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MrDojo

Write a story for this game concept

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Stormynature    5198
Pieces. That’s all I find...pieces.

Pieces that are answers to questions that I don’t know. Not my questions. No...not my questions.

I know the answers are there. The answers to my questions like why do I hide when they pass by? Why do I hold my breath and pray to whatever god will hear me that they pass me by? Who are they? I can’t even answer that simple question. They come, I hide. Why can’t I face them? I am not weak but I hide. All I get is pieces. They offer no comfort.

I don’t know why I look for those pieces, but I don’t think I can stop. I don’t want to think what will happen if I stop. What happens if I hide to long? What happens if I stop? Why can’t I stop? God help me I need answers...my answers. Why do I hide? Why do I look? Please God let them pass me by.

Don’t breathe. Don’t breathe. Don’t breathe. I am not here. I am nothing. Keep moving. Keep moving. Don’t stop...Oh God don’t stop! Don’t breathe. Move. Move. Thank you God. Keep moving. Keep moving.

I can breathe. I am redeemed. Now to search. There is something here in this place, I can feel it. A piece, maybe The Piece. How did they hide it? Who are they? Why did they hide it? Why do I have to find these answers? Do they lead to my answers?

Stop talking to yourself.

Find the piece.

--------------------------------------

Some brief notes: The scene is an abandoned building. I have made the assumption that given the focus is less on combat and more on hiding that combat comes later in the game thus the above scene. I have also made the assumption that the puzzles and exploration lead to answers, but given your theme of vagueness rather than determinism have gone the way I did. The religious aspect purely comes from an old saying "There are no athiests in foxholes". If I have stepped into the wrong rabbit hole with this piece let me know and I will create a different track.

Some separate notes:

@Cassandra. If you are not a writer, consider it - you have talent.

@Meagan. I hate doting mothers, but I really do like the element of the scar opening up, you have me thinking. Kudos.

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MrDojo    128
@ MeaganD,
The idea's of the labyrinth and the monsters reacting to the bellsound/tower are quite good. However I am not fond of the main character being a mother, nothing against them personally! ;). I find the idea of an old man much more original and appealing.

@ Stormynature,

I like your ideas allot, especially the one regarding the game world actually being one "bad dream". Maybe you can come up with some interesting ideas to complement that one. BTW, to come back at an earlier question: as off now we did not plan any interaction with NPC's besides the actual enemies. Well, killing the player is actually pretty "one-sided" ;)


My biggest goal with this game is to tell a story trough it's immersive environmental and visual design, without actually needing interactive dialogs. Having said that, I still like the idea of the player finding "snippets", "letters" or maybe a "diary/journal" inside the game world to make the player feel more immersed.

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Stormynature    5198
[quote name='MrDojo' timestamp='1330967322' post='4919499']
@ MeaganD,
The idea's of the labyrinth and the monsters reacting to the bellsound/tower are quite good. However I am not fond of the main character being a mother, nothing against them personally! ;). I find the idea of an old man much more original and appealing.
[/quote]

I think you got the mother mixed up with the daughter :P

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Ok, as I didn't really describe the universe i had in my head in my previous post I'd like to do it now:

The main character is a man around his 30s, who wakes up in the cabinet as described in the previous post. After a while he starts listening a monstrous whispering in his head telling him he's a murderer. He also has a kind of premonition knowing dangerous thing that will happen but moments before they actually happen. Something like a sense of deja vu. Trying to find out what's going on he starts following animals which seem to want to lead him somewhere (wolfs, deers, butterflies). After a while and while has gathered a lot of pieces of his story it is revealed that his wife was murdered. Denying to believe that he was the murderer and while the voice in his head has become almost constant a creature emitting a red-light aura appears and starts to haunt him. He gets away and now the voice is telling him to go to the tower. Although he has never listened to the voice before he decides to go and find out whatever is happening.

And that's all . [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/happy.png[/img]

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Stormynature    5198
[quote name='MrDojo' timestamp='1330967322' post='4919499']
@ Stormynature,

I like your ideas allot, especially the one regarding the game world actually being one "bad dream".
[/quote]

I should point out for prospective (or current) entrants - this idea is in no way restricted -- i.e. if you can use it to come up with a variation or a storyline then go for it. Anything I throw up on the writing forums I consider as being available for general use, stealing, co-opting etc....unless of course I specifically make note to the contrary :).

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Stormynature    5198
[quote name='Stormynature' timestamp='1330611803' post='4918177']
The entire game world is actually the internal landscape of someone's unconscious mind (player, patient or enemy). The puzzles, mazes, enemies etc represent different aspects of the mind and provides insights. The tower complex is the key to escaping the unconscious world but is even more tricksome to get through than the outside. Unconscious by the way with respect to the subconscious, not simply knocked out.
[/quote]


Okay MrDojo here is a variation into the theme of a mindscape as the story behind your game

--------------------------------------------------

[i]In the moment before you die they say your entire life flashes before your eyes. This is not true. In the moment you die every regret you have ever had rises up to embrace you. That is the truth.[/i]

Set Piece

The player has no knowledge or understanding of where they are, how they got there, nor even any real knowledge about themselves.

Each location in the game represent's a moment in time of the player. A moment when a poor decision was made. The buildings and locations themselves are symbols representing the outward from a decision for example a rundown industrial plant might represent a failure on the player's attempt to have made something work.

Inside each location there is a mini-story that delineates in vague terms the decision that led to that's locations creation. The mini-stories are not ones of regret but rather the truth of how the decision was made.

The active enemy npc's are a different form of symbology. Ones created from emotional decisions i.e. rage, hate, fear etc.

The tower represents the core persona of the darker side of the player. That which dominates the landscape and has such an effect on everything there.

Each step the player takes unravels the story of the man, until the tower itself is entered and the top room is reached.

------------
WIll add one or two more variations in the next day or so. And then I might even get around to putting one of them in a literary form :)

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joshua_lux    104
@stormynature

I really like the idea of locations representing previous decisions, even memories. Puzzles and clues in the locations could be direct representations of repressed or uncomfortable memories, similar to the dream analysis of Jung and Freud. It's been done before in Silent Hill and elsewhere, but there are always interesting ways of getting the locations to 'fit' with the memories.

What would be more interesting is if you could add an element of further repression within the game itself. For example, finishing a locations '100%' i.e. solving the puzzle correctly, collecting all necessary items, defeating all enemies etc, leads to the protagonist remembering the past event correctly, objectively, truthfully, then dealing with it. Not doing so (or perhaps choosing not to do so) means that the memory is imperfectly recalled or the protagonist flat-out refuses to address the issue. The memories you confront could be interlinked, so that the way you deal with them informs your path through (or up) the tower.

Very Silent Hill, but involving the mind and memory gives you the opportunity for some complex storytelling.

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joshua_lux    104
"Time is fluid here.

I waited for days for someone to let me out. I cried and hollered until my throat was raw, until I spat blood.

I should be hungry. I should be dead from thirst. I'm not thirsty.

I might be dead.

There are words written on my arms in marker. On my left arm it says: Try to stay awake. On the right it says: David.

I think David might be my name.

The sound of the bell has kept me down here till now. When it comes I can't help but cower, hide in the shadows. It hurts. It hurts everything.

But there's no-one coming. This door won't open.

The only way out is up."

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Loulou15    104
[b]This would be a cut scene![/b] In first person, we don’t see the character yet, just where they are heading. They are running, heavily breathing. The rain is pounding down around them; the wind is rocking the trees back and forth and stirring up howling noises. The time is dusk, so there is still some light but the air is thick with autumn fog. The camera turns as if the character looks back, we see the looming tower in the distance. The character falls to their knees, all we see are two muddy, skinny white arms and the fact they are carrying a blood stained jumper. The character reaches the house (as seen in your first picture of in game footage), they turn the handle and rush inside. For the first time the character is revealed as the camera pans out. A dark haired twenty something woman, her face cut and her clothes torn. She stands now with her back against the door, catching her breath. She moves quickly to a table and fumbles about with matches and candles trying to light the dark house.

I would love to know more about whether it is going to be a set adventure that the player has to "follow" or whether the protagonist can go to the different locations by choice, sort of free roam so to speak and uncover clues etc as they go along. Also, sorry if you have already said this, but what platforms would this be played on?

Just to clarify...I have never written for a game before, extremely new to this, but if you like my idea I can run with it further!

Thanks,

Louise

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MrDojo    128
Interesting ideas Joshua_lux ; i'll provide some comments later on.

@Loulou15,

The player is free "to a certain extend" to roam the map freely in a way that provides and encourages exploration. Than again we are thinking of splitting the game up in several large areas rather than 1 seamless map (mostly due to technical reasons). By any means we want to make this game feel more open like "Stalker" (rather than corridor after corridor we see in almost every game).

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KenoshaKid    100
It was the early morning, the sun had just begun to dye the overlying sky a deep rich purple. I wandered through the woods flashlight trained on the deer tracks cut into the snow as they led down a steep embankment and I was met suddenly by a lake, wide and completely frozen over, that in all my years in these woods I had never seen. By dawns first light I saw in the middle of the lake the deer, framed on the shore opposite by a huge wooden obelisk. A wind picked up from the south and I heard the creak of its old timbers. This had not been here the week prior, I was sure. A mist began to spread across the lake and wound its way down a small gully some distance to my left, running the way I had come. The wind switched and everything was quiet again, eerie. I turned and, shouldering my rifle, commenced to scramble up the embankment. I began to walk hurriedly away from the tower without a backward glance. Some spectre or hallucination surely, I feared for my sanity, I would never tell anyone what I had seen. Turns out, I wouldn't be troubled by that. I never had the fortune of seeing anyone to tell. When I got back to town they were all gone, my friends, my family, my wife. All dead or run away or something. Or maybe I'm dead. If not, I will be soon enough i'm certain. The mist is coming, I can see it spreading out of the forest, black shadows rise up out of it and spin away into soft tendrils quick enough that you may not be entirely convinced they were even real. My only hope is that this will allow me to see my dear Joanna soon. They are coming Joanna, they are coming. Are you waiting for me wherever I am bound? Are you waiting?

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joshua_lux    104
Hmm, if you want the game to be more 'open' then perhaps the idea of going up the tower is a little limiting. But if the areas are going to be quite open then the tower makes a great visual motif: wherever you are in the landscape you can see it, and it's an ominous shadow on everything you do. Someone has already suggested the enemies reacting to the sound of the tower. If the tower is always visible on the horizon it adds some agency to the sound it makes: the tower is 'controlling' what goes on in the game, it's always at the centre of what happens. It would make an effective 'hub' as well (i.e. you start levels there and always find your way back to it). I think that the more present the tower is, how well and often you can see it etc, the more effective the atmosphere.

I really like the concept of being an old man too. Games that are truly frightening always find a way to add vulnerability to the player. Playing an old man is quite a novel concept, and it makes you slow, old, fragile etc. Stuff is scarier when you can't just run away from it.

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This perfectly compliments a story of mine. A group of distant siblings are given the deed to their parent's dead friends' estate.There is a haunting but it's not random. There is no senseless violence but there is a lot of horror. My definition of haunting is being in the dream-like state when you're actually awake and cannot seem to run far enough or hide no matter what. There are personal secrets exposed and enough twists for it to always remain unpredictable.

Once renovation of the property is started in the mansion, the siblings are gathered in the foyer talking. The 100 or so painters and construction workers slowly disappear off the premises and are soon found huddled over something in a field. The workers turn to the mansion with the siblings calling to them from the gateway. The possessed workers charge, the siblings lock themselves in a room in the mansion with the demonized workers trying to find a way in. The first secrets are revealed from two of the oldest siblings which lead to a desperate race to a car where there are mysterious letters they recieved in the mail weeks before. This is where the mysteries of the family's past begin unraveling.

The siblings find themselves scouring the entire estate to uncover secrets of their families past and secrets kept from them by their own parents which ultimately drove them all apart. One thing about the haunting itself is that the possessed always seem to be lurking nearby, so characters are literally always on the run. They can be found in any dark corner no matter how well lit a room is. No matter how far you run from one location to a new one, there is a demon hidden in a dark area somewhere. Before anyone can uncover the reason why they are being haunted, the siblings are forced to uncover their own secrets and determine why their parents lied to them their whole lives.

Some siblings stay together while others are forced to travel alone and some even venture underground. Revelations don't necessarily mean a character is safe. Sometimes it means they could become trapped in a limbo and they are never seen again, which does happen to several of them. There are signs that a character is slipping into limbo but there is no way to stop it.There are no flashlights or cell phones or electricity of any kind and the reason is tied into the story. Other enemy types include alligators, stray dogs, snakes, and at times swarms of birds or stampedes of other wild animals through forests.


I do have a title for it. nbox me to learn more. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/ph34r.png[/img]

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bjgamer    283
I sometimes like to write concepts for fun so I thought I'd give this a try. The stuff in brackets are work in progress concepts. If you like it send me a message :)


[center]-Background of the Island-[/center]
We are at the end of the era of the human exploration of Earth. Humans have learned everything they possibly could about the world. Humans have solved every mystery that they could. However there is one secret that still eludes human understanding; [an island located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean].
This island was surrounded by mystery. No one has ever set foot there and returned. Fly-bys of the island reveal nothing except dense forests and a tower erected in the very middle.
[center]-Main Character-[/center]
Ever since the main character was a kid they wanted to make a name for themselves, and nothing sounded cooler than exploring “Tower Island.” Throughout their childhood they have done everything to achieve this goal. They learned [karate/swordplay/gunmanship], and survival skills. They trained their body and their mind for the moment they would step foot on the island. The main character is one of many people on an expedition to chart “Tower Island”, to learn its secrets.
[center]-The Beginning-[/center]
The story begins with a crew of 10+ on a small boat they rented headed for “Tower Island”. They reach the island dusk is falling. The captain of the boat refuses to stay near the island after dark so he drops main character and crew off and sails away, promising to return in a week’s time. It’s almost night, so everyone sets up their tents. Night falls and the main character hears an eerie noise. Intrigued the main character walks towards the noise, and into the forest that fills the island. It hasn’t even been a minute when the main character hears screams coming from the campsite. The main character frantically runs back, and finds the rest of the crew massacred. [The tents are torn, blood and entrails are everywhere, pieces of people are scattered about.] The main character stares at utter disbelief at the carnage, then, out of the corner of their eye the see movement. The main character turns and sees a pair of glowing eyes staring intently at him. The main character makes eye contact and doesn’t break it. The creature lets out an ear-splitting howl and lunges at the main character [only a blur can be seen]. Just as the creature is about to reach the player the eerie sound rings again, and the creature disappears.
[center]-Some ideas-[/center]
· Main character gets lost on island while trying to find a way to contact the outside world
· They traverse the forest and eventually make it to the tower

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Homecoming

Joshua was adopted by his aunt and uncle at a very young age when both of his parents went missing. They were never found after an extensive search, and they told no one of any plans to leave or anything of the sort. Joshua is now 14 (? age changeable). He has had an uneventful life so far with his aunt and uncle but wishes to return to his hometown to talk to friends of his parents and find out if anyone has any information about what happened. He saved up money for a few weeks and then snuck out of his aunt and uncle's home one night, taking a hired taxi to his hometown of Pleasantwood.

At this late hour, Joshua is the only person on the streets and the driver gives him a queer look, no doubt wondering what a kid is doing out alone at night. He seems friendly enough, so Joshua explains that he is going to visit his hometown, leaving out the details about his parents. After a few minutes of small chat, Joshua eases back into his seat and turns his attention to the window as a gentle drizzle patters against the glass. The trip should take several hours, and it's late, so Joshua begins to let sleep take him.

He is ripped from his dreams by the screeching of rubber on asphalt and a jarring pain as his head bangs against the window.The next thing Joshua is aware of is the roaring, crashing pandemonium as the bus crashes nose first into a tree and his world goes black.

It must have been only a moment, for when he opened his eyes he still had fresh blood oozing from a cut on his forehead. He then noticed the driver and screamed for the first of many times this night.

The man was covered in blood and sat unmoving with his neck hanging limply at an awkward, grotesque angle. Joshua quickly scrambles out of the car and checks the pockets of the unresponsive driver for a phone, but finds nothing. The man is most certainly dead, but Joshua knows he must get help and report the incident. Shakily making his way to the road, he notices a street sign that reads: Pleasantwood 1 Mile. He sets off, breathing heavily . . .

**At this point the game starts and the horror elements begin. Maybe he makes it to town and it is silent hill-esque, strange and everything seems aged and there is a strange, out-out-place and ominous tower sitting in the center of town that certainly shouldn't be there.**

So you have a whole town to explore and can find clues about your missing parents and how they are tied into the strange happenings, and how you (Joshua or whatever his name ends up being) are involved [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

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Wolfgang01    114
[left]Hey newbie here, I thought I'd give writing a go. Let me know what you think.[/left]

[center][size=4][i]Hark the angels sing, hark the angels sing.[/i][/size][/center]
[center][size=4][i]Evil tidings they will carry,[/i][/size][/center]
[center][size=4][i]Boy, you better run when you hear them ring.[/i][/size][/center]

[size=4]Mystic River town is a blot upon a map, just a destination that no one fancies, but needs out of necessity for gas, and what-not when travelling through the west. The inhabitants there respond in a vacant wooden-like way, and it seems as if everything is out of stock and will be replaced tomorrow. They urge you to stay at the motel, and wait till they restock, and you warily oblige. You note that the townspeople look as if they’re trapped, like they’re programmed to follow a set path over and over again, but it’s a passing thought, and you dismiss it for small town quirkiness. As you call it a night you hear a bell toll off in the distance. Ready to dismiss that too you notice the motel receptionist collapsed on the ground. Then you walk out into the street and see that Mystic River town has completely shut down, quite literally.[/size] Edited by Wolfgang01

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Daerst    307
I'd love to see that game in action! Great concepts so far.
Give it a dark, insane, bloody (combine as required) ending and it could have a sort of Lovecraftian touch to it :)

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Spoon Thumb    121
I'm guessing competition wise, this is already over, but still fun to have a go. Incidentally, there is nothing scary in any of those reference photos for someone who lives in rural England. Atmospheric? Yes. Scary? About as intimidating as a Sunday morning walk in the countryside:

[i]The cows, the same ones, every day. They mock me, ignoring my presence amongst them, until I shout myself hoarse. Only then do they deign to casually glance in my direction. The docile beasts somehow avoid my approaches, ducking and weaving into the mist that descends each time I get close.

At the far edge of the field, the old brick factory. It reeks of ghosts, dusty and cavernous, stripped bare of man and machinery that once brought it to life. I long for the day when developers come from the city to turn the place into luxury flats and boutique shops. How they would stare at the sudden appearance of this ragged man, this waif, wandering their prime real estate.

Oh how I wish! Wish to be awakened from my perpetual nightmare. It has been months since the days blended together and nights turned to fiction. Since that Sunday morning I set off from the car park off the A514, walking through the cloud drenched woods, never to find my way back. Not a single soul did I see on the roads that morning. Alone then, as I am now, I crave the company of another.

Yet it is a force unnatural and monstrous that accompanies me. The factory's towering chimney looming above me, inescapable, forever visible in the background everywhere I go. It screams, howling despair, emitting a sound that rips my soul with dread, and fills my spine with a tingled chill of a threat. Nameless and invisible, it creeps ever closer with each chime of the tower. Soon it will be upon me, and then I shall know my torture here merely as a walk in the park for all the terrors that await[/i]

Of course, whatever haunts the character in the above passage had better be a damn sight scarier than a regular old mutant or alien or somesuch. Equally, the player isn't going to have any guns or knives to destroy what preys in the plane of existence between the conscious and subconscious mind, so that somewhat throws out the usual bullet physics and weapons mechanics

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SaNcT17    158
Hmm, interesting. Alan Wake was the first thing that came to mind seeing these pictures though lol. This might not be the best story, but here's a brief pitch:


You're Neal Mathers, a local farmer's teenage son and many of his animals has gone mission or were found mutilated corpses. Day after day, on the radio you hear news of children gone missing and your father warns you not to be out past dark. While sleeping one night around 4:00am, a bright light shines from the sky through your window, you look outside and in awe, you see a huge silver disc in the sky glowing with many bright colors and it slowly hovers out of the farm and into the dark forest and you follow it until it’s totally out of sight. While following the UFO, you find yourself lost and have to get back to the farm but on your way, you see creepy creatures in the night whose faces are hidden behind the dark with only their white glowing eyes exposed. They try to catch you and you're running and hiding from them with a shovel as your only defense. You hide behind one tree, and peek behind you to see two creatures approach as they come close, you hit one with a shovel and run on to the next cover. Many of them begin to approach slowly and you continue a cat and mouse chase through the night.

Finally, you lose them and time passes as dawn breaks along the way back to the farm, you find many children and people your age reported missing on the radio all around the forest as you go along, they seem to be escapees from a creature they describe as the Harvester who lives in what they call the sky house and they're all out looking for the remaining children who were there with them to bring them back to their main hideout, which I guess could be the first picture. Missions consist of finding your way through mazes of crop circles in the forest, using the environment to hide from the Grays (aliens dispatched in the forest to find escapees) and finding out what’s going on in the tower where mysterious echoing sounds of the unknown are heard in the forest every night and colored strobe lights beam through the windows. I’m thinking clues may come through some of the children in riddles and you play through occasional dream sequences (which really feel like a dream by using a dolly zoom effect and surreal and hallucinatory aesthetics and visuals in a real world to add to the mystique of the game)

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FittyYen    104
Let's see what I can do. Just gonna type till lunch is over, so sorry if it stops abruptly.

The first thing the Kid saw was that tower off in the horizon, an unearthly light pouring out from it's peak. The first thing the Kid heard came from that tower, an echoing, cracking noise that managed to resonate within the ribs of the Kid's chest. The first thing the Kid felt was a stabbing pain throughout thier arm, everything below the socket felt like it was on fire. The Kid knew that something was after 'em, just didn't know what, or why. The Kid just knew that it all that mattered now was finding someplace safe.
The Kid woke up on the shore of a river that refused to flow. There was water, but it was still and stagnant as the dead on a battlefield.

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bvanevery    174
"It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out. We absconded to the tobacco factory, whose entrance had been demolished decades before. Across the moors puffed the smoke of our gas chamber, in which we cooked..."

[quote name='Spoon Thumb' timestamp='1340203358' post='4950972']
[i]The cows, the same ones, every day. They mock me, ignoring my presence amongst them, until I shout myself hoarse. [/i]
[/quote]

Da winnah!! Well, at least it was the first intro sentence I actually liked. I didn't read the rest. I don't care about "horror" per se. I respond well to black comedy.

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