a Smith

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About a Smith

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  1. Where to find a writer?

    [quote name='Feuzzion' timestamp='1348865506' post='4984856'] let me know i u need anything bra! [/quote] Probably not a good first impression to give to a prospective employer. Especially for someone offering their skills as a writer...
  2. World building help Substitute for Zombies

    I kind of agree with Swiftcoder. Skin them any way you like, give them any name you like, but what you've described will still feel like zombies to people. L4D and Resident Evil may call their creatures zombies, but their basically just human mutations with a nasty rage problem. In L4D they actually are the walking dead, but in some of the RE games the zombies aren't corpses at all (Majini from RE5). Even Dead Space felt like a bit of a zombie shoot 'em up to a certain extent. My real question is; are people really sick of zombie games? I think maybe they're sick of [i]bad[/i] zombie games (since there are so many), but I don't think the genre is losing fans. If you really want to avoid the zombie genre consider removing some of the basic requirements for your creatures. "Driven by base instincts"--This can easily apply to most zombie critters, but also to numerous other things. How bout a behavioral pattern of some sort? Maybe a learning curve as the game progresses (Think Jurassic Park--the raptors learn to open doors, OMG WE'RE SCREWED!!!). I know this learning curve happens in some zombie games, but usually in a drastic way (zombies go from claws to rocket launchers in one level). It's always a bit unnerving when you're playing a horror game, you see the bad thing, it sees you, you ready to shoot it down as it inevitably charges right at you like all the rest... and suddenly it runs away. Consider a zombie ambush that actually feels like it was set up by the zombies and not the game designers (I Am Legend vs L4D Zombie Rushes) Practically Blind--Is a pretty standard zombie feature, that's why the swarm is always following the protagonist. I'm a fan of this trope, but it's another thing you may want to discard if you want to avoid the zombie genre. It does make for some awesome storyline (High School of the Dead does some amazing things with blind zombies). Drawn to Life--Definitely drop if you want to avoid the zombie genre... why not give your nasties a modicum of intelligence and give them a reason for wanting to kill anyone unlike them. "Mutant good! Normie bad!" Is the simplest level, but also consider what it would be like if your creatures were of a hive mind of some sort. Nocturnal--Again... very typical zombie trope. They always move in larger groups at night. Can only be killed by 'Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain'--I quoted Sean of the Dead if you didn't notice... probably enough said on this factor. Infectious--It's very rare to find a zombie game that doesn't feature this. Either just go with what you've got (it looks great and sounds interesting so far), or you'll really need to make some drastic changes to your game to avoid it being a zombie type game, which in my opinion is totally fine. I'm not sure where you heard that zombies were losing popularity. Walking Dead, Resident Evil, Day Z and many other zombie things are still insanely popular. Or are you more worried that you're game will simply get lost in the ocean?
  3. Need Help Writing A Storyline For My Game (Stuck)

    I never said she wouldn't beat the absolute crap out of him; just that she's willing to show him the same mercy that he showed her. Yes he was the tool that brutally murdered her father, but it wouldn't be the first time that someone was more concerned with the man that gave the order. If it hadn't been Enkidu it would have been someone else, and they may not have relented.
  4. Need Help Writing A Storyline For My Game (Stuck)

    I see your point about Ai's comment; I was just trying to give her some arrogant things to say (as is befitting of the character I'm trying to portray), and not a quote which made her seem to claim that women were better than men--her only belief is that she's the greatest, better than anyone. Obviously Kung Fu can be used for many things; Ai wants to use it to kick the crap out of people and show her superiority, but with Aito I'm trying to lean on the movie stereotype of the wise martial artist who practices as a way of life and would rather sip tea than fight. With Mali Mali there is some doubt about her father--she knows about the gang wars. When they ended her father took her and they abandoned their home and went into hiding, so she suspects he may have been a criminal of some sort (if the story were to get complex enough Enkidu would refuse to tell her who her father was, then Gilgamesh would show up and announce that he was one of the fallen crime lords or something like that... maybe he's one of the guys who hired David).
  5. Why is dystopian so popular?

    I'm a little confused by your subject heading. A Dystopian story is typically about a society in which something is horribly off. Think 1984, Fahrenheit 451, A Clockwork Orange, or Brave New World (The Time Machine is a mixture of the both Dystopian and Apocalyptic genres). I think the allure to these novels is driven by our own paranoia or pessimism. Our fear that if things are left unchanged our society could slide into becoming one of these worlds. As far as post-apocalyptic I think the interest is a lot more complicated. As an artist it allows you to experiment, to tell your own legend about how the world will end. You can do almost anything and paint almost any picture. You can take real world buildings/cities and smash them however you like, or leave them standing hollow and haunted. It also allows a less restricted world. You want deserts to Road Warrior it up? Drop a few Nukes, have the Borg scoop up your cities, set the date several thousand years after most of the world has eroded away. It also allows the author the power of political commentary: what real world issues do you see as a likely cause for the end of the world? Resident Evil seems to think a corporation gone wild mixed with militaristic agendas will be part of the cause (even though I wouldn't classify RE as apocalyptic). As an audience I think that we are frequently pondering the future, and for many people that includes wondering how and when the world will end. Sometimes our paranoia is piqued at an ominous news story (google Earth Moaning), and we look to literature and art to answer our curiosity on the subject. I'm sure the pool of people who think zombies will bring the end is small, but it's my opinion that the Zombie Meme is an entirely different beast than the Apocalyptic one; even if they operate within the same genre.
  6. Need Help Writing A Storyline For My Game (Stuck)

    [quote name='bvanevery'] Ai, I find the meme of a competitive woman who has to define herself as better than a man tiring and loathsome. Please don't inflict this kind of gender stereotyping on all the would-be women gamers.[/quote] I'm sorry you find the idea of a woman who takes great pride in her skills unappealing. It wasn't an attempt at stereotype (nor do I feel that it qualifies as such) so much as it was an attempt to depict a very headstrong, skilled young woman. In all honesty I basically just depicted a female Bruce Lee. [quote name='bvanevery'] Mali Mali, I really don't buy that she's gonna watch Enkidu dismember her father and not blame him at all. Total baloney [/quote] I like to think people can be complicated sometimes, they don't always focus their hatred on the single most visible person. I guess I should have mentioned that Mali Mali is actually in her twenties, and she's heard most of the rumors about Enkidu; she thought she was dead the moment she saw him. I tried to mix in a little of the complexity behind something like Stockholm Snydrome. She sees Enkidu as a fellow fighter, recognizes that he actually has a style, and sees not pity, but great remorse in his eyes. It's not that she isn't mad at him, but she wants to believe he isn't at fault, and wants to forgive him. [quote name='bvanery']I think it's more about beating people up in phone booths[/quote] It sounded to me like a more basic beat-em-up as well, but what's the point of having fifteen playable characters if they all have the same move list? What's the point of having any story if its just Little Fighters all over again? I just thought it would be a fun thing to write and hoped that it would help the original poster come up with some ideas; I'm sorry you disliked my post that much.
  7. Need Help Writing A Storyline For My Game (Stuck)

    I think the concept is pretty interesting, and my idea sort of jumps back to every one who said "make the bad guy bad enough and there's your reason". Expanding on that, it's pretty easy for one person with a modicum of power to somehow influence the lives of just 15 people, giving them a reason to all hate the final boss. The interplay between your characters can be as elaborate or as simple as you desire it. Soul Calibur comes to mind for me, as there is an immense amount of interplay between all of the characters--they all want to kill the same big bad boss, but all for slightly different reasons. Now, to show my age, Streets of Rage or Final Fight also come to mind as the opposite extreme. The bad boss is bad, the main characters are good (until the third SoR, when things get complicated just a little bit). The main characters are just friends for some reason. Breaking it into the more complex, enthralling story would be a lot more fun in my opinion, and would probably get your audience hooked. Great storylines can turn simplistic games into masterpieces. What I'd like to know is just who are these characters? I know you're not sure about the details, but what about fighting styles, setting, and gameplay? Will there be firearms? Basic street weapons? Do each of the characters practice some form of Martial Arts (including those that aren't recognized as such)? Is it fantastic or does it maintain a level or realism (is everybody hurling balls of fire at each other, deflecting bullets with swords, ripping apart robotic henchmen)? Since you already have a game in design I'm guessing you have some of these elements cemented in. Still, here's my suggestion. 1-Gilgamesh: The Big Bad Boss. Leader of the Tower of Babel, the nastiest gang in the city. Until the arrival of Babel the various criminal organizations in the city warred for control. Gilgamesh is a small but ruthless man, a student of Legend, War, and the Martial Arts. No matter the odds he always emerges unscathed from his battles, leaving a trail of broken bodies. Gilgamesh seized power by ruthlessly hunting down and killing anyone with any ties to the opposing gangs, forcing many people to flee the city or to go deep into hiding. People have begun to wonder whether or not he is actually the king of legend. 2-Enkidu: The Big Bad Boss' Buddy (henchmen, but I'm having fun with alliteration here). Gilgamesh's burly right hand. Enkidu fights with the ferocity and power of a rabid bear. His bestial nature goes deeper than his fighting style, however, and the atrocities he has committed stand as testaments to is total lack of human compassion. 3-Ai: The Lioness' Pride. Although Ai is only nineteen she has already mastered the defensive art of Jeet Kune Do. Her talents lead to her well-known pride among martial arts circuits that 'No man can even touch me'. She frequently taunts and ridicules her opponents, and despite her mastery of the form of Jeet Kune Do has utterly failed to retain any of its temperance. Hearing of Gilgamesh's atrocities and prowess in combat has piqued Ai's pride. She sees herself as a noble warrior, and: "Like always, when a man fails to clean up a mess it's time for a woman to show him how it's done." 4-Aito: The Crane's Composure. Very few would guess that Aito is Ai's twin brother. Like his sister he has spent his life in the study of Kung Fu, but he focused instead on the Wing Chun style. Aito has taken to heart the concept that a martial art is meant for more than just conditioning the body. His extreme patience and composure often lead him to be thoroughly overshadowed by his sister's overbearing nature: few would say they have ever even heard him speak. "Pride may often come before the fall, but the fall's not so bad if someone is there to catch." Aito's only reason to seek out Gilgamesh is to protect his sister, an idea he would never mention to her. Note: Aito and Ai's interaction/characters will change depending on whether or not they are played together. 5-David: Hand of Death. Lots of people want to see Gilgamesh dead, and some of them have the resources and knowledge to try and do something about it. On the surface David is extremely polite and humble, but beneath he is usually something much more sinister. Anyone who has any dealings with the underground has heard his true name, the Hand of Death. David has been hired by the few remaining crime-lords to put an end to Gilgamesh, and he has been promised a bonus for any of Gilgamesh's underlings he hurts/kills along the way. Practiced in various martial arts forms, David prefers Krav Maga to disable or kill his opponent, but isn't beyond using whatever weapons he can find at hand. He uses his charming nature in preference to stealth to set his opponents at ease. David is not the original Hand of Death, but actually the third, and he carries that legacy proudly. 6-Mali Mali: The Exile. Mali Mali was originally taught Muay Thai by her father as a means of self-defense. Although he was an expert of Muay Thai her father barely lasted a minute when Enkidu came to their home. She was forced to watch as her father fought for his life against the savage beast. When he was finished dismembering her father Enkidu did something surprising, he relented in his slaughter. He muttered one word to Mali, "Exile", before leaving her home. His shocking display of mercy did not go unnoticed by Mali, and she began to believe that Enkidu was somehow mislead or enslaved by Gilgamesh--that he was not the wild beast that rumors said. She began to grow concerned for him, and worried that should she remain that he would somehow be punished. She did not forgive the act, however, merely shifted all of her rage onto Gilgamesh. So she took up a mask (full head wrapping with trailing scarfs in my imagination) and took to the streets to find Gilgamesh and exact her revenge. Note: Mali will barely speak at all, especially when paired with other PCs. Any text for her will be curt and sound somewhat irritated with the exception of fighting with Enkidu. For that battle she will suddenly come alive in pleading for mercy on his behalf. Her plea will only affect one character's decision, David's (who has taken an odd turn at Mali's frequent snubs and fallen in love with her), who will choose instead to spare Enkidu on Mali's behalf (endearing him to her at last). I think I'll stop the detailed descriptions here... This might be too huge a wall of text already. I have ideas to fill in the rest of the characters if you like where this is going, but I think I'll relent for now.
  8. I'm a little bit confused on how this plot deals with suicide. In the first game it's simply a background note--the main character's parents both comitted suicide. How integral are they to the main storyline? After all, the main character from game one doesn't commit suicide, he's simply murdered. I do like the idea of the character being forced to commit such an outrageous act, but this leads me to ponder Orson Scott Card's series beginning with Ender's Game, and I think an audience would be more intrigued with how the main character deals with his own horrific acts (and not the corrupt millitary). In your second game, the one in which a PC actually commits suicide, you've presented us with an entirely different conundrum. Character B is psycopathic, and finds joy in using his spaceship to destroy things (which I can sort of understand as a way of using entertainment to distract from the constant emptiness of depression). Maybe with more details I could come to understand this character better, but as it stands he/she simply seems deranged. It's like trying to relate to someone who brutally murders their family and then commits suicide. I tend to agree with Sunandshadow that it feels like you're sort of alienating your audience right from the start, but I believe you misunderstood her point. The issue is not that your characters are aliens--people can relate to all sorts of things just fine (Avatar, Wall-E, and, my favorite example, Journey). In Journey the characters are only vaguely humanoid, and their technology is fantastically magical, but the reflection of our own world is obvious (even without a single line of text). Journey also addresses the idea of death and rebirth to an extent (which seems like what your game is really about, the suicide is merely incidental). I believe what will really alienate your audience is just how much focus you seem to want to place on these horrific planets--they're nightmare worlds, of course everyone who lives on them wants to die. Yes, our world is certainly tragic, but only the blindest cynic would consider it as hopeless as these mirror worlds you have suggested. The concept of making suicide a part of the game is interesting, certainly, but if you really want to get something relatable that will make your audience think (instead of simply having the chance to offend them) you need to tone down the absolute despair. Make a character your audience can sympathise with. I think you should also consider what comes after suicide. To me it sounds like you are punishing your characters, raging against someone who is willing to give in. Why can't suicide be the unsettling blackness? Isn't the fact that your character chose suicide sad enough without them having to fall into Dante's Inferno?