Feedback on concept I'm bouncing around.

Diego2112

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Alright, started working on this idea around a week ago, give or take.  It's kind of flourishing and growing as I go.  I would like some feedback on if it's a concept that should even be pursued, as the whole "Kidnapped Wife/Man Against the System" thing is a bit cliche (read: EXTREMELY cliched).

Anyway, I feel I've some strong gameplay element ideas in there, assuming I can make them work.  And I feel that while the story is cliche, this is just one way it can be told, and it'll be pretty fun.

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Unknown Shores (Working Title)
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A man’s wife is taken, and he must challenge the entire system to get her back.​
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      You are Marston (placeholder), a 30something human farmer.  One day, tending the farm, your wife Iona is taken by a group of soldiers, and your farm is burned to the ground, as you were too knocked out to do anything about it. 

It turns out your wife is suspected of being a Wildmage (and magic of any kind is illegal), since the farm’s crops seem to do better than most others.  In other words, your wife was taken by the High Council on suspicion of being a witch.

Fortunately for your wife, she is not.

Unfortunately for the men who took her, you ARE.

      I have other details worked out, like governmental structure and some of the economy.  Working out the details of the magic system (elemental based, six “Classical” elements, Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, Light, Dark, and a seventh “Heretical” element, Shadow), the deity system, and how magic is going to work for people.

      Right now, I have it to where spells used by Wildmage are focused using spell gauntlets, which oddly enough are made by the government as a weapon.  They have certain charges, each charge can be allocated to certain spells you’ll have access to at different levels.  For instance, level one Fire Gauntlet spell would be something akin to Produce Flame, where you can throw a fireball, or start a campfire, things like that.  Higher levels would be more powerful.  You can combine more than one type of gauntlet—for instance, fire and earth would make some sort lava and/or meteor type attack.  So spells can be combined.

      I want to have each armor slot be a different thing, so rather’n just having shield/helmet/armor/accessory like in so many RPGs, Head, Chest, Arms, R. Hand, L. Hand, Belt, Legs, Feet, Accessories (three slots, two rings, and a necklace).

      The Government is run by the Four Surviving Magi, each of whom has an apprentice.  They are the only people sanctioned to use magic, and they use their abilities to keep the world alive—albeit barely.  The earth is tied to magic usage, the more magic that is used, the healthier the earth is.  After the Mage Wars, the earth was scarred and barren—it is only through the use of magic that things are starting to flourish again.

      Just started work on it this week.  Feedback is appreciated.
 

Possunen

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I'm sorry I don't have anything more interesting to say, but sounds like a solid, very interesting idea and beginning of an amazing story!
 

Warpmind

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Question: Does the government/sanctioned mages KNOW that the world needs magic use to heal?
If so, that'd go a long way in explaining why "common people" might get access to those spell gauntlets - in that those gauntlets are "safe, approved effects" available to the common person, such as for lighting the fireplace at home, clearing the rainwater barrel of dirt and insects, calming a horse for shoeing, and other sorts of practical, small effects that ***ulatively would help the recovery process... but in (on?) the hands of a n actual Mage - or Wildmage, as the case might be, the effect becomes amplified by magnitudes...

Just a thought; looks good so far.
 

LootHunter

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more magic that is used, the healthier the earth is.  After the Mage Wars, the earth was scarred and barren
It's somewhat a contradiction. Maybe you should specify that some magic can harm the world the other can heal it.
 

Warpmind

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It's somewhat a contradiction. Maybe you should specify that some magic can harm the world the other can heal it.
Not necessarily a contradiction, though it is counterintuitive.

Basically, consider that the use of magic draws out a bit more vitality on the world - but if that magic is used, in turn, to cause effects that damage the land, you're not going to see much healthy topsoil for a little while. Kind of like how a scab on a wound covers the healing skin underneath. At least, that's my reading of it.
 

Vox Novus

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Hey Xenos! I wouldn't worry about your set up for the story being cliched; I think its a cool twist that they end up capturing the wrong member of the couple. You could really play up the twist here in the opening of the game maybe even present it that the main character seems to be the woman at first. Maybe you even have the story follow her to the capital and you even witness her being thrown in a temporary holding cell while her trial is being arranged. At this point then the game could switch to the male revealing he is the true protagonist of the game.

The artificial spells through gauntlets idea reminds me of some final fantasy games like 6 and 13. In those games they have machinery or equipment that lets them artificially use magic (but it is not actual/true magic). I would clarify if the artificial magic has the same effect on the land as normal magic or not. It could even have a harmful effect since it is not true magic and in fact damages the earth more. You should put some thought into explaining why these gauntlets are available to the wild mages; do they produce them or have someone supplying them. Technology like that sounds like it would be expensive/hard to come by or restricted to a select few. Also how does the government feel about this fake use of magic?

Factor the limitation on magic and how it relates to the government. Is it that they control magic for those they see fit; the rich and those involved in shady dealings flourish while the poor and honorable scrape to get by. This would also be motivation for other characters to join your hero; he opposes the government to rescue his wife so those that are tired of the system flock to aid him in his quest Or are they so strict on controlling magic because uncontrolled magic is what caused the great mage wars?

I like that you are using generic slots and leaving more varied equipment scenarios rather than very specific equipment slots. Both work well given the context but its something you could build the gameplay around more and make something more a signature of your game.
 
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Diego2112

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Alright, first off, thank you EVERYONE for the feedback--this has me very excited.  Like, more so than I have been for a game in a while!

Second, I've been working with it not very long--so the details are still a bit sketchy.  To be fair, most of what I've come up with has been while watching movies on my pain medications (read: stoned).  I'm getting more details together of how the magic system works, although I do know the reason the earth is all messed up is because of, for lack of a better term, bombardment.  Magic may be what keeps the world alive, but fire is still going to burn forests to the ground, earth will still turn a river the wrong way.  Things like that.

Also, to clarify a bit on the Mage Wars itself, it wasn't so much people vs. the Magi, as it was the Magi warring amongst themselves.  Think the backdrop for the Amory Wars (Coheed and Cambria) for that kind of idea.

The gauntlets were ORIGINALLY going to be a military item, but I like the "Safe and Approved" for home use as well...  I will have to bounce around more ideas in the ol' noggin to figure that'n out.

Vox, we're on a very similar page with this. You're getting it, and that's good.  I DON'T know I'm going to make the girl the protag to start with--my idea had been the game opens in the middle of harvest, military comes in, burns everything to the ground, takes her.  Still, I like some of your ideas, and again, shall bounce them around appropriately.

Again, guys, thanks for all the feedback--I hope to have it more fleshed out by the end of this week, and I'll post what I've got then.  Basically, I'm trying to get everything in place by mid May, so I can start on mapping then.
 

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