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spiderninja

Feedback on plot line much appreciated

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I have come up with an idea for a game, based on the story more than the game play, and was just wondering what some other peoples ideas on it were. Here is the basic outline for the game: VEHEMENT THRONES There are 3 friends who participate in a battle royal among the other kids around town, obviously the main character wins the fight and goes somewhere to celebrate with his mates. Upon arrival of such place, they witness 3 monsters appearing from a portal/rift/symbol. They go over to get a better look when suddenly the monsters jump up at the friends, and go inside them. Then more monsters appear, different ones, but the friends blackout before they have the chance to do anything about it. When they wake up they are in a house/cave/hotel and a person is looking after them. That person tells them about what just happened and who he/she is. The monsters that jumped into the friends are special monsters called "Nahka Panema", formed when a person dies with strong emotions in their heart. These monsters attach themselves to a host and feed off of their emotions, growing as more is absorbed. In return the host also grows stronger. As evidence of a Nahka Panema host, some parts of the body begin to show the physical characteristics of their absorbed monster. The Nahka Panema, once attached, lives within the cells of the host, effecting the conscious and physical attributes of the host. The other monsters at the site that the kids saw, called "The Riven", are born when a person loses complete control of their emotions. These friends then have to go and find out where all these monsters are coming from and stop it. The main bad guy of the plot is an old scientist/magician who is making unusually large amounts of Riven by experimenting with them and peoples emotions. At first the kids think it is just him but then they find out he also has a Nahka Panema within him, who is telling him what to do. This evil monster is using the three kids to fight the created Riven and grow the Nahka Panema inside them so they can unlock what is called "Vehement Thrones". The evil Nahka Panema believes that Vehement Thrones is just a place of almighty power, but the meaning of "thrones" also means "an order of angels", referring to the beings inside Vehement Thrones. The kids then unleash these beings upon the world and have to then fight them before peace is once again restored and they return as heroes. That was just the basic outline of the story. There is, of course, more depth than this but I didn't want it to take too long to read. I would love to hear some feedback on what you think of the plot, also any contributions to the story such as extra characters, twists, places and events would be greatly welcomed. PM if interested in helping out. -James-

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First of all whats the setting of this story? The age of the characters?

From my point the story lacks the 'Suspension of disbelief' element.

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Quote:
Original post by sky777
First of all whats the setting of this story? The age of the characters?

From my point the story lacks the 'Suspension of disbelief' element.


I haven't decided on a setting as such, but am leaning towards a low fantasy world, so not everything is completely unbelievable. And I'm not quite sure what you mean by the 'Suspension of disbelief' comment. Please explain?

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Hi, I read that this is your story:


Three strongest kids in town were involuntarily contracted to fight possessed people to fulfill a evil master's plan. Although the evil master succeeded in using the kids to complete the actions of the plan, the effect of the plan was uncontrollable and threatened everyone. The kids cleaned up the mess and became heroes.


This is your current outline:

0.1 - The three strongest kids emerged as the result of a battle royale
0.2 - Their power were involuntarily contracted and augmented by the evil master during their celebration
0.3 - A helper saved the kids and explained the situation
0.4 - The kids set out to find the evil master by fighting possessed people
0.5 - The kids find the evil master and are surprised that it is also an augmented being.
0.6 - (The kids are caught by surprise and the evil master's preparation is complete)
0.7 - The effect of the plan turns out to be bad for everyone
0.8 - The kids confront the new threat
0.9 - The kids win
1.0 - ~ Fin ~


These are your specific world-building rules:

Nahka Panema - Powerful beings that contract with human. It uses emotional energy to give its host power. Nahka Panema grows by fighting Rivens.

Rivens - Human beings who had lost control of their emotions.

Vehement Thrones - The most powerful beings that the evil master tried to unlock and possess without knowing that they could not be controlled. Vehement Thrones could only be unlocked by powerful Nahka Panemas.


These are your observable themes:

T1) It is dangerous to seek more power than one can understand or control
T2) Good triumphs over evil


Your projected gameplay is:

o Combat


My comments:

I think your outline is complete. It is probably best to go ahead and fill in the details of each part instead of changing the overall structure by adding twists. What do you want to do now about the story/the game?

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@ Wai
Wow you really put my game into a perspective that I can understand. Thanks heaps :)
There is just a few things I want to clear up:
Quote:
Original post by Wai
Nahka Panema - Powerful beings that contract with human. It uses emotional energy to give its host power. Nahka Panema grows by fighting Rivens.


The Nahka Panema not only feeds of the Rivens power, but also uses it's hosts emotions as energy then just giving it back to the host as power.

Quote:
Original post by Wai
Rivens - Human beings who had lost control of their emotions.


The Rivens are formed when a person is consumed by their emotions, but the monster is not actually the person, just a manifestation of the emotions.

Quote:
Original post by Wai
What do you want to do now about the story/the game?


Well I do need to come up with most of the fillings for the story such as: Dialogue, NPC's, Worlds and Events that take place in these worlds. And I also plan on working on the character/environment/enemy/items/magic/weapon design but not until I have the whole story set out.

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Your corrections:

Nahka Panema - Powerful beings that contract with human. It grows and give its host powers by fighting Rivens or by using the host's emotional energy.

Riven - Monster manifested from strong emotions out of control of a person.



My comments:

I think your character design should come before your dialogue writing, because your outline said that the three kids were friends. But what is an example of dialogue that you want to work on? Perhaps it makes sense in your case to start with dialogues and design the characters accordingly so that the dialogue you want can exist.

The following is some question. Your design does not need to have an answer to them if you don't think that they are important. I am asking them because I want to know if you had thought about them. But I don't want you to mistake that these are high priority questions.

1) What happens to a person's emotion when a Riven forms? Does the person go into a coma? I ask this because I want to know the scope of the kids' heroic effect. Do they save people by fighting the Rivens so that the Rivens' host could recover from coma? Or do Rivens attack normal people? My impression is that normal people cannot see Rivens, only those with Nahka Panema can see them. Riven might drain healthy people's emotional energy but they cannot physically attack them.

2) Or alternatively, do Rivens have no effect on the real world except to be defeated by Nahka Panema and to unlock Vehement Thrones, (that is in the expense of screwing up the emotions or normal people)?

3) This is a suggestion on the characters. The suggestion is this: Use four characters, with the evil master be a role instead of a character. The helper is working with Nahka Panema, and accidentally/intentionally contracted the kids with Nahka Panemas. Since the helper did this (screwed up), he tries his best to explain the situation with the kids and help them (and possibly while hidding his own mistake: "a friend of mine screwed up," "it is a random, unexplanable phenomenon"). During the course of the story, one of these four characters developed into the evil master due to a hidden desire and the new gained power.

4) This is another question about the characters. Why do you introduce the battle royale in the beginning? I assume that the reason is that it shows that the kids are strong will and can fight, so that they are chosen by the evil master because they have the best chance to effectively defeat Rivens.

5) This is a suggestion related to 4 and 3. Instead of having a group of three friends, let the 3 be unaquinted. They meet because they were separately activated and became Nahka Panema hosts. The helper found them one by one to help them and to explain their situation. Since each host was initiated independently, the reason that they were initiated is part of their privacy. The helper would not force them to disclose that information, but as their Nahka Panema grows and shows its power, the emotion would physically manifest. The helper gives the new host the options to continue having the Nahka Panema (which, in this context, is also a manifestation of one's inner self), or to be magically cure (permanently sealing that part of the emotion). If the new host chooses to seal the emotion, he would continue with his normal life without risking his life and to face a world of tragic pasts, but he would have part of his memory related to that emotion removed and be permantly disconnected. The new host might choose this option because he might not want to keep that memory anyway. The default player character first heard the explanation from the helper, then he would hear it again when he and the helper encounters additional activated people. Part of the story is about what different people would choose to do when they are activated. In this setting, the core group has no initial ability to fight. Each host would learn how their Nahka Panema would fight and fight in the style they discover suiting to their inner self. The sense that something wrong had happened occurs when: The helper and the PC could not identify one of the activated hosts, or when a host refuses to team up with their group, or when a host teams with the group but is also actively hidden his truth.


Please ignore these questions if they are not yet important or say something about Dialogue, NPC's, Worlds and Events before answering these questions. There is a reason for your priority and I am interested in your original thoughts to approach story building. When I know your original thoughts I could tell why the suggestions don't apply, so you don't need to waste time commenting on them.

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Hi, I would just like to add that in a certain perspective, your story struck a fundamental chord. In that perspective, your story should exist and be readily recognized. This story must be worked on for the betterment of mankind and society. Do not give up on this story because it contains the truth. You will regret it if you don't drive this story to completion.

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Quote:
Original post by Wai
My comments:

I think your character design should come before your dialogue writing, because your outline said that the three kids were friends. But what is an example of dialogue that you want to work on? Perhaps it makes sense in your case to start with dialogues and design the characters accordingly so that the dialogue you want can exist.


By dialogues I meant how the character speaks and also their personality. Maybe it would be better to design the characters to some extent before handling the speech and such.

Quote:

1) What happens to a person's emotion when a Riven forms? Does the person go into a coma? I ask this because I want to know the scope of the kids' heroic effect. Do they save people by fighting the Rivens so that the Rivens' host could recover from coma? Or do Rivens attack normal people? My impression is that normal people cannot see Rivens, only those with Nahka Panema can see them. Riven might drain healthy people's emotional energy but they cannot physically attack them.


The persons emotions still remain to some extent but not so much as to create another Riven, unless that person again gains that amount of emotion. It is also possible for a person to create a few Riven in one go, depending on length of time for emotion to be formed and strength of the persons will.

Also it's more like the Rivens "creator", so to speak, blacks out for a period of time, whether it be a few minutes or a few days. This again is determined by the persons will and physical strength.

Rivens can indeed be seen by everything, and also do attack everything, but not just because it's there. They will target people with stronger emotions than normal so as to either take that emotion from them, or cause this emotion to grow stronger, thus creating another Riven. And they can physically and emotionally hurt people.

Quote:

3) This is a suggestion on the characters. The suggestion is this: Use four characters, with the evil master be a role instead of a character. The helper is working with Nahka Panema, and accidentally/intentionally contracted the kids with Nahka Panemas. Since the helper did this (screwed up), he tries his best to explain the situation with the kids and help them (and possibly while hidding his own mistake: "a friend of mine screwed up," "it is a random, unexplanable phenomenon"). During the course of the story, one of these four characters developed into the evil master due to a hidden desire and the new gained power.


This is quite a good idea. I have thought about it and here is what I came up with:

Make it that it is the helper, who is the evil master. This would explain why he "accidentally" released the Nahka Panema upon the kids, why he knows so much about the Nahka Panema and how he knew that the kids would be good candidates for them because he has seen them fight. But he does not let on that he has the Nahka Panema inside him so as not to foil his own plan.

Another scenario I came up with is he is but a helper of the real evil master but this would then revert back to the original story.

Maybe could use this as an alternate storyline, but I will have to decide between both at some point.

Quote:

4) This is another question about the characters. Why do you introduce the battle royale in the beginning? I assume that the reason is that it shows that the kids are strong will and can fight, so that they are chosen by the evil master because they have the best chance to effectively defeat Rivens.


There is that reason, but also to introduce combat/controls to the player so as not to just throw them into a battle without them knowing what to do. This is a sneaky way to introduce the tutorial level. Because most people these days don't bother reading the manual or they just skip the tutorial because it's boring etc.

Quote:

5) This is a suggestion related to 4 and 3. Instead of having a group of three friends, let the 3 be unacquainted. They meet because they were separately activated and became Nahka Panema hosts. The helper found them one by one to help them and to explain their situation. Since each host was initiated independently, the reason that they were initiated is part of their privacy. The helper would not force them to disclose that information, but as their Nahka Panema grows and shows its power, the emotion would physically manifest. The helper gives the new host the options to continue having the Nahka Panema (which, in this context, is also a manifestation of one's inner self), or to be magically cure (permanently sealing that part of the emotion). If the new host chooses to seal the emotion, he would continue with his normal life without risking his life and to face a world of tragic pasts, but he would have part of his memory related to that emotion removed and be permantly disconnected. The new host might choose this option because he might not want to keep that memory anyway. The default player character first heard the explanation from the helper, then he would hear it again when he and the helper encounters additional activated people. Part of the story is about what different people would choose to do when they are activated. In this setting, the core group has no initial ability to fight. Each host would learn how their Nahka Panema would fight and fight in the style they discover suiting to their inner self. The sense that something wrong had happened occurs when: The helper and the PC could not identify one of the activated hosts, or when a host refuses to team up with their group, or when a host teams with the group but is also actively hidden his truth.


This is an interesting concept. Here is a concept I came up with, based on what you said:

On one day of the year, there is a huge festival held to commemorate some event. This is held all over the world(this will be explained later).As part of this festival, there is a battle royal in which anyone can join. The winner of such battle royal will, supposedly, be taken to a fighting academy to train and grow stronger. But what really happens is the winner are taken with the helper/evil master where they learn of a threat (Riven) and there is a way of which they can fight them and be heroes. But every year, the winners chosen are either destroyed by the Riven or have such strong emotions that they are turned into Nahka Panema. But it is now the current year, and the winners of the three main tournaments, are taken to the helper/evil master. They then get acquainted with each other and maybe some other fighters that have joined with the helper/evil master. And then this is where my answer to question 3 would take off.

I hope I answered these questions in a way that you can understand and I am finding you more and more helpful. Also thanks heaps for the positive criticism.

I have sent you a PM with my email in it. If you would like to help me on this idea further, and this would be very welcomed, I suggest that you add my email address so as to keep most of the confidentiality.

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Re: The discussion continues in email. I am just posting something
so that the thread doesn't appear to have suddenly stopped.

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But if anyone else is interested in this idea and helping out in any way possible, please feel free to PM and I'll email you the details.

Cheers,
-James-

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Any story has 5 sections:

1.Introduction - (Where the reader/player knows where he is in time&space)
2.Intrigue - (The cause of the story)
3.The action - (what comes out of the intrigue)
4.The action peak - (The most tensed point of the action)
5.The conclusion - (What have we learned from this, what was the point of everything)

When building a story I recommend imagining it from point 5 to point 1:
First step : What do I want to say with the story?
Second step: what happenings can get me to my point logically and relevantly?
Third step: What can cause those things to happen?
Fourth step: Where and when could this happen?

ADVICE: don't aspect to write good game stories for games by playing games, read books, both classic and modern, books help you expand your imagination and teach you narration techniques.

I am a programmer and software consultant as a job, though I've read more than a 100 books in my life, including some philosophy (good for conclusions), psychology (good for building relevant characters), hundreds of stories (from Asia, Eastern and Western Europe) these help you with plots and places. I write stories from time to time (when I have it), I don't publish because I don't have the time to invest, but I've submitted my work to book editors and they appreciated them, as well as some of my friends deed.

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