RMMV Golden Seeds (RPG)

Discussion in 'Ideas and Prototypes' started by Izulde, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Izulde

    Izulde Writer Member

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    "All the life-potentialities that we never managed to bring to adult realization, those other portions of ourself, are there; for such golden seeds do not die." - Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces

    This is still very much in the rough sketches of development, with in-game only the starting room and inciting quest event complete. As such, I'll have generic placeholders for some names. But in any case...

    World/Setting
    WorldName is one in which the disparity between the wealthy and the underclasses has grown so great, that bar a few exceptions, the only shops are located in castles. This income inequality has led to many turning to banditry (if criminally minded) or mercenary adventuring (if lawfully minded) to sustain themselves, and an ever-growing discontent among the populaces of the various kingdoms. For now, the superiority of professional armies employed by the various nobility has kept revolutions from erupting, but tensions are high, and it needs only the right spark to ignite the flames.

    A third actor, that of an unknown force, will eventually make itself known as the player proceeds through the game, and perhaps there's something even behind that (I've always loved the elegance of the FF series' ability to create a spiraling escalation of epic scope to conflicts).

    Plot
    Farcet, a middle-aged blacksmith, and one of the few merchants outside of the castles, lives in VillageName in the Kingdom of Dasica. A mundane request for help from an elderly neighbor(the cliche cleaning rats out of their basement) sets in motion a chain of events that will draw him and his companions (some permanent, some temporary) into an ever more complex, grander series of conflicts.

    Characters (This list will grow considerably over time - For now, it's just the ones I've got fleshed out)
    Farcet (Age: 36) - Like many middle-aged people, he wonders why life hasn't turned out the way he expected it to, and in particular still feels the pain over the breakup with Vinae 11 years earlier. Of intellectual bent, he almost never smiles. Our story's protagonist.

    Mikileki (Age: 19) - A cheerful to the point of irrepressible teenager, Mikileki is an archer affiliated with the Adventurers' Guild in Dasica. In an amusing bit of irony, he's assigned as Farcet's mentor when the latter applies to join the guild.

    Vinae (Age: 29) - The princess of Dasica, she had a brief relationship with Farcet 11 years earlier, but ended it. She has not seen him since that time at story's start. Although a great beauty, she's refused all suitors, and now, at almost 30, is now an afterthought in the royal court, with her father's attention focused solely on her half-brother, the heir to the throne. Vinae craves meaning in her life, and the power her rank suggests she should have.

    Maric (Age: 16) - Heir to the Dasican throne. He either ignores or seeks to ridicule Vinae (haven't decided which), and is very secure in his position. Still working out his personality and backstory.

    Game Mechanics
    Side view battle system (one of the primary reasons I switched to MV), with standard warrior/magic-user character dichotomies and variations thereof. One of the things I enjoy most is class/character-specific skillsets, rather than just have everyone learn Ultima. I'm not sure yet how involved I'll get here. One thing that will happen is that at one point, at least two of the party members will have class changes as part of the storyline (as the game name and quote reference suggests).

    Themes
    *Life, love, meaning, memory, identity, agency
    *Power, interactions between classes (both economic and social), interactions between generations

    Despite the title and quote, I'm not going to consciously shoehorn Campbell's Hero's Journey in here, though in some respects, almost every RPG ever made follows this convention (and indeed, I once had a student in a World Lit journal, after my introductory lecture on Campbell and the Hero's Journey, realized their favorite video game series, Resident Evil, bore hallmarks of it).

    Screenshot
    [​IMG]

    The decision for whether or not to take on the initial quest. Yes, I know it's spartan, but I'm working with default graphics for now, and there's not a lot to put in. Each element in the room does have text associated with it, however, except the swords on the walls.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  2. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    At the moment there isn't really enough in the way of story/plot to comment on. This could go in so many different ways that I can't think of a useful comment to make about it.

    On thing I think you could do, though, is think about your mapping. When you have huge amounts of empty space, that usually means that you can reduce the size of the map considerably. You also need to think about the logic of what is there. Is that the blacksmith's furnace there? If so, it's on a wooden floor, so no. Is it a fireplace? Then where is the chair that your blacksmith would sit on in front of it? Is that his home as well as his shop? We assume it is as we can see the bedroom. Where is his kitchen? If you hadn't told us that this was a blacksmith's, I could never have worked it out from what is there. What would you put in it to make it clear what it's function is?

    Purely as an illustration of size, not because I think your blacksmith should look like this armory, here is an example. Done with the snipping tool for speed, so a bit blurry. Everything you want in an armory is there, but it is less than half the size of yours. You know it's an armory without being told.
    upload_2018-4-11_9-37-21.png

    You might like to think of using the thread 'Game and Map Screenshots' to get feedback on your maps. It's a great way to improve. Simply looking at how other people approach things can itself be helpful.

    And good luck with your project.
     
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  3. Izulde

    Izulde Writer Member

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    Yep, mapping is one of the things that will have the steepest learning curve for me. Thanks for the advice/tips.
     
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  4. rue669

    rue669 Veteran Veteran

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    The argument behind the Hero's Journey is that EVERY story fits into that structure. You can--and some people do, mainly screenplay gurus for movies--can break down the beats of the story to follow the Hero's Journey. There have been many iterations of it. Like the Writer's Journey, Save the Cat, among others. Take a look at those if you're interested.

    You mention in the story--"cliche" kill the rats in the basement. The second I read cliche I thought, okay, well, if you know it's a cliche why don't you NOT make it a cliche? Challenge yourself a little bit here.

    Also, the themes--just pick one. And don't list them. Life is not a theme. It's what you say ABOUT life that is the theme. Theme is an argument. I see you have interactions between classes. Great, now what are you trying to say about those interactions? Maybe it's--you have a poor status and therefore you can never rise to the top. Maybe it's--if you're rich, you're a jerk. Whatever, these are just examples. But then everything in your story should be a yes or no to the theme. So if we take the first example, there will be some characters and events that teaches the hero that poor status means he'll never get out of it, and then there are other characters and events that teaches the hero that you can rise to the top and overcome your poor social status. It all depends on what the ultimate story lesson the hero will learn at the end.

    Theme is tough, for sure. The theme for a popular game, Horizon Zero Dawn (a personal fav) I would argue is that the past doesn't dictate the future. The whole story is about Aloy discovering the past and stopping it from repeating itself.

    Also, when it comes to your characters, always list the following: their external want (and it has to be something physical--not he wants love but he wants this person to love); their internal need (usually the thing that's stopping them from getting what they want and is related to past wound they haven't reconciled with); and their fears. To make your main character likeable, give him friends, make him funny, or have other people like him. Those are the three main ways that main characters are likeable (even the unsympathetic ones).

    Good luck on the game!
     
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