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RaiderIV

No motive to speak of

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I have been slowly building a story arc for a game i hope to eventually design, however, I cannot think of a motive for the antogonist(s). So far I think I am glued to the idea that they are pursuing immortality, but this immortality will remove their physical bodies. I like that idea, but I cannot figure out a motive or reason for them to pursue this goal other than just to become immortal. The setting so far is your standard futuristic/sci-fi setting. (you know lasers, robots, and the like) Although, nothing is set in stone yet, except for the fact that I really don't want to do a 'fantasy' based game with dwarves, elves, etc.

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How can you have a story but not have a motive for the characters.
Even if you did think of a motive you'd be randomly trying to place it into the story which will leave your game feeling disjointed or disconnected from the characters at the very least

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Don't be too discouraged by what Gegenki said. Piecing essential ideas together as you are does run the risk of creating forced or disjointed stories, but that doesn't mean it definitely will. I plot stories in the exact same way, and it has worked out well for me so far.

Now, on the topic of motive, I can try giving you some inspiration. Maybe some of it will help.

Immortality can be attributed to God. So, maybe your villains are trying to become gods themselves. Maybe they are trying to overthrow the current god.

In more of an Evil but (Self)Righteous vain, maybe they are trying to become like gods to prove to humanity that it doesn't need to be shackled down by the belief that there is a being out there greater than they will ever be. To show the world that the only restrictions that exist are man made, and if we get past them, we can do anything.

Stepping back from God, you could go with religion in general. They could be lead by some belief of the ruling church. "The rebirth of the world will come when the champion of man ascends unto heaven as the spirit of the living and not as a harbor for the dead." Fancy talk for: become a spirit while still alive, go to heaven, you get to recreate the world.

If you don't want your antagonists to be complete megalomaniacs, maybe they just hate our world. Hate what humanity has become. They hope that in becoming spirits, they will be able to see new more magnificent worlds. Or, in becoming immortals, they will be able to shape humanity's destiny to their own designs.


That's all I'll write for now. I know these ideas are extremely specific, but do what you will with them. I mostly wrote them as something for you to think about. To help get your creativity flowing in a direction maybe you hadn't thought about before.

If you want any other help, just ask.

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Quote:
Original post by Gegenki
How can you have a story but not have a motive for the characters.
Even if you did think of a motive you'd be randomly trying to place it into the story which will leave your game feeling disjointed or disconnected from the characters at the very least


First off, I guess instead of story I should say a jumbled collection of thoughts I am trying to find a starting point so that I can form them into a story.
(I write ideas as they come onto cards and keep them in a story board kind of layout. Seems to help when you don't have a good starting point but some middle ground ideas you'd like to try to include)

Quote:
Don't be too discouraged by what Gegenki said. Piecing essential ideas together as you are does run the risk of creating forced or disjointed stories, but that doesn't mean it definitely will. I plot stories in the exact same way, and it has worked out well for me so far.

Now, on the topic of motive, I can try giving you some inspiration. Maybe some of it will help.

Immortality can be attributed to God. So, maybe your villains are trying to become gods themselves. Maybe they are trying to overthrow the current god.

In more of an Evil but (Self)Righteous vain, maybe they are trying to become like gods to prove to humanity that it doesn't need to be shackled down by the belief that there is a being out there greater than they will ever be. To show the world that the only restrictions that exist are man made, and if we get past them, we can do anything.

Stepping back from God, you could go with religion in general. They could be lead by some belief of the ruling church. "The rebirth of the world will come when the champion of man ascends unto heaven as the spirit of the living and not as a harbor for the dead." Fancy talk for: become a spirit while still alive, go to heaven, you get to recreate the world.

If you don't want your antagonists to be complete megalomaniacs, maybe they just hate our world. Hate what humanity has become. They hope that in becoming spirits, they will be able to see new more magnificent worlds. Or, in becoming immortals, they will be able to shape humanity's destiny to their own designs.


That's all I'll write for now. I know these ideas are extremely specific, but do what you will with them. I mostly wrote them as something for you to think about. To help get your creativity flowing in a direction maybe you hadn't thought about before.

If you want any other help, just ask.



Thanks FartherThanLife,
I hadn't even considered the whole immortality to godliness thing. It also opens the whole door for a more religious aspect of the game. Up til now I had really only focused on more of a scientific based story arc. Gives me much more leeway to think of a motive.

Perhaps, some sort of good ol' religion vs. science story line. Anyways...

I appreciate the ideas ^_^

~John

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I'm not saying it's a bad sugestion, but I would just like to point out one thing. The religios bad guy with some sort of evil church has been used quite a lot, and you bearly ever se religius people as good guys unless they are random healers in some RPG. I you still want to go with the idea, consider giving the antagonist a good argument.

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You could try the 'villain as a twisted hero' motif.

The antagonist believes they need to become immortal for some altruistic purpose; the cost to himself and to those that get hurt along the way is a necessary sacrifice for a greater good.

The protagonist may initially only be aware of the negative aspects of the antagonist's mission. When confronted with the reasons, the protagonist will be faced with a question: do the ends justify the means? Should the villain be stopped, or helped, and what are the repercussions of each?

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No ofence, but that's even more clishé. It's not uncommon for the bad guy to want some greater good. And basicly, the end never justifys the means in the aspect of a video game hero.

This is your bad guy:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KnightTemplar

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Quote:
Original post by Kohake
No ofence, but that's even more clishé. It's not uncommon for the bad guy to want some greater good. And basicly, the end never justifys the means in the aspect of a video game hero.

This is your bad guy:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KnightTemplar


You're probably right - but practically every plot is cliché these days. Even the plots where they've subverted a cliché are now cliché.

I love TVTropes, but if you banned every single trope in there from appearing in your story, it would be nigh on impossible to actually write anything.

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Quote:
Original post by Sandman
Quote:
Original post by Kohake
No ofence, but that's even more clishé. It's not uncommon for the bad guy to want some greater good. And basicly, the end never justifys the means in the aspect of a video game hero.

This is your bad guy:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KnightTemplar


You're probably right - but practically every plot is cliché these days. Even the plots where they've subverted a cliché are now cliché.

I love TVTropes, but if you banned every single trope in there from appearing in your story, it would be nigh on impossible to actually write anything.


True, I do however think you(not you, you) should be aware of this. I agree that practicly every plot is a cliché now, but some are more common than others. I also do agree that it would be nigh inposible to write a clishéless intresting tstory, but that's the fun if it's easy?(the question is about 50% serious)

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I think if you try too hard to avoid all tropes you're in real danger of ending up with an incomprehensible mess. Most stock elements in stories become cliche because they work. The trick is putting enough of your own spin on them to make them interesting rather than relying on them as a crutch. (TV Tropes actually has a trope about tropes for this: Tropes Are Tools, or Tropes Are Not Bad/Good)

Personally, I like antagonists who have a fundamentally good motive, as it's a good start to give them some sympathy and some colour to their personality. The alternative is to make them either just amoral and selfish, only out for themselves - or alternatively a complete inhuman evil monster. Those are cliche too, especially in video games.

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Re: Reason behind immortality

Quote:
So far I think I am glued to the idea that they are pursuing immortality, but this immortality will remove their physical bodies. I like that idea, but I cannot figure out a motive or reason for them to pursue this goal other than just to become immortal.


Because they think they can but the others don't believe it. They receive no respect and the only way to fix that is to become immortal. What would they do after they are immortal? First, they get to say, "We are right! You are all wrong!" What do after that? They will think about that afterwards.

Since they think they can do it, they might as well be the first ones. So they are very aggressive about it. If they don't die, they will always be the oldest individuals alive. It is a record title that no one can ever beat. How cool is that?


Alternative:

The system can only support one immortal. If they don't become it themselves, someone else could and they would never be able to attain it. Since they could get it now, they would not wait for someone else to get it first.


Third reason:

Because there is something they think they deserve but they don't understand how to get. They figure that if they are immortal, then they have forever to figure out how to get what they really want. Since it is easier for them to become immortal than to figure out the path to their primary goal, they equip themselves with immortality first.


Fourth reason:

They are addicted to something and they never get enough of. They are getting immortality so that they want to keep living the good lives they have.



[Edited by - Wai on July 23, 2009 11:24:29 PM]

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On reading this, my first thought was simply that they had faced death and it terrified them.

Perhaps they came close to dying and saw a glimpse of the next world. Whatever they saw could have been real or their own oxygen-starved brain hallucinating; they may even know this, but the single chance that it was real is enough to convince them that they would be going to a bad place.

Maybe, drawing from the twisted altruism idea, they lost someone they relied on at a delicate time, leaving them alone and feeling abandoned, so they swore never to abandon those who need them.

You could steal one from [a certain cult Bioware game]; they were a pure soul that did something so unforgivable that they know that their soul is damned for it, no matter how much they atone for it. They see immortality as their only chance, the only way to give themselves the time to truly atone.

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A thought that just came to me: the antagonist wants to become a Lich (or functional equivalent). In order to become immortal, he needs to place his life force in a phylactery, which could be anything. From there, be creative with what this phylactery needs to be. Maybe the antagonist uses some presumably holy relic, then tricks the "good guys" into keeping it as safe as possible, thus making his immortality "more immortal". Once it's safe, he doesn't need to do as much evil stuff, or maybe it's someone else doing evil stuff by proxy, some sort of secret servant; maybe he betrays this servant at some point. You could also bend the "rules" if you wanted, since Liches are fictional, after all.

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