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Differnt post apocalyptic settings.

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One of the biggest clutches for RPGs IMHO is post apocalyptic game setting Some of the most popular ones are - Nuclear war, everyone drops there bomes and we kill our self’s - Meteor strike, one big rock falls from the sky pushes up so much dust that the sun is clouded and everything dies. - Diseases, an unstoppable diseases rampages thou the world killing everything. - Run out of food, we eat everything and there are too many people to feed everyone. What are some other ways that we can destroy the world ? [Edited by - funvill on August 26, 2004 3:14:34 PM]

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- alien invasion. Spacers show up with a book on How To Serve Man;
- natural disasters. Cataclysmic earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, lightning storms, ice age, hurricanes, tornados;
- divine intervention. Gods gone crazy, bye bye planet!

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Well, How about you try making a game where all of those things happen?

:D

-how about the sun being destroyed and the planet becoming uninhabitable.
-Or a black hole forming in the middle of the galaxy and consuming everything.

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This is a good post, and touches on a subject that I am quite passionate about: clichés. I hate clichés, and have been on a few rants before about how I was sick of conspiracy and end of the world games. So, how do you make a game that is cliché in basis, but still pull off a good storyline? It obviously can be done quite well, as you only need to look at ‘Independence day’. The premise is aliens attack. It’s a big cliché, but it does it in a fresh new way that people hadn’t seen before.

I think the key to avoiding a cliché is to focus on the clichés themselves. By this I mean, you don’t know what to avoid if you don’t study what is already being classed as the cliché. So, using this we could assume that all PAS (post-apocalyptic stories) focus on the following themes:


  • We destroy ourselves

  • Someone destroys us

  • We destroy planet

  • Planet destroys us



Ok, so lets say that nearly every PAS is roughly classed here. So now we can think of ways not to do this. Now, all the examples above follow a similar theme:

Something happens outside our control, and we are powerless to stop it. This in turn destroys us

So now we have (I believe) narrowed down the cliché into a single line. If we stay away from this, we should be ok (or so I hope [wink]). The key words we want to avoid is

destroy (By that I mean not directly), outside our control, powerless.

So what are some stories that stay away from the forbidden topics? Here is what I came up with:


  • An Eden like planet is found, and over the space of a few hundred years, nearly all of Earth has migrated to the new planet. Unfortunately, the only people left behind are those who cant afford it, and are left to fend for themselves. Massive parts of Earth become to hazardous to go near as they have been left unattended for so long, and the only hope people have of getting of the destroyed planet is to get enough credit to afford a trip to Eden

  • A piece of technology called ‘Life’ sweeps the planet, allowing people to be hooked up into a virtual world where their greatest dreams become real. This is extremely addictive, and the world around them falls to pieces, only surviving enough to power ‘Life’ pods. Anyone who decides to leave (which anyone is free to do, but is very rare) is faced with a barren and ruined world



Now, in the above examples, nothing directly destroyed the earth, it was all in our control, and we had the power to stop it all along.

I hope this gives you some ideas. I was going to list some more examples at the end (I was going to do five), but I ran out of time.

Cheers!

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Quote:
Original post by boolean
I think the key to avoiding a cliché is to focus on the clichés themselves.


Actually i was thinking of designing (not actually implanting it) a RPG where you have one outsider, probably from the real world that gets sucked in to a game world where every cliché i can find is present,
The main character interacts with this new world questing why these cliché happen, and tries to make sense of it.
Mainly for humor sake.

A list of RPG cliché
http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html

But I do see your point in a “Real” game I hate seeing the same cliché over and over again, fresh new ideas will get you more respect then, your off to save the princes.
Its almost like reading the same book over and over and over again.

Quote:
Original post by boolean
So now we have (I believe) narrowed down the cliché into a single line. If we stay away from this, we should be ok (or so I hope ). The key words we want to avoid is


That’s a really good way of avoiding cliché, I find that when I write stories I keep sinking back in to the same old cliché over and over again. But I if can map them all out before hand It should be easier to avoid them.
Thanks.

Quote:
Original post by boolean

  • An Eden like planet is found, and over the space of a few hundred years, nearly all of Earth has migrated to the new planet. Unfortunately, the only people left behind are those who cant afford it, and are left to fend for themselves. Massive parts of Earth become to hazardous to go near as they have been left unattended for so long, and the only hope people have of getting of the destroyed planet is to get enough credit to afford a trip to Eden

  • A piece of technology called ‘Life’ sweeps the planet, allowing people to be hooked up into a virtual world where their greatest dreams become real. This is extremely addictive, and the world around them falls to pieces, only surviving enough to power ‘Life’ pods. Anyone who decides to leave (which anyone is free to do, but is very rare) is faced with a barren and ruined world




Wow those are really good.
It would be so easy to expand on the tech “life” because it would explain why there is so much of the world still in tacked.

Thank you.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
just one thing to say [um..] Matrix...(cough)...Matrix

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Glad you found it usefull funvill

@ AP: Just because its a virtual world, dosnt mean its a Matrix ripoff. The Matrix was a virtual 'MMORPG' world used as a prison. In my suggestion its a 'single player' world which the person is free to leave any time. In fact, if you really wanted to, you could do this exercise all over again, focusing on that cliche, and maybe come up with something different

[Edited by - boolean on August 27, 2004 7:42:37 PM]

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Its funny how when anyone mentions a virtual world people automatically think matrix rip off, since by that logic the matrix is rip off of all the old cyberpunk stories.

I personally think that most important part of a PA story is not how it happened but the world the came afterwards, I'd personally like to see more PA stories that take place long after the world was destroyed and ruins of our civilization have become nothing but over grown relics of a forgotten past.

but as to how let see:

1) Break throughs in genetic engineering allow parents to modify their children before birth to fit the physical and mental characteristics they most desire in a child. This practice becomes so common and affordable that its practised by almost everyone around the globe. However 25 years after to technique first became popular it is discovered that the genetically modifed children are all sterile and with in a 100 years the global population drops to less then 2% of its former level.

2) Aliens arrive on earth and offer a solution to the worlds growing social and environmental problems. They construct a star ladder that allow anyone who wants to leave to travel to a one of the many distant colonies the aliens have established for humanity. With tensions so high between diffrent nations and ethics groups people jump at the oppertunity and a mass emmigration occours as people finally feel free to live on a planet without there old rivials. With most of the poplution gone the earth is left abadonded and forgotten.

3)An ice age arrives and most of the world is covered in snow and ice.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Well, for one thing its not a rip off if you make it unique. It may takes things from other sources but then if its well writen or made in such a way that its unpredictable then how would it or ever could it be cliche.

You say that the Matrix is a rip off but what about it's uniqueness not just in the story line or the climaxes. What about the way it tied in graphical effects and created such as world that it did. Or the dialog in the first one.

I don't see how you can bash cliches and not be able to seperate a cliche from a unique peice of work.

Similarily if you don't want your work to be cliche then you almost certainly need to know a lot about the game genre and the story line your developing and other common storylines. That way you know what not to do. And therefore you can use a similar idea or setting or whatever but as long as your game has something unique that makes it very different then your in the clear.

Such as the 'life' pods

So you can use something like.

The World is destroyed by another ice age and only a few survived.

But if you explain how the earth was destroyed in a different and new way. Another view point what things would be like after an apoc. So whats wrong with using the simple cliche as long as you don't endup in a cliche.

So you base the PA game off a similar premise as other games but then you change it and explain it differently and make people think and change their opinion on something.

hmmm! What about that? hmmmm! Is that what your trying to say?

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My take on things...

First of all, I love stories of this genre. Hm... An interesting idea though. All of these are post-apocolyptic worlds. Why not have a story take place in the middle of one?

In the middle of catyclismic events that would destroy the world as we know it, imagine the tales of heroism.. the sheer magnitude of events that happen as a world is ripped apart.

or... from another angle...

a story from hundreds, even a thousand years in the future. The world is now at peace, finally healed from the devastation that had hit before. One survivor of the world before must now fight to save the world of tomorrow from another apocolypse...

I dunno. It's not much of a cliche, really. There are many, many different perspectives a story could take on just one scenario of the world ending.

For an example of this, read [u]The Martian Chronicles[/u] by Ray Bradbury.

To be honest, I've yet too see a game that really does a good job with post apocylysm. Good Luck!
~Chokki

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