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Ominous

Plot Idea, need feedback

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Well I don''t really know where to start so I''ll just start here now just to let you know I made this plot up and chances are it is probably similar to other things if so let me know so I can change it. SETTING: In the future. 2104 the world has undergone alot of changes wheras water levels have gone down considerable leaving the surface very dry. Sort of like in Judge dred but not that bad because there''s still water. Anyway technology has sky rocketed in the field of space exploration. (This was just a little bit of background setting) PLOT: (If you would call it a plot) A massive object with an area of close to 30 square miles is spotted moving on a collision course with Earth and it was assumed to be an asteroid untill it was discovered that it was mechanicle. Due to it''s distance from Earth, a team of was needed to examine it up close. And the player is one of those people. Once they arrive at the object scan it an find an entrance. Later it''s found that it''s a probe sent to collect data on every inhabitable planet it can find and if the planet is inhabited collect a specimen of the dominant species. It also rates the defence capabilities of the species. So by going to the probe one person is taken and placed in a suspended animation chamber along with 50 others each in their own pod. (Of course the one taken is the one in charge so it leaves the team without order so that they can all start getting to each other as the probe tries to kill it''s univited guests) the players job is to fight through the huge ship to find a way back home since the shuttle was destroyed shotly after the commander was taken. So the player is run trough a guantlet of traps and bots the emergency escape pods. (A basic plot using the KISS rule) (I tried to make this unique) Anyway I want to make this more like an interactive movie, with each character different and unique so a crew of 12 or so would be good. I need feedback and any sugestions.

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Sounds like The Dig. Some questions:

1. Why is the probe trying to kill creatures when it was specifically sent to capture them?

2. What does advanced space exploration have anything to do with this plot? I can''t see mankind flying to the stars in the next 13 years, and it''s irrelevant to your story when they only need to travel a few million miles atmost.

3. It''s a poor assumption that humans would be able to find a way into the object using ingenuity alone. My guess is, if thsi thing was intended to coast through space for years (or even decades), it''s probably sealed pretty damn tight. Maybe they can find a gaping hole in the side where it slammed into some debris.

4. How do they know it was a probe? Does it have "probe" written on the side? If this is an truly alien technology, it''s phenomonally unlikely that any human would be able to understand it in the least. To us, it would be a strange metal contraption with no definite purpose other than to wipe out our species. (After all, it started killing the occupants, right?)

5. Suspended animation. The technology gap works both ways. How is an alien species going to know how to put a human under cryostasis? This is never going to make the grade.

Anthropomorphism is a serious problem in sci-fi stories involving contact with an alien species (and this includes contact with technology from that species). Only through naivety can we assume aliens would be even remotely like humans, both physically and psychologically.

I suggest you read the novel Sphere by Michael Crichton and look at things in a different light. Hope this helps.

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Very good points. Too bad I didn''t mention this is the first of a trilogy and that this one is here to introduce the main character and the setting and the rest of the crap that people wonder WHO,WHAT,WHY,WHERE,WHEN and HOW about. Anyway your reply helps to bring new light into what it would really be like. Then again I could make this a comedy and the idea of somthing saying PROBE on the side is pretty funny, "How do you know it''s a probe" "Well Sir it says probe right on it"

And yes I do realize that if alien technology was introduced to the human species, we would have no clue about it. But this game
is to meet the demands of the average game player, who plays games for fun and doesn''t care (At least that''s waht I think, I could be wrong) what real alien technology looks like, how a person would use it, why this, why that, the average player only cares about one thing and one thing only (Is it fun?)
look a the success of Star Trek, now in reality every alien species wouldn''t speak english and look like a person with alot of make up. But people tend to let theses things go after all they''re just entertainment.

The dig was a good game and I can see the resemblance.

1. Why is the probe trying to kill creatures when it was specifically sent to capture them?

Not them, one it was given instructions to capture one, since
more then one went to the "probe" the rest are considered useless and useless items are usually discarded.

2. What does advanced space exploration have anything to do with this plot? I can''t see mankind flying to the stars in the next 13 years, and it''s irrelevant to your story when they only need to travel a few million miles atmost.

OK, I''ll give you that one.

3. It''s a poor assumption that humans would be able to find a way into the object using ingenuity alone. My guess is, if thsi thing was intended to coast through space for years (or even decades), it''s probably sealed pretty damn tight. Maybe they can find a gaping hole in the side where it slammed into some debris.

I like to debris idea and a huge gaping hole wouldn''t be hard to find.

4. How do they know it was a probe? Does it have "probe" written on the side? If this is an truly alien technology, it''s phenomonally unlikely that any human would be able to understand it in the least. To us, it would be a strange metal contraption with no definite purpose other than to wipe out our species. (After all, it started killing the occupants, right?)

As a matter of fact yes It has a huge sign that says probe
hehe hahahaha you''re funny.

No this is just their assuption and it ends up being right.

5. Suspended animation. The technology gap works both ways. How is an alien species going to know how to put a human under cryostasis? This is never going to make the grade.

Remember this is a game, you''re not one of the D&D freaks who cut themselves when their character gets hurt to make it "more real" are you?

Anthropomorphism is a serious problem in sci-fi stories involving contact with an alien species (and this includes contact with technology from that species). Only through naivety can we assume aliens would be even remotely like humans, both physically and psychologically.

Read above where I make references to Star Trek.

And again thanks for your feedback.

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I suggest you read the ''Rama'' series by Arthur C. Clark, your plot is identical to the first one ''Rendevous with Rama.'' Except for the fact that the probe starts killing people. I don''t mean to shoot down your idea. I say, if you like the idea then go for it, but, you may want to read the series and base a game off that. Anyways, good luck with what ever route you go.

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Some other books you might want to check out are Xenogenesis (also titled Lillith''s Brood) by Octavia E. Butler and An Alien Light by Nancy Kress. Along the lines of these books, you might consider that the ship''s alien ai is intentionally putting this group of humans through strenuous trial to gather psychological and physiological information on them. But if it were going to do this it would certainly remove all technological equipment from them before it started the run.

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Nah. The probe couldn''t assume anything about the environment that the humans survive in, or even what constitutes the individual and what is the technology. It would have to leave the technical bits.

The idea of a space ship as a honey pot is ok. Why not change the plot so that it tries to grab as many people as it can? The game can start after the automated systems snag the commander and start trying for the rest of the crew.

The crew separates (or is separated) and doesn''t know that the probe is only putting them in stasis (use a temporal stasis plot device to avoid questions on biological problems w/ cold sleep). Then the player can run through the same game 12 times with 12 slightly different characters and areas of the ship and then get a final score based on how many make it back out.

If you felt like being really clever, then structure the plot so that the behavior of one member can affect the adventures of a later member. Not in any major way, since the 12 different runs are supposed to be simultaneous, but with a few minor tweaks.

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Very good points, I remember hearing about rama but never played it. I''m still going to go with this basic idea but make it more realistic. I also have to design a game that would work within the constraints of the engine, which is a heavily modified Quake engine, sort of like Half-Life but not as much.

Thanks to everyone for their advice.

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I hate to bring this to your attention, but Star Trek is the worst example of anthropomorphism in the history of mankind. Personally, I could criticize the series for weeks and not even graze its horrific lack of creativity, but there''s really no point in trying. I''d be flamed to hell and back for it anyway.

You''re saying the average gamer just wants to have fun at the expense of imagination. In my experience, the average gamer wants to be surprised. There''s a reason I stopped watching television nine years ago. If you do something unexpected, people will remember your game as being original, instead of saying, "Yeah, it was another Star Trek rip-off" and dumping it in the closet after a week.

What you see as average, I see as sloth. Peole simply don''t want to be creative anymore. They''d rather take a beaten, worn idea and refine it in some minor way to make it seem unique to great mindless pablum of gamers with far too much time on their hands. I''ve purchased one game in the last twelve months. Why? Because out of every thousand games released, only one of them is good enough for me.

But then, I''m hardly an average gamer. The average gamer plays to win. I play to have fun. There''s no way in hell I''d buy your game knowing what I know about it now.

Okay. That ends the rant.

Seriously, what you should do is make the probe adaptive. Id est, the probe is designed to analyze life on another planet (whatever its definition of life may be) and alter its ecological systems to support that life for the return trip. It would be cool if you could return to various parts of the probe and find that they have changed to resemble human settings (e.g., an empty room turns into a dining facility, complete with snack machines and whatnot).

Technology doesn''t have to be totally realistic. It just has to be plausible. A ship that morphs itself is not far-fetched.

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It''s not that people don''t want to be creative anymore, it''s that some people need/are driven to be creative but most people are deep-down afraid of the new and different.

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