[project1dev] Re: game narrative structure

  • From: Chris Riccobono <crysalim@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 17 May 2009 10:19:34 -0700

As I understand it, we could basically create levels, and then form a
story around them, and those would tie into a plot altogether.  Am I

Also, I like the episodic nature of release idea.  This will let us
concentrate on entire areas as milestones, and help bring our work
together in a more cohesive fashion.

On Sun, May 17, 2009 at 9:58 AM, eric drewes <figarus@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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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