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Stumpmaestro

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  1. Stumpmaestro

    Dialogue woes

    It just so happens to be the theme of my game too
  2. Stumpmaestro

    A Coffee and Tea mechanic

    ^this is the kind of response I required. Thank ye heartily- it has the insight into the player psychology I needed.   By making it optional I had hoped to just have it there for 'fun'. But it seems as if the cost would be more than the intended effect on multiple fronts.
  3. Stumpmaestro

    Dialogue woes

    We're all having dialogue woes now. At least we're suffering together.
  4. Stumpmaestro

    A Coffee and Tea mechanic

    Well, my intention was more to suggest that the game reflects real life comedically because it's assigned a statistical value. You get a bit weird after not drinking it. I appreciate the concern though and will take it into account. 
  5. Stumpmaestro

    A Coffee and Tea mechanic

    Yeah, thanks for the advice. The thought was that you'd ideally want to continue your buzz with the same 'bean' or 'leaf'- but that you could use other blends to prevent the debuff and just acquire another buff.    But yes- you'd basically only be able to buy a limited selection at one time- the merchant has only so much. So if you think you can use what's available economically, then it's worth your while. Or, even, if you need the drink the day there's a boss fight for example.    I'm not sure I'll implement it because indeed, accessibility is the issue. I'll play around with the idea some more.
  6. Stumpmaestro

    A Coffee and Tea mechanic

    Hi everybody. When I was considering fun 'quirk' mechanics for a game, I thought that this could be fun- but also potentially poor owing to the fact some might perceive it more as a punishment than as a boon.   But it works like this. I was thinking of adding an optional mechanic for brewing coffee or steeping tea in my game. You'd be able to buy normal brews from vendors, but also need to get 'EXTREME blends' from harder to knab merchants with appropriate dealings in the ''black' market' (to make a pun on coffee).   Each drink bestows a bonus to selected stats over the course of the day- so the point is that these indeed might become 'routine' for the player, much like drinking them in real life. This would go to the extent that the player 'forgets' the buff exists in the first place.   But- running out of 'brews' or 'leaves' would conversely mean that you would suffer from a bit of caffeine withdrawal. Those stats the were formerly buffed would suffer a 'debuff'- magnifying the effects of not getting your drink. Drinking a blend different from the one you currently had would prevent the debuff from occurring, but grant a different buff from the previous blend (predictably). I was thinking of adducing 'strength levels' for these beverages, or perhaps even 'decaffeinated variants'.    The problem is that the punishment for 'not drinking' seems like it would cause players to not want to use the mechanic (it is optional, I mean not everybody drinks coffee or tea). Perhaps there are some modifications I could make to help it be more user friendly. Or is the punishment element not so offensive? Thanks for any feedback.  
  7. Stumpmaestro

    Dialogue woes

    I thought the dialogue was too sparse to begin with, so I forced a bit more. I'll trim. But again- this was experimental. I think I'll post an offer for dialogue assistance when the time comes. My over-formalism tends to impede any natural thought process that makes dialogue digestible. It's all way too impersonal and cold.   Of course, I could say that this scene kind of necessitates this impersonal quality, but that would be a stupid rejoinder precisely because the problem is more deeply rooted in my process of writing itself. Thanks for the feedback.
  8. Stumpmaestro

    Dialogue woes

    Oh dear me! I have hit perhaps the greatest snag in the writing process for a JRPG- one that explicitly targets the essence of the character. The how of the what. The dialogue, the words, the voice of the character- these are all elusive entities for me. I have no problems drafting character arcs, moods, etc.- but I don't know how to convey them- this being the part where 'writing' is an issue, as opposed to conceptualizing a plot and how the characters all integrate into the dramatic organism that it is.   I think I should post an example of something I've done tentatively. For the record, I feel like it's overly Hollywood and stock. If anybody has advice, agrees, or disagrees, I'd appreciate the feedback    For the following dialogue, a small legend: Y: This is you, the player.  R: Another individual with whom you have limited radio contact. No MGS video function here!   These chats take place as you progress through the level in question. So while you're moving about and as you hit certain checkpoints etc.    Introductory Chats: Screen illuminates. You take control of some sort of stealthy operative, he holds a pistol with a laser scope in his hand. He wears a mask with two dark portholes set over the eyes, and in turn wears a body tight suit with padding to prevent damage.   he environment is a futuristic facility with sleek, modern lighting. The building consists in several atria, connected by passageways. A variety of messages warning 'contamination' and 'handle with care' are printed alongside several peculiar structures throughout the base. In addition, there are warning signs indicating the potential for electrical shock.   Radio Dialogue: The first chat Radio intercom: “Have you reached the penetralium? Your operative: “Not yet. I’ve reached somewhat of an impasse. The security overlay seems to imply that there are a few electronic lock-outs I need to bypass in order to hit jackpot. R: “Heh. If this was at all like the cloning facility, then there will probably be two terminals… Though you never know. Perhaps they decided against standardization.” You: “I’d be surprised if they did though. Why on earth would there be a need for the one or two ‘modifications’? That’s just irrelevant to their entire ethos as it is. They're far too lazy to be original.” R: “Just exercise a modicum of caution. Death is not an option.” You: “Roger”.   Second chat You: “One terminal down, and I think that you were wrong with your prediction. When I checked the power displacement after deactivating it, the reading says approximately 50% power remains invested in the lock. ” R: “But are you really going to blame me for asking you to be careful?” You: “That’s not what I meant… But this means you’ll have even less time to get in here. Don’t fuck this up. It’s not like you have a choice in the matter of ‘death’ either.” R: “Yes. I’m going to get moving ASAP.” You: “Preferably before the energic phenomena begins to multiply. I really don't have time to wait for you, and by then it will be too late. R: “I’m well aware of the fact. I’ll see you on the other side. Paçe”   Third Chat R: “I’m moving. Heavier fire than expected. I suppose they’re catching on to our plot.” You: “You’re a pretty big target though… But think of it this way. If they really cared- If they wanted to stop it- they would’ve done something about this whole debacle earlier.” R: *noises of weaponry* “At any rate. I’ll be safe soon- as soon as I enter the rooms designated “HANDLE WITH CARE!” Right? Don’t hesitate to activate the mainframe.” You: “You got it. Locates the Penetralium Penetralium Environment: A large collection of screens and various keyboard interfaces are there. A glass window behind the screens shows a flickering glow of light. A complicated web of tubes that frequently terminate in circular formations surround the light. The light possesses a distinctly reddish-violet hue.   Fourth Chat You: “I’m in.” R: “Good… They nicked me since last time, so don’t be surprised if there’s a bit of blood when I make it back. Are you inputting the codes?” You: “Not yet- I’ll start once we terminate contact here.” R: “Good… Don’t worry about me, I’ll be there soon. Just finish it.” You:  “Yes. And I very much intend on savoring the moment.” R: “Heh. You and me both.” Ends Radio transmission You: “Time for the ‘wipe’ then.”   Cutscene as you input the codes: Internal thought process: “It’s hard to believe that we’ve come this far. Is it because we’re strong? Or is it just that they’re weak? But meek ants in numbers- *Static Crackle* -easily devour larger foes. But to deal with these ants you only need a match... *Finishes inputting code* And a big helping of kerosene. * A sole automated female announcer rings off the words “Barrier on Energic phenomenon has been terminated. Please brace for any unexpected side effec-” Her voice abruptly halts. All lights in the facility darken and all additional mechanical noises die instantaneously. Y: You have ruined our once good name. *You hear the door behind you open* R: We made it in time for the main event it seems. *Abrupt crackle of static* You: Time to die. The screen breaks. A few discordant noises play until the main theme of the game is finally settled upon.    ____   I feel like this is rife with corniness and over-stuffed Hollywood-isms. I don't know. I just feel like it's 'trying too hard' to set a move and is thus transparent. If anybody has a advice, I won't hesitate to accept it. I dunno, I just feel insecure over it!
  9. Stumpmaestro

    AI in story concept, and perhaps a bit of an update

    Thanks for the in-depth response.          With regards to this, I plan on introducing this AI villain much earlier- only that you don't know he is who he is. You encounter him at first as the AI- a screen no less. It isn't until a very late point that you realize that he is another entity entirely, who exists behind the AI.   Symbolically, the brother you pursue or encounter mostly throughout the game has one red eye in it's right socket. Now, throughout the game you assume the AI is its own existence- a villain perhaps related to the red-eyed cyborg, but not in blood. You think, perhaps they are working together.   It's after you've had a lot clarified that you encounter the main villain holed up by the CPU of the AI- a single eye gleaming from within the circuitry of the machine. It will be basically a large coffin-like structure- and he will possess but one red eye in his left socket, as opposed to his brother's right eyed one. Then you're hit with the realization. All along- this computer screen, this machine, has been a man- very old mind you- pulling the strings.          The brother is subservient in a sense. I take the concept from the Jungian concept of the complementarity of opposites. One brother is the 'extravert' who goes out and DOES, while the other is stationary and limited in place- the 'introvert'. Together they compose a single being, in a symbolic sense. They are aspects of the same 'plan'.          The AI in question is a human originally who has uplinked himself to a power source that sustains his existence. He is thus too old to be human anymore, but he lives for them- he wants to sacrifice any chance at reprieve for the purpose of bringing humanity to a higher level of evolution, development. I probably should have clarified this. He is somebody who has seen a hellish possibility, and will deprive himself to guide us onward.         It is cheesy actually. I'll have to play with it more. It was more that the player becomes accustomed to one name, only to have his real name spoken rather casually. The link is thereby forged.         Compound this with one of the philosophical themes of the game. He knows not only the real 'goings ons' of the world, but also the philosophical tendency of these elements. How they all ultimately speak to the history of ideas.
  10. Stumpmaestro

    AI in story concept, and perhaps a bit of an update

    Well, the previous thread contains dated information as is, but this post is indeed hanging on the coattails of previous threads. Just for the purpose of brevity, I will briefly discuss what I have going on:   I'm designing the story for a JRPG-esque game, art-style ideally reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid with perhaps a bit of something else. The plot revolves around a political subplot that 'macrocosmically' reflects themes in the 'microcosm' of the protagonist party. These in turn resolve in a philosophical plot that 'brings it all together'. I have quite a few ideas percolating for the various plots and subplots. You get a few central philosophical themes, a metaphysical one, and so forth.   The major themes of the game are war/peace, suffering, agency and what one ought to do.   I'm still working out certain characters and plot events, but I have a good idea of where the overall trajectory is tending. 
  11. 'Ello everybody, it's good to be back in the forum-post saddle... I've of course been continually preening and buffing out the lore of my game world- it is going according to plan for the most part.   I've been hard at work at establishing a 'global state of affairs' for the player to become immersed in. An element of the story telling involves a disjunction between the immediate experience of your characters and the looming political subplot. Linking the two of course will be the philosophical content of the game- which will gradually wind around itself Ouroborically until at last the game comes 'full circle' and thrusts its message in the player's face painfully. Disparate events reform as a singularity- and this in itself is a philosophical theme.    But back to the topic at hand. I've been working a bit more on the nature of the villain's scheme for the purpose of getting some more visceral impact out of it.    My plan is to have an AI in the game, call it CR0-9. This is an AI that manages the governmental affairs of one of the three central continents in my game as well as the confidential materials that an underground scientific community utilizes to input data and findings. Thus- the AI is largely responsible for regulating a lot of important material throughout the world. I plan on introducing this AI through cut-scenes involving governmental elite for the third central continent- rather comedic ones.    So my idea, as indicated in the topic title, is to have this AI really be  the main villain who is directly hooked up to the CPU.    This does a few things for the plot:   1.) The villain has a reason for knowing much, and in advance. 2.) He can keep tabs both on the scientific organization, and the relatively technologically advanced 'stable' continent. 3.) When he needs to exact his plan, he can practically force both forces to do his bidding.  4.) CR0-9 is a re-iteration of the villain's real name, Cronine.    The 'dramatic irony' at work is that this villain professes to be more human than anybody else despite his thoroughly 'inhuman' body. Another component of the irony is that his brother is mobile- and he represents the antagonist that is 'in sight' for most of the game. So it all ultimately spills together by the end.    _______   Feedback, comments, anything is fine to hear from you all. Is it generic ultimately? I really must lend heavy thanks to all the people here who heard me out beforehand because my story is nearing the point where the 'sequence of events' can start to be lain out. I'm pretty happy with all of the material I have so far.
  12. Stumpmaestro

    Space barbarians

    You can have it be a Hannibalian group- as in, a multiracial(cultural) force that is lead through the efforts of some honcho capable of bringing them together. That allows you to have diversity in the enemy forces.... But yeah, they can have highly diverse technologies and tactics derived from each of their host planets, and recombinations and mixtures of enemy troops lead to particular requirements in dealing with them. I dunno, what others said are pretty good.
  13. Stumpmaestro

    Some elements from my RPG story- again :P

      Oh no doubt. Ultimately it's all about a level of meta-awareness and knowing how to exact your story. Hollywood draws crowds even if their stories 'suck' because they understand tried-and-true mechanisms. Telling things in a novel way while maintaining standards and keeping those emotional hooks is how stories are ultimately remembered best. I'll keep plugging away at it for now.
  14. Stumpmaestro

    Some elements from my RPG story- again :P

      When it comes to Jung I'm primarily interested in his Kantianism. Of course he's a fantastist, as his personal adherent (and I believe she dated him) Maria Moltzer said of him:    Gary Lachman: "She [argued] that [Jung's theories] should be considered art [not science] which got on Jung's nerves because he recognized that ... her arguments made sense, which suggests that he himself was in doubt about it."   That being said, I take quite a bit from Jung (and Kant, Heraclitus, Hegel, Schelling, Nietzsche, Plato, Aristotle, and to a lesser degree philosophically Huxley). Personality types as a channel of his philosophical theories is a primary interest for me. Freud is similarly inspiring to me- but I dislike his emphases. His clarity is refreshing after Jung though. That being said, I'm much more of a philosophical intuitionalist/fantasist, so that might express my sympathy to Jung. It colors every one of my interests- which may explain my fascination with theories of historicality (as if such a term could even exist in a scientific scenario!)    That being said- Jung always called himself a man of 'science'. The only way I could see this being the case is in his opposition to the Hegelian apparatus that he unwittingly resonated with more than he might have seen. Yet his Kantianism is certainly admirable (if you ask me), and his theory of Archetypes strikes me as a curiosity that has the 'spirit' right but not the precise elements. Of course, he could not ever venture to have precision- because he WAS NOT a man of science! Even Freud suffers.   Indeed, this historicality informs quite a bit of my plot as my thought inevitably tends towards the reconciliation of metaphysical opposites, and how newness is born from them in (Niels) Bohrian fashion:    "Contraria sunt complementa." ("Opposites are complementary.")   Campbell is quite annoying in that cultist activity I will agree. I also dislike his 'happy emptiness' sort of feeling, this 'follow your blissism'. It strikes me as remarkably distasteful overall- but he's my link into the field.    Well now we've gone off topic into my philosophical interests, but I think the point stands.   I definitely will look into those authors once I've finished this year's thesis. I'll look into the Egri and toy with Freytag. I know that you've studied this material, but your erudition is nevertheless commendable. 
  15. Stumpmaestro

    Some elements from my RPG story- again :P

    Thanks for the recommendation. But really, I should thank you for reading my material at all- I'm highly appreciative.    I'll check those works out. I'm also bound to run into something relevant as I pore over Jung- and eventually get to Campbell.   And for a final clarification: They came from a Brave New World PAST. They were responsible for destroying the civilization though by forcing a mainframe overload of the new form of energy that had lead to this lifestyle. Unleashing it resulted in the magical phenomena that the world currently experienced.   But yes- the event took place in the past. This past was futuristic in that sense. Yet the two brothers destroyed it (resistance wasn't entirely strong- they managed to conquer).    A recurring theme are these highly advanced automata that inhabit the game world. These are suits that the brothers used to stay alive for years- suits which naturally replaced the living organism contained within as they aged. That's my 'explanation' as to how they survived. The only organic piece either possess are their carefully monitored and taken-care of red-eyes (red owing to being born in test-tubes and lacking pigmentation a la Brave Wew World). So part of the 'mystery' and fear these characters possess are the single red eyes that sit in their sockets. Though you only ever 'meet' one of these brothers for the majority of the plot.
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