[project1dev] Re: game narrative structure

  • From: figarus@xxxxxxxxx
  • To: project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 17 May 2009 05:55:12 +0000

I will keep some of your ideas in mind... Definitely working the zombrero 
storyline in... :P
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Freeland <mattthefiend@xxxxxxxxx>

Date: Sat, 16 May 2009 22:39:43 
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


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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