Pink Soldier 17
Apr 7 2011, 05:50 PM
Emperor Mastehl has a certain set of beliefs that not everyone in the country agree with. Of course, this is to be expected in most any place, empire or not. Some of his more unruly subjects are planning a rebellion, not because their country isn't doing well, but because they aren't allowed certain rights.
Women, in Mastehl's opinion, and now the general opinion of the public, aren't useful in battle and most other strenuous activity. They are instead to take care of the soldier's homes, and, if they prove themselves capable, they are to heal the wounded.
You won't assume the role of a rebel.
You will instead assume the identity of a girl who is trying to fit into her role, Claire. She is becoming a healer, or rather, she is trying to. Her teacher, after having seen her fail, decided to help her. He told her to head for a place that would give her a much better educational experience, the capitol. It is not only for her benefit, but for a knight he is sending along with her.
His son, Brett, is showing less than exemplary marks in his knight training, though he is passing minimal requirements. He figures that charging Brett with the protection of Claire would be the perfect way to improve his son's marks.
Brett, a shy and inexperienced boy, and Claire, a girl deluded by her naivety, set off. Things get complicated as they go along, and they become mixed up in a rebel faction's plans quite against their will.
Will Claire's opinions change? If so, will she be able to fight for something so malleable as one's own beliefs? Will Brett, a boy who would rather be peacable, learn to take up arms against those who would threaten to harm his loved ones?
Will Mastehl's rule hold?
Does this sound like a story you'd like to see? Would you like me to elaborate? I have a ton of ideas bouncing around my head, but this one always gets to the front. Any critique? Thanks ahead of time, even for just looking. I appreciate it.
I don't have all the details yet. I wanted to see if anyone would find this interesting before I put too much time into it. One more thing, if I used mostly RTP, would it seem lazy? It's just that I'm not very skilled at much other than story telling, and I'm not even very good at that. If I can get this game out, then people can see how well or not so well I can write. Maybe then, I could join a team or something...
Anyway, thanks again.
Apr 7 2011, 06:15 PM
You don't have to be able to sprite or script to not have to do RTP. I suggest trying to go out of your way to get some resources from any number of databases. People appreciate that extra effort, and it makes your game look more polished.
That aside, your story is pretty much in the category of mediocrity. (No offense) It's just you have some glaring cliches. Knight & Healer is certainly one of them. Child of a teacher. Rebellion. Head to the capitol. It all mixes together into a story that doesn't have anything new in it. I feel I've seen this story told too many times to want to play it. The ideas also sound like they lend very little to game play.
It's simple though, which you can use to your advantage. It won't prove overly challenging to do, which means you can churn it out without getting bogged down on it. Keep the game and it's features low and you'll likely release it and be that much more experienced for tackling your next project.
So, in closing, my critique on this is that it's very cliche and typical. There's not a lot going on for it. But it's a working plot, it's easy to do and easy to write for, and it may prove useful for a starting plot. Your storytelling abilities can be used comfortably, which will help.
Pink Soldier 17
Apr 7 2011, 06:25 PM
I appreciate your honesty and your advice, Titanhex. I'll keep that in mind as I tweak it. I'm glad that I recieved a comment so quickly. I'll try to think of some interesting things that could twist the gameplay a bit, and I'll also see if I can rework the story a bit to make the parts that seem cliche a little less glaring.
I feel like, if done well enough, it could still be a fairly decent game. Although, I am going to try to aim higher than that.
As I said, thanks for your honesty. I'll keep it in mind as I work. I appreciate it.
Apr 7 2011, 08:22 PM
I think this sounds pretty interesting. It's not always about having a complex story but having good characters that you actually care about. If you love the characters, whether they're trying to save the world or find some flour to bake a cake, you'll strive for them to succeed and will want to finish the game.
I can see some possibilities for good character development (if potentially a little obvious) and I think if you flesh the characters out it could be a charming little tale.
On a more personal note, however, I have to admit that I’m not greatly fond of the protagonist. I wouldn’t mind if she were a support character but I’m one of those people who need their protagonists to kill things. Having a leader who has a focus on healing doesn’t quite sit well with me. That’s only a personal grievance though and nothing to do with your story.
On another note, I really like the way the two characters get together. It doesn’t seem forced at all, so that’s a good sign for future writing! It’s all too easy to decide where you want the characters to end up so you just drag them there, but really the characters should be the ones deciding how the story develops. So on that aspect I’m really excited to see how the story progresses and how other characters get involved.
So, I wish you the best in your endeavor!
Apr 7 2011, 09:04 PM
I'd like to build on what Knot said to provide you with some ideas of what I mean.
It's easy to write for and it's simple. Two characters get together heading towards the same path in a literal and figurative way. Both are not very good at what they do, and both need to go to the capitol to get better. It's clear these two characters will draw on each other to become stronger people. They will have a very typical relationship. This makes them easy to write for, both you and likely your audience will be able to guess what happens next.
That helps because you can focus on storytelling, such as developing your characters, deepening their relationship, and letting the characters drive the story. You won't really have to take charge of the plot as the characters will be able to drive it themselves. You've proven this by allowing them to get together in a way that isn't just "out of the blue."
Complicating the plot at this point isn't advised. Go with it. If you want a more complex plot then don't tweak this one, come up with a new one. One of the things I was gonna say in my last post was "Don't bother changing the plot. Any changes to it will seem forced and ruin it's integrity. It is destined to be a predictable and simple, albeit cliche, story."
My only advice, DO NOT put the characters on cruise control. In other words don't just design them around what you figure they'll be. Get to know them, become them, and treat them like they're real people whose heads you can get inside. Give them a real personality. Don't just make the Healer a typical healer girl and the Knight a typical hero boy.
Pink Soldier 17
Apr 8 2011, 01:07 PM
Thanks for your comments, both of you. I understand what you mean about the characters driving the story rather than myself. That's how most of my stories end up anyway, but, however predictable this may be, I intend for it to be a nice ride. I suppose I don't have to have a masterpiece for my first attempt.
Don't worry. The character's won't be typical. At least, I'll try my best not to make them that way.
Apr 8 2011, 05:47 PM
This could do well for I game I think. There really are only so many ways you can twist a story anyway. The trick is in presentation.
For example, the wheel of time series. I do love that series, even though it is the definition of cliche. Farm boy goes off to save the world in accordance with the prophecy. Another series that is similar is the sword of truth series. Kind of the same premise: Trail guide goes off to save the world in accordance with the prophecy. While SoT was presented a far more original way, as I see it, than WoT, I still enjoyed both because of how it was done.
Any story idea, no matter how cliche it seems on the surface, can become something amazing ^^. You can have everything be cliche and have an amazing story.
Also, I'm sure as you work on this more you will come up with more ideas that will build on this, and perhaps you will take out some parts too.
I look forward to watching your progress ^^
Apr 9 2011, 03:47 AM
I like the sound of this, what I like is that you haven't really spent that long ex-positioning the world or the setting and instead focused more on setting up the characters, it shows you'll have a good focus for what's important for the plot.
Make sure you don't feed us too much of the worlds backstory too quickly either, in fact it'd probably just be better to start out with the central characters and the set up of the Healers journey with the Knight, you can probably imply enough of how the world works in their conversations to give the player a general idea of the way the world works, walls of text saying "This kingdom was established thousands of blah blah blah blah" are not good. Throughout the course of the game you can reveal more of the worlds story as it becomes relevant.
Write stories as the observer. Like what people have already mentioned above, the characters drive the story forward. Create strong three-dimensional characters and let them tell you their history, their past. Let their conflict with other characters create the plot and the driving force to propel the story forward. Characters and story are developed together.
A good book I recommend which talks about character development is "Character Development and Storytelling for Games" by Lee Sheldon. It's a great read about the topic and I suggest you pick it up.
Apr 10 2011, 09:40 PM
My take on this is that while this CAN work, thus far, I'm not sure how all the elements hang together, and you really need to develop the two main characters more for me to get a better idea about them.
1. you went out of your way to talk about how that particular society believes in women being weaker than men physically. Okay, so what? This is an attitude that is mirrored in real life anyway, so how does THIS effect the over all plot? Does this attitude towards strength permeate into other areas like our own? i.e. does this society have a thriving masculine culture that often does so by lowering the value of women? Are we talking about gender inequality in the sense that men and women are legally allowed to pursue any opportunity they please but in reality have massively different assigned gender roles? Or is it an out and out chauvinistic society that basically treats women like property?
2. All of that is simply the background contextualization though. The most important thing is, how does this effect our protagonist? Is this the reason that Claire's being pigeonholed into a healer role, even though she might serve better as say, a berserker? (for a more extreme example) Why is she so bad at her job anyway? Does she lack the sensitivity towards how to treat different injuries? Or maybe she's just terrible at studying? Or maybe her hearts just not in it, and she's basically just trying to coast by with as little effort as possible. (maybe what she REALLY loves is art of the sword, a highly masculine skill to learn) And what about Brett? How does he fit into all of this? Remember, gender inequality hurts BOTH genders by imposing pre-assigned gender roles onto people. Maybe Brett, along the same theme here, has been pigeonholed into something that is really not suitable for him. For all we know, maybe Brett would have been better off as a florist. Of course, he might have a completely different problem. Maybe his father is trying to make him a MAN'S MAN but in the process of doing so, pushed him too hard, and actually caused him to buckle under the pressures that both his society and his assigned gender role has placed on him. Or maybe Brett really is does want to be the best damn knight ever, but he's just not very good at it because he's not the most athletic or something.
Explore this a bit. These are by no means the list of exhaustive questions you can ask about them. And really, asking more might not do you any good. the key here is you gotta get to the CORE of what these characters are about, and you need to understand all the outside factors and how they interact with the character. Dig in on that.
3. who/what are the rebels? it seems like they play an important role in this narrative. I'm wondering what it is they do.
Apr 11 2011, 06:45 PM
I really think that your story is great. I haven't played a game that has a healer that usually is in a secondary role become the main character. Yes there are some cliched idea's - I guess that would be go to the capital, have this happen that launches them into another path. I guess that all rpg's are somewhat cliched in a way. But don't get me wrong- I really like the idea. For me it's different. I'd like to see where this is heading off to.
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