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Setting tone with backstory

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#21 Landfish   Members   


Posted 24 September 2000 - 07:21 AM

Ketch: Never seen it. Yojimbo was good, though...

#22 ochavelli   Members   


Posted 24 September 2000 - 06:18 PM

Wasn''t Last Man Standing made shortly before Bruce Willis and Demi Moore got divorced? (Bear with me, I promise that this really is on topic)

It may just be a coincidence, but I see a deeper meaning. I think Kurosawa and the other deceased gods of cinema were sending us a message: "Don''t mess with what works."

So, you take that thought and strap it to either the first or third draft. Going with the industrial accident scenario, say you have two factions. One has preety much dominated since the accident occured. They are lead by, not so much an evil overlord, as a paranoid control-freak. They immediately established martial law (with the best intentions, mind you). Later on, as stability is recovered, the leader, being a paranoid control-freak, refuses to believe that the people are ready for martial law to be lifted.

Now, enter faction two. These guys began as the common rebels that accompany the enforsement af martial law. Recently, however, they have gained organization in the form of a dynamic, charismatic, and brilliant leader who appears out of nowhere.

Now, here comes the moral conflict, for the player anyways. Martial law was probably necessarry, and has been very effective. Still, it''s probably time to move on.

The rebels seem to have the right idea, but at times they appear to be just money-hungry thugs; no better than the power-hungry Nazis they say the other guys are (and they might be just that).

So, do you go with what works (the Nazis)? Or help bring a welcome change (the Thugs)? Or maybe you take the place over for yourself?

Hey maybe you could get Bruce and Demi to do some voice work.

#23 ahw   Members   


Posted 24 September 2000 - 09:47 PM

Do I smell I bt of Starcraft in here ?

#24 sunandshadow   Members   


Posted 25 September 2000 - 10:03 AM

Original post by Ketchaval

Sunandshadow Quote "You grew up on the [insert player''s chosen ship name here].
Everyone you knew was part of this self-contained little world.
Your mom was the astrogator, your dad was the cook, your uncle
was the captain, your uncle''s partner was the trade officer, your aunt was the weapons officer, your grandma was in charge of all you cousins, etc. Now all of that is gone.
[For some emotionally involving plot related reason]"

If the player spent a lot of time involved with these characters in the beginning chapters of the game, then I think that an "emotionally involving plot related reason" would work, but if they died in the game BEFORE you had even met them, I doubt that this would have any real emotional effect on the player. Unless it was the fake block-buster emotion of things like Armageddon.

I was thinking in terms of an actor asking "what''s my motivation?" You give the player a motivation that''s not actually part of the story but if they keep it in the back of their mind while they play the will be more emotionally meaningful.

#25 kseh   Members   


Posted 26 September 2000 - 08:09 AM

I''m thinking something like you were sent from a distant galaxy to this place for some sort of covert ops. Conquer, unify, make money, you''re not sure because you lost your memory for some reason. Your stardrive is destroyed so you can''t head home. Your mission is nowhere to be found in your computer''s data banks because you were probably briefed in person. A final long term goal (if you''re still looking for one) might be to rebuild your engines to get home.

I think this would be ok for single player, but for multiplayer the only way it might make sense would be if all players start in the same location. If everyone arrives seperatly then what are the chances the same thing happens to everybody. But if everyone started in one mothership and buggered off in smaller ships or something when they woke up, then that might be ok.

If you can''t start everyone in the same spot, then a possibility might be to do the 5 years later thing.

#26 ahw   Members   


Posted 26 September 2000 - 08:21 AM

You are a Conquistador, from the Kastaka family. Like you father, and his father before, your mission is to explore the vastness of the Galaxy, to discover new worlds, resources, civilizations... Many years ago, the Emperor administration gave your family a crew, a ship and the blessing of the Emperor. Then the never ending journey began.
For the last ten years, after your father''s death, you have been in charge of the Amarantha, an imperial cruiser, built specifically for the Conquistadors, and rarely possessed by any chapter of Space Marine. A month ago, your scientific crew observed a rare phenomenon, the appearance of a Supernova : the death of a star. The consequences are well known, but being able to observe the process is a inesperate chance that you decided to grab. Needless to say, the explosion itself was gigantic, and meant great risks during the approach, the ship took severe damages, but reached the outside of the system that we baptised Luciolla. One of the Astrogators died during the last moments of the approach, it seems that a Warp storm started as an aftershock of the tremendous eplosion of the star. But that was only the beginning of the troubles, as you discovered, not a pulsar, nor a black hole, but a white star in the center of the system... as if no supernova had ever exploded !
The explosion though, must have really happened, as the entire system had been transformed into a giant asteroid field.
Now the bad news is that the Warp drive was damaged during the final approach, your senior Astropath is dead, leaving you with a rookie.
The good news is that you are alone in the system, for now...
The questions : how are you gonna get out of here, what happened to this system, ravaged by a phantom Supernova, and is there anything good that could be gained from this accident ?

Mmmh, Ok, the style is utter crap, I won''t bother refining it, unless you ask more details. Jsut some thoughts.

To summarize : it''s your family tradition to explore, so you''ve all reasons to be there, or anywhere else. You had a scientific interest to be in the system, but now it''s more pure curiosity : what has happened here ? A supernova is the final stage of a star, where the remaining matter explodes, creating either another type of star (pulsar), or a black hole (or someting else as well, but my memory is unsure). But here you are, with a young star (white), as if nothing ever happened.
You are stuck in the system unless you can find a way to fix your machines, and wait until your navigator (Astropath/Astrogator/Navigator) has a level sufficient enough to get you out of there (the distance of warp travel depending on his abilities, they will allow faster and longer warp jumping). This implies trading/exchange with other protagonists.
I think i have some more ideas to have something slightly more interesting than jsut a massive asteroids field.
You have one of the best space ship the Imperial forges are able to build, and the number of sister ships in this quadrant is probably less than ten. This is because you are supposed to be as much of a scientific than a warrior, depending on your discoveries.
I leave the eventual races that would come to scavenge the now destroyed system in the vague as well, for now.

Well, any comments ?

I''ll probably come up with some other stuff for your enemies (the multiplayer aspects) later.

#27 Wavinator   Moderators   


Posted 27 September 2000 - 09:12 AM

Well, seems like ya'' can''t get away from your roots! Ahw, your setting describes my inspiration perfectly: My original inspirations were real-life conquistadores, the Hudson Bay Trading Company, and colonialism. My only problem: I **hate** the concept of colonialism!

What I wanted was a way to make the player so special that he could alter the political relationships between a bunch of organizations / gov''ts: Sort of how Hudson Bay could alter the balance by trading with one Native American tribe or another. But I also wanted the "tribes" themselves to be powerful (not victims), so that the player could run afoul and get his butt kicked by the equivalent of the Iroquois or Apache.

I turned to the free trader model because it was closer to the independent spirit I was looking for and didn''t have the same tainted feel of one higher tech government coming in and smashing a lower tech one. The player and asteroid "nations" are equal in power, it''s just that all the player''s power is wrapped up in his ship and gadgets.

Logically, of course, I have to __EXPLAIN__ why colonialism isn''t happening... A marooned conquistador will work, but the tone that''s set with that backstory is a bit more dark and brooding. I mean, it''s hard to be a hero when your goal is to commit genocide against a people.

I''m toying with the idea that, in terms of interstellar travel, only small ships can reach certain systems. This *might* make sense story-wise: You''re an independent trader (works for single / multiplayer), and the only reason __why__ the traditionaly colonialism isn''t happening is 1) it''s not your people''s style and 2) you couldn''t get battleships and troop transports into the system if you **wanted** to. Hence your need to trade and rely on the existing nations.

Just waiting for the mothership...

#28 Ketchaval   Members   


Posted 27 September 2000 - 09:34 AM

Cool, I''ve always liked those ship / land exploration games (in principle at least, I''d like to get hold of Sid Meirs Pirates!).

One really cool idea that I''ve been thinking of recently (not that I actually make games ) was the way that when the early explorers set off to find new lands / eldorado etc. they only had these scary reports of monsters and humans with their heads in their chests! The other thing that was cool about those times was the Hand Drawn Maps with "here be monsters" and huge sea creatures drawn on them (although I don''t think that we can afford to have that many awesome maps in games). The game idea was that you would set off to explore, but most of these types of "monsters" (humans etc) would be REAL, it would be a really awesome experience to be exploring a strange, yet familiar new land. Not nothing what foul demonspawn you might find next.

#29 ahw   Members   


Posted 27 September 2000 - 12:24 PM

Well, I haven''t put all my ideas down yet, because it''s all very confused inside, so I guess it would be pointless.
But I always like to teach the people a lesson, so I would like to make the player realise that colonialism is bad. Not in the Hollywood way that would be to have a lieutnant at your side showing you all the bad sides of the power hungry colonialists, and you would be the good guy trying to help the natives, etc...
I''d rather like to have something like in 1492 (the movie by Ridley Scott, aaaaah, Ridley Scott !) where the poor Colombus his more the guy being used and abused by everybody, while he is supposed to be in charge. He tries to make contact with the natives, but his methods are biased ... the thing is that he doesn''t get a second chance.
What I''d like (and of course, that''s IMHO), is to have the player BE one of those colonialists that plunder a new world, taking the inhabitants for simple non intelligent animals, and then realise the horror of his mistake and *be able* to change the tide.
The setting I give allow as well to make this awareness happen through your crew, that you know very well, and that would be a perfect source of ''plot development'' (your Astropath, with his psychic abilities, discovers, when your ground station is attacked while he was in visit on the surface, that those "animals" are in fact a sentient species ... it''s one of those cliche you get in sci fi shows, where the threat is in fact a form of communication).

Also, I am against the "oh we shouldn''t show it, it''s a bad thing, rather we are gonna try to make more politically correct" bullsh!t. I''d rather do a game that actually uses slaves, and make the player aware of the horror of such a system, by making a plot around that (a bit like in "White Man" or something, the movie where whites are treated like black, with John Travolta. Suddenly, the black posh realise the difficulty of everyday life for all those poor white people...)

I say, choose my story

For the multiplayer aspect. I was thinking that it would be interesting to actually have only one capital ship (the Amarantha), and a plethora of wee fighters. While other factions could be of different organisations (a swarm of insect creatures ? a horde of a roaming species, a la Huns riders ...)
Of course, it all depends on which sides of the game you want to emphasize.

youpla :-P

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