A dark, dystopic game, what do you guys think?


#1

Greetings, everybody! My programming buddy Ealrion, has been asking questions about the Choicescript recently, and the community has been a great help so far, so first let me thank you for that!

As the writer of the team, what cought my attention the most, though was a comment to one of our questions by a fellow gamer about his desire to see our game finished; Shawnheatherly: “Looking forward to your game, my friend. I love this site, but it needs darker games.”. Thanks Shawnheatherly!

His inspiring comment evoked some questions in my mind, though, such as: “Does the Choice of Games community want a dark, dystopic game? Does the community want to play a long, elaborate, “realistic” fantasy (Magic realism) RPG? Where a choice might lead the story to a whole different ending?”.

So, I’m passing the ball to YOU guys, what do you want to see in such a game? What are your thoughts about it? If you fancy the idea, we would highly appreciate your feedback!
You all have a great day, Ardasevanos.


#2

Add romance any kind at all and I’m so there!! I love this forums wide variety it’s one of the best I have ever read!! Also would gladly play whatever game u complete


#3

Don’t worry, romance will be there :D, though please do keep in mind that women’s rights will be kissing the soil (most probably, still under early-developement stage). It is great to know, we appreciate it!


#4

I’d argue that there are actually a fair number of rather dark choice games. Which isn’t to say that another wouldn’t be welcome, it shows that there is an audience for them.

Why will women’s rights be going though? That sentence strikes me as a somewhat lazy dystopia. I’d say unpack the idea and see if there’s something else that would replace it. There’s a lot of other forms of discrimination that can make for powerful settings.


#5

[quote=“FairyGodfeather, post:4, topic:5409”]
I’d argue that there are actually a fair number of rather dark choice games. Which isn’t to say that another wouldn’t be welcome, it shows that there is an audience for them.
[/quote] Thanks for the info!

[quote=“FairyGodfeather, post:4, topic:5409”]
Why will women’s rights be going though? That sentence strikes me as a somewhat lazy dystopia. I’d say unpack the idea and see if there’s something else that would replace it. There’s a lot of other forms of discrimination that can make for powerful settings.
[/quote] I get your point, though I probably should share more about what should be expected in the game, as bad women’s rights isn’t the only thing going on;

First of all, this city the game is about has some major issues about a bunch of opposing “factions” engaging in cold war (a church, a private military company, a noble house, many families of elves tightly kept in a ghetto of their own…) which are at the brink of open conflict. The church tries to better things, while nobles continue to lay claim on everything the city has. The mercenary compay, on the other hand refuses to play a role in any of this, but is forced to take a side and take action otherwise they’ll be eliminated.

The people of this city are in pretty bad shape also; They do not have poper privacy rights, pollution is everywhere, everybody is allowed to carry a weapon with them wherever they go, many innocent people are hanged, tortured, burned for things they haven’t done, labor conditions are terrible, the money they earn in a week is hardly enough for a few days of proper nutrition, anything done or said against the nobles is punishable by death, at the nobles’ leisure, most of the taxes collected are spent for the aristocracy’s comforts, without the notice of the citizens, a dangerous substance thought to give consumers metaphysical power is soon understood to be highly addictive and life-consuming, there is no military, or city guard, except for the knightly order of the church, there is no tolerance for homosexuality, terrible womens’ rights, unfair prison conditions which mostly result in deaths, almost guaranteed deaths every night in the back alleys and the ghetto…

I hope my intentions are somewhat clearer now :slight_smile: Looking forward for more comments!


#6

Lol, for all the NRA guys a dystopia requires the opposite :smiley: .


#7

Have you played Choice of Rebels? The setting’s extremely dark and dystopic, but there’s no sexism and no homophobia. I actually love that contrast.

Why is sexism important to your game? Why is homophobia important? Could you remove those prejudices and still have a game with the same discrimination narrative?

You don’t need to throw every single possible prejudice into a dystopia to make it work, and in not doing so, you can focus on those that are important to the story while making your setting more unique.


#8

Sounds fairly badass so far, I’ll be looking forward to it


#9

Hey, I’m happy to see I got you guys thinking. I’d love to play another dark, dystopic game. That said, I agree with FairyGodfeather about the sexism and the homophobia. If they must remain, then I would hope that a player making the right choices could make those prejudices go away. Of course, given the nature of these games, that would then mean there should be a path to make things even worse. All that aside, your game sounds really cool, and I can’t wait to see it.


#10

I already can’t wait!!!


#11

It seems really cool! I’d love to play it!


#12

I’ll check that game out and let you know in 2 days!

[quote=“FairyGodfeather, post:7, topic:5409”]
Why is sexism important to your game? Why is homophobia important? Could you remove those prejudices and still have a game with the same discrimination narrative?
[/quote] Well, it is important for me to include all of these in the game because I live in a country where, in my thoughts, this would very likely be the future… My ethnicity, also, got holocoasted by this country I currently live in in the past (elves), and this is my way of (maybe sarcastically) transferring my thoughts to the player audience. I am trying to make an “ultimate”. But I am still open for more comments about this subject and others; I still need your opinions.

Don’t get it all wrong though! We will still make the game a fun and enjoyable experience for you :smiley:

[quote=“Shawnheatherly, post:9, topic:5409, full:true”]
Hey, I’m happy to see I got you guys thinking. I’d love to play another dark, dystopic game. That said, I agree with FairyGodfeather about the sexism and the homophobia. If they must remain, then I would hope that a player making the right choices could make those prejudices go away. Of course, given the nature of these games, that would then mean there should be a path to make things even worse. All that aside, your game sounds really cool, and I can’t wait to see it.
[/quote] Hey again Shawnheatherly, thanks for checking in!
Well you guessed right, let me explain this one too: As mentioned above the conditions in this game are going to be in a pretty bad shape, that got me thinking though; Does the player really “have to” save the city? Why, in a city of monsters, the player must be the beacon of light? Then I thought, “Well, that would suck”, so the player can also bend the matters to a worse shape, remain neutral, or try to better things. So yes, by selecting the right tools for the job, it will be possibe to clear the mess and transform the city to a place you would like to live in.

These will, in their most basic forms, be the choices a realistic game should be able to provide.

Thank you for all of the good comments guys! It got me pumped and made me walk towards my class humming happy tunes, and I assure you, that rarely happens, if ever :slight_smile: !


#13

It doesn’t sound like my sort of game but that’s okay. There’s plenty of other players that will enjoy it.

I think that in removing sexism, thus giving male characters the same experience as female characters, you can also ensure that those who play male characters get hit by the full force of the inequalities. They’re no longer seeing it happening to others, instead it’s happening directly to them.

You can have both male and female characters harassed for their attractiveness, sexualised, exploited and demeaned in the same ways.

You can even the playing field, removing the idea that women are weaker than men, if say, well everybody has the right to carry weapons? Guns are a great equaliser, suddenly physical strength doesn’t matter if you can put a bullet through someone. Magic’s another. That waif of a woman might be a talented mage capable of blasting your brain.

In settings where the purity of blood lines is important, where wealth is inherited, women do have a certain power men lack. Without genetic testing you can’t guarantee that any child belongs to a man, but who a child’s mother is is generally indisputable. Throw in a fertility dynamic, for instance, where not all of the population are fertile and then you’ve a prejudice with those who’re fertile vs those who aren’t. (One that does exist today, but we rarely see expanded upon in dystopias.)

See, that’s the sort of dystopias I prefer, those that explore themes outside of the ordinary. Those that do tackle issues of prejudice.

Now, you still want sexism, say? Why also homophobia? They don’t need to go hand in hand.

Note: This isn’t actually a suggestion to change your theme and setting. You should write what interests you.


#14

Thank you, FairyGodfeather, you truly have some interesting ideas, and I totally get your point; it got me thinking hard!

My original thoughts included, a forced human male (I can guess the risks, but so far have thought it was worth the risk) beginning, and as a secret achievement a female unlock. I thought It would both make the game more iteresting, and it would greatly increase an already moderate-high replayability value game, as a female character means another story according to the city’s condition, as you wouldn’t be as free to do most of the things you were able to do as a “normal”, male character.
Another unlock would be an elf renegade/rebel, where it would also be another different story and another hard gameplay-line, perhaps harder than a human female, and it would be NOT possible to play as an elf female, the reason being you would be gutted/hanged/burnt on sight out of the ghetto.

Your point includes making the races equal so that they experience the same thing, if I’m not mistaken.
My point includes making them intentionally very different so that I get a chance to show male players how bad an experience being a female in such an athmosphere would be; Where every step you take is judged by lustful or murderous eyes.

[quote=“Ardasevanos, post:12, topic:5409”]
and this is my way of (maybe sarcastically) transferring my thoughts to the player audience. I am trying to make an “ultimate”.
[/quote] :wink:

That is correct, I was never really sure about the homophobia part anyway, just thought it would be appropriate to an extreme, worst case scenario dystopia, but I’ll be thinking on that.

[quote=“FairyGodfeather, post:13, topic:5409”]
In settings where the purity of blood lines is important, where wealth is inherited, women do have a certain power men lack. Without genetic testing you can’t guarantee that any child belongs to a man, but who a child’s mother is is generally indisputable. Throw in a fertility dynamic, for instance, where not all of the population are fertile and then you’ve a prejudice with those who’re fertile vs those who aren’t. (One that does exist today, but we rarely see expanded upon in dystopias.)
[/quote] This is a very interesting idea indeed, I’ll definitely consider this, thanks for sharing.

I should also notify the readers that this is STILL in early developement stage, and STILL open to suggestions, I am not stubborn! :slight_smile: , I would really appreciate your votes about the ideas of @FairyGodfeather and mine, please vote!


#15

If you did it the opposite way, forced female protagonist to begin with and need to play through experiencing the worst that society has to offer being able to unlock the male view point I’d be more interested. But that’s just personal preference since I think that would be the better way to highlight the male protagonists privilege.

But by and large I’m not actually in favour of needing an entire playthrough to unlock something. I like my choices in this current playthrough to be the ones that matter. I don’t need an incentive to replay, if the story’s good enough I’ll replay it for my own pleasure. Or sometimes I’ll just be happy with my first playthrough and how things turned out and leave it at that. Not replaying a game doesn’t mean I enjoyed it any less.

And no! Don’t call for a vote. :slight_smile: Stick with your own ideas. When you said

That’s chilling and also deeply personal. You can’t beat personal experiences, writing what’s important to you. (As opposed to what’s important to me.) We’ve different lives, different pasts, different experiences, and different stories we each want to tell. You should be passionate about your subject. It should matter to you. The narrative should be one that you feel is important, done your way. Don’t let yourself be swayed by others. Write first.

Me I’m mostly just posting here to get you to think about things, and for me to think about them too.

Oh no editing again. :slight_smile:

I think that it’s possible to couple extreme sexism with no homophobia. With a society that worships the male body as the ideal physical form. Women are soft, weak, conniving, unknowable, and those men who prefer their company over that of men are traitors to their gender. You could throw in ephemophobia where you’re discriminating against men that don’t match up to this masculine ideal. (Ephemophobia does often go hand in hand with homophobia but they’re different things, and you will find even in the gay community emphasis put on straight-acting and people not interested in feminine men.)

You could even take it so far as a society where both butch women, and transgender men are also accepted, as long as they also adhere to the same masculine ideals. But feminine women, feminine men, transwomen, all have it bad.

I’d likely riff off Sparta, The Sacred Band of Thebes, even Nazi Germany’s Storm Batallion, in establishing a military movement.

Just a thought exercise on what’s interesting to me though. And what I do with building dystopias, how I like asking myself “what if” questions.


#16

I’d have to agree with FairyGodFeather about the forced gender. It always make me feel a disconnect with the character and takes away my desire to see the story through. Especially if I can customize everything else BUT that. I like to replay the different types of characters in my own time if it’s worth it.


#17

Alright, it would be unwise of me to not consider all these ideas and go with what I’m thinking, free gender selection it is. Though I will wrirte it somewhere close to the gender selection screen that females will be a harder choice.

Any females around the forum? Could you share your ideas about this subject too?


#18

Take my advice Ardasevanos, if you’re serious about writing, focus on writing. Don’t focus on this thread or the forums.

This thread has ceased to be productive and will serve only as distraction.


#19

Yeah, I was beginning to sense that too, thanks for the advice, sheriff!


#20

Do you really think the thread is unproductive? You did ask for people’s thoughts. Although it is a good idea to focus on writing, but you’re still in the planning out stage. If it’s important to you that you write a story with just a male protagonist then do that. Don’t worry about unlocking other options later, first focus on getting one path through, especially if they’re to be two completely experiences. I know I get weighed down when I’m writing and there’s tonnes and tonnes of *if male “BLAH!” and then *if female “Blahblah!” Especially if the female path’s not one that interests you the writer as anything other than bonus content.

Anyway I’ll shush.