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Seeking Help for Story Opening and Other Details

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__Hello, I'm somewhat new when it comes to writing complex stories, I've read and seen many but when it comes to personally writing them I'm basically a beginner. For a story I'm currently working on for a small RPG, I have the basic motivations and histories done but now I'm unsure on how to open the story and what to reveal to the reader/player. To start here is some information on the story and other details.

Story - Revolves around three individuals, Logan, Lily, and Glenn. Eleven years have past since Glenn and Lily have seen their father Logan, ever since he left them at the local towns dojo. Logan is trying to find the man who killed his wife, while Lily and Glenn are trying to find their father and find out why he abandoned them when they needed him the most. - Motivation. Logan's motivation in life is to seek revenge against the one who killed his wife. Lily's is to anger towards the father who caused her to lose both parents in the same week. Glenn was to young to really remember either of his parents so his goal in the beginning is to help out his sister. - Conflict. To this day Logan wonders if its right to take revenge against Kaine, which he is in constant thought about up to the end where he has the choice of whether or not to take Kaine's life. Lily's is whether or not to give up on looking for her father and what she would do if she does find him. As of now Glenn doesn't have a conflict or dilemma. Back story - Basically gives details on the past of the three players and the events that lead to Lily and Glenn being left at the dojo of Logan's friend, Michael. Logan was 29 years old at the time, Lily was 8 and a half, and Glenn was only 4 years old. - Logan's wife, Elizabeth, was killed by an old friend who he knew from the war. His friend, Kaine, had come to visit the town for a week and had been acting strange the entire time. Logan blames himself for not picking up on it sooner because if he had he may have been able to prevent his wife's death. - Fighting History. During their years at the dojo Lily and Glenn learned to fight with the sword and bow respectively. Hopefully living eleven years at a dojo will give enough credibility for how their able to fight during the game. Logan's able to fight due to fighting in the war for several years. GamePlay - The Beginning. At the start of the game you choose which of the three you want to play as. Lily and Glenn are teamed together at when they leave the dojo to look for Logan, however later in the story they do split up. Logan is off in some remote town looking for information concerning Kaine. Other - War. Mid-way through the story I'm considering having a second war break out that the main characters may be drawn into, whether to enlist as soldiers, as a means to find information, or end up avoiding to continue their search. - Supporting Roles. Considering having players who join the party from time to time, yet never stay to long. Over the course of the game a character that might of helped Logan in the beginning, may be in Lily's party near the end. This way, even though their on different paths, they are still connected in a way. - Unlike some RPG's where the final goal ends up being to save the world from some immense threat, the goal will be for the characters to be able resolve their issues they are facing. Questions Okay, here are the actual questions. 1. In the beginning should the player know that Logan is Lily's and Glenn's father and vice versa? Or should it be realized sometime during the story as a plot device? I want to avoid any overused plot cliches or something similar. 2. Kaine killed Logans wife not because of madness or anger but because of jealousy. He had recently undergone a lot of personal and mental trauma and couldn't understand how he could lose literally everything while here where people who had everything he himself once possessed. If the player should decide to take the path of revenge for Logans character should it be revealed before Kaine is killed, or during Kaine's final breathe the reason for his actions? I'm also not sure if Kaine's actions in the past should be due to a brief bit of insanity or not. 3. Would it be better to have Lily and Glenn's story start when they leave the dojo, or later when they've already begun their search, and rely on flashbacks to provide the details?

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and you have my apologies for any grammar mistakes, if I've unknowingly forgotten a forum guideline, or if this should belong in the game design forum to begin with. I welcome any criticism you have to offer as well as any pointers you could provide. Thanks again for your time. Fifty-Five

P.S. If you need more information about the story or something, please contact me via pm or email

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For Lily and Glenn's story, I would begin it by showing their grief and confusion at their mother's death and father's immediate disappearance. Then switch to just before they leave the dojo, use it as a training level, and show what motivates them to set out in search of their father. I wouldn't allow the player to play from Logan's perspective until after they have played through the kids leaving the dojo, leave him almost as much of a mystery as the murderer at first. But, that's just my instinct, something else might work better depending on what you want to accomplish with the story. The fact that I don't like revenge as a theme probably biases me toward minimizing it's role in the story in favor of the kids feeling of abandonment and the mysteries of what exactly happened in the past.

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Thanks alot for your help. If the focus was more on Logan's confusion at Kaine's betrayal instead of feelings of revenge, do you think it would be ok to start his perspective sooner?

I understand where you are coming from in keeping Logans identity a secret for awhile, but I'm worried about the player feeling cheated by withholding this fact. If Logan was revealed as their father not when he's originally introduced, but before Lily finds him do you think I can avoid this situation?

Thanks again.

[Edited by - Fifty-Five on June 15, 2006 3:52:16 PM]

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Err, you meant _Logan's_ confusion at Kaine's betrayl, right?

Well, you're in a tough spot there, because if you wanted the main focus to be Logan's perspective, no matter what emotions are involved, really the best time to start the story would be with the murder itself. Waiting several years for the kids to grow up really weakens and cools the emotions involved, and is it really plausible that Kaine would still be running and Logan would still be chasing him after so many years? So, if you want to start with Logan's perspective, I would make Lily and Glen older, or perhaps his younger sister and brother rather than his children, so they can start chasing him sooner.

[Edited by - sunandshadow on June 15, 2006 3:51:44 PM]

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Quote:
but I'm worried about the player feeling cheated by withholding this fact.


Ever played Final Fantasy VII? (or with most final fantasies)

- Stenny

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