I've just started writing my latest computer game and I need a story.
The basic premise for the story is:
You play a girl (much like Buffy) who lives in the 'real' world, probably lives with foster parents or something. Anyway somehow she finds out that her real dad (who's probably just been killed by some big demon bad guy) was a kick-ass wizard and she is actually a very powerful witch, she just doesn't know it yet.
So, something (her dad's diary or something) makes her go on a quest, vengeance, curiosity, finding herself, whatever.
This leads her into darker and darker realms. I think it should start off in the real world and progress into darker and darker areas.
Obviously because this is for a game there will be very little dialogue, so I'm really after a sequence of events and locations, what happens where. Each step of the journey she will find out more about herself, her father, and her powers. These could be cut scenes (bits of prefabricated animation) in the game where you could have dialogue and you get told the next bit of the story.
I really like the idea of an unfolding story so as you progress through the game you find out more about yourself and realise your powers more until you finally meet the big demon guy and kick his sorry ass!
The story will have to have distinct locations and events so it will work in a level scenario, so you may have a level/chapter that is based in a castle for example and x,y and z happens there before you reach a portal that takes you to the next bit. Within each chapter you could have significant events that would require a cut scene. For example, you're in the castle and you find a book and you get a cut scene of her reading the book and learning a bunch of new spells or something.
I've attached some concept models I've been working on for the main character as well as a few bad guys. The main character is the only once I've textured so you'll have to use your imagination on the others!
The game will play in a 3rd person view much like tomb raider.
This looks superb Dr Av, a really exciting project but can I ask what it is you require from writers?
I am sure many will be interested but are you seeking interest at this stage with a view to selecting a writer to work on the project with you?
Will you make a selection based on previous work, I.E. will you want to preview an interested writer's work to guage your interest in them developing your levels?
I would like to get involved but it wasn't clear what you need from me.
April 10th, 2003, 06:44 AM
Not 100% sure what I'm after really! It's the first time I'm trying to write a game with an unfolding story, let alone get someone in to write it so I'm pretty much working a vacuum at the moment without any real idea of where I'm going!
I'm really not concerned about experience as a writer as I'm far from an experienced games writer (only had 2 publications). I'm not a big software factory, I'm just a lone hobby developer so payment would be minimal at best, so I'm really after someone who just wants to get involved in seeing this project work.
I've already found someone who can illustrate the story and therefore give me ideas for creating the 3D scenes and characters, and I've got another 3D modeller/animator on board too.
I've got a basic game engine working so you can walk round, pick up objects, open doors etc.
All this waffle hasn't really answered you question has it!?
April 10th, 2003, 06:51 AM
Ha Ha, no it hasn't.
This kind of project I suspect, is one most writers would be interested in for minimal or no payment anyway.
Why not request the writers here to submit a synospis of the plot/levels then if a few or one catches your imagination you can work with the writer/s to develop the best ideas into more detail. It may be that you like a few ideas from a number of writers and ask them to develop different scenes or levels for the game.
I think the background of the character and the world should be worked on, it sounds a bit Harry Potterish at present. It would be cool to write how the father was killed and by whom and of course how and why the main character finds out and what she has to do.
A basic plot and key events/challenges need to be set now so you can build the game around the story rather than trying to build the story around the game.
April 10th, 2003, 07:06 AM
I've only just found this forum and I've got no idea of the kind of response I'm going to get, or indeed if I'm posting in the right place, or really what I need to outline to get the correct response.
As you can probably tell from the initial post I'm far from a creative writer myself and I need help to turn that outline into something. As you said flesh out the characters, who is her father, who is the big demon guy and why is she going on a quest etc etc.
It would be cool to write how the father was killed and by whom and of course how and why the main character finds out and what she has to do.Yes, this is very important as it's going to be the pivot of the game.
A basic plot and key events/challenges need to be set now so you can build the game around the story rather than trying to build the story around the game. I totally agree, that's why I'm trying to get people who can actually write involved. There are loads of games where there are events strung together with a weak story.
I want to have a really involving story that makes you want to get to the next bit to find out more about you, your dad etc, not just to see the next big monster or special effect.
April 10th, 2003, 08:28 AM
This sounds like an interesting project. I'm curious about what you plan on doing with the game when it is finished. Is it going to be for the PC or what, and what are your selling/marketing plans for it. Just curious about who you are and how serious this project is. I'd like to get involved if at all possible but I would want tons upon tons of further information. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss this further. I've always wanted to write stories for games, and I've done a few outlines, although they aren't really similar to the type of game I think you're trying to make, I've just never had the connection with people who could actually make a game, which is just silly because I'm a graphic artist and do a lot of 3d stuff myself, I just never learned about game engines, etc.
April 10th, 2003, 09:31 AM
The game will be PC only, my previous projects have been published through http://www.idigicon.com however, I have other contacts that I may give a go depending on what's on offer. With regards to marketing I leave that up to the publisher.
My previous projects have taken about a year to complete as I have a 'proper' job, and have a life, so I just fit games programming in between those. Also one of the reasons why the previous projects took so long was due to no planning.
I've decided to plan this whole project out, making it modular and I'm trying to farm compentents of it out to other people, for example, level design, character design, story, illustrations, music, etc. I did ALL of the work on my previous projects.
As I said earlier, I've already got an illustrator and 3d modeller, as well as myself. Once the story outline is complete I can then pass this to my illustrator to come up with drawings of the scenes (maybe put him in contact with the writer to help ideas flow?) from these illustrations level design and character design can be developed.
I'm still not 100% sure of the flow of events but this approach seems a more logical way than previously I was just tagging bits on here and there as I felt fit, the resultant code of that was messy and impossible to expand upon. This new way I think will make for better code, and therefore a better game with more room for expansion if necessary.
April 10th, 2003, 10:22 AM
It sounds like a really good idea, and ofcourse as you can see from the responses there are plenty of people who would like to participate as a writer on this - as would I.
I think a good idea would be to set up a message forum or post your email address and people could send one A4 sized outline of plot and you could go through see which ones catch your eye and whom you wish to work with.
I agree that it does sound a bit like Harry Potter, but a decent writing can come up with something that takes the story away from HP scenario and place it somewhere quite dark and interesting. What is the age certificate on this game? Obviously the higher the age certificate the more creation can be put into making it quite dark and sinister.
April 10th, 2003, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by SparciaM
What is the age certificate on this game? Obviously the higher the age certificate the more creation can be put into making it quite dark and sinister.
A very good point. Also, are you married to the basic idea and characters that you have or are you willing to work with other, possibly just extra, characters with the writer. If not, then you should include the basic creatures and characters before having writers work on a possible story outline.
which of the games on digicon are yours?
April 10th, 2003, 12:24 PM
Not even considered an age certificate, however, you can go pretty dark on a 15 rated film, beyond that is pretty much gore fests which this game is not going to be about. I want it to be more problem/puzzle solving that kicking ass in varied and interesting ways, although kicking ass in varied and interesting ways will certainly be an element.
With regards to characters I'm completely open to suggestions, I want to keep the main character as a female witch type thing, however, additional characters are more than welcome, the ones I've created at the top of this posts were just playing around with a 3D modeller more than anything else.
Obviously there is a need for more characters who aren't just grunts, characters that have something to say and develop your character in the cut scenes etc.
If people post here or email me suggestions I'll post up a summary of the best ideas I get, obviously everyone who contributes will get a credit in the final game.
With regards to my commitment to this project I am 100%, it's hard to motivate yourself (as I'm sure many or you are aware) to see a project through to the end, however, now I've done it a couple of times, it feels so good at the end of it you have to do another.
I've already received a couple of emails with ideas and I will speak to the authour to make sure he's happy to have them publically displayed. There are some really good ideas that I think will get the creative ball rolling.