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iMagesBlues

Help tying two game themes together. Fill in story details

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Hi guys,

 

I am half a developer and half an artist and it's my first time writing a story for a game, I need all the help that I can have smile.png

 

Gameplay:

simple endless-runner, side scroller

 

Goals:

Reach the finish line on the right (x = 1000 m) or on the left (x = -1000 m). Collect water for stamina.

 

Characters:

Aquaria.

 

Setting:        

A small hut in the middle of the desert (x = 0).

 

Plot:             

Aquaria is trapped in the middle of the desert. Everyday she collects water to survive. One day, she risks her safety, packs all the water she has collected and runs to the desert hoping to find something more out there.

 

Primary theme:

Zodiac signs. Aquarius, Pisces, Cancer, Leo, etc. 

 

Secondary theme:

"Relationships leading to either Marriage or Break-Up"

I envisioned this to be the "hidden meaning" of the game. This will be depicted very vaguely and leave the user's imagination to fill-in the blanks.

 

I know that the two themes may sound unrelated and I may seem half-witted to try to string them together. biggrin.png But any help from anyone will be greatly appreciated. smile.png

 

Some silly example that I can think of:

 

- Since zodiac signs can be arranged in a chronological order, Going to the right (clockwise) means looking and embracing the future, and going to the left (counter clockwise) means not moving on from past experiences. 

- Aquaria runs to the right and sees a rock shaped like a fish (pisces / february) and remembers her first fishing trip with Leo.

- but when she goes to the left, she sees a cactus shaped like capricorn (december) and remembers a bad experience.
-  Reaching the finish line on the right, Aquaria see's a vision of herself getting married,
-  Reaching the finish line on the left, she sees a vision of breaking up with Leo/ or Leo dies because something bad happens.
 
Thank you for reading up to this point. Apologies, if ever you find this silly. 
 
Any suggestion, comment or critique is welcome. smile.png
Edited by iMagesBlues

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Hmm, interesting challenge.  Make me think of a few completely different games - Mrs. PacMan's relationship-related and running-related reward scenes, the zodiac story in Final Fantasy 9, and Tender Loving Care which was an NC-17 rated psychology game with a lot of relationship related combat.  Actually Katamari Damacy is another example similar to Mrs. Pac-man, it's a running-like rolling activity interspersed with reward scenes with mythological content.

 

The real limiting factor seems to be the endless-runner-desert thing.  If that weren't a requirement I'd say use each zodiac sign as the theme for a level - each level could have a type of terrain and enemies related to that zodiac sign, and the sign itself would be the boss.  Winning the boss fight would show a reward scene of the couple overcoming a relationship obstacle, while being defeated by the boss would show the relationship breaking up due to that relationship obstacle.  Scorpio is the sign that would most obviously correspond to the desert, so that could be the start point.  Scorpio suggest hoarding water and hoarding secrets or emotions.  Leo, one month earlier, is an intensification to fire, like volcanoes or something.  Leo would suggest arrogance and excessive domination or bratty attention-demanding.  Going backward in time would fit an introspective look at what went wrong with the relationship to get the woman into the metaphorical desert in the first place.

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Thank you sunshadow! I haven't played any of the games you have referred. I had a look at all of them. And the Zodiac Story in Final Fantasy 9 caught my interest.

 

I also considered having a boss fight for each zodiac, but programming 12 different bosses might take too much time and kill me. I'd rather stick to something much much simpler like the zodiac story in FF9. Also, I picked endless-runner gameplay in the beginning and it might be very difficult to change it at this point :p

 

Thank you for your Leo and Scorpio suggestions. I will definitely look for a place for them in my game. :)

 

I will try to string something up and will update you accordingly. :)

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If you have finish lines, you could probably do something with each level being a color-shifted version of the "desert" background, ending with its own finish line, followed by a drawn cartoon/comic reward scene, followed by the starting line of the next level?  That seems like it would still be more or less an endless runner game with no bosses, but give people's eyes and fingers a rest in between segments and change up the look with minimal art effort...?

 

Some other specific zodiac signs, sagittarius would probably be a green forest or green grassy area, while aries would be gray or yellow stone, like mountains or scrubland or sandstone.  I'm not as familiar with the stereotypical personalities of those signs.  Aries might be stubbornness or losing one's temper iirc, sagittarius might be single-minded relentless drive toward a goal, but I don't really remember.

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Thanks again sunshadow!

 

In fact, what I currently have are checkpoints for each zodiac represented by old wooden signs. :p If the player crosses these signs, a scrolling text indicating the zodiac's name will appear from right to left. These checkpoints are 100m apart and depending on how the player plays, he can move from one checkpoint to another in 10-15 seconds at the very least. :D A reward scene for every checkpoint may seem a bit intrusive. And to make things worst, a player can reach Pisces, for example, and go back to Aquarius then Pisces again, before going to Aries.

 

I think I have to show a demo video to better convey my idea. :)

 

I can consider changing the backgrounds for each zodiac. :) But the best (least effort :p), I think, would be some character/object to replace the wooden signs, and/or some caption/phrase/quote/dialogue which, altogether, conveys the "relationship theme" very vaguely.

 

Some examples in my mind are:

- As Aquaria reaches Pisces checkpoint, a talking fish would tell her something like: "A bird can love a fish, but where will they live?" 

- Or in Aquarius checkpoint she sees a jar with a caption: "Is your jar half-empty or half-full." which depicts positive attitude towards relationship.

- Gemini can symbolize something about having kids.

- Scorpio may depict knowing and accepting each other's secrets as you have suggested. Can be depicted by a closet and a scorpion comes out of it something. :D

- Leo depicts burning fire/passion/flame.

- Virgo can symbolize an ex-girlfriend for example. :D

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