Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
TheJerminator15

Game Story Initial Idea

This topic is 1050 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I recently started creating a story for the game I am creating, and would appreciate any brutally honest feedback. The game well be a Visual Novel, so its very heavily focused on the narrative and I can put all my effort into the story.

 

To begin with, the protagonist of the game is a very introverted boy. He is around the age of 17, and lives by himself with financial support from his family. His family is a very influential, well known and wealthy family. The family is also one of the few remaining lines of lineage which have the ability to manipulate and create magic, however practice of this, whilst recommended, is very optional. The protagonist is faced with the death of a very close friend at a young, so as to prevent harm to anyone he loves he undertakes magic and combative training, hoping to become strong in the guise of a typical anime hero. However his talent is almost non existent, and he can only manipulate mana, not use spells and such. His inability to gain any significant strength, coupled with his constant comparison to a very talented younger sister means he soon begins to develop psychological problems, as well as an inferiority complex. After a while the emotional and psychological burden causes him to snap and lash out at his unsupportive father, which results in him being hospitalised for a year and a half due to massive injuries caused by a magic battle. He eventually leaves the hospital, however with a severely weakened body, and a very cynical attitude, introverted personality and seems to be cut off emotionally, instead using logic to dictate choices. The story begins with the protagonist a few years after he has moved into his own flat, and looks at how his seemingly estranged family, lack of strength and acknowledgement that his goal is impossible constantly effects his mentality. It will also look at how visits from the family only causes these problems to escalate, due to the negative emotions and love towards them creating even more conflict in his mind.

 

After watching a lot of anime I noticed the whole "protect my friends and family by becoming strong" trope to be very overused as a main characters motivations, so I wanted to create a story in which the protagonist actually miserably fails this goal, and just how it affects them.

 

This is all I have ironed out, and am currently working on the world details before moving on to supporting characters and such, I appreciate any feedback given.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

That's a really interesting character, but he might be hard to make work at a protagonist.  His story is a lot like that of a villain - the Riddler from classic DC or Loki from the recent marvel movies, among other examples.  A protagonist kind of needs to be uniquely able to solve some key problem of the world.  Can this guy solve any problems?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a really interesting character, but he might be hard to make work at a protagonist.  His story is a lot like that of a villain - the Riddler from classic DC or Loki from the recent marvel movies, among other examples.  A protagonist kind of needs to be uniquely able to solve some key problem of the world.  Can this guy solve any problems?

 

He cannot, despite trying to. There are problems but he isn't the one solving them, so its almost as if he is a bystander who wants to help but would just get in the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


A protagonist kind of needs to be uniquely able to solve some key problem of the world.

I disagree: I think that it's quite possible to have an engaging story--even a video game story--built around characters less-empowered than you suggest. Such protagonists may simply be working within a bigger picture, or have a narrative that is more personal than epic, or even follow a descent into calamity leading to a downer ending, for a few examples. Imagine a game that centres around someone struggling to survive in a hostile environment; here the very fact that they're not uniquely capable might become part of what makes their story compelling.

 

In this particular case, I think that an interesting narrative could well be told around the choices that the protagonist makes in response to his powerlessness, and how he develops from there.

 

(Emphasis mine in the quote below)


He eventually leaves the hospital, however with a severely weakened body, and a very cynical attitude, introverted personality and seems to be cut off emotionally, instead using logic to dictate choices.

Be careful that you're not using the term "introverted" incorrectly; I'd like to note here that--to the best of my understanding--introversion is a personality trait, not a state or condition like shyness.

 

Wikipedia gives a definition of "introversion", I believe, although I don't claim to know whether it's accurate to modern psychological views.

 

(You seem to imply in the line above that the character becomes introverted, presumably having previously been otherwise. I honestly don't know whether it's plausible for someone to change their personality type in this way; it may be, I suppose.)

 

All of that said it's entirely possible that I'm misreading you--if so, please disregard the above, and my apologies!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 


A protagonist kind of needs to be uniquely able to solve some key problem of the world.

I disagree: I think that it's quite possible to have an engaging story--even a video game story--built around characters less-empowered than you suggest. Such protagonists may simply be working within a bigger picture, or have a narrative that is more personal than epic, or even follow a descent into calamity leading to a downer ending, for a few examples. Imagine a game that centres around someone struggling to survive in a hostile environment; here the very fact that they're not uniquely capable might become part of what makes their story compelling.

 

In this particular case, I think that an interesting narrative could well be told around the choices that the protagonist makes in response to his powerlessness, and how he develops from there.

 

(Emphasis mine in the quote below)

That is a good point. A strong protagonist doesn't necessarily need to be powerful in my opinion.

 


He eventually leaves the hospital, however with a severely weakened body, and a very cynical attitude, introverted personality and seems to be cut off emotionally, instead using logic to dictate choices.

Be careful that you're not using the term "introverted" incorrectly; I'd like to note here that--to the best of my understanding--introversion is a personality trait, not a state or condition like shyness.

 

Wikipedia gives a definition of "introversion", I believe, although I don't claim to know whether it's accurate to modern psychological views.

 

(You seem to imply in the line above that the character becomes introverted, presumably having previously been otherwise. I honestly don't know whether it's plausible for someone to change their personality type in this way; it may be, I suppose.)

 

All of that said it's entirely possible that I'm misreading you--if so, please disregard the above, and my apologies!

 

I know its a personality trait but I understand why it didn't appear that way. He comes out of the hospital a completely different person so to speak. I got inspired after watching anime and was having him start off as more along the lines of a typical shonen guy mentally or a typical protagonist you see, then have his personality, outlook, emotional stability and health slowly change over time due to the constant failure. Whereas a typical protag would get up and try again, the more time passes the less reason he finds to get up and the more his psyche transforms so to speak. It is why I decided to start off after he leaves, so we see the end result of his path, but then are shown just how he was when he started out, and how much damage it actually did to him as the years passed. Where as it would initially seem he is just jealous of his talented sister and has a very negative outlook, the player would then see just why he thinks like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to add, thanks for this feedback. This is my first full story I am working on so it helps to get this feedback and improve instead of messing up this idea since I believe personally it has some potential.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some questions to prompt you along (not necessarily for answering, but at least for thinking on):

 

It's often a character flaw that leads to the fall in a tragedy. Does the protagonist fail because of laziness? unrealistic expectations? Is he just naturally inferior and cannot accept reality? Is he deeply jealous? Or does he displays all the qualities of a hero but is beaten down each time? Do you represent his failings as slight, forgivable, understandable? Or is he a lousy person who experiences terrible things?

 

Is the family sympathetic or villainous? Does his sister push forward with her rise and ignore her brother? Does she give up her own potential to help him? If so, can the hero even see this or does he misunderstand the actions of his family?

 

There's two major events, the death and the hospitalization. Is it rising or falling action between them? Is the hero clearly failing and becoming increasing agitated by this? Is he slowly improving and then suddenly knocked off his path? Does the player become excited thinking that the hero will succeed, or is it dramatic irony where the fall is already known?

 

It seems like the story is building to a third major event. Do you know what it is? Does the story end on a high note, a low note or an ambiguous note?

 

Is the father still around? How does the family react to the brutalization of the hero? Does it break the family apart? Do they support the father? Does the father seek reconciliation? Does he blame himself or the hero?

 

In what order will you reveal the events? Will you reveal them via an omniscient narrator, or is the recollection tinged by the character, even untrustworthy? How much of the story is focused on the past, the present and the future? Is it active flashbacks or discussions of past events, long exposition on the past or a jumble of clues that slowly form a pattern?

 

What's the protagonists relationship to magic after the hospitalization? What does magic represent in the story? Is it a dark, forbidden thing? A sexy, power and status thing? Does it make people better, twist them to failure, highlight existing flaws and virtues? Or maybe it's just uncontrollable and unpredictable? Do regular people respect or fear it?

 

Does the family feel ashamed of the protagonist, since they are a renowned family? Does he actively embarrass them? Do they emote with his failings or can they not understand?

 

Is there a moment where the tragedy becomes (at least narratively) inevitable: the failed message in Romeo and Juliet, the murder of the king in Macbeth, or does the story suggest the protagonist could fix things up at any moment but just fails to do so, that the harm is all self inflicted? If you do give a sense of inevitability, when did it start? The death of the friend? The fight?

Edited by Polama

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


instead using logic to dictate choices
But isn't the player supposed to make choices? What kind of control the player has in this game?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some questions to prompt you along (not necessarily for answering, but at least for thinking on):

 

It's often a character flaw that leads to the fall in a tragedy. Does the protagonist fail because of laziness? unrealistic expectations? Is he just naturally inferior and cannot accept reality? Is he deeply jealous? Or does he displays all the qualities of a hero but is beaten down each time? Do you represent his failings as slight, forgivable, understandable? Or is he a lousy person who experiences terrible things?

 

Is the family sympathetic or villainous? Does his sister push forward with her rise and ignore her brother? Does she give up her own potential to help him? If so, can the hero even see this or does he misunderstand the actions of his family?

 

There's two major events, the death and the hospitalization. Is it rising or falling action between them? Is the hero clearly failing and becoming increasing agitated by this? Is he slowly improving and then suddenly knocked off his path? Does the player become excited thinking that the hero will succeed, or is it dramatic irony where the fall is already known?

 

It seems like the story is building to a third major event. Do you know what it is? Does the story end on a high note, a low note or an ambiguous note?

 

Is the father still around? How does the family react to the brutalization of the hero? Does it break the family apart? Do they support the father? Does the father seek reconciliation? Does he blame himself or the hero?

 

In what order will you reveal the events? Will you reveal them via an omniscient narrator, or is the recollection tinged by the character, even untrustworthy? How much of the story is focused on the past, the present and the future? Is it active flashbacks or discussions of past events, long exposition on the past or a jumble of clues that slowly form a pattern?

 

What's the protagonists relationship to magic after the hospitalization? What does magic represent in the story? Is it a dark, forbidden thing? A sexy, power and status thing? Does it make people better, twist them to failure, highlight existing flaws and virtues? Or maybe it's just uncontrollable and unpredictable? Do regular people respect or fear it?

 

Does the family feel ashamed of the protagonist, since they are a renowned family? Does he actively embarrass them? Do they emote with his failings or can they not understand?

 

Is there a moment where the tragedy becomes (at least narratively) inevitable: the failed message in Romeo and Juliet, the murder of the king in Macbeth, or does the story suggest the protagonist could fix things up at any moment but just fails to do so, that the harm is all self inflicted? If you do give a sense of inevitability, when did it start? The death of the friend? The fight?

These are some really good questions, thanks for the input. To begin with, the protagonist when first beginning did have the typical qualities of a hero, with no talent whatsoever though, meaning after around a decade of training he could only barely manipulate magic. It was his constant failings that slowly changed him, so that before whilst he did actually try and fail, it became more of an unwillingness to even try due to knowing the outcome. This I believe ties in with his emotional distance and attempts to think from a logical perspective at all times in the present, since the failures drilled him into a mind set of cynicism and logic with no room for his emotions or desires left there anymore. Its less of him not accepting reality, but through continuous failures and having reality smash his goal numerous times that he does accept it unwillingly, which is one of the major reasons he is damaged.

 

In terms of the family, I have nothing concrete yet but my main idea is for them to be neutral. They have traditional values due to their heritage, ancestry and teachings which does cause them to be somewhat tough. However they are also sympathetic towards him at times which shows they do care, just that they have no idea how to communicate with him or actually help him since his mentality is different to theirs. In terms of the sister, I was going to have her be a naïve embodiment of the hero's goal. This means she is more or less a very powerful combat magic user, however she has a very narrow and somewhat innocent outlook on life. This leaves her very ignorant of the protagonists problems, because all she sees is her big brother she loves very much. She doesn't actually know he has conflicted feelings towards her and because she treats him as an equal she essentially acts as a catalyst for his worsening problems and inferiority complex, which in turn makes it much harder for the protagonist to even see her, let alone talk with her. I do intend to make her find out however, but I also want her to be somewhat portrayed as an unwilling villain in the protagonist's despite her good nature.

 

The rise and fall both occur after the death, but before the hospitalisation. The death sets him on the goal, where he initially rises up, but falls down much deeper with the hospitalisation being the end result. He does become agitated after each failure and increasingly stressed and such, however it isn't evidently clear until the incident which makes him snap, with only subtle signs before the big tangible change.

 

My idea is that the big event which occurs is an incident which causes the protagonists death due to him either snapping or being forced into a magic fight (I haven't fully decided which one yet). I intend to build up the character as a very negative one initially, with surrounding people having a negative opinion of him, with all development occurring after his death. This I would do by characters such as the sister and few acquaintances finding items such as audio notes, diaries and such (I also intend to have dialogues between the family reveal things) from his actual original fall back at the family home. This would then show the sister just why he avoided her when he could, and show his acquaintances why he had such a negative outlook, whilst simultaneously showing the player his spiral downwards and that he was once just a normal boy with a dream, humanising what originally appeared to just be a bastard of a character into someone they can empathise with.

 

The father as the head of the household is still around, however he rarely interacts with the protagonist. The protagonist doesn't feel enmity, as he recognises the whole thing as his fault, but this damages him again as he feels he doesn't think he has the right to bear the name of his family because of the obvious difference between him and the rest. However, the father when with him does clearly feel remorse, both for putting him down but not shopping him from initially failing, and for drastically injuring him. However the father does not apologise to him, which leads to more remorse and such after his death.

 

The events will be recollected mostly by the protagonists entries and written word, so there will be a evident air of untrustworthiness due to his obvious impending breakdown throughout his entries. However some will also be recollected before and after his death by the family and their friends, such as failings or small signs they should have noticed that hinted what he was going through.

 

Magic is represented as more of a status thing. In the story I intend to have magic be almost completely gone from the world, with events such as wars causing the loss of knowledge built over centuries and bloodlines thinning out so only prestigious families with the resources to continue using magic actively using it. It is known about by regular civilians, but many have a negative view on it due to the well known fact that high class families are the only ones able to continue using it. This does affect some people's views on the character as well, since he is from a well known family who actively practises magic. The protagonist does have psychological problems using it, as after using it he tends to vividly recall a past failure or other negative event linked to his use of magic, making him reluctant and feeling unworthy to use it.

 

The family does appear to be ashamed, however they do also privately help him out and somewhat sympathise with his situation.

 

I intend to give the downfall and breakdown of the protagonist a very inevitable feeling, mainly because it would be in the past, but I would do it by making the death the inevitable point at which he is set on the path. However I also intend to make his death an avoidable choice, meaning that a decision he made could have easily led to other paths than the one which killed him, hinting that he had a good chance at actually fixing himself had he chose differently and attaining some form of happiness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 


instead using logic to dictate choices
But isn't the player supposed to make choices? What kind of control the player has in this game?

 

The game style is that of a visual/kinetic novel. So the players choice and input is minimal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!