adding new modules to a modular weapon. A fun twist on the usual RPG equippage - your teeth and claws are your swords, your skin is your armor, etc.)

Oh, and this might be a species where the children are born genderless and become a gender at puberty - might make for interesting repeat gameplay if different options open up depending on which gender you choose.

How the RPing would work: First, every player wouls have to use their best writing skills in their role playing and agree that the writing they produced would be available for modification and use in the resulting game. The actual RPing would begin with each player would having their own human-turned alien character (although there would be only one in the actual game). Every player would be free to create alien NPCs and make them do and say things. People would have to ask permission to make anything drastic happen to anyone else''s NPC. The setting would at first be an alien school for children with these powers, and RPing would have to take place there until the players could think of a reasonable way to leave the school and explore more of the game setting.

I would act as moderator by providing inspiration posts and settiling questions about the worldbuilding. When everybody got tired of RPing I would then collect the posts and edit them to create a variety of in-game options for the plot and character interaction to take, of course editing them to make them fit together coherently, be well written, and probably use a smaller cast of more well developed NPCs. I would probably add material at this phase too.

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Sun: I'm basically going to tell you how I'd do this, based on what you've presented here.

quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
How the gameplay would be: You start out as an adult human. Technologically or magically superior aliens have a first contact with the humans.



Technologically.

quote:

The aliens determine that you have some sort of power that they don't want to be in the hands of any species but their own. They kidnap you. To make you easier to control and loyal to them rather than your birth species, they turn you into a child of their species and put you into a school for people with these sort of powers. This is very disorienting as you might imagine. Now the game starts - you have to grow up and choose whether to stay true to your roots or go native, take your revenge or cooperate with the aliens' project...



This is all very iffy to me. Personally, I wouldn't go with this storyline. Challenge me-- make it work.

quote:

And the alien species you have become has some interesting abilities you must master if you want to have any power within their society. I was thinking they would be the genetic vampire shapeshifters like in the GTW! design, although I'm open to other suggestions if anyone has one.

(For those not in the know: the genetic vampire shapeshifters are a race of people like the evolving animal in the game _E.V.O.: The Search For Eden_. They acquire bits of dna and use these to modify themselves similarly to adding new modules to a modular weapon. A fun twist on the usual RPG equippage - your teeth and claws are your swords, your skin is your armor, etc.)



I just thought of this. If one of these vamps were to modify themselves with too much DNA, they wouldn't be able to reproduce, unless they did so asexually. You should know this part: Animals that are too different cannot procreate because of the difference in their DNA and genes. By convincing the races that the more DNA they have in their system, the more powerful they can be, you could essentially cause their downfall by making them all sterile.

Also, I have more vamp-draks for you. Remind me to e-mail you them sometime soon.

quote:

Oh, and this might be a species where the children are born genderless and become a gender at puberty - might make for interesting repeat gameplay if different options open up depending on which gender you choose.



Post-Pubescent boy: "Hey, umm... I know I'm a little older than you but I was wondering if you'd like to go steady. WHAT?! YOU'RE A GUY?!"

quote:

How the RPing would work: First, every player wouls have to use their best writing skills in their role playing and agree that the writing they produced would be available for modification and use in the resulting game.



Before anyone else started, I'd write out say, three races. For all intents and purposes, the races will be the Tauri, the Shiva, and the Vishnu. We human are the Tauri, inhabitants of the Milky Way galaxy. The Shiva are the genetic vamps, a race of technologically superior shifters who want to enslave the Tauri for whatever reason. The Vishnu are another technologically superior race who want to help the Tauri in return for something. I dunno, maybe their race is dying out and they'd like to use humans to continue they're race somehow.

(Wow, I just realized the parallels between these three races and the SGC, Goa'uld, and the Asgard. Sheesh. Wasn't completely intentional, but it works for now.)

Players would then have the ability chose between being a normal human, a human that's been changed to an adolescent Shiva, a human that's been trained with or altered by Vishnu technology, a normal Shivan, a renegade Shivan (working for the Tauri), or a Vishnu.

(More parallels. Also, you could make a nifty RTS out of this using the campaign editor on Starcraft or Brood War.)

quote:

The setting would at first be an alien school for children with these powers, and RPing would have to take place there until the players could think of a reasonable way to leave the school and explore more of the game setting.



Wouldn't do this, either. I don't really see a superior race putting captives into schools .

quote:

I would act as moderator by providing inspiration posts and settiling questions about the worldbuilding. When everybody got tired of RPing I would then collect the posts and edit them to create a variety of in-game options for the plot and character interaction to take, of course editing them to make them fit together coherently, be well written, and probably use a smaller cast of more well developed NPCs. I would probably add material at this phase too.


This could actually take a lot of work, just going through the posts and editing and such. Plus, a lot of people may want credit for this, and I'm not sure if you would be obligated to give it to them. It's really not that big 'a deal, I guess.

[edited by - orionx103 on March 23, 2004 2:12:35 PM]

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quote:
Original post by orionx103
Sun: I''m basically going to tell you how I''d do this, based on what you''ve presented here.

quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
The aliens determine that you have some sort of power that they don''t want to be in the hands of any species but their own. They kidnap you. To make you easier to control and loyal to them rather than your birth species, they turn you into a child of their species and put you into a school for people with these sort of powers. This is very disorienting as you might imagine. Now the game starts - you have to grow up and choose whether to stay true to your roots or go native, take your revenge or cooperate with the aliens'' project...



This is all very iffy to me. Personally, I wouldn''t go with this storyline. Challenge me-- make it work.



Well of course you wouldn''t, it''s not your style at all. The reason I chose this is simply to get a human into an alien culture, in a body with alien abilities, neither of which they have any knowledge of, so they have to learn it all as they go along. A school is a small contained area that could reasonably contain tutorials on how to do things, and thus provides a good setting for the first level of the game. I want the human to have been kidnapped because this frees the character to decide how they feel about the situation - if I had made the human willingly become an alien you would expect the human to be more knowledgable about the alien culture and at least somewhat pleased to be there. There''s nothing essentially important or unique about the setup, but it''s extremely functional for how I want the game to work. The unique and fascinating stuff can be in the details of the aliens'' worldbuilding and the plot options. If, however, you have a better idea that will accomplish all the same things, by all means tell me about it.


quote:

quote:

And the alien species you have become has some interesting abilities you must master if you want to have any power within their society. I was thinking they would be the genetic vampire shapeshifters like in the GTW! design, although I''m open to other suggestions if anyone has one.

(For those not in the know: the genetic vampire shapeshifters are a race of people like the evolving animal in the game _E.V.O.: The Search For Eden_. They acquire bits of dna and use these to modify themselves similarly to adding new modules to a modular weapon. A fun twist on the usual RPG equippage - your teeth and claws are your swords, your skin is your armor, etc.)



I just thought of this. If one of these vamps were to modify themselves with too much DNA, they wouldn''t be able to reproduce, unless they did so asexually. You should know this part: Animals that are too different cannot procreate because of the difference in their DNA and genes. By convincing the races that the more DNA they have in their system, the more powerful they can be, you could essentially cause their downfall by making them all sterile.

Also, I have more vamp-draks for you. Remind me to e-mail you them sometime soon.



That would be the case except they can just as easily un-modify themselves long enough to breed. I wanted to suggest instead that the problem with vampirism was the fact that a lot of the animal species that were the original sources of this DNA are now extinct or nearly so. Not because I want to be a treehugger about it, but because I think the idea that a sentient species as it develops will naturally kind of ''consume'' their birth world, and it has interesting philosophical implications that the intelligent species may destroy the inconvenient reality of the thing, yet it doesn''t truly die because it is contained withing the intelligent species itself - in it''s history, culture, and even it''s very blood. Hope that didn''t sound too mystical... >.<

quote:

quote:

Oh, and this might be a species where the children are born genderless and become a gender at puberty - might make for interesting repeat gameplay if different options open up depending on which gender you choose.



Post-Pubescent boy: "Hey, umm... I know I''m a little older than you but I was wondering if you''d like to go steady. WHAT?! YOU''RE A GUY?!"



Exaaaactly! *Evil Grin*


quote:

quote:

How the RPing would work: First, every player wouls have to use their best writing skills in their role playing and agree that the writing they produced would be available for modification and use in the resulting game.



Before anyone else started, I''d write out say, three races. For all intents and purposes, the races will be the Tauri, the Shiva, and the Vishnu. We human are the Tauri, inhabitants of the Milky Way galaxy. The Shiva are the genetic vamps, a race of technologically superior shifters who want to enslave the Tauri for whatever reason. The Vishnu are another technologically superior race who want to help the Tauri in return for something. I dunno, maybe their race is dying out and they''d like to use humans to continue they''re race somehow.

(Wow, I just realized the parallels between these three races and the SGC, Goa''uld, and the Asgard. Sheesh. Wasn''t completely intentional, but it works for now.)

Players would then have the ability chose between being a normal human, a human that''s been changed to an adolescent Shiva, a human that''s been trained with or altered by Vishnu technology, a normal Shivan, a renegade Shivan (working for the Tauri), or a Vishnu.



Ick, why? Allowing the player to choose their race would totally complicate the writing, and what''s the point of having another race anyway? Maybe it''s just my personal bias - I hate RPGs with races. The more races there are the more shallowly each seems to be developed. I think the current alien culture, the character''s human past, and the info about the aliens'' past that will be discovered throughout the game, is more than enough room to do interesting worldbuilding. Besides, with the shapeshifting the aliens are kind of a multitude of races anyway, at least in terms of appearance and related abilities.


quote:

quote:

The setting would at first be an alien school for children with these powers, and RPing would have to take place there until the players could think of a reasonable way to leave the school and explore more of the game setting.



Wouldn''t do this, either. I don''t really see a superior race putting captives into schools .




I don''t think you grasp the mindset of the aliens here. They''re the conquer-by-absorption type. Like the Borg or something - "Resistance is futile!" The special power (I really need to decide what this is >.< ) the main character has is like a rare resource too precious to be destroyed and requiring equcation to use. So the aliens capture the people with the ability and try to brainwash them into using the ability the way the aliens want it used.


quote:

quote:

I would act as moderator by providing inspiration posts and settiling questions about the worldbuilding. When everybody got tired of RPing I would then collect the posts and edit them to create a variety of in-game options for the plot and character interaction to take, of course editing them to make them fit together coherently, be well written, and probably use a smaller cast of more well developed NPCs. I would probably add material at this phase too.


This could actually take a lot of work, just going through the posts and editing and such. Plus, a lot of people may want credit for this, and I''m not sure if you would be obligated to give it to them. It''s really not that big ''a deal, I guess.



I don''t mind doing a lot of editing work - I considered making editing my carreer for a while. I rather enjoy editing actually. And I''d be happy to give all contributors credit.

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This sounds like it could be fun, though obviously it''s possible that it might not work out. Regardless, I''d like to participate, if only to flex my writing muscle on a storyline that''s not my own.

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Sun: I would suggest that the "power" possessed by the humans would be ESP and/or telekenisis, which the vamp-draks are unable to achieve due to...whatever reason you can think of that fits.

I was wondering, if you''re going to have "mediocre" characters, i.e. the humans transformed into aliens, you''ll need some above average characters, such as high-ranking people in either the alien or human cultures. Should I start writing on them? And do you think we''d actually use the dragons I sent you, or should they be shelved for a while?

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I really can't think of anything to do with those dragons - to me, they would be good art ideas, but poor writing ideas. And yes we will definitely need high-ranking alien NPCs, you can design some if you like. Teachers and government officials and whatnot.

[edited by - sunandshadow on March 24, 2004 4:03:02 PM]

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