# Cryo - From Ideas to Plots

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Estok    104
           PC_Room    Ctrl_Rm    Health_Rm    Lounge    Garage    Hallway

Day 1      E1 E2      L1 S2      S3 S4        S5 K2     F2 F3     S6 F4 G3
K1 S1      F1 G1                   K3 G2 G4  K4 S7

Night 1    E3         F5 G5      F6           G5 G7     S8        S9 K5 G6

Key:
E=Generic Event Template;
K=Krystal;
S=Shamila;
F=Frequency;
G=Gillieon;
L=Luth

The main building at the excavation site has six rooms. The story begins on Day 1 with the PC wakes up in his room. Not including the standard opening sequence , the above shows that there are four additional events that the PC may encounter in that room. Each of those four events has its own 'entrance rule' and a set of choices. During the day, the PC will roam about the main building and meet with the NPCs. For each event the PC visits, that event will block the entrance of other events, and the timer will increment towards nighttime. Each even you see there is actually a template of the event. The details such as whether the RNPC likes you or not are all embedded in the same event. For example, suppose you go to the health room and the game engine considers all the possible events behind that door and gives your event S3, and S3 is the event where a jar accidentally falls out of shamila's hand. Whether the PC is able to catch the jar is considered setting a switch. After that initial event, Shamila is going to greet the PC, depending on whether they had met before (S1) and whether the PC caught the jar. All of these details and variations are embedded in S3, which can be recursively expanded as micro-events if necessary. Looking at the events for Day1 again, there were 22 events. The PC may encounter only 4 of them before it is night time, in any order permitted by the entrance rules. During the night the PC may encounter 1 event. You can imagine what this would look like if you try to draw this as a tree of a flowchart. This is what the current representation of Cryo look like: Cryo.jpg. Each rectangle is a clickable object, that will display a summary, the entrance rules, and effects of the corresponding plot element. The main portion of the story (the middle to the bottom area) is the set of current plot elements (approx 400 and being expanded based on their thematic and semantic requirements, you are again invited to imagine what it would be drawing a tree or a flowchart for it or trying to use post-its) What is hidden here is the underlying variable structure that allow you to traverse through the story. You can see that the actual plot element mapping of Cryo does not have a distinctive time axis like the example above. This is because most events do not have a set date that needs to be encounted. The time axis is replaced by the gameplay stages, starting from the PC being revived, PC following an RNPC to learn about the world, PC investigating the conflicts, and PC making a decision about the conflicts. So this is one way to represent the plot structure. The remaining questions are: - How is the plot map populated? - How do you know that the a deadlock will not result where all the doors are locked? Constructing the Plot Map The cheapest way to do this is to introduce the standard escape sequence. In a mystery game this correspond to the endings where the ghost kills you while you are sleeping after you have exhausted all clues. The second way is to construct the plot map using a top-down method, where you begin with the complete but mosaic plot, and then recursively expand it. When you do this, one thing you will notice is that the count of the plot elements expand very quickly. Because you will be focusing on three things: Thematic, Emotional, and Semantic flow of the story, meaning that for every plot element you add, you must also add the prerequists of that element. This is a duh that enforces the contents of the entrance rules. This is also the basis of why the plot is guaranteed to make sense starting from the begining node. It guarantees that you will never encounter an event out of context, because in order to reach that event, you must have also visited the required events. One thing that will become apparent when you populate the plot map is the distribution of the plot elements. One of the objective of Cryo is to space out the events related to the same thread, so that the PC doesn't stay in the same place the whole game. Other properties that will become apparent include the screen time ratio of the NPC.
See any flaws?