Neverborn - Help Appreciated


#1

So. A while back I proposed an idea whereby the fight between the Christian divinities (I.E: Heaven and Hell) was dragged to Earth. The consequence of this, was that select humans started to be “Chosen” by patrons.

You, the PC, a teenager living in England have been approached by the Arch-Angel Micheal and Fallen Angel Azreal, both attempting to convince you to become either Heavenborn, or Hellborn (hence the name).

Main themes would be not just the war, but also how now that Christianity has been proven true, how other faiths (and modern science) deals with the issues stemming from this. I’ve been planning parts of this out, and this is my list of planned features:

Choice of gender
Choice of sexuality (This will have certain consequences, for obvious reasons)
Choice between patrons (Duh)

Multiple romance, and friendship options.
Hopeful romances;
A “scientist” your own age
Your crush
Your patron (depending on gender)
A divine/demon (Seraph/Daemon)
And a few more.

What do you think? It’ll be my first choicescript game, so help’ll be appreciated. Thanks!


#2

The premise of the story is an interesting and fresh idea. It might be time to write a demo/intro to see how you enjoy the coding and writing together.

At times, it can be very frustrating - I’ve spent the last 2 hours quashing a bug I thought I exterminated 2 days ago. The coding part can interrupt your writing at times.


#3

So far, the idea seems to be rather refreshing and, well, new :smiley: If there would be a demo, I would play it ^^

And as @Zolataya said:[quote=“Zolataya, post:2, topic:15414”]
At times, it can be very frustrating
[/quote]
That is just sooooo true… I think 3 days or so I got one of my own little updates out (really, very small …) and somehow two codes messed up right about anything in the game. But the community straight out pointed out, like, “Hey, this and that is probably not intended to be like that.” and “That might be wrong.” and so on and so on. That way, I fixed it right the next day (it was around midnight and didn’t wanted to work until 1am or so…)

But whatever, that’s that.
If you need any help with coding or ‘How do I approach that and this?’ just ask me or others here on the forum, we always love to help :wink:


#4

Do not write ‘you’ a lot at the start (I made that mistake)


#5

This idea has some interesting potential, but there are also a lot of mental red-flags coming up. In short your idea runs the risk of being too cliched, but if those cliches can be either avoided or embraced, the game would be a lot of fun to read.

Firstly the open and closed Heaven/Hell, Good/Evil dichotomy is stale, even subverting it is stale, so you need to go deeper. You should be using both sides in your ‘war’ to explore some deeper issues, rather than just saying “Yeah the Angels are Lawful Good, but are Devils Lawful Evil or just insanely cool misunderstood loners?

So go back to basics, and maybe grab a few moral philosophies textbooks to skim through as you go.

First off, try to determine why your two sides exist. That point seems self-explanatory, right? Wrong. The notion of God and the Devil is actually a tricky one, biblically the two aren’t often described as enemies so much as two friends having moral conversations and using Mankind as examples or test subjects to prove their points.

These texts can show a nuanced, even friendly relationship between God and his supposed ‘enemy’, meaning most of the firebrand rhetoric about an eternal war between heaven and hell seems like a massive oversimplification.

I’m not a religious scholar (or even particularly religious), but I’d rather read a story about the nuance and insight of those two moral thinkers rather than a hackneyed White-Knights versus Goat-Legged Sex Monsters or one of those awful YA novel-type things where the scary monster is actually a sweet vegetarian homebody with sick abs and a thing for bland, nondescript teenage girls.

So establish the moral stance of your angels and your devils, and then use that platform to ask the reader who is working in Mankind’s best interests?

The ‘Angels’ will likely found their society and principles on the notion that a sin is always a sin, right? When you steal, you’re always committing a sin, even if it’s a loaf of bread to feed your family, right?

The ‘Devils’ on the other hand might believe more in individual determination, the notion that you personally decide what is right and what is wrong, and then strive to live to that personal moral code. It’s a more flexible way of living but no less valid than the Angels’ views, right?

So their ‘war’ is for the Hearts and Minds of Man, rather than territory or plunder. The whole meat of the game is the moral question of who is in the right, so don’t half-ass it. Choicescript is not a good way to show off action games, so do not believe for even a moment that readers are interested in big set-piece battles. They are not. They cannot see said battles taking place.

I would love to write about 200 pages about this particular subject, so instead I’ll just throw down some bullet-points to get the jist out there.

  • Don’t have God or the Devil be an actual, physical character in your story. They will never be impressive enough or interesting enough to justify their inclusion. The whole mystery and power of a deity is completely stripped away when somebody tries to add characterization to them. In Dogma, how many words did God say? That’s the exact number of words he/she should say in your story.

  • Have you ever considered how monumentally strange is the mind of a being able to create our universe? How baffling and labyrinthine its thought processes? How petty our every word and thought must be when placed next to one so far above us as we are above E-Coli? Think about it, and when you’re done thinking about it, read some H.P. Lovecraft. A God is a being so far above us that even to look upon him is to receive a sensory overload guaranteed to break your fragile human mind, so don’t just put Morgan Freeman in a white suit and call it a day.

  • When contrasting Heaven and Hell, make sure that you don’t draw a conclusion and accidentally write it into the story. Let readers argue and debate which side is correct, make the arguments for each side so compelling that nobody can conclusively come down on one side or the other. You can have your personal opinion, but this is a game/story that is all about choice, so let your players/readers have it.

I have more, but I don’t wish to take up too much of your time. If you want to talk more about this sort of thing, or would like somebody to bounce ideas off of, please feel free to PM me, and I will be happy to help.


#6

Seems promising, waiting for a demo.


#7

@Moreau A lot of what you said was, indeed problems that I was thinking of, and how to counter them. I, personally, have studied Theology, although I am an Agnostic/Athiest myself, and have always found the fact that many people consider the Devil overwhelmingly evil, is something that I’m always interested in. (The Rolling Stone’s “Sympathy for the Devil”, in which Lucifer sarcastically comments on how evil he is; whilst pointing out that human nature was what really caused many events, not his intervention, is a song that is one of my all-time favourites.)
In fact, one of the choices I’ve written, is for your character to ask; “Why would I ever choose to be Hellborn? Seems like a good way to become a cackling Hitler…”, to which Azreal replies: “Who said anything about being evil? Lucifer is an insanely powerful being punishing “sinners”. By your definition, he’s practically a superhero…” The heaven/hell battle is more idealogical than “good vs evil”. Seraph (I don’t want to throw in Cherub, the little bastards are mentioned once in the Bible if I recall) are obviously “pure”- All sins are sins, as you said. The Fallen (And by extension, Daemons) could actually have the moral high-ground in many situations.

Hope that answers a lot of your questions/points, and come the weekend, I should (hopefully) have most of a reasonable demo done!


#8

Well it sounds pretty good. It might be a little controversial for your first game, however. It’s a really cool idea, but I think you might want to try out all the coding and everything on a different game first. not one that is super long or anything, but just so you have enough experience to make a really good game. These are just my thoughts though.


#9

This looks interesting so far can’t wait for more


#10

AAAAAARRRGGGHHH! Freakinng BUUUUUUUUUUGS! I need something to punch. Hard. Many times over and over and over and over until either my hand or it breaks.


#11

I hear you. I’m just learning the whole CS workflow and sometimes it feels like being smacked from multiple directions!


#12

I really like this topic you’ve chosen, even if it’s your first CoG, if you can get a demo up I’ll read the shite outta it!


#13

I would second Moreau’s concerns and to add my own spin on it, consider what heaven and hell represent. Heaven is about Judgement and rewarding the virtuous while Hell is about Retribution and punishing those who strayed off the straight and narrow. Any “war” between them, if one hews closely to Christian mythology, is doomed to be one sided as God is literally omnipotent. He cannot lose if He does not will it.

For depictions of something close in subject matter to what you are writing, consider Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens”, the old World of Darkness game line “Demon the Fallen” and the web series “the Salvation War”. They all have their own spin on the notion. As it stands, the treatment seems closer to a novel than a game. Consider that the forces of Heaven and Hell are empowering mortals as their agents to win hearts and minds. They demonstrate divine power is real without angels and demons walking around and rendering human agency moot. In effect its the Book of Job but with more super powers.

One suggestion I can make is to diversify the patrons. Michael might offer you prowess as a warrior, Raphael the ability to heal, Michael the ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere while Uriel, well, depends which version you use. Metatron makes a good mentor since he is supposed to be the “Eyes of God”. Angels, as written in the original texts as eldritch abominations that have very little in common with humanity, which might be why they invest their power in worthy mortals instead.

As for demons, why do I have to be evil? Well, the counterargument is the notion of giving power to someone to see if they would abuse it. Satan is not necessarily evil insomuch as he is humanity’s prosecution lawyer. It is his job to test humans and to bring adversity so that we would rise above it.


#14

That’s a pointless argument, @Gary as the Christian faith has more logical paradoxes than anything has ever had, ever.


#15

I always like these kind of things, looking forward to a demo.


#16