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Isthmus - A game story concept

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[Fixed a few of the errors] The following is inspired by the feedback recived in my "what is missing from game stories" thread as well some inspiration from a varity of other sources. Promo line: Isthmus, two worlds, one impossible love. Synopsis: Two worlds one inside a video game of high fantasy and intrigue, the other the mundane real world. When an awkward teenager finds himself more and more ingrossed in a game world and enamered by its beautful Heroaine, he can't help but feel that in some strange way she is responding to his feelings. But as time goes on and his family and friends become more and more concered about the young man, and his dilusions that parts of the game world and real world are merging. But are they dilusions or is the unlikely bond between a person and a fictional character merely signs of a great calamity that threatens not one but two worlds? Characters: Lee A lonely young teenager who never really fit in. Who has become an RPG fanatic, owning and playing any RPG he can get his hands on. The fact that he has few friends, a rather geeky appearence and a quite demanor, have lead to teasing and humilation at school. Areial A beautful elven maiden raised in captivity and trained to work as hand maiden in the private court of Emperor Bordiki. Until one day when a chance encouter changes her life in she decides to escape from her bondage and join the order of the Maiden. Where she begins her new life and sets out on the path to become a Warrior Priestess. Intro: The game begins with Lee running from school to the shops to buy the lastest RPG that comes out that day. Along the way he runs into a haggered looking many who drops a unsual looking game case. The case bares the name crystal hearts and half a crystal heart is pressed into the case. Lee pickups the case and when he does the crystal sparkls in the sun. The man looks surpised at first then a greart smile crosses his face. "I've never heard of this game, is it any good?" Lee asks "Its a role playing game like no other, and belive me I've played them all. " the man replies. "Really? Me too I'm a big RPG fan." "Haha, Of course you are, you'd have to be." the man says as he starts walking away. "Hey, wait you left you forgot your game" Lee calls out. "Keep it. It's yours now." The man calls back as he countinues to walk awkwardly away. With that Lee stands in a state of shock hardly beliving his luck. But none the less he hurrys off home to try out his new aquisition. The Merging The merging of two worlds is the central concept and source of conflict in the story. It begins with subtle cross-overs of names, and events between the two worlds, things that may go unoticed at first but that the will seem out of place. Then as the story progressess the merging of the two worlds become more and more noticable things like a castle of an evil wizard that Areiel investigates, having the same layout and design as Lee's school. As we get closer and closer to the climax and the worlds are closer and closer together major cross-overs begin to occur such as a train running partly through the Virtual world. Until the climax is reached and the two worlds become one. As to conflicts and resolutions, well each character is seperate at first and has their own life to deal with. Lee has to deal with trouble at school, homework, exams(yes, the player will have to study and do exams) and the trivialties of a mundane life. I should point that Lee has no special powers or abilites other then his knowledge of video games. Also there He does not particapate in any physical combat, instead a physical confrontation will always leave him beaten up and injured. While Areiel has to comes to terms with her new path in life learning the ways of the order and embarking on quests. Eventually embarking on a quest to destroy the Demon King Amn. But as that is going on, there is the relationship that forms between the two main characters. Two beings each in their own seperate world and both as unreal outside of their own world. There are other problems that arise because of their eventual love for one another, such as Lee's families reaction to his infatuation with a character in a video game and the people in Areiel's world response when they learn of her contact with an otherworldy being. All set to the back drop of two seperate worlds colliding. Is it Lee and Areial's love and desire to be together that is bring about this calmity? or are there other forces at work trying to bring about the end of these two worlds? And if the worlds are so seperate and incompatible how is that Lee and Areial came to reach each other in the first place. A Question that seems linked to the two halves of the crystal heart that they each posses. Gameplay: Lee - control him in the real world an deal with school problems Areial - control her in an rpg setting as her spirtual guide. Romance aspect - part of the game will consist of building up the relations ship between Areial and Lee, there will also be a girl in the Real world Name Cathy who can also be courted. The majority of plot advancement will happen when the relationship between Lee and Areial reaches ceratin levels. These also triggers the various mergings of the two worlds. Well keep the feed back comming. The idea is still pretty rough at the moment, altough some other concepts for it that I'm toying with are: 1)People belive Lee is going crazy from playing one to many video game and Lee starts to wonder that himself. 2)Rather then worlds merging as discribed instead parts of the virtual world begin replacing their counter parts in the real world. Such as Lee's friend Cathy becoming more and more like Areial. 3)Perhaps a third world that lies between the two where Lee enters when he sleeps, and he and Areial spend time together there. That is where the relationship building part of the game takes place and several challenges have to become such as learning to understand one an other. This third world would get smaller and smaller as the worlds become closer together. 4)Areial is the one responsible for the calamity and she is deciving Lee, in hopes of breaking free from the virtual world she lives in and entering the real one. How does it sound so far? Interesting, intriguing, too bizzare for words? Feel free to add to what I've written, and if its good I'll add it to the main post. [Edited by - TechnoGoth on August 23, 2004 12:11:50 AM]

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I have been working on the same concept for the past seven years. The only difference is that it was not about playing RPG but the making of a story.

Because the premises are a little different, I would like to know what conflicts and resolution you are gearing towards, and what you mean by "merging of the two worlds", before continuing.

Also want to know how many people else have this kind of meta game story concept. How many would dismiss meta concepts as unrefined creations?

[Edited by - Estok on August 21, 2004 4:07:45 AM]

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@ TechnoGoth. Hmm... Interesting idea. I'm sure you could throw in a lot of humor in the various parts of the game.

@ Estok. I had one i was working on for a while. It involved the worlds of a boy and group of his friends, and an online battling game. I've been told there's a similar one, /hacker or something, so i imagine mine might be somewhat like that. Except in mine you could actually go onine and use your single player stats.

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Well, not to be completely annoying, but you probably want to fix all of the spelling and grammar...

Refine the concept before proceedin. Think it through. Think of problems, strengths, weaknesses, the whole game. I'd also rewrite the dialogue with the man. It gets the idea across, but is n't exactly subtle.

The whole thing is a Pygmalion+cursed-item hybrid. Interesting concept, certainly, but because of the familiar elements (a strength of a kind) it comes with the built-in weakness of being hard to write and make interesting.

The merging of worlds, the "impossible love", the name Areial ("The Little Mermaid"), the stereotypical characters...it all needs to be refined.

Work on it a lot, and it could come out to be really cool.

I really like the name, though. A good word in any case, and fitting without being overly cheesy.

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DesignerGuy: Ya, I know there are plenty of spelling and grammer mistakes, but thats what happens when you are short of time and have to rush posts. The opening dialog with the man may not be subtle but then, it wasn't suppose to be its merely a vechile by which Lee obtains the game and the story begins. It seemed a lot better the rather contrived method of Lee reciving a mysterious package.

As to the concept needing refinement, well thats true of any inital idea, as well as partly due to the briefness of the post.
As to the sterotypical characters well that was kind of the point. Lee is supose to be your average teenage misfit.

Chokki
I'm sure there could be a place for humor in it, but I was going with more social commentary angle.

Estok
The merging of two worlds is the central concept and source of conflict in the story. It begins with subtle cross-overs of names, and events between the two worlds, things that may go unoticed at first but that the will seem out of place. Then as the story progressess the merging of the two worlds become more and more noticable things like a castle of an evil wizard that Areial investigates, having the same layout and design as Lee's school. As we get closer and closer to the climax and the worlds are closer and closer together major cross-overs begin to occur such as a train running throught the Virtual world. Until the climax is reached and the two worlds become one.

As to conflicts and resolutions, well each character is seperate at first and has their own life to deal with. Lee has to deal with trouble at school, homework, exams(yes, the player will have to study and do exams) and the trivialties of a mundane life. I should point that Lee has no special powers or abilites other then his knowledge of video games. While Areial has to comes to terms with her new path in life learning the ways of the order and embarking on quests. Eventually embarking on a quest to destroy the Demon King Amn. But as that is going on, there is the relationship that forms between the two main characters. The two beings each in their own seperate world and both as unreal outside their own world. There are other problems that arise because of their eventual love for one another, such as Lee's families reaction to his infatuation with a character in a video game and the people in Areial's world response when they learn of her contact with an otherworldy being. All set to the back drop of two seperate worlds colliding. Is it Lee and Areial's love and desire to be together that is bring about this calmity or are there other forces at work trying to bring about the end of these two worlds. And if the worlds are so seperate and incompatible how is that Lee and Areial came to reach each other in the first place. A Question that seems linked to the two halves of the crystal heart that they each posses.

Well keep the feed back comming. The idea is still pretty rough at the moment, altough some other concepts for it that I'm toying with are:

1)People belive Lee is going crazy from playing one to many video game and Lee starts to wonder that himself.
2)Rather then worlds merging as discribed instead parts of the virtual world begin replacing their counter parts in the real world. Such as Lee's friend Cathy becoming more and more like Areial.
3)Perhaps a third world that lies between the two where Lee enters when he sleeps, and he and Areial spend time together there. That is where the relationship building part of the game takes place and several challenges have to become such as learning to understand one an other. This third world would get smaller and smaller as the worlds become closer together.
4)Areial is the one responsible for the calamity and she is deciving Lee, in hopes of breaking free from the virtual world she lives in and entering the real one.

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Cool.

The totally distilled, implemented, with a not-so-happy ending version is this:

Lee is a troubled soul (eg. hopeless, suicidal, etc...), and Areial is a spiritual angel that was assigned to help him. Areial helped him out from his hellhole but they had fallen in love in the process. Lee, unable to meet Areial in person, became obessed in trying to realize her, and thus stepped into another hellhole. Areial becomes very upset that she has caused him into another hellhole, one that is even deeper than the original one. The solution that Areial found is to erase herself from his memory, through a series of disguises.

Your concepts 1) 3) and 4) are shared in this version. But this version is already implemented in movies and such.

There are two more versions along the same line that I can think of. One is more elborated, abstract, but realistic version (no hero, no vilian) that does not involve angels, but was not aimed to be a game. The other has more fantasy elements, and more explicit notions of protagonists and antagonists, and more playable theme. In the second version, your concept 2) is also shared for those that are afraid they went insane playing the game.

Your version also works fine. (Actually I think these versions and yours are all the same.)

Have you thought about that the game might involve concepts suggesting that the player shouldn't be playing the game?

Do you have a religion?

:3

[Edited by - Estok on August 22, 2004 2:09:26 PM]

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I personally think that if you used some humour in the story that it would add to the social commentary that you are trying to make. Many authors have done so in the passed (ie. Voltaire). I think that you can really make this work, hopefully you'll keep us posted.

Good luck.

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Quote:
The opening dialog with the man may not be subtle but then, it wasn't suppose to be its merely a vechile by which Lee obtains the game and the story begins. It seemed a lot better the rather contrived method of Lee reciving a mysterious package.


"merely a vehicle"? With no disrespect, that's ridiculous. The method you're using is only slightly better than the package. If you want to make the game interesting, every aspect needs to be well written, including and especially the intro. I know that I'd drop any game with that clumsy of a "hook" unless I had some powerful motivation otherwise.

As for studying...may be realistic, but people aren't playing your game to learn Trig.

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I don't know it could be kinda fun to learn trig through a video game =P. Go Edutainment.

Well seriously though you could to things that involve requiring to learn things throughout the game. Maybe just common low end questions, that are learned by finding specific books throughout the game with the answers. Sort of like the Monkey Island game does it with insults.

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