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CThom

Project Divine - Plot Writing Contest! Cash Prize + More!

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EDIT: Just a heads up to everyone, due to the variance in entries as what seems like a huge misunderstanding as to the game-type, I've rewritten the prompt to be a bit more specific and it should read more like a prompt now rather than just a blank page. Please keep in mind what the game is here. The player is nameless. This is not a single-character RPG and the story should not read like one.

 

EDIT: This contest will be ending June 23rd!

 

Hi all,

 

I'm the leader for a game development foray called "Project Divine". Things are coming along pretty steady, but I've had some ideas on some additional ways to "crowdsource" some of our assets. One of the easiest of these is our plot. Currently, all we have is basic gameplay, settings, and art direction, with the core details of the story still up in the error. I thought this would be a great opportunity to give the community a chance to contribute.

 

What we need is a basic back-story/reason everything is happening/why and what are we fighting/few major plot lines and twists. I'm not looking for individual quest dialogue, specific names, etc. I'm thinking about the max this would take is two pages, so this isn't something you should need to commit a lot of time to.

 

As for the winning entry: There's a flat cash prize of $150, you'll be mentioned on all our credits including a link to your portfolio or anything like that. Lastly, you're welcome to stick on the team to continue developing the story and game features, but are no way required. You can take your money and peace out.

 

I'm also offering $25 to each person who I pull things from. If I use someone elses full backstory, but pull a few ideas from yours, you'll at least be earning a bit of cash, as well as mentioned in the credits.

 

The winner will be selected by myself and the other designer on our team. Contest end will likely be around June 20th. I don't have an official date, but as soon as entries start slowing down, we'll call it a day. 

 

 

 

The gameplay itself is similar to the Diablo's or Torchlight. Player controls a character and battles their way through hordes of monsters/bosses, levels up, gathers items, etc. As mentioned, we've got a basic settings and art direction covered. In basic terms, it's a sci-fi mythological setting. Fancy power armors, high-tech gadgets, and gods in human form are all standard affair. Player's will be fighting against gods or with gods at some point (example of our first concept for a god). The following prompt is essentially the first cutscene of the game to introduce what's happening:

 

Scene Set: Character inner-monologue. Middle-aged male. Inside facility lined with bed-like machines (similar to tanning bed or MRI machine). Character is lying upright in the bed with tubes attached to body. Scientists working around him on machines near the bed. Middle of scene is cut by a shot of the barren wasteland, dead animals/crops, etc. Scene ends with character lying down in bed and closing eyes.

 

Maybe those kooks on the street corners were right: Repent or be punished by God. Strangely fitting words as we stand on the brink of starvation looking up to the skies. Now word is that our final hope lies not in the sky, but within wires and lines of code; that it sits in the frail hands of engineers! “Utopia is a data cycle away and it can be harvested!” Bold propaganda, but I refuse to believe a cure for our troubles would come that easy.

 

So here I sit with the last remnants of mankind, preparing for whatever awaits us on the other side. Give the sane access to the heavens, find progress, maybe even salvation. Give the hungry and desperate access... I guess we'll see.

 

The player character in this situation is a human avatar. Humans in this world obviously have greater powers, however, keep in mind, the player is nameless. The story should follow a general flow, not a specific one. There are no love interests for the player or family ties (there can be for NPC's). For example, the story in Diablo followed an unnamed hero. The NPC's are generally more important to the story than the player itself.

 

What I'm looking for is to flesh this out. How do we expect to harvest this utopia? Why does it need an army of humans? Who are the enemies and who are the friendlies in this situation? Is there hidden motivation for those in the "program world" to bring us there? Why has the "program world" never come to us? Who populates the "program world"? Are we actively changing it via "wires and lines of code"? Is it created or are we just guests who finally found a way in? Why are some humans fighting for the enemies? Are there other "program worlds" we haven't found? These are just a few of the questions that can be fleshed out and introduced as general plot or plot twists.

 

 

I'd recommend you check out our web-site at http://divine-game.com for some additional details on features as well as a good chunk of concept art to give you a better idea of what things will look like.

 

All entries should be e-mailed to me at CThomlison@gmail.com . I can also be added on Skype if you want to have a quick back and forth at CThomlison.

 

Look forward to seeing what you guys come up with!

 

Thanks!

Edited by CThom

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Hello!

 

Sounds like a great project, and I may very well be interested in writing something up for ya. There is only one detail I'd encourage you to comment on first - and this is an issue you'll probably want to add to your main post there as well as anywhere else you are placing this notice.

 

The issue is one of rights to the produced material - while the overall winner seems to become a pretty standard "work for hire" situation (as in, you are buying the actual exploitation rights of the story material as part of the payment). However, the possibility of pulling material from other contest entrants confuses things a bit. Would they then be able to go off and use that material in something else?

 

Being an indie project, yeah, chances are you wouldn't care much. But whenever money is involved, it's a good idea to think a bit about rights assignment.

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Very valid point. I think it can go both ways. If I do decide that I'd like to pull a part from someone else's, I'll contact the user and work with them on money vs. rights vs. can they use it again. Considering how generic the pull will likely be, I don't see us running into issues there, but I'm always willing to work with someone on it. If they decide they'd rather it not be given out for the secondary prize, I can just exclude it.

 

Thanks!

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Humans discover new planet. Gods inhabit planet. War starts between ones who want to allow humans and those who don't, some humans side with Gods thinking they'll help them once they win. Player controls hero that is a special human blessed by gods. Game starts with player's initial landing on planet. Player slowly learns more about backstory of gods as they progress through game. Bosses include X God's and Final boss is X God. Twists: Half-way through player learns they were a God sent to earth originally and brought back, one God is his father, something something dark side.

 

Would you like us to semi-follow this format when detailing a plot?

In addition, what does "something something dark side" mean?

Edited by JessieJess

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Just realized I didn't add an end date so that's been added. I don't have a concrete date in mind but I'm thinking another 2 weeks or so.

 

Thanks, really enjoying the diversity of what's come through so far!

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I've just updated the main post with some extra info. I've realized I was entirely too general in my initial post and I hope this clears some things up.

 

Thanks!

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