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TheKrust

Story transitioning problems...

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I have a small problem that I'm trying to figure out. Me and a small team are developing a game that we all agree upon. It is a 2d RPG (of course) but definitley not the kind that you think about when you hear "RPG". We all agree upon the gerneral story line and the game style. The style is a semi-realistic (and almost comic book at times) style that relies on spectacular lighting and fluid animations to keep the graphics looking (not to brag but) pretty damn amazing for any indie game. We are already almost done with the engine, and are currently working on the animations. Here-in, lies my problem, the story line is good, but it involves 2 parts, light and dark elements, as most games do. This means, that at times, the game is dark, anxious, and somewhat disturbing. However, at other times, it incorperates light humor and "fun fighting" that would pull players between moods (just like in real life). The problem is though, I can't seem to figure out how to smoothly transition between the light and dark elements without making the player feel unbalanced, and like they have a serious case of PMS. '~' any help on this is greatly appreciated. Is the dark just to dark and light just too light or what? EDIT: ok, maybe I'm asking the wrong question. What do MOST story lines do when they want to transition from something light to something darker without making the player feel like he had a spaz attack [Edited by - TheKrust on July 10, 2007 1:03:47 PM]

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I'm new at this so the question might be come out funny but what about story transitions in gaming that make it different from any other medium? In a book or a movie, there's some foreshadow and a then a defining event that acts as the juxtaposition. I see it done in games too, the player finishes some quest with a cut scene that explains why things are changing, then enters the new environment.

Or do u want to incorporate ongoing switches between light and dark? That would definitely be more challenging. I seen it done where most of it is dark, and theres like a few light spots. Switching back n forth rapidly would probably dilute the main effect you want though.

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well, yes it would when you put it that way, it would delute the effect. But writing for games is somewhat different than writing for a story when you really break it down.

But let me give an example here:

The game is about somewhat of a revolution from a corrupt government that has plans to destroy the country that you live in (Which is somewhat 3rd world). Now, here's the thing, the engine and art style was designed to transition between creepy, axious graphics and semi-fun, light hearted graphics (this transition is mostly dependant on lighting).

How in a way, in the middle of this revolution, can humor and "cutness" be incorperated in times where you are not fighting or anyone is in real danger? Especially after the player sees things that are serious, and occasionaly horrifying (eg. ethnic cleansing in city sewers).

It just seems like a big step to go from ethnic cleasing, to people joking around a campfire. But that is what I'm aiming for, life changes all the time.

PS: perhaps as a reference, the capital lies to the north, the closer you get to that, the more destruction there is and the more the government struggles to control those zones.

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If you're looking to inject some comic relief into your game in places then I think you said it yourself, this is a writing issue. It might be best discussed in the writing forum. That joking around a campfire thing doesn't feel out of place after some character development has been done and the story has progressed. And if it's not something that happens around the campfire, it's probably going to somehow be related to your story in another way.

If that's not what you're looking for then maybe a few more details would help. Any art you could share that'd clarify things?

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I agree, dichotomies are good if you offer a smooth transition. Popping in and out usually confuses people.

For that specific example you gave Krust, actual gameplay could be dark and afterwards some comic relief camp fire dialogs sounds fine.

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I've seen an example of what you are talking about in another political type game only the "light side" was not injected with humor but actual color, representing freedom while the areas still under control were done in black and white. I have a pretty good idea of what you are talking about but the solution seems simple so maybe I'm wrong. Seems to me if you design the levels and layout clear and linear enough, it's just a matter of zoning everything up and maybe a few well placed scripts. If you flesh out the universe in wild ways but have that to the side (Ex. the robots with underware in Veiwtiful Joe....I think, long time since I've picked it up), that would be really neat. Or maybe the transition occurs only after the character has reached certain acheivements? That would work also. You could also have a weird type of night/day cycle but instead of time its the mood? No matter how you implement it, looks like music could give you a big boost if you plan to use it.Hope this helps.

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If I understand correctly, this will be mostly dark, but have some light moments. I think, then, where the light moments take place is key. In the middle of a major quest, in an enemy base or something, would not be a good place. But if you place it in a town or around the campfire it fits in. Most RPGs have places such as towns or maybe even the roads and countryside, where the player is not in a particularly dark or tense mood, so something like meeting a humorous NPC will be natural enough. So, basically, keep the central quests dark (and maybe have things getting darker as you get further in), and put in light elements in the down time.

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If i understand everything correctly:

I would break it up UNevenly. meaning: If a scene your in is supposed to be more dark, then only add a touch of light here and there. It adds a little bit of relief when your looking for it. And on the flip side, if a situation is really light. Give it a pinch of suspense and dark to take away that secure feeling. :)

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