QUOTE (DespairReigns @ Mar 24 2012, 03:22 AM)
ANOTHER EDIT: I also don't think that the game should be purely serious. I saw in the poll that there was a choice between adventure and humor, why not have a really upbeat and humorous adventure? I'd like to play another one of those...
(Example: Tales of a Drunken Paladin, it was hilarious but it was adventurous and fun)
Anyone else thinking Cerebus Syndrome?http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CerebusSyndrome
Basically means it starts out pretty light hearted, lots of humor, then over time develops into something more serious.
I'll come back to this in a moment.
QUOTE (bulmabriefs144 @ Mar 24 2012, 04:17 AM)
(I've decided to do support in ideas rather than coding, XP script is a pain in the bum.)
What sorta humor? There's just light silliness. Then there's dark humor (example, the play version of Little Shop of Horrors had Audrey actually ask Seymore to feed he to the plant because then she'd be "somewhere that's green"). Then there's abstract humor, which requires people think in a really weird way to get the thing (some japanese works are like this). And then there's surreal humor, which pretty much means that something really weird might also be funny (or maybe not). There's even a type of humor where you string together quirky cultural references.
I think we could try a multi-layer reality story. Something like this:
Layer 1: Some such fantasy story involving certain characters. It should be pretty engaging until about a quarter of the game through, revealing nothing about its true nature (much like Star Ocean: Till The End of Time)
Layer 2: The story hints in bits and pieces (perhaps really weird dream sequences), before actually revealing that this is in fact an rpg that these same characters are player and have an offline life. Maybe something like Hack Sign.
Layer 3: Yes in fact, this is a game, but the so-called players from layer 2 are actually just sprites, made by programmers, and this too is a game.
Layer 4: It's actually an unwritten game, and the focus shifts to the people behind the screen. The real programmers need your help, because they have writer's block. Won't you please help them?
Layer 5: The game ends with a very strong impression that reality itself might have programmers (and they too have writer's block).
The enemies for layer one would be purely traditional fantasy enemies, layer 2 would have competing players fighting (or other "real life" concerns), layer 3 would have computer coding enemies (viruses, glitches, bugs), layer four would have enemies associated with void or nothingness and generally be associated with being blocked, and the final layer would being the ending have no enemies, to focus more on pure drama/comedy.
(Also it might be interesting if, like Despair said, people from the first chapter make cameos as real people in the later chapters)
I think there's something here, definitely. Especially that last bit about recursive characters.
If we follow the same people throughout, then encountering someone they beat in the first game in real life (or as real as life gets) could probably lead to some pretty existentialism humor.
Sort of like if one of the programmers of the game is identical to the scumbag boss you fight in the first installment (if we're going with installments) and he explains that the programmers usually put each other into the game as a kind of spiteful joke.
Hell it could even turn out that the main character(s) are based on the lost family member of higher-up. The game was designed to have AI so intelligent that it's like keeping a copy of them alive in some way. Of course, the game is too intelligent, and starts trying to escape into the real world (maybe it even succeeds)?
Just spitballing ideas here.
I just thought it would be funny if one of the main characters had this huge amount of unexplained love for his [mother/father/brother?] even though the other characters never meet that person, then eventually it turns out that love is pretty much programmed into him for the sake of that person in real life (if such a thing exists) and it becomes incredibly dramatic and depressing in a way.
On a humor side of things, when the creators of the game talk to the characters within it, they'll actually have to type out what they're saying.
Which means we get typos like tihs
just a thought.
Also, their could be some meta-jokes along the way.
When two characters are playing the first layer game, they might talk to each other, maybe say something like
"man, where do we even keep all our stuff?"
"Bottomless pockets man, don't question it."
but they're not talking about the game, they mean in the second layer. In the second layer they still have an inventory, they just don't realise it's a game construct, so he's actually asking a genuine question about real life.
So the joke is:
1 - RPG characters are aware they can carry ludicrous amounts of things.
2 - Turns out they were just talking about the game. We roll our eyes and say ohhhh
3 - It actually IS game characters being aware they can carry ludicrous amounts of things.
I'm sure some dialogue could make those three concepts funny on some level.
Maybe even control one of the programmers of the game at one point. You try to pick something up, but you can't.
"This isn't a game! Where would I put that?!"
again, just spitballing some ideas.
Maybe one of the characters talks about a nightmare at some point, how he kept trying to escape from an enemy but he ended up just running on the spot, unable to escape.
The humor could come (in part) from the absurdity that already exists within games.
E.G conversation between a character and programer
C: "Wait, you're hurt?"
P: "Don't worry about it, just keep going."
C: "Why don't you use a potion? It's what I'd do."
P: "Listen, the real world isn't like a freaking game, ok? We don't just pop a potion and feel better!"
C: "Oh, then what do you do?"
P: "We look for a first aid kit and patch ourselves up."
C: "You mean like in shitty first-person shooters?"
P: "... Yes, exactly like that."
C: "Well why not grab a first aid kit?"
P: "I couldn't find one."
C: "Wow. You guys are awful at this whole life thing."
C: "I didn't even know I was in a game until this morning, and I still always left the house with at least six potions. Why don't you just carry around first aid kits with you?"
P: "We don't have anywhere to put them!"
P: "Our pockets aren't bottomless, you moron!"
C: "Man, the real world sounds awful. I can see why you'd much rather make games. Things are pretty awesome on this end."
P: "Just shut up and save the world."
I'm sure that dialogue could be made like, three or four times as humorous with actual effort and characters that I wasn't making up on the spot. Like I said, spitballing here.
Also, could one of the programmers get knocked unconscious and see a giant floating "Continue?" sign? They click yes and wake up, and can't decide if they were hallucinating, or whether they really have been in a game the whole time as well.
I think an advantage if we break up the game into small parts, and then apply the layers, then we can make each part set the scene. Like, in the first layer, we'd have typical fantasy controls. Hell, it could just be the RTP to make it look extra shitty. Then the game pulls back behind the computers, and (since it's a new project file) it has an entirely different battle and menu system. Fighting could take place on the map, but you still just select options. IE, you run around, and when an enemy touches you, you stop being able to walk, and get prompted with menus like "attack" but you're still on the same map. Graphics would also get a boost.
Then when you get to the programmers, there's basically no menus or anything at all. Damage could be represented via red tint to the screen (CoD style) and attacking would be done in real time on the map (pressing z attacks) and you wouldn't have an inventory at all. You'd just be able to hold  things, and they'd correspond to five letters or numbers on the keyboard.
Any layers above that should have no audience input at all. Basically like watching a cut scene, maybe. Keep these to a minimum I think.
I was also thinking that there could be a rogue program within the game (the 2/3rd layer one) which limits how much the programmers can help the characters. Like, if they give the characters a potion by coding one in, then the rogue program will learn how to create potions. This is why the programmers never 'level up' the characters, because then the rogue program would become unbeatable.
The rogue program would be a substitute 'big bad'. Like an antagonist while in the 2nd/3rd layer.
Anyway, that's like a dollars worth of thoughts in there. I'm going to go do something else now.