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Wavinator

A little help surviving the end of the universe, please?

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Wavinator    2017
Why are "gods" who have had to hide themselves in a parallel processing network hidden in Earth's massive network of planetary bacteria using human avatars to fight for control in a universe plagued by near invincible monsters? I've had a loose storyline in mind that has several elements:
  • God-like beings marooned in our universe
  • Hordes of unthinking, ghostly, city-sized creatures that are called by emotion and drain sentience
  • Avatars that survive across lifetimes by being reborn in new bodies
  • "Doing what you're told because you were created" vs. shaping your own destiny
  • Rebellion / dissent among the "gods"
Can you imagine any story threads that would connect all of these elements? I've been trying to work out something where the gods did something to create the horde, and had to hide from their mistakes. My first thought was that the gods wanted to escape the end of our universe so badly they'd do anything it took to survive, even if they became monsters. But this theme suggests that the right answer to a final end is acceptance, which is a bit more gloomy than I like. I'm now thinking an option that might be fitting with the gameplay is one where the gods are more like Olympians, bickering over how to fight off the horde, using humans. Should humans be made into soulless machines that do the job, or should they be controlled some other way? The main story could involve a god who rebels and gives you powers to upset the gods' plans. But I'm not at all sure about this. Any alternate ideas that might weave these elements together?

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Classy_Cojones    128
I'll tell you one thing.

You have two story threads at the end there. Pick the first one, and try to modify it until you find it to be to your liking.

Much better than the other one.

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Terlenth    300
I'm taking a line actually from Lufia here, but I'd have to say that an interesting idea might be:

The "Gods" are trying to escape *their* own demise. Their demise has been foretold, and will be caused by a *being* from Earth. I know, extremely vague but come on what prophecy isn't. The "Gods" are on the brink of a war between each other and so tension between the "Gods" is rising as can be shown through each of their avatars.

Now, this is part of the story the character doesn't overly know. One of the "Gods" who became tired of the bickering decided that instead of just creating his avatar he'd become his avatar.

You can fill in the rest as you wish =P.

--Ter'Lenth

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yapposai    410
an ancient race finally achieves immortality. A group of their most brilliant minds figured out how to transform souls[sentience] into energy making them immortal and god-like. The main limitiation is they have less power in the material side. They can travel interstallar distances and communicate with each other or access/control mechanical stuff but they don't have a corporeal body.

They figure to share the knowledge to other members of their race so they make nanomachines that takes the souls from living organisms and convert it to energy. They fail, the nanomachines strip the individual of his soul but it does not release the energy. It merely stores the patern within itself and uses it to grow (horde). The result is an every growing cloud of mental/electrical energy composed of brain patterns of mutiple individuals, which is chaotic. anybody even going close to the cloud would probably go insane.

The gods realize this but they are have limited power needed to stop this threat, they can not go directly against it for fear of being sucked within the clouds.

Enter earth. Humans have progressed far in terms of technology. They have a similar system for semi-immortality. They have a global net that you can plug into and download yourself into a new body whenever you like (avatar).

The "gods" discover this world and notice that they are actually compatible with the network. It seems they can use the human technology to get new bodies. Some are too afraid to go back into the physical world and remain as gods. Others stay for fear of contamination of the "human" body which seems so alien.

The body transfer procedure is not clear cut. They can use human bodies but the result is not always good. a body can only last for days, weeks at best. They decide to do genetic engineering to make a body capable of hosting their souls. They highjack the system of a cloning factory to produce their bodies. some gods get physical bodies and escape. the rest of the modified humans are discovered. The genetic manipulation is not understood by humans. The clones are savants and geniuses have brain patterns unlike normal humans. Not being fully human, they can't use the avatar method of body transferal. The world govt decides to use these clones as living computers, tools.

The now-human gods research a way to fight the horde. They need the help of humans, of course. The remaining gods in the network, fight over the prospect of giving the humans too much knowledge about the way to immortality as they might make the same mistakes as the gods (dissent among the gods). Some gods also envy the human-gods since immortality isn't as fun as they thought it would be.

Now you have human-gods fighting the horde, network gods trying to stop the human-gods, savants being controlled by the humans, humans slowly finding out about immortality. Dunno where the main character is [grin]

hope this helps.

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yapposai    410
some more thoughts:

I am thinking about salvation and redemption of the gods. They made a mistake which they are trying to correct. However, their arrogance blinds them to the truth that they can not do it alone. They must trust and cooperate with the humans, not just use them as tools or weapons. The humans also use the clones as tools, not recognizing that the clones are sentient beings themselves. Being half human and half god, these clones could be they key between the two races, if they can break free of the human control over them.

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Spoonbender    1258
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Why are "gods" who have had to hide themselves in a parallel processing network hidden in Earth's massive network of planetary bacteria using human avatars to fight for control in a universe plagued by near invincible monsters?


Why? Maybe they just *are*. [wink]
How much explaining does it really need? Ok, you might need a way to explain why on earth they're stuck in this situation in the first place. (Or you could just say that's how the universe works. Who are we to say that there aren't gods hidden in bacterial networks underground? It's not like we've checked for ourselves)
But do you need to explain why they use human avatars to fight? Isn't that obvious? I mean, if you're stuck with no physical body, and you have to fight against near invincible monsters, you'd better find a physical body to fight in. If they're stuck on Earth, humans are an obvious choice. I don't think that part needs much explaining. It's not like they have any alternatives.

Or maybe these "gods" ended up hiding like this because that's what it took to survive? Powerful beings from... somewhere else, had to escape this horde thing, and bringing their physical bodies is out of the question (Spaceships might be too vulnerable to attack, or can be followed to easily), so they somehow transfer their minds (or whatever you want to call it), into a huge planetary network of bacteria on the other side of the galaxy.

Obviously, they hope to escape the horde once and for all, and obviously, they're wrong :P
So now they're stuck inside a planet, existing only as a network of bacteria. They can't escape from there, they have no physical bodies to fight with, so they have to make do with the resources available on that planet. (In other words, humans)

Of course, there's no rule that they have to agree on what to do, or how to deal with humans. Some will no doubt want to just hide, and hope to survive that way. Others might want to influence humans to create a way for them to escape, yet others will want to use humans to fight (some, by taking complete control of humans, others maybe by explaining things to them, and hope they'll help, or maybe giving them weird dreams or visions, hoping to manipulate humans without actually controlling them, and so on)

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Ketchaval    186
Weird, I was reading the story book of the Disney version of Hercules today and saw that the Gods were interfering DIRECTLY in specific mortal's lives. This struck me as very similar to the way games often work, ie. something happens at JUST the right time. Ie. The building doesn't collapse when the hero is in it. So maybe some of these cut-scene introduced game elements could be due to the Gods interfering with the human world. Ie. You see Zeus protecting you, or Hades creating an earthquake. Doesn't quite help you, but it seemed on theme.

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Nathan Baum    1027
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Why are "gods" who have had to hide themselves in a parallel processing network hidden in Earth's massive network of planetary bacteria using human avatars to fight for control in a universe plagued by near invincible monsters?

For the craic?

This sounds very much like a Nordic gods vs. giants mythology. On the one hand, you have the Gods: small in number and stature, but clever. On the other hand, you have the Siegers: innumerable, nearly immortal, powerful, but really stupid. On the gripping hand, you have the humans: stupid, fragile, hopelessly outclassed by either side.
Quote:

I've had a loose storyline in mind that has several elements:


  • God-like beings marooned in our universe
  • Hordes of unthinking, ghostly, city-sized creatures that are called by emotion and drain sentience
  • Avatars that survive across lifetimes by being reborn in new bodies
  • "Doing what you're told because you were created" vs. shaping your own destiny
  • Rebellion / dissent among the "gods"


Can you imagine any story threads that would connect all of these elements?

Presumably the Gods look like a tasty meal to the Seigers, and they have the means to eat them. It stands to reason the Gods would want to defend themselves against them.

One assumes that the Gods cannot defeat the Seigers in open combat. If they could, there'd be no game.

The Gods have hidden in the network, but this also hides them from the humans, so they need to create avatars in order that they can use them to shape humanity into a weapon.

Obviously not all Gods would agree. Some might want to try to broker a peace with the Seigers, some might want to encode themselves in a yet more abstract form and hope the Seigers never find them.

More details would make it easier to explain what was happening. How are Seigers called by emotion, and what is "draining sentience"? How are the Gods god-like?

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EdR    117
Time to be rather cynical--why do you need a rationale for what the Gods do? They're Gods. They don't have to answer to you mere humans.

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Nathan Baum    1027
Wavinator isn't looking for an explanation that the Gods give to humans. He's looking for an explanation that the game gives to the player. The player, after all, is controlling a character that is far more than human.

Wavinator's "Gods" are not all-powerful and inscrutable. If they were, they wouldn't need to hide anywhere. They'd just wave their hands and the universe would be the way they wanted.

So although the Gods might not want the humans in the game to know what they're up to, they'd be able to understand it if they were told. And that means that Wavinator needs to know exactly what the Gods are up to, so that he can ensure that the game presents a consistent story.

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Spoonbender    1258
Quote:
Original post by Nathan Baum
Wavinator isn't looking for an explanation that the Gods give to humans. He's looking for an explanation that the game gives to the player. The player, after all, is controlling a character that is far more than human.

It's still a valid point. How much explaining do gods really need?
How many games explain where their gods came from? Or even where the player's species come from, for that matter? Where the world came from?

You might argue that their presence doesn't really require much explaining. They're just there.

(Of course, some of it does need explaining, but it's still worth considering, why exactly do you need a rationale for the gods? What exactly needs explaining, and what doesn't?)

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TechnoGoth    2937
How about this, the Gods are beings of great power and knowledge so great that they have reached the end of their evolution. They know all they can comprehend and have all the power that they can imagine. However they still have questions and there is much they do not understand. So they decided create beings that had the potential surpass them they called it project Avatar. In order for project Avatar to succeed conflict was needed and a threat that the Gods themselves could not stop needed to be overcome. So they reached out into the darkness into the depths of the great unkown beyond all that they could understand and drew forth the Seiger. And so while the Seiger slowly devoured all that was the Gods hid themselves within the very essence of life guiding humanities evolution and development as each saw fit in order someday give birth to a being that would surpass the very gods themselves.

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Nathan Baum    1027
Quote:
Original post by Spoonbender
Quote:
Original post by Nathan Baum
Wavinator isn't looking for an explanation that the Gods give to humans. He's looking for an explanation that the game gives to the player. The player, after all, is controlling a character that is far more than human.

It's still a valid point. How much explaining do gods really need?
How many games explain where their gods came from? Or even where the player's species come from, for that matter? Where the world came from?

You might argue that their presence doesn't really require much explaining. They're just there.

(Of course, some of it does need explaining, but it's still worth considering, why exactly do you need a rationale for the gods? What exactly needs explaining, and what doesn't?)

Edward's point didn't appear to be that the Gods didn't need much explaining. He appeared to be saying that the Gods didn't need any explaining. That's the view I can't agree with. If the Gods were just "in the background", then it would be okay. But it appears that the Gods are the driving force behind the character. The character is what he is and does what he does because of the Gods. If there's no consistent explanation of what the Gods want, and how they intend to get it, then the player won't know what to expect from the game from one second to the next. Players don't generally like games which don't make sense. Particularly not the kind of players who would be attracted to Wavinator's project.

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Nathan Baum    1027
Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
How about this, the Gods are beings of great power and knowledge so great that they have reached the end of their evolution. They know all they can comprehend and have all the power that they can imagine. However they still have questions and there is much they do not understand. So they decided create beings that had the potential surpass them they called it project Avatar. In order for project Avatar to succeed conflict was needed and a threat that the Gods themselves could not stop needed to be overcome. So they reached out into the darkness into the depths of the great unkown beyond all that they could understand and drew forth the Seiger. And so while the Seiger slowly devoured all that was the Gods hid themselves within the very essence of life guiding humanities evolution and development as each saw fit in order someday give birth to a being that would surpass the very gods themselves.

Very anime.

I think this works better if only one or a few Gods called the Seiger into being. I don't see all the Gods agreeing to a plan which will likely see their destruction.

Additionally, a species only stops evolving if there is no selection pressure. If the Gods want to become greater than they are, they need to call the Seiger into being, and then allow nature to take its course. When they start getting eaten, evolution would start up again. I don't see any good reason for them to mold humanity into Seiger-destroyers in your scenario. They'd want to mold themselves into Seiger-destroyers.

One possible strategy might be to say that the avatars are actually primitive God/human hybrids. Another is to say that humanity is being used not to destroy the Seiger, but just to delay them.

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TechnoGoth    2937
Quote:
Original post by Nathan Baum
I think this works better if only one or a few Gods called the Seiger into being. I don't see all the Gods agreeing to a plan which will likely see their destruction.


Why not? They've reached the point where they can go no further they are at the end of their existance. All that remains is for them to risk everything in attempt to create beings who can go where they can not.

Quote:

Additionally, a species only stops evolving if there is no selection pressure. If the Gods want to become greater than they are, they need to call the Seiger into being, and then allow nature to take its course. When they start getting eaten, evolution would start up again. I don't see any good reason for them to mold humanity into Seiger-destroyers in your scenario. They'd want to mold themselves into Seiger-destroyers.


The Gods don't want to become greater then they are. They are all that they can ever be. They have reached the end of their existance. They need the Seiger which are creatures that they can not overcome in order to create beings that can surpass themselves. Their goal isn't to destroy the Seiger it is to create beings able to do what they can not and learn what they can never understand. The Seiger are the catalyst to achive this.

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Nathan Baum    1027
Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
They've reached the point where they can go no further. They are at the end of their existance.

Why can they go no further? That doesn't make sense. If they're incapable of change, then they're either dead, or have thought all thoughts that they are capable of thinking. Either way, they won't be creating any superbeings.
Quote:

All that remains is for them to risk everything in attempt to create beings who can go where they can not.

Why?

If they're at the end of their existance, why should they care about creating other beings who aren't?

And if they're at the end of their existance, know everything they can comprehend, can do everything they can concieve of doing, how come they have questions?

And if they haven't previosuly created a race of beings who surpass them, then they obviously aren't at the end of their existance, and don't know everything, and haven't done everything. Which means that they are obviously capable of learning and doing new things. Which means they have not gone as far as they can go, that they are not at the end of their evolution, and are certainly not at the end of their existance.
Quote:

The Gods don't want to become greater then they are.

Why not? I cannot believe a race of beings who have developed their capabilities to the very peak of physical possibility would then decide to give up on progress. It would take great determination to become the foremost power in the Universe, and we are to suppose that they just pack it all in? I think not.

Finally, your image of the Gods united in common purpose is in stark contrast to Wavinators requirements: rebellion/dissent among the Gods. If the Gods have sunk into abject stagnancy, then there would be no rebellion or dissent. If there are Gods who do not agree with each other, then the Gods are capable of change and have not reached the end of their existance. They could, out of shear boredom, reach into their minds, change their opinion about a matter, and go a-debating.

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TechnoGoth    2937
Quote:
Original post by Nathan Baum
Why can they go no further? That doesn't make sense. If they're incapable of change, then they're either dead, or have thought all thoughts that they are capable of thinking. Either way, they won't be creating any superbeings.


What doesn't make sense? All things come to an end. Writers eventually run out of things to write about, explorers have explored every where they can explore. They have amassed so much power and knowledge that they can no longer see any way to improve themselves. The only change is variation, not originality; because they can not think of anything original. If you heard every piece of music in the universe since it began could you still write an original song? Or has your knowledge of music become so great that you are no longer capable of creating something original only variations on what you know?


Quote:

Why?

If they're at the end of their existance, why should they care about creating other beings who aren't?

And if they're at the end of their existance, know everything they can comprehend, can do everything they can concieve of doing, how come they have questions?

And if they haven't previosuly created a race of beings who surpass them, then they obviously aren't at the end of their existance, and don't know everything, and haven't done everything. Which means that they are obviously capable of learning and doing new things. Which means they have not gone as far as they can go, that they are not at the end of their evolution, and are certainly not at the end of their existance.


There is an old question that says can God create a rock so heavy that even God can not lift it? Or can God create a puzzle so complex that even God can not solve it. Like wise The Gods have come to wonder if it is possible to create something greater then themselves. Its part suicide, part evolution but it is one of the great questions they have left, is it possible for the creation to surpass the creator? They have never attempted this because they don’t know if it is possible and if it is possible they don’t know what the outcome would be.

Consider a room. You are inside the room and have learned all there is to know within that room and can do anything there is to do in that room, however you have never been outside the room and can not leave the room, as such can not conceive of anything outside that room. There would eventually come a point when the only mystery left for you to solve is to wonder if you can create something able leave the room.

Quote:

Why not? I cannot believe a race of beings who have developed their capabilities to the very peak of physical possibility would then decide to give up on progress. It would take great determination to become the foremost power in the Universe, and we are to suppose that they just pack it all in? I think not.


Where do you go when you’re on top? If you could do anything you can imagine what would do after you’ve done it all?

Quote:

Finally, your image of the Gods united in common purpose is in stark contrast to Wavinators requirements: rebellion/dissent among the Gods. If the Gods have sunk into abject stagnancy, then there would be no rebellion or dissent. If there are Gods who do not agree with each other, then the Gods are capable of change and have not reached the end of their existance. They could, out of shear boredom, reach into their minds, change their opinion about a matter, and go a-debating.


They have disagreements and differences of opinions, they could each have a different idea of what it means for a being to be able to surpass them. That doesn’t mean they can improve themselves anymore then they all ready have though. Two electrons could debate endless about the sub atomic universe but that doesn't mean they can every becomes more then just electrons.

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EdR    117
Quote:
Original post by Nathan Baum
Wavinator isn't looking for an explanation that the Gods give to humans. He's looking for an explanation that the game gives to the player. The player, after all, is controlling a character that is far more than human.

Wavinator's "Gods" are not all-powerful and inscrutable. If they were, they wouldn't need to hide anywhere. They'd just wave their hands and the universe would be the way they wanted.

So although the Gods might not want the humans in the game to know what they're up to, they'd be able to understand it if they were told. And that means that Wavinator needs to know exactly what the Gods are up to, so that he can ensure that the game presents a consistent story.


I'll be very sure to add a sarcasm flag next time.

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Wavinator    2017
Thanks for the replies! I'm still mulling all of this over.

The gods need explanation because the player will face them. The game is about shaping human destiny over lifetimes. One subplot I want to have is that we've all been constructed, that we're an artificially seeded race and that the gods have had a hand in manipulating our history since the beginning of time. Some of the gods feel that since they've made us, they have every right to sacrfice and manipulate us.

The player is going to be used to dying and reviving, but for the final plot, to close the game, you have to face down the gods and choose either to supplant them, or give up all your power defeating them. If you replace them, then humanity is never really free, and if you sacrifice your power, you play out one final game segment where you're mortal, the galaxy's free, and unlike in all the rest of the game, you finally die for real.





The Siegers and the gods need to be closely tied together. Synthesizing some of the replies, what about beings who have been running for eons? They've survived the collapse of more universes than they can remember. They're always being chased by a power that can destroy them. Although the gods consider themselves enlightened, what most refuse to face is that the power is their own dark nature, the god's opposite half.

Each time the gods escape into a new universe, they have no way of manipulating matter, and are trapped. Being immortal, they know they'll eventually die when the universe dies, if their own darkness doesn't find and devour them first.

So they hijack a species and control them, reasoning that being guided by "gods" is better than stumbling around as savages. They manipulate the technology development of the world, its religions, and even the inspiration and thoughts of entire populations. When they shape the species (which takes billions of years), they abandon them and jump into a new, young universe.

The conflict comes from the past catching up with them-- sort of poetic justice. I'm thinking that as they've been exploiting species and passing themselves off as "gods," the "ghosts" of the past species they've used and thrown away are getting dragged along with them.

So now the gods are being chased by what they think is the antithesis of life, a force that's energetically "joined at the hip" with them. In order to get all of the gods to face this, one god began tipped the balance of power, and created an avatar. Now the gods have split into factions, and all have put energy into avatars.

... eh, don't know if that works...

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coldreboot    150
Have you ever seen the Warhammer 40k lore? The stuff to do with the 'warp' and the 'eye of terror' where all the force of chaos (demons) live, could be adapted to your story.

What if the things hunting the God's down are something more tangeble? Their 'dark-sides' could be Demon-opposites. One cannot survive without the other but their 'dark-twins' always want the opposite to them. Caught in the middle are humans.

Anyway, check out the 40k stuff and see if it helps you any.

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Wavinator    2017
Quote:
Original post by coldreboot
Have you ever seen the Warhammer 40k lore? The stuff to do with the 'warp' and the 'eye of terror' where all the force of chaos (demons) live, could be adapted to your story.

What if the things hunting the God's down are something more tangeble? Their 'dark-sides' could be Demon-opposites. One cannot survive without the other but their 'dark-twins' always want the opposite to them. Caught in the middle are humans.

Anyway, check out the 40k stuff and see if it helps you any.


Thanks! I'll do this. I'm having a great time reading the Night's Dawn trilogy, which has some aspect of lost souls terrorizing the human race, and there's a similar thread of "demons" vs. opposites.

I think, though, that I want to be careful not to fall too far into medieval fantasy (heck, that's what ALL RPGs are about-- well, almost all). These "gods" aren't really gods, they're, to paraphrase one of Arthur C. Clarke's rules, so advanced they're nearly indistinguishable from magic.

But it would be cool to try to tap more of our ancient lore, kind of explaining why things are.

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