[project1dev] Re: game narrative structure

  • From: eric drewes <figarus@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 17 May 2009 12:58:55 -0400

ok, im thinking about it like this... each chapter is like its own self
contained story where you play through it... think of like an expanded
version of the scenes in ff3 like where Locke has to go to east figaro and
delay the soldiers long enough, etc. etc. and he ends up finding celes and
rescuing her and has to go in disguise and stuff... like that would be a
"chapter" but ours would be longer with a bigger story arc.  there'd be like
5-6 (maybe more, we'd know when we got into them, maybe instead of 5-6 long
ones we could have a ton of short ones, like the opera scene in ff3 could be
an example).  once you beat all the chapters, you would unlock freemode
which gives you free reign to explore the entire world and find adventures
like in the second half of ff3.

Three key notes to this would be:

you take your hero and recruited party into the chapters and you could
replay them (with characters/items that are found IN the chapter not able to
be brought in).  this would be cool cuz there's things like the opera scene
or the scene where you are sabin/cyan and recruit shadow and go through the
enemy camp and then the ghost train that i'd save before hand so i could
replay them.  also i picture we could have SOME randomized treasure ala
diablo 2 so people could make "runs" this would be a way for people to grind
also.  we'd balance it basically by making the levels progressively more
challenging and also i view the DIFFICULTY of the game being set where
simply leveling won't be enough to destroy levels, even capped out you'd
have to be smart and savvy and strategize properly to survive.

the second thing would be that once you finished the chapters you'd unlock
freemode which basically gives you the whole world to explore but it'd be
10-15 years in the future (we'd explain it in the final story like you get
caught in the null realm and do battle there but when you come out its 15
years later) so the world has been changed drastically, monsters, treasure,
etc is different, we can have progression of things (like i had in mind a
scene where there was a war and an old man and the old man is like "war is
so terrible, this place is cursed by all the dead soldiers, i am going to
plant a tree for each one so they can find peace" and so when you revisit
the place it's a big forest.  children you encounter in the chapters could
be adults, etc.  we'd have a ton of mini stories and places to find and
explore in the "free mode"

third thing is we could add more stories as mini-expansion packs and it
could be episodic in nature



On Sun, May 17, 2009 at 4:32 AM, Kent Petersen <kentkmp@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> For the sake of example lets say there are 3 zones. So you play through the
> 3 zones in order. After you beat the whole game you can then run through
> again on freemode where there would be more things to do but the same 3
> zones
>
> I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think I need more examples
>
>
> On Sat, May 16, 2009 at 11:02 PM, Matthew Freeland <mattthefiend@xxxxxxxxx
> > wrote:
>
>> Gonna... Be... EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>>
>>
>> On Sat, May 16, 2009 at 11:00 PM, <figarus@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>
>>> Ya, I actually have a storyline and town with the character/zombrero in
>>> mind for one of the chapters... I really like it and think he'll be an
>>> awesome recruitable guy with the guitar hero style attack. I even talked to
>>> a musician buddy of mine to write some horn/guitar style mariachi music in
>>> preparation :D
>>>
>>> Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
>>>
>>> ------------------------------
>>> *From*: Matthew Freeland
>>> *Date*: Sat, 16 May 2009 22:57:57 -0700
>>>
>>> *To*: <project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>> *Subject*: [project1dev] Re: game narrative structure
>>> There has to be some mystical guitar to rule the zombies with, so it can
>>> be like Guitar hero, only turn based combat RPG. Bwahahaa!!
>>>
>>> On Sat, May 16, 2009 at 10:55 PM, <figarus@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>
>>>> I will keep some of your ideas in mind... Definitely working the
>>>> zombrero storyline in... :P
>>>>
>>>> Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
>>>>
>>>> ------------------------------
>>>> *From*: Matthew Freeland
>>>> *Date*: Sat, 16 May 2009 22:39:43 -0700
>>>>
>>>> *To*: <project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>>> *Subject*: [project1dev] Re: game narrative structure
>>>> Sounds fun to me.
>>>>
>>>> Kinda curious as to how we should set up the entire world though... I'll
>>>> just roll with some simple questions to determine where we start and how to
>>>> arrange regions. You guys are free to give input at any time.
>>>>
>>>> The character, who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Why am I going
>>>> there? (Where's buttercup?)
>>>>
>>>> Let's say we're... a reservist soldier, male or female. Approximately 21
>>>> or 22. Old enough to drink beer but not so young that your hair defies
>>>> gravity and you have a profoundly emo attitude like in a jRPG. You're in
>>>> your home country because you ARE. In a medium sized town big enough to 
>>>> have
>>>> the medieval equivalent of a Wal*Mart so there is plenty of stuff to do
>>>> around town to get familier with the concept of quest starting/execution.
>>>> You fiddle around in town for a long time doing quests, taking time to 
>>>> learn
>>>> all the basics of combat getting some levels and adapting to the game as a
>>>> whole. Some scary cave monster tried to jack your Zombrero and you're not
>>>> pleased about it and you decide for some unknown reason to track down the
>>>> scary cave monsters family to exact further vengeance upon them. Now you're
>>>> leaving region one which will still be accessible to you if you want to go
>>>> back (Preferably through a map screen, no need to fight through bunches of
>>>> weaker monsters to get back to earlier places).
>>>>
>>>> You're in region 2 now. The story shifts from the learning mode into a
>>>> very mild challange as you progress and start to get slightly more 
>>>> difficult
>>>> monsters floating around. You quest along in the primary population center
>>>> of Region 2 and discover the whereabouts of the super scary cave monsters
>>>> super scary cave monster parents... either by questing and gathering
>>>> information or Deux ex Machina if you've played through the game already.
>>>> You hunt down the cave monster and beat the living crap out of it. While in
>>>> the cave and beating up the cave monster, a minor earthquake forces you to
>>>> flee a different direction than where you came in, as a path opens up 
>>>> during
>>>> the earthquake. You go through the path to find a pretty little isolated
>>>> grove in the mountains full of interesting and wonderful creatures and find
>>>> a house where some silly hermit person lives. Blah Blah Blah, quest this, 
>>>> go
>>>> here, That is Region 3. At this point it's assumed you understand the
>>>> mechanics of the game well enough that it won't hold your hand anymore.
>>>>
>>>> Fastforward a whole lot of nonsense and all the sudden you've got some
>>>> real purpose to live, something that is important that your character do. 
>>>> If
>>>> nothing else because you're bored, who the hell knows.
>>>>
>>>> After finally finding a purpose in life you go off and do all kinds of
>>>> fun adventuring things and end up finding lots of nifty companions with
>>>> nifty abilities and nifty personalities... then after progressing to this
>>>> point war breaks out between whole bunches of angry peoples and you want to
>>>> go home to your mommy. So you go home, and you get to protect it. Yay. Now
>>>> even though you're back home, everything is a whole lot stronger than it 
>>>> was
>>>> previously to match your increased strength. You get to defend your home 
>>>> and
>>>> then get back to your purpose in life.
>>>>
>>>> Let's call this purpose some arbitrary gathering quest to collect the 8
>>>> magical stones of awesomeness. Now that the first few chapters are done 
>>>> with
>>>> and you've had ample opportunites to develop your backstory and that of 
>>>> your
>>>> buddies, the world gets alot bigger. Now you can rapidly travel between
>>>> locations on your continent. Let's say you get a nice little buggy like in
>>>> FF7 or a magical carpet or something which opens up the continent as a 
>>>> whole
>>>> to you, except maybe a few places for further exploration after you get
>>>> better transportation. You cruise around the continent on your quest for 
>>>> the
>>>> magical stones of awesome and find a couple on your continent as well you
>>>> have tons of nifty quests to do in all the different locations and lots of
>>>> monsters to brutalize. Pretty soon after this point you're going to need a
>>>> new ride, so you go rough up some wussy steampunk piratey people and steal
>>>> their steam powered boat of win to connect to other continents. Maybe even
>>>> back to their steam punky island of steampunk (perfect place for you to
>>>> design, Elizabeth).
>>>>
>>>> Now you've gone from small region based exploration, to medium scale
>>>> continental exploration, to world exploration at which point the game is
>>>> completely open ended. We can even have little sections of the world that
>>>> have absolutely no relevence to the story whatsoever, but the story arc is
>>>> still important so if you want to you can continue on the storyline or go
>>>> exploring newly available continents. So you can go get super badass and
>>>> unstoppable and beat the boss at the end of the game who is horribly easy
>>>> *Cough, sephiroth, cough* but there are still tons of massive challenges
>>>> that await in the rest of the world, with smaller story arcs and questlines
>>>> that make you take on big nasty things and get lots of interesting stuff.
>>>>
>>>> Then you grow old and die.
>>>>
>>>> Weed through the sarcasm and bad grammer and see if that sounds
>>>> something like the narrative you had in mind.
>>>>
>>>> I hope to avoid as many video game cliches as possible in this endeavor
>>>> but for the sake of arguement I had to use them as examples. :P
>>>>
>>>> -Wurmz
>>>>
>>>> On Sat, May 16, 2009 at 7:40 PM, <figarus@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> What do you think about letting the chapters be replayable, like you
>>>>> have a character/party that you and you can re-enter any of the chapters 
>>>>> or
>>>>> the freemode (once unlocked) like... Itd be less one long story and 
>>>>> instead
>>>>> itd be like independant short that tied together with the same player...
>>>>> This is just an idea I was thinking.
>>>>>
>>>>> Oh and if we went this route the freemode would have a ton of content
>>>>> not in the stories...
>>>>>
>>>>> Just looking for feedback on the concept... It wouldn't affect this
>>>>> milestone or the next couple but (:
>>>>>
>>>>> Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
>>>>>
>>>>> ------------------------------
>>>>> *From*: Kent Petersen
>>>>> *Date*: Sat, 16 May 2009 18:37:29 -0700
>>>>> *To*: <project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>>>> *Subject*: [project1dev] Re: game narrative structure
>>>>> So basically you want to follow a FF3-esque story? First half very
>>>>> guided and teaches the player how to play. the second half would then be
>>>>> open and leaving it up to the player. I see this working well. We could 
>>>>> have
>>>>> all the choices made in the first half of the game impact the second half
>>>>>
>>>>> On Sat, May 16, 2009 at 6:19 PM, eric drewes <figarus@xxxxxxxxx>wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> just wanted to hear what you guys thought about this...
>>>>>> the idea is an evolution of the "world's" idea and also of the story
>>>>>> structure in diablo 2.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> basically... the beginning of the game will be broken up into
>>>>>> "chapters" - linear storylines ala older final fantasy games where there 
>>>>>> is
>>>>>> a guided progression forward in the storylines, with a definitive 
>>>>>> beginning,
>>>>>> middle and climax.  There will be places to explore, etc but there is a
>>>>>> definite story arc for the player to experience.  once you finish the
>>>>>> chapter, you move on to the next one with a new area/theme.  once you 
>>>>>> beat
>>>>>> the chapters and the first half of the game, it unlocks "freemode" which 
>>>>>> is
>>>>>> like the world of ruin in ff3 where the entire world is open for you to
>>>>>> explore and you discover adventures and storylines in a very non-linear
>>>>>> unguided way. The second half of the game will likely be set a few years 
>>>>>> in
>>>>>> the future after the first part is defeated so that we can change the 
>>>>>> world
>>>>>> and add new monsters and caves and villains to fight and explore.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> what do you guys think?
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>
>

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