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DribbleDribble

Abstract Frankenstien-esqu game concept - opinions and thoughts

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Hello,
I’m planning on starting work on a game slightly inspired by Frankenstein, and I would love your opinions and thoughts on it, such as what gameplay styles would work best for it in your opinion, how the "parts" system should work, and opinions on the story.

So, Ill explain it in sort of a template first:

Name: Stein: Pieces of Me
Genre: Horror-esqu (abstract, possibly no horror)
Location: WWII war ravaged Germany
Unique gameplay element: Ability to take parts from other creatures (to improve yourself).
Plot:
- Follows a nameless small man-like creature that was created in an experiment before WWII. The creature awakes from its closed away location for the first time since its creation, during WWII. It takes on sort of an abstract story style (akin to games like Loved, Don’t Look Back, Limbo, etc). The creature finds that its master has left it (it remembers the man from hearing it while it slumbered) and is curious as to why he is gone. He discovers the man has left him for multiple reasons, one being he was a failure. The creature goes on a journey through a war ravaged Germany (in sort of a fantasy style world) in an attempt to find his master and prove he’s not a failure. During his journey he assimilates parts from its prey (in gory fashion) to improve itself for its master. The townsfolk shun him even though he tries to help others during his journey, and there are times where the player can make minor moral choices that effect the outcome of the game, and possibly the progression. The end is currently up in the air, but it is planned to have multiple endings.



Please post feed back on what you think of this game.
I look to make this a high quality game in this puzzle-esque genre, and possibly release it on XBLA, though it’s not guaranteed and depends on whom I recruit.


Games that act sort of as inspiration: Limbo, Loved, etc, links to some are below:

Loved : http://www.kongregate.com/games/AlexanderOcias/loved

Loondon : http://www.kongregate.com/games/flipntale/loondon

Dont Look Back : http://www.kongregate.com/games/TerryCavanagh/dont-look-back

[Edited by - DribbleDribble on November 11, 2010 2:03:35 PM]

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Hey everybody, I hate double posting but I see that people are just looking at this idea, but not commenting.

Please, any feedback would be much appreciated, whether in be encouraging or not. I just need opinions on what you think of the idea and whether you think it would be interesting if executed well.


[Edited by - DribbleDribble on November 11, 2010 1:46:38 PM]

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You should have posted the story in "writting for Games".
About gameplay, is it an RPG? an action RPG? an adventure game? a Hack-and-slash?
Horror is not actually a genre in games.
About the gameplay element of collecting parts, it's not unique.
Think of Spore. In cell stage you kill a creature with a body part you don't have and it leaves a pick-up. You collect it and then you can "evolve" that body part.
Also in Front Mission you could capture enemy robots and put their parts in your own.
The concept is in many games.
Now, please don't say "mine is different because parts are stitched and...", it is just the same mechanic, killing an enemy, and collecting their habilities/strengts.

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Gameplay/Art style:

Probably like Loondon, but not as restricted. I played a few minutes of Loondon
I found it too boring. The writing in Loondon was too much like propaganda. I
have the same complain with loved. The tone is not charming or sincere. Perhaps
you could call it contrived.

Parts System:
Not particularly interested. I have no comment.

Story:
I don't like the setting, because they did do experiments on human subjects
in WWII. So to me it sounds pretty bad.

I can only comment based on my preference, someone else might tell you what the audience wants.

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Well, first off, please don’t assume I was going to say "Mines different because this or that . . .”

I realize I was vague in explaining that feature, and now that I re-read it all, it was poorly explained.

The "uniqueness" of this mechanic isn’t in that I thought it had never been done before (in fact, the game Divinity II was sort of an inspiration, though I thought of this before I knew the game had that feature). What I consider unique about it is in the way it is implemented, in that A: it effects the way in which you can complete puzzles in the game, and B: it acts as a moral decision and effects the outcome of the game and the progression of it.

I will edit this thread with a much better explanation.


Also, I know horror in itself isn’t a genre, but it is planned to be a dark puzzle game, with some possible horror elements.

Also, writing is in essence part of game design, and I assume you know that.
I was posting this as a way to obtain opinions on the over all idea, not the writing. That is an example plot synopsis I included covering the basics.

Gameplay is akin to games such as Limbo and Loondon and Braid.
It is simply controlled with a WSAD format for movement and mouse clicking for interactions (at least, at the moment, though it is planned to change).

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Also, as a reply to Wai,

If games arent allowed to involve topis like that, like movie and books and music do, then there is no reason for anyone to think games are a high form of entertainment.

It shouldnt be restricted from use because it was real. I mean, there are so many games that play off on the WWII topic its crazy, but they show it as mindless kill kill kill, which, realistically, may have been some of it. But there was obviously more to it.

Also, there are pleanty of theories, or factual occurances, of ill behaviour from the real world being portrayed in a video game and all other forms of entertainment. This, unlike some others, isnt to make lite of that, the story is meant to purposfully be simplistic but carry meaning.


Also, gameplay is not fully worked out yet, but though Loondon is sort of an influence (remember, I came up with this idea before I played any of the aforementioned games) it wont be very similar. The gameplay mechanics will probably be more like Braid, though there will obviously be some major changes.


Also, I know some will think this is corny, but the story is supposed to be about what some people are willing to do to be accepted by others.

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Personally, I don't think you sound very sure of your concept. If you are not sure of it, how can you expect us to think its very good and worth developing?

Your idea has a potential imo, but you need to be able to see that potential more than anyone else does.

When you know for sure your idea is awesome, then you won't need to ask us whether we think its good or not. And if you need to ask us for ideas on how to make it awesome... then I don't have much hope for it.

Once you do know its awesome, and you are sure you want to and can develop it into a game, go for it! But remember the importance of iterative design and implementation...

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I'm curious, what are the puzzle and moral elements to the game? It seems like they would be at the center of how the game is recieved. Keep in mind that morality within a game is something that can be tricky in that most people don't think twice about dispatching a collection of pixels that represent a dataset in computer memory somewhere.

If you want to make this game then do it. You don't need our permission. The only thing that should stop you is if you're on some sort of budget, working on someone else's dime, or something like that. If you want feedback on certain elements of gameplay though, then it might be better to ask about those specific elements.

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Well, I am sure of it.
I just like to get opinions of others, not ideas.
I realize I wrote this very poorly, but what I meant by "how the parts system should work" was me asking for your ideas, it was me seeing ifyou believe it would be a fun element. AND if not, what your suggestion is on making it fun.

The opinions on the story plot, fairly obvious question.

And gameplay style, though I did ask your opinion, is essentially whether i should go for my planned baic Braid like gameplay, or if the other games I drew inspiration from would be a better outlet to observe better gameplay elements.

Sadly, puzzles arent 100% worked out as of yet, but the way the "parts" system effects morality in the game is simple, but depends onhow you play through. Basically, killing certain prey is obviously fine, but going into towns and killing the people and cattle and pets or whatever is obviously an immoral decision. Say, a lady in own knows something you need to progress, but wont talk to you because your a disgusting horrific creatre and frightening. 1 solution would be to kill her husband (or another person), steal various parts of his body and absorb them into yourself, making you resemble him, and then talk to her. Obviously, there are other ways to accomplish finding this information with no immoral repurcutions.


So, to ask the question I really should have asked from the beginning, Ill post it under here:

I would like feedback on whether you think the way I plan on implementing the parts system and combining it with a morality system would work well or if I should do so in a different way.

And

Whether you agree with my choice on the time line for the story.
I wont change this even if you dissagree with it, im just looking for audience opinion.

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I'd say that it's a good timeline to use.
Quote:
The Tick:
Science in those days worked in broad strokes. They got right to the point. Nowadays, it's all just molecule, molecule, molecule. Nothing ever happens big.

(I don't know, maybe that's a bit before your time but I couldn't resist.)

The 'Parts' idea that you have sounds like it could be interesting but I don't really see how an NPC that's scared of an unfamiliar mis-shapened creature would suddenly be at ease with a mis-shapened creature that has a familiar face. If anything I'd think they'd be far more scared. It sounds as though there's potential for some interesting physical puzzle type stuff (maybe need an extra pair of legs to reach something up high) but I'm not so sure about it as a vehical for 'gaining acceptance'.

Ignoring that, how does morality factor in? What are the immoral repercussions you mention? When does the player see it? Is the player supposed to get some kind of lesson out of all this or are they going to just go through the game thinking, "Oh ok, to get through this part I just go kill that guy and then fight off a bunch of angry people and everything is all set for moving on to the next town." Or is "Morality" a sort of score that gets kept and is just something reported at the end of the game? In short, how does it work?

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Re: DribbleDribble

Quote:
If games arent allowed to involve topis like that, like movie and books and music do, then there is no reason for anyone to think games are a high form of entertainment.
I had to project what you wanted to achieve in the game to have an opinion, and based on what you said I thought it sounded bad, mainly because of your mention of gore and the utilitarian style of violence (to get body parts to do something). I disagree with your statement because it is not just the topic, but the combination of presentation and desgin choices that I dislike.

Again, I can't tell what your vision is. I can only say that my impression of your vision doesn't sound good.

Parts System:

Objections:
o Gore
o Utilitarian violence
o The lack of difference between moral choices (if you are talking about the difference between ripping a wing off a bird versus an arm of a person, they are both cruel to me.)
o The use of reprecussion for immoral acts.


Timeline:

I don't like it because of the closeness to actual torture and massacre. I think this is a poor design choice because your game isn't actually about WWII, but only taking its backdrop. It is not just about the setting, but what you do with the setting.

I don't know what exactly is the priorities of your design goals, but if meaning is first, I think there are many alternatives to present the meaning "what some people are willing to do to be accepted by others."

Take your exact same plot for example, I would accept the concept more readily if the player is not the creature, but an agent that is assigned to capture and kill the creature. You can still have a horror / emotional story with moral choices. For example, as the agent you might discover that the creature is actually a victim of an experiement, and that it is pitiful, and you want to somehow free it instead of kill it.

In the way you have described the game so far, I am not seeing anything like that. So perhaps write another description which shows how moral plays out and what options the creature has?



[Edited by - Wai on November 12, 2010 7:22:39 PM]

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