Not a Game (WIP)

Hello everyone. I haven’t been on here for a very long time but I instantly fell in love with CoG when I discovered it and since then have always wanted to work on one of my own.
I was thinking of one set in a virtual reality RPG where thousands of players get trapped in said game and dying in game means dying in real life. (I know its been done before in anime but I’ve always been disappointed with how they depicted this idea) It would focus on the first month or so (or at least the first book, if I feel like it needs more than one) and explore how different people react to this including yourself. You’ll have to decide what you’re willing to do to get out, do you even want to get out? Will you play as part of a guild or play solo, could you find love in this “virtual” reality and agree to meet once you’re both out.
I’ve mostly just got ideas on characters and ways to explore the differences between reality and the virtual world. I want to explore how some would slowly become comfortable in this world almost forgetting the world they came from and how others will do anything to hold onto what was.
I would love it if I could get peoples ideas and opinions on this. I especially need help deciding whether the game its set in would be sci-fi or fantasy (I have ideas for both) or something else.

EDIT: Well I’m scrapping the whole trapped in the game and dying means dying thing. (don’t worry I saw that coming) Please don’t feel sorry for bashing my ideas over the head. I kinda made this topic because I knew I’d need it.
On to new ideas!!! The AVRH (advanced virtual reality headset) taps into the part of the brain that dreams. This allows it to change our perception of time. So when someone enters the game they can spend 4 real world hours but experience what seems to be 40 hours of in game time. This still allows for the disillusionment of what is real and whats not, as you still experience more time in game then out.
Also scrapping fantasy (been done to much). So either sci-fi or something else, steampunk maybe???


If it’s sci-fi, do players have the option to be robots?

And as far as worldbuilding goes, what about the game makes people willing to risk death (or committing murder) to play it?

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They joined the game not knowing this would happen. A month from launch all but 20,000 people (number subject to change) were kicked from the game. Those left inside could no longer quit and the AVRH (advanced virtual reality headset) which plugs directly into your brain is able to kill you (this was not known) and so you can not be removed. In order to get out they must complete a certain task (which will be revealed later).
And on the robot thing probably not, but maybe could get cyborg augmentations.

Don’t mean to sound rude but this sounds EXACTLY like Sword Art Online my advice go the route of say Log Horizon make it a normal PC MMO and just drop characters in the world they were playing unexpectedly with real world threats to worry about no muss the whole VR Setup is one many things that doomed SWO from the get


Yeah I know it does sound a bit like SAO and I have been thinking of ways to distance it from that, including removing the whole threat of dying but I don’t know. I need some way of raising the stakes. This is still mostly in the idea stage.

This has been done several times before so I think you need something that makes your take on it stand out more.

Think about different elements of the story and how these could help you do so. How will you tell the story? Is everyone aware they’re in a game from the beginning? Why did they begin the game in the first place? If they don’t want to leave, why? Is there something they’re trying to escape from in the real world (that’s why many people play video games already)? What’s the main conflict? Who or what is the main antagonist? What kind of game is it (seems this idea always uses the same genre of game–I’d love to see this done with like…a dating simulator)?

I mean, I really love this idea and concept. It’s just that it’s been done so many times and in the vast majority of those cases it just ended up coming off as boring and unoriginal. That’s just my take on it, but I’d put some thought into what will actually make the original work you want to make original.


I really am trying to think up of some way to make this original and I won’t go farther until I’m certain I’ve reached a good idea, I’m just including you guys in on my brainstorming session. Only problem with dating sim idea is it would focus on romance a LOT and I’m not very experienced at writing that.


Hey Telltale brother.
Sci-fi is the easiest. Superhero, western, those’re tougher ones. I’d say you should blend some Ideas with it, maybe make it multi-genre. Stick too your strengths and what you know. But If your looking to raise the stakes in an unusual way, how about give us someone/something we need to help/protect? Maybe there’s someone trying to destroy the game and the A.I.'s have gotten sentient and need help, or we could be motivated by our own desires. Maybe we have some background with it, maybe we knew someone who developed it then dissapeared. Those type of things…

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What about an A.I. maintained online VR-RPG and the actual human-developer of the game does is just simply maintain the A.I. and updating new contents.

And then, for some reason, the A.I. gone rogue and taking over the whole game world. Here, you can start the “trapped in your dream” a la SAO while still having your own unique story.

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I have been thinking about including an A.I gone rogue somehow.

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Brainstorming some ideas here. :laughing:
You can make it more kinda like Overlord anime. Trapped as your character and starting to become more like the character or losing your memories. In the world mabey you are the evil boss. Making ultimate dungeons for heroes. And only heroes can slay you, cuz then you will be free.


That’s cool–I wasn’t saying it should be that specifically (mostly just trying to give an example). And I hope some of the comments on this thread give you some good ideas, then😄

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I don’t think that the dying means dying thing is a problem. I think the main reservation people had is that the game concept sounds pretty much exactly the same as Sword Art Online. You need to differentiate from the plot and I don’t think that the idea of the character dying in the game means they die in real life is one of the essential things that needs to be changed.

Firstly, I’d say one of the most important things that needs to be different is how they get into the game… In fact, does it even need to be a game? I’ve seen virtual reality worlds done in many different ways. In the Matrix, people basically spend their whole lives in a virtual reality. In a game called “Dreamfall: The Longest Journey” there’s a machine called “The Dreamer” that basically gives the player very realistic dreams, and some people get addicted to it because they prefer it to real life.

I think what needs to be changed most isn’t so much what kind of world the “virtual reality” is, or whether or not you stay dead, if you die in the virtual world. What you really need to change is the premise. If your story is about a new virtual reality computer game where a bunch of players log in expecting to have fun, only to discover that they are trapped and have to beat the game if they want to escape, it doesn’t matter if the virtual reality is a fantasy, sci-fi or steampunk world, people are still going to think it’s a rip-off.

Here are the main elements you need to consider:
Does the virtual reality world need to be a game? It could be a dream, something that’s forced on the PC, or maybe even some kind of military experiment.

Does the character need to be trapped in the virtual reality for the whole game or could they go back and forth between the virtual world and the real world? Maybe there’s a reason they need to keep going back, or maybe they just want to go back.

Here’s an idea… Maybe it doesn’t need to be a virtual world at all. It could be an alternate reality. Perhaps even a time machine is involved somehow.

Basically, there’s a lot of things you can do to make the game completely different to Sword Art Online while still keeping the main elements that you’re really interested in. :blush:

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Dying means dying thing was never too important, mainly wanted something to raise the stakes but I can think of other things to do that. My main focus is questioning the difference between reality and virtual reality.

How about if you get wounded in the game you get wounded in the real world including death strikes and have a machine that basically a big old pod looking thing that takes care of you body even giving you the wounds

This is just a random idea I had, but maybe there’s a character who is the MC’s best friend for life, and all throughout the game they go on adventures and each little adventure makes the MC question reality vs game more and more until the end where the MC has to make a hard decision between their best friend and something else which ultimately pushes the “reality vs game” thing to the edge.

Or was that done in SAO too?

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Sounds like a good idea :slight_smile: never played or even heard of sword art online myself :stuck_out_tongue: nor have I heard of/played any similar games. I’d personally prefer a sci-fi setting, plus in my opinion it fits better, as the sort of world that would have VI this advanced is usually portrayed as sci-fi, and would likely be sci-fi.

I think it’d be cool if the rogue AI tried to manipulate you by trying to befriend you. You said you could form romances and alliances, it’d be cool if a rogue AI took advantage of this and tried to romance/form an alliance and manipulate you, making it harder to escape. It’d also be cool if when and if you do finally escape the game, you have choices allowing the mc to constantly doubt if they’re truly out. Good luck anyway :slight_smile: .

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Sounds like Better Than Life (from Red Dwarf) or eXistenZ and yes gonna drop The Matrix in there as well cos this sorta thing gets done so little.
Suddenly realising that your currently reality is not real and there may be a"real" reality is pretty good motivation for any pc in my book, discovering that your Steampunk noble is actually some poor BTL junkie in reality could lead to awesome dilemmas too

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There was another game like this in the WIPs and I enjoyed it but I believe it was abandoned. The characters were actually playing a normal game but were some how teleported into the game.

Set in 2043, virtual reality has completely replaced traditional gaming. It is now so advanced that millions of players from around the world can enter a legitimate virtual reality at anytime and embark on epic adventures. One game is the dominant name is this new thriving industry:

Gears of Mortality: Man’s Reckoning.

This game has become the most popular MMORPG in history. Set in a beautiful Steampunk world, the player creates literally whatever character they can imagine and goes on thousands of quests, with hundreds being added daily. GoM: Man’s Reckoning was developed by Nekrose Entertainment, a company that has never had their names in the headlines until now. They have had a massive success with GoM, their first ever game. It has received seemingly perfect responses, and they have literally taken the world by storm with their most successful piece of work.

But everything isn’t as it seems. The game is actually a means of softening up the country to prepare for invasion. See, Nekrose Entertainment is based in China. They are actually a newly formed cyber terrorist organization funded by a secret cult seeking to take over the Chinese government and attack the U.S. They plan to register as many people as possible within their game, then, one day, announce a global tournament within it for a huge prize. When literally tens of millions log on, the virtual helmets will trap all users within the game world, rendering them unconscious and stuck in an entire virtual world. There is seemingly no way to wake up or escape. On that day, a considerable portion of Earth’s population will be asleep, then the EMPs will go off, the bombs will drop, and the fighting will begin.

The reader will select what country they are originally from, then create both their “real” character and their “real” character’s “avatar.” The story will start approximately after they have fell asleep in the “real world” and are now stuck in the game. From there, they will encounter other players and “NPCs” as they fight and desperately try to escape the “game world.” Towards the end, they will eventually wake up back in “real life” and fight for survival in their city until the war comes to a stop. The game from here actually kind of becomes This War of Mine. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. Anyways, the war comes to a halt because the terrorists, of course, didn’t have enough resources to actually win against multiple countries. They failed to see that basically all of their attention went to making the VR game, the key part of their “master plan.” The game ends with the reader throwing away their headset and hearing how the terrorists have surrendered and the cult leader has been arrested, with all of the “players” around the world waking up.

Whaddya think? Figured I’d take a stab at it. Anyone?