rem3017

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  1. Handling time travel from faster-than-light travel

    I wouldn't exactly call FTL travel a sci-fi plot device, especially in space based video games.  it's more of an in general simple explanation for traveling long distances really quickly.  In fact, most games tend to just gloss over the exact science of space travel, using travel animatics simply as a make shift loading screen.   If you're not going to make the passage of time (real time, not story time) an integral game mechanic, i'd avoid trying to go into crazy depth with the methods in which your character travel.  Hell It may even be worth coming up with your own outlandish technology.
  2. Need Help Writing A Storyline For My Game (Stuck)

    Do you have any concept art or anything drawn out or some sort of story skeleton? Are there any particular archetypes you want to see in the game? sometimes when you're stuck it helps to type cast your characters. You're not gonna get a lot of usable ideas if the only information you're providing is an arbitrary number of fighters with a vague goal. You could try working backwards, come up with the villain's story and circumstances, creating characters that would logically fit. The vast majority of classic fighting games rely on the tried and true tournament story where the final boss is a person of power that A. is the tournaments super champion B. Is some kind of crime boss someone wants revenge on C. Is some crazy terrorist D. Kidnapped a butt load of people slapped them on and island and forced them to fight E. Promising to grant a wish upon victory etc. Then there are the franchise vs franchise games, where you're pitted against heroes and villains from opposing franchises, ultimately culminating in a battle against a mega villain alla green laughing slime guy, onslaught, galactus, etc. Just remember to keep it simple, people aren't playing a fighting game for a convoluted story, unless you want to make a game like no more heroes haha
  3. Romance options/Story branching

    The ar tonelico series has always had a girl selection system. the second of the trilogy was probably the peak of the system. While the girl you chose did not directly effect large portions of the games story, it did effect the final outcome, the ending you got, and a lot of the conversation topics and/or girl related events. pretty fun series to play with a fairly decent replay value. Fable touches on the romance aspect, although it's done in a very sandboxy after-thought where the women you pick have very very very little consequence on anything, other than being quest rewards and/or providing familial rewards and bonuses. Overlord, the campy series about being an overlord, gives you several options of mistresses on varying sides of the karmic spectrum. the mistress you pick effects certain gameplay mechanics, quests, and, if i remember correctly, certain parts of the story. Oh, you can also decorate your lair based on your mistresses tastes. There's also that atlus game Record of Agarest War that has basically completely integrated the romance aspect into huge chunks of the game. You pick from several types of girls with varying personalities, woo the one of your choosing, eventually completing that ages storyline, which continues with your offspring who then himself picks a new mate, rinse and repeat. There are like 3 or 4 generations you can play through. There's also a sequal to the game. Ar tonelico is by faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar my favorite. the story is engaging, and the way you interact with the love interests is by diving into their souls and learning personal truths about them, helping them overcome whatever problems they are facing on that particular soul level. Plus they have really cute mechanics that are different for every girl, such as the crafting aspect. One recipe will yield a different item for every girl, usually resulting in an amusing scene about how they came up with that item.
  4. You could also use suicide as a sort of game mechanic, you could play with the idea of rebirth, or if you're so inclined you could have each death strengthening the madness or depression of the character
  5. You have to remember that successful stories are formulaic. there can be no action without conflict. if suicide is the action, what exactly is the conflict? what is happening that is causing the depression? As other people above have already stated, a world where people are recreationally committing suicide is not relatable. It would help if you provided some context to the story. One of the biggest factors that effects the tone of the story is the setting. Is it a dystopic world? a world full of poverty and disease? is there a virus running rampant or a crazy abusive dictatorship? Even if you are on a completely foreign planet where the aliens walk with their hair and feed on gas produced by toxic rivers of mercury, the setting is still important. As crazy as it sounds, suicide is actually a very dynamic plot device. Suicide is often used as a form of self-sacrifice, however i'm guessing that's not exactly what you had in mind. It can also be used to enforce a point or to slam an exclamation point on a story arc. As referenced by Bioshock, Andrew Ryan's "would you kindly" sequence, while it was technically an assisted suicide, it was a hugely successful plot twist, because the action dramatically shifted your perception of the story. Another form of suicide is the ever popular "going down with guns blazing" where the protagonist knowingly faces unbeatable odds fully knowing he has no chance. It's part of the "die on my feet rather then live on my knees" or the "i know i'm going down, so i'm gonna take as many of you with me" mentality. As referenced by the end of the anime Cowboy Bebop. I am a very strong advocate of killing off my characters in very dramatic ways, however i live by the philosophy that no death is wasted. when a named character is killed, or dies purely for the sake of gratuitous death, the action is empty and has no power. As mentioned above by another poster, the suicide should have some sort of consequence to give it any meaning. Or if you choose not to go down that path, you need to make the suicide so memorable that the player is the one that needs to feel something. You could make the game about the player interacting with a physical manifestation of it's depression eventually leading to suicide, in which case the depression itself is the conflict, rather than the result of it's surroundings. some food for thought.
  6. Your response answered a few of my questions, but it also raised a few more. First, your main character Larry has a slightly contradictory personality/back story. So you've established that he only joined the force because he knows how to use a gun and wants to look bad ass, with helping people only being a perk. But once his brother is killed, he becomes bent on revenge and neglects his duties as a police officer. But at the same time, he's fed up with the corruption of the police and works extra hard to make up for his wayward brethren. So he leaves the force because his sense of justice could not tolerate how dirty the police had become. But at the same time, he throws aside his sense of justice and abandons his duty as an officer leaving the force to pursue Syne. I am having trouble trying to determine what type of archetype Larry falls into. On one hand, he is the anti-hero bent only on revenge for his murdered brother. On the other hand, he is a frustrated ex-cop wanting to cure the city of it's corruption. Syne falls into the same blurry category. For someone who claims to worship neutrality, he is a pretty emotional guy. I think his role is confusing due to a vague religious affiliation. Being a neutral person means you are usually impartial to any side and generally refuse to get involved. This guy, however, is involved in every shady doing in your story. The church's teachings and beliefs need to be developed much further if you plan to make it an integral part of the story (the game xenogears is a wonderful example of creating and spreading a religion throughout its world). What exactly is Syne's roll in the religion? Self-proclaimed god? Enforcer? Martyr? Is the religion dead or active either underground or publicly? You said he and his mother came from a nation that believed in the "true neutrality". Is this nation still intact or were he and his mother survivors or refugees from this fallen nation? This may sound a bit odd after so many posts but... what exactly is your game about? It really does sound like you have quite a few different plot points veering every which way ranging from a story about an ex cop looking for vengeance to a supernatural romp against a religious fanatic bent on "neutralizing" the world. I know you want to get as far away as possible from scifi, but it looks you keep adding more and more that keeps pushing you into the genre. Monsters, Zombie/Vampires, Mages (fantasy i guess), Spirit Abilities, Psychics, Evil Religions, etc. Is it really necessary to cookie cutter your story with labels? Just let it be what it is. While we're on the topic of mages, let's discuss character classes. In fantasy games you have classes such as the mage, the warrior, the paladins, the healers, etc. These types of games usually put a very large focus on the differences between the character types. Some can attack but not take damage, some can take damage but not attack, etc. For the game you are trying to make, it might make more sense to differentiate by archtypes and specialties. The classes are usually split into character specialty's such as the sniper, the assault guy, the melee specialist, the grenadier, the medic, etc. If you really wanted to have a mage type character, you can look at games like Bioshock. In that game, the character injects himself with "Plasmids" to give himself extra abilities such as freezing, fire balls, launching hornets, etc. Archtypes are split into things such as burliness, gender, the types of clothes the person wears, etc. The last thing i wanted to mention were the loose affiliations. "He hates", "They like", "You get a PC from them", etc. Those are all loose affiliations, superficial relationships if you would. If you don't understand what i mean, take the relationship between a couple groups and ask yourself "Who, what, where, why, when, and how". For Example: "The Government is in opposition with the Uriels, caters to the Rich, is influenced somewhat by the Mafia, funds the Labs, and funds the Cops." Who: The Government, the Uriels, the Rich, The Mafia, The labs, The Cops What: The government is in opposition with the uriels. The government caters to the rich. The government is somewhat influenced by the Mafia. The government funds the labs. The Government funds the cops. Where: (Not always crucial unless talking about specific situations) Why: Because the government is in opposition of the uriels? Why are they in opposition? That doesn't really explain anything. When: How long have they opposed the uriels? How long have they been influenced by the Mafia? Etc. How: What are they doing to oppose the uriel? How do they cater to the rich? How are they influenced by the Mafia? Etc. LorenzoGatti made a lot of really good points. A lot of what your story lacks at the moment is depth. I'm sure there is more to your story then you've told us, but from what I can see a lot of the events look very one dimensional. What I find helps me to develop a story is to break it up into smaller pieces. First develop your characters. I usually get a notebook and write as much as i know about every character in their own seperate sections. Personality, traits, looks, clothes, anything you can think of, you might even add a quick sketch. Then repeat the process for both the story and the setting. Your story does have a lot of promise, just keep at it. Hope that helps, good luck.
  7. Honestly, the further I read into this post, the less the story made sense. It sounds like you're making it way too complicated. Unless you're sure you can handle a story with as many twists and turns as it has, I would stick with something a bit more basic. There were a few things that stuck out to me that I thought i'd mention. First off, what does it mean for this world to be civilized? Why would that rid the world of nature? If anything, a civilized world would put more of an emphasis on preservation. Was this an alien-like earth that was terraformed? Or did you mean the world had become much more industrialized? What exactly is a "contemporary time"? Do you mean a present time in relation to where we are now? The "A cop that's been pushed too far... plays by his own rules" is a very very well worn cliche. In most cases, simply stating that he is that type of character hurts the story unless you're going for some sort of parody. You can introduce him as a bounty hunter and gradually reveal through the story that he is an ex-cop. I am assuming he is the protagonist of your story, and yet i know very little about him. Why did he leave the force? Has he fallen from grace? Was he a good cop that was set up because he refused to give into corruption? Did he kill a child during an assignment and think that he couldn't change this town being associated with such a corrupt organization? What type of person is he? You say he plays by his own rules, is he a Punisher like character? Has he learned how to "play the game" and bend the rules every now and then? Or is he Mr. Boy Scout that refuses to be corrupted in any way and follows the rules to the T no matter how shady the situation becomes? You say he's popular and well known, unfortunately in a story in this kind of setting just stating he's a popular guy is a contradiction. How much of this city is corrupt? Who exactly is he popular with? If he's busting people on both the rich and poor side he's bound to be making a lot of enemies, not to mention among the corrupt cops and mafia. I actually really liked the idea of the natural reserves and the Uriel. To me, the natural reserves feel like neutral zones in a very chaotic world. I thought the Uriel could be the guardians of the reserves, protecting them from any invaders. Like their territory, they too remain neutral oberservers to any events going on outside. Their single goal is to preserve the last bit of nature from anyone who they feel is a threat whether they have good or bad intentions. I see no reason why they cannot be a single race in tune with nature. Bounty hunters and mercenaries are also a pretty well used idea. Not that it's a bad thing for this type of story. I'm not sure why the whole fiscal aspect was brought up. It didn't make a whole lot of sense and seemed pretty misguided. To begin with, i didn't get the vibe that the police couldn't handle the work because they were low on money. To me, it seemed more likely that they were just spread too thin, which is usually the case in a corrupt city with an equally corrupt police force. I thought the whole mention of bounty hunters being at a disadvantage because of something about not being able to bribe was quite comical. You know, it costs a pretty decent amount of money and power to bribe, but it doesn't cost anything to threaten or cause bodily harm. A bullet speaks louder then paper. You don't run around hiring a butt load of bounty hunters and mercenaries giving a badge to anyone with a gun, that's not how it works. An organization, in this case the police, put bountys on certain individuals which is what bounty HUNTERS use to find their targets. You don't pay a hundred guys to hunt after one guy, you put a price on the guy's head and pay whoever catches him and brings him in first. Regarding the inclusion of psychic powers... why? Why do they have to be psychic powers? If you feel uncomfortable with them being pyschic based, why not just make them something else? Honestly, I thought your story made much more sense when it was just the daughter of a rich family who had been experimented on instead of the "Cerebral 12". Especially considering you are going to have to give each of those children some sort of back story. Who are they? Why are they there? What are their powers? What importance do they have to the story? Your story has absolutely no flow, it feels like things just happen. First you have an ex cop that plays by his own rules then suddenly there is a girl with psychic powers but not really then suddenly there are monsters then suddenly there are 12 kids with powers then suddenly one of them is put in a mental hospital then suddenly there are 11 kids then suddenly there's a completely new character who is the rival of the first long forgotten character then suddenly one of the kids kills her parents and becomes leader of their company then suddenly then suddenly then suddenly... Your story is too complicated, every time you add something new part of your old story is forgotten or no longer makes any sense. Is the story about some bounty hunter trying to save the world or is it about a psychic girl or group of psychic kids? Your protagonist has absolutely no relation to this story. Does he encounter the girl and tries to save her? Is she an enemy he must stop? Is he an obstacle she or they must stop? At the end of your last post you had over 8 different factions: The cops, the ex cop bounty hunter, the uriel, the rich, the poor, the cerebral kids, the religion, the guy that kidnapped the crazy kid. None of which have any relation other then loose affiliations. Let's step back for a second and look at some of the possibilities starting with just a single daughter with psychic powers. You could do something like... (i'm assuming her name is Ariel) First off, why does it make no sense that parents would experiment on their daughter? It's a very very very common plot device used in many video games and anime. In many cases, the cause of such actions aren't even negligence by the parents. They could just be some sort of religious or scientific fanatics that feel they are helping their daughter. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe they already have an heir to their company and are just using the younger daughter as a spare or maybe they never wanted her and are using her as a commodity. You can also do something like using a stolen Uriel relic/artifact as a catalyst for the experiments on the girl. Then during the experiment, there are complications that open a gate in which the monsters flow into the city and give the girl her powers. Perhaps powers that are also used by the monsters, a twist that may reveal answers as to why there are monsters before any of this is known. Perhaps then the experiment kills her parents and the girl is found wandering the streets about to be attacked by the monsters, but is saved by Larry. You could even give her amnesia or some sort of mental flaws, something that would drive Larry to want to protect the girl and find out what is happening. All i can really suggest about the cerebral kids path is to lower the amount of children. 3-5 should be more then enough, you could even just try 2 to begin with. "Science as a field requires that well-known, and well-regarded scientists actually produce research that changes the field." I just have to say that I thought this statement was kinda funny. Not all scientists that "produce research that changes the field" are well-known/regarded. All scientists have to start somewhere. There's a reason why they become well-known (in the scientific community). Heh I don't think I can name even 3 well-known scientists and their contributions without the aid of wikipedia. It's ok to ask for help if you feel you need it, but you shouldn't second guess yourself. Just remember that this is your world, you can make it whatever you want however you want. If something doesn't quite fit, then make it fit. You don't want to make Ariel's powers based on magic or sci-fi? Then make them based on science. Instead of being psychic, they can be an unlocked ability awakened by increasing the percentage of brain power used through some sort of psychosis or surgery. Or perhaps some scientific experiment jumped her up to a more evolved human that has those sorts of abilities. I hope that helps, good luck
  8. Starting my first story.....

    One of the things you should probably try to do is keep a seperate notebook with detailed descriptions of all your characters. Personality, back story, stats, traits, their purpose in the story, and abilities (if any). You can even include a quick sketch of the characters, if you've been blessed with the gift of art (or know someone who is). This helps keeps everything consistent regarding your characters. There's nothing more embarassing then having to explain why your character is suddenly 7 feet tall with super monkey powers when just 5 chapters earlier he was only 5 feet tall with moderate powers of flight. Be sure to leave a good amount of pages between characters for any additions or changes you may want to make. If your notebook is sectioned, or large enough, you can also add tidbits about the type of world your characters live in. Perhaps explain how certain abilities work, or the era it's in, anything that you can turn to when you need a refresher. You can also include certain events you want to happen, or certain scenes you may have envisioned that you may want to include. Although i tend to carry a seperate notebook for that and any story based ideas i may have. Never dismiss an idea as being invalid. if you get to a point where you feel your story can go into different directions, make quick notes about each direction and work on them all until you find which path suits you best. you may be surprised at which choice you end up picking, you may even choose to branch the story into multiple paths.
  9. Setting in RPG sequels?

    it's kind of an odd request to ask for the setting of a sequal without knowing anything about the original. The way you end the previous game usually has much to do with the way the sequal is presented. Although if you're just asking about general settings, there are a few pretty well used ideas. Time Skip Probably one of the most used devices. Usually when you beat a game with a boss, you assume that the world is now relatively safe. Unless there are one of those "little did he know" or "now we take the fight to them" kind of scenarios where the boss was just the start of the conflict. So assuming the protagonist does not live in a power rangers world where something goes wrong every day, it is assumed that there is a time of peace in which to give a new sort of evil time to reveal itself. There are a few ways you can go about adapting this device. You can do the "x amount of years later" and use the same characters, you can do longer periods and use their children or grandchildren, or you can create an entirely new cast at whichever time period you choose. After you decide that, you must think about when it was the new conflict appeared. Was it so many years before the game and the characters have had time to aclamate themselves to the new change? Does it happen at the start of the game through some cinematic or perhaps playable event? Or does it gradually happen as the cast progresses through the game? Progression Another pretty well used device. These ones are pretty straight forward. There is one goal the character is trying to reach and each game is a step closer to completing that goal. These types of games usually take you to different locales whether it be another part of a city, across the country, to the other side of the world, or to another planet entirely. Placement This device is popular among spiritual successors of games. Unlike progression, the story does not need to flow between games. Simply put, the sequal is in generally the same universe, in the same basic time, just in a different area. A few examples would be the Ar Tonelico series, Disgaea, Final Fantasy (sorta). The game takes place in the same universe as the first within the same basic time frame, however the cast, location, and story are completely different. These types of games tend to have similarities to their predecessors such as returning characters, similar locations, mention of or overlapping story arcs, or perhaps even commonly used names. Meanwhile... I haven't seen this device used as much as the previous ones, but this one is basically the same as the first game but told through a different perspective. Perhaps in the first game you played as team red fighting team blue, and in the sequal you are team blue fighting team red. You can also have the story follow someone from the same group, but following a different path as the original with a different set of goals in mind. For example, in the first game your goal was to protect the outpost, where as the sequal would be to attack the rebels planning to attack the outpost. The possibilities are limitless as long as you have a story in mind. Starting from a sequal is very difficult. You need to take into account that you not only need to tell the story of the game you're on, but of the previous games as well. Things you are expected to already know, because your characters are already aware of the previous events. It is not impossible, but it is deffinitely more trouble then it is worth the majority of the time. Also, keep in mind that the titles for the different devices probably have official names. I just used whatever sounded right to me. Good Luck, hope that helps.
  10. Game idea: Mars Colonization War

    Both the story and gameplay seem very simplistic. They have that old school sort of 8 bit arcarde feel to them. If that's what you are going for then the story should be enough. Not too complex, a straight forward plot, and a single objective.