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boolean

Really really stuck on a story section!

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Ive been stuck on this one section of this damn plot for weeks now. I came up with a few ideas, but no-one liked them. Please help me think of what could happend next. +++Basic Outline+++ 1. Tutorial on how to play the game – Slow part 2. Must escape a lab – Fast part 3. End up waking up on beach scene. Meet other main character – Slow part 4. Must quickly escape from the security after you – Fast part 5. Arrive in a safe zone. Meet a group that don’t really like you – Slow part 6. ????? - Fast part 7. Arrive (escape?) in a safe zone that no-one knows about - Slow part This is where im stuck. I was going to have it so that the group wants you to go on a mission with them, but it really puts a halt on the pace of the game. Also, I am a bit wary about having another escape scene. I really dont know what I could do for this step that still keeps the pace going to step 7 without getting repetitive. *Sigh* This is probably so vauge im more or less thinking out loud.

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Well, depending on the nature of this safe zone, you might want to have it attacked by the pursuing forces, have the player help defend it, Seven Samurai-style, and then, when the player is about ready to choose the most valient available death, have someone pull him through an escape tunnel/portal/whatever to the secret safe area. Like this:

You show up in Safe Zone Bravo (SZB), and the Bravites immediately give you a hard time. Not only are you unpopular, but the pursuing security dudes are now a threat to the secrecy and security of SZB. They give you a hard time, and then the loudspeaker announces that security goons are approaching en masse. Shouting curses at you, the Bravites flee or prepare their meager defenses.

Feeling bad, you pick up a weapon and get ready to cut loose with some badass player-avatar-fu. As each line of defense falls, and the Bravites retreat ever deeper into SZB, you distinguish yourself time and time again by standing bravely, doing colossal damage to the encroaching forces, and being the last to retreat. In the end, it seems clear that SZB must fall, and you duck into the bunker to make your apologies and get a new weapon before your blaze of glory, only to discover that the bunker is in fact some sort of fancy escape pod. For your valor, you''re given a spot on the pod, and the surviving population of SZB, with you, zips of to Safe Zone Charlie.

Or something like that. If you don''t want to reconcile the player with the Bravites, you can just have them bring you along for some other reason, or cut out the fighting and have your guy working like a choplifter/fireman to get people into the safe zone while security forces shell it with artillery or something.

Generally, you''ve done enough running away, so unless your character absolutely has to wuss out every time something happens, I think he should stand and fight, or at least do something in the safe zone this time. The actual travelling can take place in a cut-scene or as part of the slow part.

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This remeinds me of the episode of south park with the underpants gnomes.

Their plan was this:
step 1 - collect underpants
step 2 - ?
step 3 - Profit

as you can see step 2 was the most imporant part yet no one knew what it was suppose to be, the same goes for your plot. It is pretty vague you have a couple of escape scenes and some talking scenes.


Maybe you could have some kind of moving battle? The main character is on a train or plane traveling to the safty zone. You have to defeat them all before the vechile gets to close to the safty zone or else it won''t be safe anymore.

-----------------------------------------------------
"Fate and Destiny only give you the opportunity the rest you have to do on your own."
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

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I''m not sure if you just didn''t include this or not, but after all that running around and fighting a basic reward would be good here...weapon upgrade/new spell/something (you didn''t really cue us in to genre or anything =) but I think I understand why).

Also after action some backstory might not be bad too. Not on tha character(s) you want to keep mysterious of course, but on minor plot driver - the one that leads them to the beginning of the main story.

Again, hard to come up with suggestions with such a limited amount of info, but I hope this little bit helps. Good luck.

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it does seem rather vague. if you can find the time, could you post a hypothetical scenario that these events are taking place in? it would be helpful for understanding things on our side.

is it sci fi?
is it an rpg?
what are the chracters involved?

that aside, i am interested in the story model. it reminds me of metroid fusion for having a similar model.

btw: the tutorial doesn't have to be a slow part. just something to think about.

[edited by - chokki on May 18, 2004 5:25:58 PM]

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WOW.

Thanks for the replys guys. I really appreciate it.

When I posted this, I wasnt expecting any real replies, but to not only get 1+ replies, but some with REALLY good suggestions blew me away.

Thanks again! (also to whom ever bulldog may be!)

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The story so far seems to be just mostly running away from something... go here, then run here, meet here, run here, find so-and-so, run again. A change of pace would be great, and my suggestion for step 6 goes something along the following:

The character has finally made it out of harms way from those nasty lab men and escaped the clutches of the Bay Watch patrol (steps 3 and 4), and now has a moment to breath.

Upon meeting his new contact, he finds out a bit of information on those people that were just chasing him and why; he's informed that they have some evil plot or whatever. Anyhow, now that he knows this, he convinces himself that he has to go back and fight them in order to save someone or something. With that in mind, he's told where he can meet another guy who has the low-down on some local "goods," and could supply the character with some arms, for a price.

So, that's basically your next safety zone in this context, to go and see a guy with a lot of guns. "The hunter becomes the hunted," or whatever, because now the player will be chasing down the people that were just after him. Reversal of roles, to better put it, and it easily leads into step 7.

[edited by - omega147 on May 19, 2004 3:11:08 PM]

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hm, yeah, it is pretty linear, now that i think about it. if the plot is good it will over come that nasty little detail, though. use caution when setting up transistions between various scenes. if the player finds himself moving from a UFO to ancient egypt, he might be thinking WTF?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
YOu don''t have a story... You have an outline for a plot..
Try fleshing the characters out and the world. Why should the main character escape? Ask questions.. Put yourself in that situation.

Additionally, take care of yourself. Eat breakfast and think about the plot right before you go to sleep. Have a notebook right beside you. Write whatever comes into your mind. excersie. Read books. meet friends. These are some general tips that writers give when they are stuck..

-NG-

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@ Omega147: Thanks for the input. I like the idea of ''hunter/hunted'' thing. Sounds really cool. (the player might be like ''oh yeah, now we get too kick some ass! )


@ AP and Chokki: Thanks guys.

Dont worry, there is a lot more story than what I posted. That was just a basic outline of what I have written so far. I tried to avoid posting all 20 pages(now THAT would be a post), and tried to give a diet version of the story. Unfortunanly I didnt really explain that too well

quote:

Additionally, take care of yourself. Eat breakfast and think about the plot right before you go to sleep. Have a notebook right beside you. Write whatever comes into your mind. excersie. Read books. meet friends. These are some general tips that writers give when they are stuck.



Really good advice. Im tempted to make it my new sig!

Thanks again to everyone who has posted so far.

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Reading your problem, i thought about one idea i use sometimes when i''m totally stuck : Repeat the main action(s) but from a different point of view.

In your example : multiple escape is the main action.

So, why not take the decision of doing a runaway escape on 6/7 chapters BUT (and that''s how you can put some changes in your action storyline) the attackers are changing their plans :
1 - attacking as infantry
2 - attacking from the sky
3 - only snipers
4 - A hunter(boss or big monster/mech/huge soldier)
5 - Surrounding attack
6 - Surprise attack
7 - ....

Again, it''s true that there is no real story. You could start to give clues about why the player is hunted. Like he stops and looks at this little metallic object he found in his pocket and wonders why the attackers want it so badly...
Action don''t make the whole interest, it''s good sometimes to know why you''re running away.

In my example, the ennemy attacking in any possible manner could question the player on "why are they so motivated to catch/kill me ?"

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Quote:
Original post by boolean

Ive been stuck on this one section of this damn plot for weeks now. I came up with a few ideas, but no-one liked them. Please help me think of what could happend next.

+++Basic Outline+++

1. Tutorial on how to play the game – Slow part

2. Must escape a lab – Fast part

3. End up waking up on beach scene. Meet other main character – Slow part

4. Must quickly escape from the security after you – Fast part

5. Arrive in a safe zone. Meet a group that don’t really like you – Slow part

6. ????? - Fast part

7. Arrive (escape?) in a safe zone that no-one knows about - Slow part


This is where im stuck. I was going to have it so that the group wants you to go on a mission with them, but it really puts a halt on the pace of the game. Also, I am a bit wary about having another escape scene. I really dont know what I could do for this step that still keeps the pace going to step 7 without getting repetitive.

*Sigh* This is probably so vauge im more or less thinking out loud.



Why don't you have something significant happen to your main character, which the player has invested interest and engagement with? Max Payne always got one step closer to the killer of his wife and baby, or, in more fact, the person who ordered the killing.

Character can be a great source of plot deeping, complication, humanizing, etc., if you turn to it. Perhaps somewhere in the backstory of this character's motivation is someplace they forgot to go to that can be the next logical, or more precisely, emotionally mandated level.

Addy

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