Sign in to follow this  

Critique Required - Is this too generic??

This topic is 3109 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hey, Would really appreciate some feedback on this very brief piece copied and pasted from a Notepad document ive been keeping on a game idea I've been working on, I should also point out that on a number of occasions I've considered just writing a short story based around this concept instead; if you feel theres no potential for a decent game in all this, then suggestions along those lines would be appreciated. P.S - yeah I know, the title is stupid. I think it means 'Year One' in Latin. Annus Unus Charachters: Emporer Chaltri, leader of the Unus Universum Councellor Veralius, Chaltri's chief advisor, often he will speak for the Emporer as it is beleived the years of Nano and Bio-Mechanical upgrades have left the Emporer virtually brain-dead, this rumour is as a result of his few public appearances and lack of mobility. Commander Padrevski, military and political leader of The Scourge (so named by the unus Universum, they refer to themselves as Quintii after their home galaxy, Quintius). Flight-Commander Maria, Padrevski's nephew and personal Pilot Former Marine,Foster Helix, one of a minority of Marines who avoided upgrades of any kind (most of whom are not of Imperial birth); Bio-Mechanical, Nanobots etc. Setting: Year One, after the Unus Universum used their Star Harness, to eliminate the Scourge's home Galaxy of Quintius. Ending a 300 year war and starting a new chapter in history, starting from the beginning, Year One: Annus Unus. Emporer Chaltri came to power after the 'Year of the Four Emporers'; in the year 3065 Emporer Vikidis comitted suicide live during a public address to the Empire, witnessed by billions across the Galaxy this caused instant panic and turmoil. The Council acted quickly to appoint a new leader, Servius Vitellius, but this turned out to be a disaster as Vitellius had already made many enemies by declaring that 'The Scourge' were as much 'Sons of the Universe' as any other citizen of the Empire. This enraged the elitest group 'The Brotherhood of Technology' who violently oppose the Quintii's wishes to remain untouched by nano or bio-mechanical technology (thus leaving them succeptable to illness and deformaties) and assassinated Vitellius during his inauguration. By the beginning of the year 3066 there were two political candidates fighting for rule over the Empire; High-Counceller Beratius and Military High-Commander Chaltri. In the end Bertius acheived a short-lived victory as Chaltri accused him of bribing Council members and challenged him to a duel, the battle was fought on the desert planet Solaris. Chaltri made it off the planet alive and was declared victor, although there are those who beleive he did not kill Beratius, merely wounded him and left him for dead, others say Beratius was killed by an animal or the extreme weather, and others still who say that Beratius fled as a coward to the outer rims of the Galaxy. The Game would see the player take control of Foster Helix during 'Year One' as he arrives on the planet Quotom on the far reaches of the Imperial Empire, hoping to find some answers to his origins, he stumbles across a plot by the Unus Universum to wipe out all non-Imperial Galaxies, he also finds out a portal to a long-lost planet; Earth. And discovers that Earths colonies are once again thriving, but because there are a mixture of 'Puritans' (people with no upgrades) and 'Modernists' (people with upgrades),as well as the 'Brotherhood of Technologies' influence within the senate;Earth is set for destruction by the Empire. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think your story is really that generic, I just feel it needs more description. A lot of stuff is talked about but never elaborated on. Maybe there's more in that document you have (hopefully). For example, I have no idea what the Nano/Bio Mechanical upgrades are or what they do. What's a star harness? How does it work?

The groups definitely need much more explanation than given, from that snippet I don't understand their differences or why I would even care about them. Write out the answer to this question: What actions from TODAY lead up to the formation of the Unus Universum?

So it's not a matter of being generic (face it, almost everything you write will in some way resemble something that's already written), but a matter of how well you craft your world (or universe in your case). Recently I started reading 'The Fall of Reach' book based on the Halo video game. The book follows Master Chief from a young boy to his fights on the battlefield. This is what your concept lacks so far, a solid background.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's not a bad start for the sort of space opera genre of Dune or Star Wars. It could be a lot of fun, but I think you have to be careful.

Right, so you're overlaying Roman-feeling history and politics over a light sci-fi setting. I think the thing to most worry about is losing a person's interest by getting bogged down in specific details that you, the author/world-builder, are interested in but which readers or players have no emotional attachment to -- yet. I'd start such a story for a game by laying out an almost archetypal scenario with very few details and not too much name-dropping all at once: "The Empire is in political turmoil, the last emperor was killed in [these epic circumstances], there's conflict between [faction X] that believes [this] and [faction Y] that [believes that]. [Person Z] is on a mission at the edge of civilization to find out what happened here amidst rumors of [this] and [that] and [something] about the long-lost planet of Earth. What will he do as he is caught between rival [something or others]; what will he choose? You decide!" Etc.

To give an example of what I mean: Compare the first old Star Wars movie to the first new Star Wars movie -- the old one was like: Evil empire, princess in trouble, some nobody on a desert planet in the middle of nowhere gets thrown into the middle of it: good times. The essence of the setup, the hook, was given in archetypal terms that anyone can understand and enjoy. The new one was like: Blah blah, tedious backstory that no one cares about because they haven't become emotionally involved and it turns out that the Trade Federation or whatever doesn't really matter anyway. One should avoid infodump before anyone cares about the details, is the thing.

So I don't quite agree with the previous poster; more detail is not what you need -- yet. Detail should make up the rest of the story after the beginning, sure, but don't worry about getting all the names down at the very start. At least that's what you should do for a video game, in my opinion. For a book it could be a bit different, depending on how you run it. For a Halo book, I'd say that the reader already has the 'hook' and premise from playing the game, so the rules are a bit different.

[Also, from a finicky nerd perspective: I'd change most of your references to galaxies and home galaxies and destroying entire galaxies down to solar systems -- galaxies are really incomprehensibly huge and everyone goes for needless scale-inflation by having multiple galaxies flying around. Like, if you can fit billions of people on one planet, then the number of people who could fit in a galaxy is unthinkable. I think it's too much, too much to imagine or care about. Like that apocryphal Stalin quote about one death and statistics.]

Best of luck with the writing, and keep it up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the advice, to both who have posted, i deffinately reckon I could integrate all the advice given; coming up with a snappier, more approachable basic setting and plot, whilst at the same time working on the more intricate details of the Factions, Planets, Technologies etc. in my spare time and introducing them to the forum at a later date.

Top Notch (Y)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Something I used to help me in a larger project where I needed to write a hefty story wasn't to write the details into the main story necessarily but to write short stories that served as the backbone for the world I was creating there. This allows you to create the background of your story while alleviating the pain of having to force it into your main story. This might be a perfect idea for you especially since you have multiple factions with different backgrounds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I read this somewhere on this forum; "Don't make all your names the same." Whilst I know that it is Romanesque, please chill on the -us names because they became overwhelming.

Other than that though, I think it is an interesting idea definitely. Like the moderator said, make the blurb quite simple and if this becomes a game, present the story slowly so they can grasp it better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by S-Dawg
I read this somewhere on this forum; "Don't make all your names the same." Whilst I know that it is Romanesque, please chill on the -us names because they became overwhelming.

Other than that though, I think it is an interesting idea definitely. Like the moderator said, make the blurb quite simple and if this becomes a game, present the story slowly so they can grasp it better.


I agree with this and forgot to mention it earlier. Especially having the two characters starting with V get easily confused. I've started a book where it's based on a mixture of Roman and Grecian influences and I don't have the '-us' problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks again to all comments.

This is the revised blurb so far, with the extra background detials given after, for those who like the extra information; I had a think about all the trivial facts, in relation to my favourite game; Oblivion, and I think the Moderators right, in something like Oblivion, your given the basic plot and storyline immediately and at appropriate points throughout the game, but theres also a huge backstory, through Guilds, Side-Missions and books which can be read throuhgout the game, so casual gamers arent put off and more hardcore gamers can delve further into the Universe if it takes their interest, so thats what I'm going to go for here, obviously theres still loads more needs done, and I think i'll update it weekly, or bi-weekly.



Blurb: Year One, the Unus Universum led by the ruthless Emporer Chaltri use their Star Harness, to eliminate the Scourge's
home Solar System of Quintius. Ending a 300 year war and starting a new chapter in history, starting from the beginning,
Year One: Annus Unus. Meanwhile on the outer rims of the Galaxy a battle-hardened Marine search's for clues to his past and
uncovers much more than expected: the Empires sinister plot to expand out over the entire Universe and how a long lost planet
called Earth may yet stand in their way.



Year of the Four Emporers:
In the year 3065 Emporer Vikidis comitted suicide live during a public address to the Empire, witnessed by billions across the Galaxy this caused instant panic and turmoil. The Council acted quickly to appoint a new leader, Servius Vitellius, but this turned out to be a disaster as Vitellius had already made many enemies by declaring that The Scourge were as much 'Sons of the Universe' as any other citizen of the Empire. This enraged the elitest group 'The Brotherhood of Technology' who violently oppose the Quintii's wishes to remain untouched by nano or bio-mechanical technology (thus leaving them succeptable to illness and deformaties) and assassinated Vitellius during his inauguration. By the beginning of the year 3066 there were two political candidates fighting for rule over the Empire; High-Counceller Beratius and Military High-Commander Chaltri. In the end Bertius acheived a short-lived victory as Chaltri accused him of bribing Council members and challenged him to a duel, the battle was fought on the desert planet Solaris. Chaltri made it off the planet alive and
was declared victor, although there are those who beleive he did not kill Beratius, merely wounded him and left him for dead, others say Beratius was killed by an animal or the extreme weather, and others still who say that Beratius fled as a coward to the outer rims of the Galaxy.



Star Harness:
The Empire have developed the nessecary technologies to accurately predict when a Star will die, the Star Harness is a massive collection of Electro-Magnetic rings that are built around a Star, to capture the unfathomable energy produced
by the dying Star, providing unlimited power, a weapon powerful enough to destroy an entire Solar System, or even, some say punch a hole in the space-time continuum.

Quintius:
Quintius is the home world of the Quintii, also known as 'The Scourge': amongst Imperials. Although a large planet it has a relatively small population as most of the planet is inhospitable. Not everyone on Quintius is a 'Puritan' there are some people with Nano-Upgrades, although few.

Quintii:
The Quintii are the main enemies of the Empire, they are comprised of all humans who throughout the years have refused to have nano-Bots infused into their bodies, which make Bio-Mechanical upgrades possible.

Unus Universum (One Universe):
The name of the Imperial Empire is the Unus Universum; they are one of the largest Empires in the known Universe, and have been quite contempt with careful democracy up until now: Only two Empires match them in size and power; the Cyber-genetic Akroids and the Quari-Zar, who resemble Imperials in many ways physically, although in general are of a much higher intillect.
The Unus Universum have recently devised a plot to destroy both the Akroid and Quari-Zar home worlds, so as to impliment their vision of a single-minded Universe, with one beleif system, one politcal system and one race; The Imperials. The Unus Universum say this is the only way to have a peaceful Universe, with no wars or suffering, if everyone becomes nano-Enhanced
and follows their viewpoints, so that there are no disagreements: this is why the Unus Universum and Quintii battle so fiercly.

Nano-Technology:
From combat-suits that blend Soldiers effortlessly into their surroundings, to nano-bots in the blood-stream; fighting illnesses, healing wounds and in some circumstances, bringing people back from the dead, Nano-Technology changed the Universe forever, it also made Bio-Mechanical upgrades possible.

Bio-Mechanical Upgrades:
Because people with nano-Bots in their blood can heal at such a rapid rate, it has been possible for a number of centuries to implant upgrades into humans, such as giving someone legs that will let them run twice as fast as a normal human, or fall safely from heights of up to 400 metres. Running on water; superstrength, nightvision and even weapon upgrades are all possible with Bio-Mechanical upgrades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote]Original post by S-Dawg
I read this somewhere on this forum; "Don't make all your names the same." Whilst I know that it is Romanesque, please chill on the -us names because they became overwhelming.
quote]

I know what you mean, I'll try and think of some new names, at the moment i've stuck with those ones because all that part of the plot is based around an event that actually took place in History; The year of the 'Four Caesers' which i think was possibly the year 65-66 AD. So most of the names are lifted directly from the Caesers involved or the men who conspired against them.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 3109 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this