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RuneLancer

Silver - a futuristic Action/Adventure game

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Just gathering some opinions on this. The game I have in mind is a futuristic action/adventure game somewhat like Super Metroid/Metroid Fusion or the Castlevania series on GBA (which are considerably different from the NES/SNES installements, mind you). However, the story will be less linear than the above games, will feature multiple playable characters, and will involve more than one large location through which the player wanders around. The actual details aren't too important, nor am I looking for an original concept. In fact, originality is the last thing I care about.
SCI ENCRYPTION -- THE BIRTH OF A NEW ERA The year is 2060 AD. In the past, various forms of encryption made use of prime numbers to generate "keys" which were considered theorically impossible to break. Given the complexity of the primes used in creating these keys, it was estimated that a few thousand years would be required to break the encryption using a computer. This form of encryption, called RSA, became highly populare and was used to encrypt practically anything: credit card numbers being transmitted across the internet, highly confidential data, basically any kind of data which required good protection. In the year 2035 AD, technology advanced so far ahead that RSA encryption became easily decryptable. Quantum computers, now readily available to any home user, had the power to crack even the most complex RSA key in a matter of hours. More complex keys were generated but technology progressed too fast and anyone could program a simple brute-force decryption program to bypass any form of encryption. Technological anarchy began to spread. In roughly 2040 AD, a solution had been found. Tentively called SCI encryption (Self-Contained Iterative), the algorithm involved applying a highly complicated transformation on every byte of the encrypted data which depended on every single byte preceding it. The complexity of such an algorithm outgrew even the processing power of quantum computers and hacking became a much more difficult process. Still, no data was ever truly safe. A new wave of services began to sweep the world. Companies providing secure data protection began to sprout all over the world. Often, these companies would go to great lenghts to protect their data. Others would go to even greater lenghts to get their hands on it. --- CURRENT MILITARY HAPPENINGS A new branch of technology was opened in early 2010: biotechnology. It was only a matter of time before it would happen as various technologies using biology as backbone had already begun appearing in early 2000. With advances in robotics, primitive cyborgs and computerized systems using biological neural networks were no longer out of reach. Various advances in this new domaine gave rise to a very controversial domaine in early 2050: bioengineering. Bioengineering is the science through which fully biological entities are created artificially. Many would call it "playing god." The military gained quite an interest in these technologies. Biotechnology was used very early on to create mechanical soldiers who would be expandable during warfare. Weapons guided by rational thought through the use of biological neural networks were also quite populare. As soon as bioengineering made its appearance, the military began providing very suspicious amounts of funding to ressearchers working in that field. --- DENUO SATOR, THE NEW RELIGION Early in the 21st century, it became obvious that religion was no longer of any importance in people's daily lives. It soon vanished nearly entirely. Very few people cared about spirituality and churches were soon a thing of the past. Many prenounced god to be dead. In 2042 AD, an organization was formed. The purpose of the Denuo Sator cult was to bring back religion from the dead, so to speak. The movement caught the interest of many and it grew from sect to religion. The only religion in the world. Satorians believe that it is their raison-d'être to bring about god's resurection. Literally. They believe that god has not turned his back from mankind, but rather that mankind turned its back from him in its arrogance. Without the faith of his children, god is no more. Many satorians have a very low view of mankind as a whole, including themselves, for having brought about god's death. They feel that the only way to redeem themselves is to breath life into god once again. There are many dark rumors surrounding Denuo Sator. Cases of satorians attacking "non-believers" out of hate for killing god are not unheard of. Murders are, regretfully, also recorded occurences. The truly dark rumors, however, are not of murder but of chilling tales linking them with bioengineering. --- ETHAN SILVER Born under the name "Marc Akkis" in a wealthy family, Ethan is the son of a high-placed executive in a data protection company. At age 5, his mother was violently assassinated. His father told him that she had been ill and passed away but Ethan knew better. Even at such a young age, he understood that his family's wealth was not obtained solely from his father's job. He knew better than to probe his old man for a more satisfactory explanation. With his mother gone and his father working, Marc took an interest to computers to fill the loneliness in his life. He quickly became a natural adept at programming, moving on to very advanced programming languages as early as age 10. Most of his time was spent programming games, which he lost interest in as soon as he was done the actual programming phase. Needless to say, his father was very proud of him. His father would have probably been less proud had he known the entire truth. Ethan was slowly becoming an accomplished hacker. His handle, "Ethan_Silver," grew in importance in certain closed hacker circles. During his teenage years, Ethan dyed his hair silver and began to respond to "Marc" much less frequently than to "Ethan." When his father learned of his skills as a hacker, much to Ethan's surprise, he hired him. His task was simple: to gain access to a rival data protection company and to obtain information on some of the software being worked on there. Unfortunatly, what appeared to be a simple hack job turned into a nightmare as Ethan fell into a trap: before he could even begin cracking the password, his connection was traced and he was found out. He pulled the plug on his connection instantly but it was already too late. His father never came home that night. Nor the night after. Ethan received an email from him telling him, in very brief terms, to leave the house as soon as possible. No other explanation was offered. A few days later, his house was the target of arson and nothing was left. He couldn't even get in touch with his father. With his entire family possibly dead and his house destroyed, Ethan left, leaving the name "Marc" behind once and for all. Ethan spent the next few years looking for answers. He feels only his father can explain what happened, and why it did. Official records state that his father is dead, yet his own records say the same...
Opinions? This is just a quick draft. Edit: Little detail I forgot to mention, though it should be a bit obvious. Ethan is the game's main character. And a little bit of trivia; Denuo Sator is latin. Woot. [edited by - RuneLancer on March 28, 2004 10:32:05 AM]

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If you are going to distribute it you may have to change the name, Silver already exists ( rpg game )

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I might distribute it, but not commercially (though the thought is one I could have a few private fantasies about I wiiiish!) So wether there''s an other game with the same name or not is something I''m not concerned with at the moment.

This whole thing was dredged up this morning after pulling an all-nighter to do nothing in particular other than mess around on my PC, so it''s still a work in progress and the title is not definit yet.

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How on earth are you planning to combine that story with super metroid style gameplay, which IIRC is arcade-like with no NPCs and few cut-scenes?

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I''m just that damn good, sunandshadow.

Seriously, I said the game is somewhat like Super Metroid in that it handles the same way. However, instead of halting the player''s progress through the use of obstacles that can only be passed via items (for instance, a large gap which requires that beam that lets you hang onto things to cross, or doors that can only be opened by super missles), the storyline will provide these restrictions.

The game world will consist of a number of areas which will be linked via a sorta-world map (think Parasite Eve; not an actual map so much as a map-like menu). Certain areas, for instance, a military base, will be unaccessible solely because the playable characters are not aware of its location (yet). Others, or regions within others, will require the storyline to progress. For instance, after gaining person x''s trust, the player is given a key to the lower region of a lab or something.

Yeah, Super Metroid was arcade-like and with next to no in-game story as such. My game''s just like that, only it has a story. No big issue; it adds a different level of depth to the game. Mind you, Metroid Fusion more or less did it, unlike Super Metroid, and provided an NPC via a computer which gave you mission briefings. There was also some story developement through it, particularly near the last third of the game.

The Castlevania series on GBA introduced a style of gaming quite similare to this and provided a number of NPCs which moved the story along. In CotM, for instance, you''d usually end up meeting an NPC before and/or after a boss battle. In AoS, you could frequently go back and talk to NPCs, even buy stuff from one of them.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Are you looking to collaborate on the story end? I''m a writer trying to break into the gaming industry. I think the story is good, but some sections could benefit from some outside voices. I especially like the idea concerning the corporations data privacy services, this could open up numerous pathways. What I''m not too excited about is the New Religion and the biotechnology. Granted, genetic engineering and cyborgs are on the horizon and perhaps (from a certain point of view) already here, but wouldn''t they better serve the government as behind the scenes operatives, where the public is never really given a chance to see the realization of their dreams and nightmares, knowing that the very threat and mystery of such information produces a passive, inactive, routinized animal?

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Are you looking to collaborate on the story end? I''m a writer trying to break into the gaming industry. I think the story is good, but some sections could benefit from some outside voices. I especially like the idea concerning the corporations data privacy services, this could open up numerous pathways. What I''m not too excited about is the New Religion and the biotechnology. Granted, genetic engineering and cyborgs are on the horizon and perhaps (from a certain point of view) already here, but wouldn''t they better serve the government as behind the scenes operatives, where the public is never really given a chance to see the realization of their dreams and nightmares, knowing that the very threat and mystery of such information produces a passive, inactive, routinized animal?

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Sorry, I''m just looking for opinions on what I''ve got. This is a personal project, hence the reason why I''m only considering releasing it once it''s done.

The technology mentionned is not public domaine, other than for household uses (for instance, the cliché cleaning robot). Don''t forget that this is over 50 years in the future, where such a thing will probably be commonplace (and IS commonplace in the game world). Much of the stuff described in my outline is behind-the-scenes things heard from by Mr. Everybody via news reports ("Sensational breakthrough in the field of bioengineering: man can now clone a spoon!") and leaked insider info. The latter being common as well, what with the rise in technological anarchy and the need for data-protection agencies.

Should be noted that there is a reason why Denuo Sator has (or at least, is rumored to have) access of sorts to this technology, but that''s beyond the scope of what I''m presenting and would involve revealing spoilers. Just don''t worry too much about that aspect.

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I've decided to go through with the current story I have and started work on this game. So far, so good. In two days' worth of programming, I have...

  1. A fully-working music engine. Well, DirectMusic. Not like that's a lot of work or anything...

  2. A fully-working font engine wrapped up neatly into a label class. The font isn't monospaced, though I'm not 100% sure I like what I came up with (8x8 is a little small; any suggestions on a decent font size for a 640x480 game? I was thinking 16x16 or something less standard like 12x12..)

  3. A working titlescreen. The words "Press Enter!" blink in the center of the screen and after ~30 seconds it shows a prologue that sums up what I posted in my first post very loosely; just text at the moment though.

  4. A scripting engine in the works. I started that this morning. I figure it'll be easier to manage stuff like the aforementionned prologue/demo if I have it stuffed in a script instead of being hard-coded in my game.

I'd say it's a pretty good start...



[edited by - RuneLancer on March 31, 2004 11:05:38 AM]

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Looking good, RuneLancer! Are the letters in "Silver" animated? It looks like it would have a neat sort of volumetric lighting effect...

Anyway, it''s great to see a degree of execution on this. It''s a good idea. Keep it up.

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Unfortunatly, it''s a static image. However, I thought about animating it (having some sort of light-ray effect filtering through the red text to make the grey text would be pretty damn nice) but I plan on focusing on the actual game first.

My current preoccupation is the script engine; once I get that prologue bit automated solely by an externally-loaded script instead of hard-coded states, I''ll be ready to start working on the actual game engine. I''m hoping for something playable (ie, moving around and doing stuff; not an actual game yet..) within two weeks. But then again, I never meet my deadlines.

By the way, this is going to be a 2D game, SNES-kinda quality. I never quite liked 3D. Hope that won''t disappoint anyone (though I might end up relying on a 3D API in the end to benefit from hardware acceleration for stuff such as translucency or rotations).

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