To Make a Stuning Intro

That Bread

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Lately I've been struggling with the intro to my game, the concept for it is sound. Truly I am at a loss and I don't know if any of these are good concepts. I may go another route... but I am here to ask for your opinion or suggestions.

What is the concept?

Truly the introduction of the game takes you through the epoch of Alkast. An ancient hero who brought light to a world of despair or darkness. In this epoch it depicts Alkast as one born from the non existent or existent sun, in his epoch he goes on a pilgrimage with his companions, to find a way to bring blight to a hopeless world.

During his journey he encounters a devastated once prince, a young knight, a lost sister, and a cultist who worships the heart of despair.

Together they find a way to smight the darkness, in the tale it is depicted that Alkast releases the sun.

How he does this is by simply destroying the heart of despair, however when the heart is destroyed Alkast flies with the sun particles into the void, creating the sun.

His companions are left with the new world while he sleeps.

Some attempts I've done.

TOTs did start as a book, heres the original tale of Alkast, back from a year ago

“Dad, are you still there!?”   I call out. My father strides into the room and says “I’m still here Clarence. You know why I’m leaving right?” I say” Yeah to find mom. But will I be alone?” He says” You will be Clarence, but you’re a big boy right?” I mutter a yes. He grins” Well then, you know where everything is if you need it right?” he says, I nod. “Good, I’ll be back before you know it.” I ask“Can you tell me a story before you go?” He says” Of-course my son”

      “The two worlds… one where humans dominate. The other by another supreme race. Together they lived in ignorance of one another. It was an idle peace. That is, until the humans foolishly awoke a demon, no not just a demon the devil himself, He took full rain over the humans planet, the others were left as if they did not exsist. Nor did they care  of the humans ill fate. That soon proved to be an error in their ways… a war soon erupted the humans had made pacts with the demons and even worshiped them. Being the origin of sin he or it, chose to take our planet and everything else. The beings of the other planet gather a mystical power to fight the war. The humans used a similar source of energy; causing a long devistateing war between the worlds. Everything was in peril, the worlds were dying, the humans and the other worldly being suffered heavy losses. The war was at a stand point where they would wipe out each other. Then from the shadows a hero emerged carrying a golden sword from the goddess of the sun. With the light he vanquished the humans and their demons; saveing the other worldly beings. As for the humans… well they lived on. Whilst the other worldly beings disappeared along with their hero…”

 “… but remember Clarence, just because things look bleak. It does not mean it’s hopeless, there is always hope even the faintest glimmer.” My eyelids grew heavy, taken away by my father’s soothing voice, I whisper “Then I hope you come home soon.” He tucks me in and then he kisses me on the forehead. “I will Clarence. Goodnight my son…”
The below are videos

Concept- This intro takes the concept of the defeat of the heart of despair in a more action packed scene.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPqII6p7vS8
Concept- Really this was a blob of scrolling text. It inspired the above concept.

A man tells of the life of Alkast, birth, life, training, and the final encounter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny20utPAUk8&feature=youtu.be

A man on top of a mountain looks out to the sea. He depicts who Alkast was. Depicting his journey and his final encoutner. Much like the above, but it was portrayed differently.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOkWM7S-2OY&feature=youtu.be
Got questions, ask away.
 
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Kaelan

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Don't make "story dump" intros. Nobody wants to read through all that when they haven't gotten attached to your game world yet, they just want to play the game. Just look at various good RPGs and you'll see they rarely ever have story heavy intros.

Dragon's Dogma has you make a character, a dragon attacks and you're immediately in control. FF7 doesn't spend 5 minutes explaining the Lifestream to you, it just shows you Cloud, puts you into a fight and lets you go on your merry way. Skyrim has a minute or so of prisoners and guards chatting, skips lore entirely and drops a dragon on you. Chrono Cross has you complete a dungeon before you even know where you are and what's going on. None of these games are short on lore and backstory, but they recognize they need to make you care about them first.

Make the player like the gameplay and care about the characters and the world first, then worry about explaining the lore and the backstory. Also, you should proof read all your text, there's a ton of spelling and grammar mistakes in those videos.
 
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Stridah

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I am going to have a short video play maybe 1 minute that gives some background on the world & lore, i don't think you want to text intensive right at the start let the player explore the world and slowly build the story.
 

whitesphere

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I tend to agree.  The RPGs I've loved --- Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy IV and Dragon Quest IX --- never start with a story heavy intro.  Chrono Trigger starts with the player going to a fair, and FFIV starts with an easy battle.

Both of these are very heavy in storyline, but it exposes itself as you venture through the world.  This makes the story more of something the player uncovers, than something info-dumped on them.  Which would you care for more?

1. "Thousands of years ago, in the dark days of Tro'los history, seven knights stopped a force of total destruction...etc."

OR

2. Drop the player into a short, playable scene, set thousands of years in the past, where the player perhaps plays AS one of the knights, right at a climactic battle.  Then, as the player wins, the player character dies from the injuries.  Fade to black, and fade in at the present time...

Serves great as a story intro and intro to gameplay.
 

kerbonklin

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Tales of Phantasia beginning:

"Hey guys we're going out boar hunting to go eat"

"Fights some mobs and the Boar, and sees something strange"

"Returns to village shortly after and everything got burned down"
 

That Bread

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@Kerbonklin

Tales of Phantasia beginning:

"Hey guys we're going out boar hunting to go eat"

"Fights some mobs and the Boar, and sees something strange"

"Returns to village shortly after and everything got burned down"
looking at this makes me want to simplify chapter one. It can be a bit confusing...

Don't forget about the action packed intro...

Fight some beast, call judgement

Banish the evil dude.

Flying star with credits.

@Whitesphere

I like the second one, you have a great point. However I am struggling with ideas for an action intro. I'm guessing the suggestion in two is there for me to consider. In fact I will.

@Kaelan

Good point! I may just jump in with Clarence waking up instead of having it after the intro. From there the few days from a festival will ensue.

Thanks all for your feedback. Its nice to know what people prefer, and now I think I'm more swayed to try to create an action packed prelude or skip it entirely. The lore of the world will be introduced as the game progress's.
 

kerbonklin

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@Kerbonklin

looking at this makes me want to simplify chapter one. It can be a bit confusing...

Don't forget about the action packed intro...

Fight some beast, call judgement

Banish the evil dude.

Flying star with credits.
Oh wow, silly me. How the hell did I just skip the whole Dhaos intro. I should feel ashamed of myself. Q_Q
 

AtelierTM

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FF7 doesn't spend 5 minutes explaining the Lifestream to you, it just shows you Cloud, puts you into a fight and lets you go on your merry way.
>.> forgetting the whole intro video. first person you see is Aerith/Aeris
 

Mouser

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Agree with everyone. A little text at the beginning is ok, but you've got to get the player in control of the character quickly, with some easily definied task to serve as Something To Do.

Also: seriously work on your writing and grammar. I'll pick one sentence from your original post:

In this epoch it depicts Alkast as one born from the non existent or existent sun, in his epoch he goes on a pilgrimage with his companions, to find a way to bring blight to a hopeless world.
"The non existent or existent sun" - which is it? Does the sun exist, or not? Can't be both at the same time.

"A way to bring blight" - blight is a Bad Thing. Generally it refers to famine, destruction of land, death, etc...

Not the sort of thing you want a hero bringing about (at least, not generally).

You've also got a comma splice (this should be two sentences), and an ambiguous pronoun:

What does "it" refer to? The game? The sun? The world? By standard usage, "it" refers to "the world" (last noun used).

Your post is filled with mistakes like that, which makes me assume that your game is as well (unless someone else is handling all the writing). People will judge your game based on your initial presentations, so if you give shoddy introductions and announcements, they will assume you've made a shoddy game.

The Little, Brown Handbook is a good source to go to for learning style and grammar (Little and Brown are the authors, not the size and color of the book). You should be able to find a copy at any good bookstore or order one from Amazon.
 

That Bread

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Ha ha, blight... yeah. Well you see in the future there is famine and near destitution in the world. So its funny if people actually know what the word means, they know the bright sunny future their introduced to isn't all that great.

The whole non existent to existent sun was well it kind of exists, but at the moment it has been consumed. I suppose I should stick to a used to be sun.

Oh yay! A grammar major... I've never been good with grammar, the whole thing is a mystery to me. It has to do with my hate for it in Junior high, I regret it very much now.

Isn't it great that people judge off of grammar? Kind of ticks me off, but I understand where their coming from. If this person has bad grammar it must be a horrible game, because they didn't plan through it.

Sorry, but I've heard enough about my grammar being bad. Its what I hear from the people that play it... to me everything makes sense. So I'll have to get a someone to spell check, due to people being picky about such things... At least you actually gave me something to work with.

Thanks.
 

That Bread

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I know Atelier your name is a bit new... and weird to me. So sorry if I spell it wrong. I do try to spell it right...
 

Kaelan

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well unless you can put a video up as the intro text is the only way to set the pace. XD

oh and cosmos XD you spelled my name wrong XD
Weather effects, camera movement, sprite animations, lighting, music and sound effects can all be used to set the pace in RM without using text, though I'd still recommend keeping cutscenes short if you were to do it that way.
 

Mouser

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well unless you can put a video up as the intro text is the only way to set the pace. XD

oh and cosmos XD you spelled my name wrong XD
I can't say I'm real familiar with the format, but you can play movies - so I don't see why you couldn't have one for your title screen via script call. I don't think I've seen any RPG maker games that really take advantage of that (live actors, FMV with voice overs, etc...). I don't know whether that's a limitation of the file format or the budget/talent of the game designers.
 

AtelierTM

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yeah in mine i am trying to get it to work so i CAN put videos into it. but i havent figured it out perfectly just yet
 

aozgolo

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So 2 points to add:

1) Kill your darlings. As a writer you MUST be willing to let go of ideas, I understand you have it fully formed in your head how you want it to start but if you are intending an audience for this you need to look at it from that audience's point of view, I've never seen or heard of this game before, what's going to make me want to jump right in and play it? I can tell you from experience, games with lengthy wordy intros I tend to just save as soon as I can and stop playing because my excitement and curiousity of playing a new game just got ruined by a bunch of narrative I don't care about... YET!

2) In Medias Res (Latin for "In the midsts of things") will allow you to have your cake and make people want to eat it too. So your intro might not have a good action sequence to start off with... well later on you have one right? Throw us into the middle of that... maybe it doesn't even need to be the same character! Look at games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII that did have a bit of story build-up to tell, but opted to throw you immediately into the action, let you experience the gameplay a bit, before going back and explaining things. Keep in mind this can also be used BADLY... I never got into the Xenosaga games because they picked a bad moment to throw you into, introduce a plethora of confusing concepts and terms, and I was so lost I didn't get hooked into the narrative because it was poorly presented. Make people care about your story by making them PLAY your story, not watch it.
 

Mouser

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Keep in mind this can also be used BADLY... I never got into the Xenosaga games because they picked a bad moment to throw you into, introduce a plethora of confusing concepts and terms, and I was so lost I didn't get hooked into the narrative because it was poorly presented. Make people care about your story by making them PLAY your story, not watch it.
The 'in media res' technique goes all the back to Homer, if not even earlier. Start the story right before the climax, go back and tell how you got there, then finish the story. Final Fantasy X follows that format (the scene where they are all gathered around the campfire before Zanarkand, then telling how they got there).

Xenosaga... I don't know that there would be a better place for them to start. Part of the problem was that Encephelon tutorial to teach you the battle mechanics. Drab, boring, and dull. But kind of necessary. It's a start at the beginning story. If you aren't at least familiar with Nietzsche, Jung, and Gnosticism in general some of the imagery may be lost...

You really should try to go back and play it. Once it gets rolling it really is one of the best stories ever told in a video game.
 

That Bread

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With your help, I was able to create a new intro. Thank you for your help, it is appreciated.
 

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