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TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhallForum IssuesArchived subforums (read only)CreativeA start to my story.
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Author Topic: A start to my story.  (Read 7218 times)
Gravious
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« on: February 26, 2008, 01:35:47 PM »

Well, in some down time i thought I'd scribble a blurb for the game I'm making.  I like to do little bits out of order to mix things up a little, so even though my game itself is still in the early stages, I'm doing the design document in tandem.

Anyway, i always liked the blurbs in the back of books, I'm going to make an effort to make my game as deep a part of fiction as i can, so here's my first attempt:

"The universe is vast, stretching out forever into the expanse of the void. 
The multiverse is vaster still, layered upon infinity leading from then till now and onward to could be and should be.

The world, a part of the multiverse as its tendrils twist and writhe in the gaps between the realities, a hero, the shadows and a cat called Muffie.

Multiverse: The Secret World of the Elves will alter your perception of Japanese styled RPGs with a western gaming influence and a story of Good versus Evil, Life, Love and the pursuit of a small tabby cat with nothing better to do but fuck with the fabric of creation."

I'm not great at editing and my grammar can be spotty, so later on I'll probably search for someone to help me clean up the scripting, but I'd love some feedback (even if its a really vague bit o tripe Smiley)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 03:59:36 PM by Gravious » Logged

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deadeye
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2008, 02:13:33 PM »

Since there's no context around your details it just sounds like a rather jumbled mess.  I'm not sure I'm prepared to judge the merits of Japanese elves and inconsiderate cat-gods with so little to go on.

Edit:
Just to clarify, you don't have a story here so much as a wordy list of elements.

1.  Multiple universes
2.  Elves
3.  A cat with (presumably) supernatural powers
4.  Japanese role-playing style

I will say the title is a little froofy and generic though.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 02:17:15 PM by deadeye » Logged

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Gravious
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2008, 02:26:36 PM »

..well, its not meant as a synopsis Tongue

I think of it more as a shortened sound bite from the intro monologue and a tease tacked on the end.  When i have some time, I'll flesh it out into a proper synopsis for a more detailed view of the storyline Smiley

I hadn't intended Muffie to be a supernatural element to the story, more a foil and provider of comic relief from time to time, but i like the idea and may work it into the story somehow..
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2008, 02:33:23 PM »

I hadn't intended Muffie to be a supernatural element to the story ... but i like the idea and may work it into the story somehow..

Well, uh... okay then.  It's all yours.  Consider it a freebie.
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Gravious
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2008, 02:57:48 PM »

Yoink!

Everyone knows its ok to steal as long as you say Yoink! as you do it :D

And your right, the name is crap, i don't like it much either, but i came up with it on the first attempt at making this when i was 17, so i feel some kind of loyalty to the project to keep the name :-/

I'd prefer something Avant-garde like "Crunchy Frog", but then I'd have to change the main character into a talking moose for it to make any sense.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 03:00:58 PM by Gravious » Logged

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Inane
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2008, 03:37:33 PM »

It's versus.
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Gravious
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2008, 04:02:09 PM »

It's versus.

Yes, it is.
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2008, 03:05:10 PM »

This concept is gigantically trite.

The world does NOT need another good versus evil story with elves and shit. I ask you now, human to human...does this concept really express the contents of your vast consciousness? Is your soul really filled with JRPG's and Elves and forests and all that? I highly doubt it, and I think you can do WAY better than this.

But if you can't... Wink

Can you at least inject something interesting into this? And before you point at your reality manipulating tabby cat and say "Look, that's edgy and unique!" I will remind you that it is just another notch on the long list of boring ironies in this world.

I understand the idea of having a story you've been writing since you were "OMG17" or 16 or 10 or whatever, but if it's not communicating to the world something personal, scrap it. And I don't mean personal like autobiographical details. I mean jump into your brain sauce and make some interesting cakes. Or scones, or whatever the fuck.  Smiley

And I know I'm already railing on you really hard, I'm sorry...but this is a pretty bad run on sentence:

"The world, a part of the multiverse as its tendrils twist and writhe in the gaps between the realities, a hero, the shadows and a cat called Muffie."

Just throwing that out there. *RED MARKER'D*
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Chris Whitman
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2008, 03:20:47 PM »

It's actually a sentence fragment, not a run on sentence.

But yeah, that concept needs some serious work.
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Lith
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2008, 03:22:46 PM »

Touché sir!
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2008, 12:39:14 AM »

This is really not enough detail to critique, which is probably why you're getting the responses you are. It's *possible* this could turn into a good story if the writing is good and there are some interesting scenes and maybe even a good game if you use the idea of a multi-universe in a game in interesting ways (perhaps like Zelda 3's light and dark worlds, but with many more), but it's also possible it won't, and there's no way to tell how it will wind up just based on what you present here.

Suggestion: write the first scene in the story, even if it's just a few pages long, to give us an idea of how it will read, what the dialogue will be like, etc.
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2008, 03:49:18 PM »

Hmm..  I never saw the posts replying to this thread after my last post, but tooling around the internet (as you do,) i rediscovered the thread and it sparked my interest.

At the time i was too close to the project, it'd been the only thing i'd thought about for a while and i was making some progress in learning game programming, but reading back and on through the posts afterwards, i can see the points being raised, i simply didn't provide enough detail. 

I'm working on other stuff at the moment, a cruel lesson i learned the hard way showed me a "from scratch" rpg in c++ from a beginner was stupid, but I'm working on design documents for the stuff I'm working on now and I'm kinda keen to put down some detail on this while I'm at it.

Thanks for the input though Smiley

(and if i do put anything down, I'll post here for continued critique Smiley)
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2008, 10:51:00 PM »

i dont think you should ever start a game with a story.

and ill have to agree with Lith on this one, as harsh as that may be.

may i suggest a starting point to perhaps make your story more personal. a question to ask yourself: do you really believe in good and evil?
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2008, 10:56:50 PM »

This is going off on a tangent, but I think you can make stories about good and evil without believing in them. They can be symbolic rather than literal. I don't think that everyone who writes stories about good and evil in conflict literally believes in good and evil.
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2008, 11:02:56 PM »

of course.
but as pointed out by lith, they're pretty trite.
especially if they involve any kind of high-fantasy bullshit.

or any kind of "chosen one" story arc.

more tangent:

ive seen a lot of people in the game industry lately refer to campbell's hero with a thousand faces, and the whole hero's journey thing. urging game developers to start doing what hollywood has been doing for years. as fascinating as the monomyth is from a cultural standpoint, i urge all game developers to stay the fuck away from that stuff.

what all those speakers are telling you to do is basically to rip off the oldest, most tired story ever told.

so yeah. dont do that.

 Beer!
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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2008, 11:10:13 PM »

I think I agree with that, I don't like Campbell's recommendations much. But there are fantasy stories I like, although they tend to be atypical ones, like the Thomas Covenant stories (which were about chosen one and saving the world but were distinct because it was done by a leper who wasn't a typical hero and did things like rape people but was still likable and believable).

I'm also not sure how effective it is to just tell people who have bad ideas for stories to try again and have better ones. If they had better ideas, wouldn't they be using them? I think people have to mature and have more life experiences first and think about things and so on before their ability to write better stories will improve, that takes time.
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2008, 05:11:14 AM »

I actually agree with you guys about the straight good/evil stuff, the snippet i posted doesn't really provide much information, perhaps it wasn't enough to post.

The plot of my story focuses on an elf who's taken out of his element and involved in someone elses story, which becomes something only he can resolve, not that he knows or wants to.  It just so happens that he's a good guy, and the bad guy is.. well, bad.  I want to make my game a strong character story with the plot device allowing for a diverse game area.

A question for those who know;  How is best to progress, write a full story and use it as the template for the game, or sketch the outline of the plot, flesh out some key ideas, then let the game development help shape the story?

I'm not sure how i should continue...
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2008, 08:32:54 AM »

my views on this are radical.

i think you should ALWAYS start with game mechanics.
let those grow and evolve. see where they take you first, and THEN start trying to come up with a story that meshes well with your mechanics. you want complementarity.
if your core mechanic is about pushing crates around, then your story should reflect that somehow.

the game that made me start to think that way was portal.
the integration of the narrative in this one was flawless.
it could be completely ignored, and the game would still work, but doing so would take away one of the highlights of the game.

im trying to do something similar with fez.
in my original plan, fez had no story. i was gonna do that on purpose because A, i didnt want to bother, and B, its extremely rare that i feel a story actually adds anything to games. they usually get in the way an annoy me.
but then the gameplay grew. and it started going in all those unexpected directions.
little by little, i started piecing this little backstory that explained what was going on. and without saying anything, it ties in perfectly with the gameplay, almost explains it. and im very happy about that.

i once a long running correspondence with a childhood hero of mine, doug tenappel.
i asked him why he moved away from videogames and he said all he wanted to do was tell a story, and that games were the worst place to do that. at the time this statement shocked me! i couldn't believe how wrong doug tenappel was on this one!
but years later i totally agree. games are a shit medium to tell stories. if what you care about is telling your character's story, save yourself a lot of trouble and right a book.
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2008, 12:24:22 PM »

I'd have to agree with the general sentiment.  Computer games are a difficult medium to tell a story, largely because they require large amounts of interaction.  However, something like a pen and paper game can be quite effective at telling a story, only because a person is able to intervene.

A human "dungeon master" (or whatever) is able to override game mechanics, provide important nuances to storyline at key points, and to actually develop the story in response to the players' actions.  It's not impossible that computer games could do this someday, it's just incredibly, incredibly difficult.

But yeah, start with gameplay mechanics.  And if the mechanics are no more detailed than "JRPG meets Western RPG", then you better work on it some more.
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2008, 03:47:54 PM »

I disagree with that sentiment, because of two elements to it.

The first element is the assumption that only good stories are worth telling or reading. I think that's false. It can be valuable and wonderful to read mediocre stories. Some of my favorite stories are the pretty stupid stories that exist in cartoons -- Rainbow Brite, Thundercats, He-Man and She-Ra, Care Bears, Captain N, that sort of ridiculous stuff. I don't feel that that type of story is worthless, it's fun. Similarly, even though most jRPGs etc. have what would be considered insipid stories from the standpoint of literature, they are often fun, entertaining stories. And it's not that I don't like literature, I like Brothers Karamazov, Les Miserables, Kafka, and all that too -- but I also like Inspector Gadget, Teen Titans, and the TMNT cartoons.

Second, because it's factually off -- there are many games which I believe started with the story which I enjoyed, usually because of those stories. I might agree with it if the games I most enjoyed were the games without stories, and if I felt stories got in the way, but I don't feel that way and that isn't my experience in playing games: sometimes alternatively I feel they would have been better off without any gameplay (Xenogears and the MGS series are examples; and pretty much any text adventure I feel would be better off without those stupid puzzles).

In other words, even if games aren't very good at telling great stories, they're good at telling trivial stories, and trivial stories can be worthwhile. Some of my best memories are from watching Duck Tales, I'd hate to only read heavy literature all the time and not be able to enjoy more lighthearted stuff.
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