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About Beige

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  1. Beige

    Your current or recent writing projects?

    I've been away from writing for a while, and am just now starting to get into it again. It's interesting to revisit previous work from a new perspective, and one of my projects is to do a complete "pass" on various ideas that never quite made it off the launch pad. Most of these ideas were too broad in scope to be practical in implementation by a one man crew, but it's fun to iterate! One of the projects I was working on was a text adventure where you play the role of a company-grade officer in the military. Instead of the typical Call Of Duty most-interesting-man-on-the-battlefield approach, you instead are one of the people who must plan and implement missions for a greater strategic objective. In this case, being in charge of leading a provincial reconstruction team as they are tasked with restoring social and economic stability to a war-torn village. While there are certain events hardcoded to take place at opportune points in the narrative, many of the smaller interactions would be randomized based on choices you make. Not just how you deal with the locals of the village, but how you treat the people serving under your command. A little bit of Persona, a little bit of Once an Eagle. Militarism in games is a topic that, I feel, has not yet been dealt with in a mature manner. To do so, while still keeping the game itself compelling and not letting the experience become overwhelmed with the mundane... that's the challenge.
  2. Beige

    Character Development Exercise

    Gave him a name! These new soldiers are irritating, I don't understand them. They insist on bringing their dead off the field after every skirmish. This, by itself, is not unusual; but they stop at nothing to ensure every single high-value item is taken with them as well. Not once have I managed to appropriate a set of night optics or one of their smart carbines from them. I heard a rumor from the Fadayas - they live a few kilometers south of here, they say that they would detain every man, woman, and child in an encampment until they got every single piece of their property back. Still, they are not always successful. I've seen a few of the more profitable merchants proudly displaying a laser rangefinder or a land navigation system as proof of their prowess. I've been rude in not introducing myself, and I apologize; sometimes I can get a little lost when I start talking about my line of work. My name is Gedeon.
  3. I've been stuck in something of a rut lately with a massively, unwieldy epic cyberpunk project that isn't going anywhere; so I'm trying to diversify a bit with a smaller fantasy project and a simpler plot. It's pretty straightforward - a young man of humble (read: dirt poor) origins becomes embroiled in a conflict to free his oppressed people from a tyrant. So who should this young man be? Should I cobble together a pastiche of traditional Campbell-esque heroes, or try to create a more complex, multi-dimensional character, who the player may or may not be able to empathize with? In an effort to get to know him better, I've been starting out with some seeds of dialogue from his perspective. Hopefully letting him speak will help develop who he is. *** As long as I can remember, there has been war around me and the village I live in. I don't know when it started, or why. It simply is, and we live our lives accordingly. I'm not a soldier; at least, no more than I have to be, to protect my friends and my family. I've known soldiers. They live short, violent lives of passion, and I still can't understand why those from so-called civilized nations voluntarily take up the profession. I make my living off this war, as the rest of us do. Some fight and are paid. Some tell others to fight and are paid. Some clean up afterwards and are paid. I would be the latter. Soldiers come and go. Some promise to help us, others promise to hurt them. In the end they all end up the same; a shabby carbine and a couple magazines of full metal jacket ammunition, maybe an undamaged helmet or vest of armor if I'm lucky. That means food for a day, a week, and with a good find, a whole month.
  4. Beige

    Interest in a workshop on synopses?

    I'm interested.
  5. Beige


    An easy way to get around JRPG cliches is to subvert them. That is, have the cliche set up, and then let it play out completely differently. The hooker with a heart of gold is really just a gold digger. The climactic moment where the hero stops the evildoer from pressing the button... only to press it himself.
  6. Beige


    I think you've expanded the idea of factions, as expressed in WoW, into much broader categories that a lot of RPG's use, but don't necessary call factions; i.e. a single storyline with an NPC where you help them with a side quest and they like you a bit more within a linear narrative could easily be described as a "rep grind" within this context. Just an observation. Regarding social factions, I think this could be made more interesting by having factions that you gain influence with indirectly; through the interactions you have not simply with NPCs, but with the world as a whole throughout the game. This could range anywhere from being a green thumb and having a higher-than-normal regard for plant-based enemies and picking herbs, to having a penchant for sarcasm in your NPC interactions and universally alienating the PC's romantic interests. Or do a reversal of that, and have the faction's reputation be based on your subversion of their interests; example, the logging company approaches you because you score high on the FOREST-TRAVEL scale, but low on the ALTRUISM scale... well, you get the idea. Looking at how a character behaves, where they spend their time? The sky's the limit on that one.
  7. Beige

    Inherent Narrative

    I will respond to your second question with the answer that it would have to do with how informed a player you're dealing with, and how informed you want them to be. Here's an example. In the early days of cinema, the music was very obvious about what emotion the viewer was supposed to feel. The cuts were very straightforward to ensure the viewer knew what their attention was supposed to be on. As the years went on, filmmakers could use more advanced techniques to tell their story, subtle underscore, misdirection, etc. these older, more obvious methods became what we know as cliche. Getting back to writing for games: given that the use of cliche is, in itself, a deliberate technique, the question becomes "What is my intent behind using this technique?" There are times when you want a player to feel that they have figured out something themselves, and times where you want a player to have something spelled out with more certainty. In a nonlinear narrative, you may want the choices given to the player to be more or less concrete. There isn't really a "use this here, use that there" guideline. It simply depends on the context of what you want to do.
  8. http://www.evernote.com/ is my weapon of choice.
  9. Beige

    Tools for writers?

    Try Evernote for PC, or Journler for Mac. http://www.evernote.com/ http://journler.com/
  10. Beige

    Story building

    Put a corpse on the middle platform and a nondescript-looking character on the upper left next to the ledge, away from the trees.
  11. It sounds like a really good concept you've come up with, and this would be a game I'd play. Simple, but interesting - and different. Makes me think of a funny System Shock, presentation wise. Keep in mind, though, that GLADOS in Portal is not the only thing that makes the game charming, but also the overarching plot involving her. Having interesting characters (and it sounds like you do) is a good start, but now it's time to work on an arc. How are these two chatty computers going to develop the plot? Consider their characterization, make sure their bickering doesn't get annoying.
  12. Try this little gem, Liberal Crime Squad. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/?p=506
  13. Beige

    Modern Era Damage Types

    This is part of a damage type document I'm working on for my own modern RPG project. I had the same problem you did - I started out with a ton of damage types and gradually whittled it down to these five. A lot of the various types of damage you can take are either combinations of two of these, or are encompassed in one of the categories. Your mileage may vary depending on the nature of your setting, but I found this to be a good compromise between simplicity and realism. NBC - NBC damage is rare and tends to be a wild card in terms of associated effects. Difficult to defend against unless you're specifically geared to. (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical... need I say more?) Thermal - Thermal damage is associated with damage-over-time and morale impact effects. Many blast weapons do some minor thermal damage. (ex. explosions, flamethrowers, "lasers") Electrical - This type of damage is usually associated with incapacitating effects and stuns. Shields do not respond well to electrical damage and are in danger of overloading when confronted by it. Ballistic - All bullets, shrapnel, and projectile weapons deal ballistic damage. Concussion - Concussion damage is reserved primarily for “blast” weapons and melee attacks. It is associated with knockdown and knockback effects. (melee damage and explosions.) Direct - Direct damage is a special type of damage certain enemies do that cannot be resisted. Most melee damage is a combination of direct and concussion, though other attacks do direct damage as well.
  14. Let me put it this way (and I'm coming from more of a film/TV background here, but...) If you provide a musician samples of what you want, temp tracks, it will make it much easier for them to compose what you want, but it's not going to be as creative as it could be. This option is best if you don't know the musician and need to make sure they're on the track you want them on. If you simply give guidelines and emotions, it's going to take longer because the musician doesn't know what you want, but you'll end up with a more unique product. This option would be best if you already know this person's style and think it would suit your game. The bottom line is that you need to know what you want. If you're uncertain, spend some time listening to music and write down some of the tracks that have the sort of sound you're looking for. Or, you can spend some time on the music and sound board until you hear someone with a portfolio that speaks to your game. Keep in mind that without some guidelines, like what you have here (mystery, quiet but beautiful, etc.) the musician is just going to write whatever. The more details, the better picture you can give them of the game, and the more likely it is that their music will work well.
  15. Beige

    How not to force the player?

    I think you'll find a link between "float in the right direction" games, and games with plots revolving around solving a mystery about the player - rather than completing an objective. The expansion to Neverwinter Nights 2, Mask of the Betrayer, also does this. It is the closest game to Planescape: Torment in style that I know of. Just thinking about PS:T makes me want to write. What an incredible game.
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