Several stories in same universe?

Just as the title says, have any of you wrote or thought of writing several stories that take place in the same universe/timeline as another story you are working on? I’ve thought about it, but I don’t know if they would detract from each other at all or have to make them tie in like redemption season did small tie ins. What are your thoughts on this?

1 Like

I think it’s a great idea. This way you can establish your intellectual property and/or brand of fiction and be better able to defend it if need be.

1 Like

I’m thinking of doing at least one story in the same universe as my current story in working on.

1 Like

i thought about it too XD
well, to be exact when im still a highschool student… i make several stories (and even do collab with my friend) in the same universe… and make some crossover for it… and kinda make it necessary for the story to move along… :grin: :blush:

2 Likes

That’s sounds interesting, I’m curious how you guys accomplish this…
As for me I’m writing “The Operative” right now which just had its first play test but I’ve got two stories in the back of my mind which would be cool choice script games in themselves that take place in the same universe and same timeline. Just different places.

2 Likes

Well, I definitely never write any actual, proper story before. However, my plan of my current WIP are quite big that I might fit 3 or 4 more stories on its universe.

However, if you do plan to write a different stories that doesn’t relate each other on a same universe, I think it’s kinda hard. However, it’s manageable by playing with the timeline or by the scale of the story itself, I think.

Think of it as fitting all Marvel/DC superheroes’s story on a same timeline vs. fitting CSI tv shows into a same timeline. Now, I know it’s a weird example, but I think it shows the basic idea otherwise.

2 Likes

it’s pretty awesome at first, though there is a bit “unagreement” with the story while we get the exiting part… and somehow after that we kinda drift apart and have to drop the collab thing and work on each other story by ourselves. i dunno about her, but it’s kinda hard for me to re-arrange the story after that… and drop the story (as i have no inspiration) and i guess she drop her story as well.
and several years after that i looked back at my story and feel so embarassing :sweat_smile: the whole plot is great (and also have so mane great plothole :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) and well… i plan to re-writing it again with a better plot (though i really love the way i make the narration… why can’t i do the same now when im much older --i guess i lose my youthfull spirit and imagination :sweat_smile:).

oh wow… i need to check it and playtest it later (when i have a sparetime :sob:) expect to see me report some bug or typo if i found some (that is what i usually do when i playtest a WIP game :wink:)

Lol I would love that!

Not a CoG story, but I feel my Smash fanfic would end up being mutiple stories. Though I think of each story as being more akin to follow-up discs from old JRPGs. Part 1 ended, Part 2 picks up where it ended, so on. Just may be a large gap in-between. There’s also the setting for an original story I’m in the process of making. Ideally, I’d like to see more stories in it, and not all related to the original one.

Now as for CoG related stuff…perhaps that dragon vs human idea I had? Would have to write it up and see how I felt about more stories. But that’s the only one I can think of.

I’m currently writing Foundation of Nightmares, which is the third installment of my series set in a world called Lume. I’m planning on submitting it later this month, and after I do, I’m going to start on another series that has different characters and is set in a kingdom all the way across the world, but it is also in Lume.

3 Likes

intrigued what is the title or topic of the second game

I initially didn’t think much about doing it when I was first writing stories, but as time went on I really liked tying stuff together when possible. Ultimately I’ve managed tied most of my stories together in a “multiverse.”

Several of the stories in my modern setting take place in the same world even though they’re all self contained stories with no real references to the others. One of them takes place further in the past than the others, while the other is obviously the “end” of that timeline. (Or at least for that world)

Two of the fantasy stories directly take place in the same world. One story set on a second fantasy world is very loosely linked as well in one ending.

Then there is one story in the modern setting that links all of them together. (Even the fantasy ones)

Currently working on another story which is directly linked to a third fantasy world which will then also be linked to the greater multiverse.

2 Likes

@dungeon_master
A short summary is that you are a magician trained by a powerful wizard. When an army of demons appears in Lume and threatens to take over the Kingdom of Githrad, you must become their general and fight against the demons. There will be lots of romance options and I’m planning on making it a trilogy. Hopefully I’ll have the demo out in a couple months.

1 Like

I’m a truly extreme example of this.

I invented a fantastical steampunk world about six years ago, and wrote a novel called “Heart of Brass”. Then I discovered CoG and wrote the HG “Attack of the Clockwork Army” which is a sort of sequel (I designed it so that the player can choose to play it as either a sequel or an independent story, depending on what name they choose). Now I amuse myself tremendously by writing a story in the same universe almost every time I try a new narrative tool. So at present I have (in reading order):

“Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten” is set in 1830s Europe (all the rest of my steampunk tales are set in Australia), and the crucial problem of that story doesn’t even get mentioned in any of the other stories (so the “canon” version is the one where the player saves the world… and then everyone forgets there was ever a problem). It’s released via Tin Man Games’s “Choices: And The Sun Went Out” serial story app (currently on iOS and Google Play, and should be on steam sometime after the story finishes a few months from now). It’s a serial story with new content every week or so (about 9 updates until the end at the time of writing; it’s had 39 updates so far, and is over 300,000 words).

“Heart of Brass: Antipodean Queen 1” is the novel, set in the 1850s (mainly in Australia at the end of the gold rush). The main character is Emmeline Muchamore. It’ll be a full published trilogy by the end of 2018 (print and digital - via the publisher, amazon, kobo, etc)

“After the Flag Fell” is a printable short interactive story that won the WIndhammer Prize 2015. It’s free there, but a slightly-edited version is also included with the novel. It basically continues on right after the novel, so there’s spoilers there (if you plan to read the novel it’s best to read it first).

Stuff and Nonsense” is a Twine game (lots of pictures) which has an equivalent live-action role-playing game of the same title. It features Emmeline so it’s a little spoilery (if you plan to read the novel it’s best to read it first).

Attack of the Clockwork Army” is a choicescript game in which players have the option to play as one of Emmeline’s siblings. It’s set a few years after the novel so it is a bit spoilery, especially if you choose Jem/Arabella Muchamore as your name (if you plan to read the novel it’s best to read it first).

I definitely don’t recommend a tangle like this as a marketing strategy! It just makes things hard for people to follow. Every story can stand on its own (although there will be a through-line in the novel trilogy, there won’t be cliffhangers) so people can read just one or all of them.

Having said that, I think it works well for me being both a novelist and an interactive fiction writer. I get 95% of my income from interactive fiction (both advances and royalties) but I go to a lot of conferences and it’s really nice to have a physical book to sell. Plus it instantly shows people that I’m serious about high writing quality, which is the best possible recommendation for my IF.

People who don’t know about IF can still understand that I’m a full-time writer because I have a book, which makes my job a lot easier to explain.

And I do think there are lots of people who know about me because of stuff like entering contests (The IF Comp and the Windhammer Prize have both been extremely good to me in terms of meeting kindred spirits and in getting IF work). So the cross-promotion has worked for me in big picture terms, even if the above list of steampunk fantasy stories is super unwieldy.

I think I just contradicted myself there. Oh well :slight_smile:

Book authors are told to treat their name as a brand, and I’m sort of doing that. But the more I explore, the more I like the novel-length IF adventure, a la CoG/TMG, so I’ll probably get less experimental and more CoG focused in future. But you never know.

The good thing about having so many different things going on is that if one story fails utterly I have loads of others (or if one massively succeeds I can focus on that market more).

Ooh, another piece of data from the novelling world: In a trilogy, the second book makes only about 60% of whatever the first book made, but people buy more copies of the first book. Then the third book makes about 80% of what the first book made, but people also buy copies of the second and third books. So sales of a series build up over time. Usually.

CoG is a great place to publish, because they have name-brand recognition so even a nobody will make quite a few sales (I speak from “Attack of the Clockwork Army” experience).

end rambling monologue

6 Likes

I spent many years as GM or Admin of custom private Ultima Online RolePlaying servers, permanent worlds where everyone logged in would be roleplaying at all times. Being a comic book reader, I was obsessed with chronology and retconning everything so it all made sense within the lore(Much like Geoff Johns and other comic authors do, when they want to try to preserve new things that work on a character but still bring him back to his original, more popular roots) , and I spent countless hours making sense of lore created either by other GMs or by player’s actions.

To me with was important that the player felt that nothing was gratuitous in his experience. There were plenty of GMs who just logged in, created some villain, started the players on a quest and never bothered to finish it. Everywhere I looked there was inconsistency; plenty of villains and NPCs and powers and threats and organisations with little to no relation between themselves, sharing the same “psychical” space within the world and affecting the character’s lives without even acknowledging one another.

My point is: I felt that it all needed to make sense so, as soon as I spoke to the people responsible(who were still around) and gathered every bit of available data, I always made a point of connecting everything that I could. The gratuitous dragon attack from last week was actually caused by the fact that a group of players adventure on a dungeon from two weeks back disturbed him from his sleep, and they took something from his lair. The sudden change of personality and lack of memory of the King(who was being interpreted by two different GMs who never spoke to one another) was a result of his exposure to a poison that was corrupting his mind little by little. And so it goes.

Anyway, after connecting everything that I could, I would always use it as the base for new ideas. I’ve created plenty of quests and short stories and additions to the lore, and sometimes I had the opportunity to write an entire new setting from scratch. It’s quite the unique feeling, to have players sharing the world you created and inhabiting it.

In sum: I learned from Comic Books shared universes to love a good chronology that uses self-reference well and I hate inconsistencies in it. Any game I made using the same setting as a previous one would depend on plenty of variables from it, and I would make a point of presenting consequences from the player’s actions on the other game even if they aren’t direct sequels.

4 Likes

One thing to note: All of Lucid’s titles (Daria, Life of a Wizard, Life of a Mobster, etc) are all part of the same worldverse.

4 Likes

Every single story I have worked on so far is apart of the same world, excluding Across the Skies and Seas.

A world is vast and time is seemingly endless. In that span, I can fit many stories of bravery, romance, betrayal, tragedy, and oh so much more.

Also, when I write them in mind, I also think of how much the PC can affect the grand scheme of things. Will they be the cause of a new world war? Will they be a leader in politics? How much influence will they have on the every day commoner.

Will a Noble in some far flung city-state fighting to protect (or control) their city have any repercussions on a mercenary troupe stationed in a neighboring country, or an adventurer’s group on another continent?

Just because two stories are set in the same world it does not mean that they have explicitly acknowledge the exact events that occurred in another story. Maybe one story has absolutely no effect on the other because of distance, difference in social classes (a thief stealing the local attraction at a town will not cause the Duke of another country to suddenly be outraged.)

Today, it is very easy for news to travel but even then the news can be convoluted and twisted before it reaches the general masses, can’t the same be said of stories in your own world? What if PC “A” in one story leads an exodus to save a group of people from cruelty but PC “B” in another story is instead told, like the rest of her peers by the Government that PC “A” led a bloody rebellion and is now wanted for treason.

You can have your other story be a few months later or even a few days later, the key event of the exodus but it is viewed in two different lights. PC “A” knows what happened and their story is canon, but PC “B” alongside the masses have been tricked, lied to, etc, by their Government or whatever driving force controls them, that PC “A” did no heroic thing such as saving people, but instead led a rebellion that caused many deaths.

So, purposeful misinformation can be a way to have a story so close in time and location and still acknowledge that both are canon and really happened but it should also be expressed in story as well.

Example:

You narrowly make it on time to the public square where at the center standing atop of a large mahogany structure, stands a man with a parchment in hand, looking imperiously down on the masses. The man scans the crowd and a large ding rings out from the tower clock signalling that it is now 3:00pm.

The man strides to the front of the stage and opens the parchment, reading aloud, “Loyal Citizens of Etrazon! Today is a day of grieving for we have suffered and lost many good souls. The scoundrel, formerly known as Baron A, incited a rebellion and attempted to overthrow the Royal Government, forcing and tricking the slave class into helping his ambitions. Fret not though, in due thanks to the Royal Guard, the rebellion was repelled, and now “A” has fled into the wilderness with his band of traitors. The Royal Government insists that all citizens avoid the wilderness and to report any suspicious behavior to the nearest constable! Thank you.”

As soon as the man sets the parchment down, the citizen’s clap, praising the Royal Government for their decisive action. The news is interesting, but ultimately does not concern you. Later today, you will be setting sail with Father to the new continent, away from the control of the Government and hopefully establish a new home.

The dialogue is a bit long but the point is that the original events in the first story done by PC “A” still happened, PC “B” is in a new story, that while it acknowledges that PC “A” was at the center of events in the previous story, the actual events are obscured, this time through political propaganda.

3 Likes

Funnily enough this is kinda the plan I have right now for my WIP Model Citizens: Unmasked. I wanted to play with a lot of the superhero tropes I saw in movies/books/etc. because, well, I love superhero stories. I also kinda wanted to experiment with what life would be like for people who aren’t heroes or villains in a world full of them… So I had the idea of creating a series of stories about different people leading different lives all in the same city that’s famous for being essentially superhero central, and play with the tropes in doing so.

Such as how would the regular criminal underbelly function when crime is dominated by people with superhuman powers? What about law enforcement? Almost any time you see the police in superhero stories they’re on the sidelines, unable to help because they aren’t powered… So how would it work in that kind of world? Even just talking about regular people- again, always seen on the sidelines, being saved by heroes or captured by villains… Well, if that’s so common then you’d start to think that people would have to learn about how to deal with your daily villain problems. Also, there’s always mass destruction of public property in hero comics or movies… is there now some kind of insurance in case your house gets destroyed by a stray laser eye-beam?

I just liked these questions because some of them are kind of… odd, but also would fit with the concerns of real people in that universe. So I wanted to play with these different aspects by creating a set of stories that are, when you strip away any plot and characters and any actual story in the story, just about exploring how mundane society would function in a rather extraordinary world.

Which I think is where a big benefit of multiple stories in the same universe lies- world building. You get to explore one world through multiple eyes, and see the different facets of how each tiny subsection of society functions. And, like others have mentioned, the cool part of this is that you don’t have to make every single bit and piece tie into each other. Political machinations may not matter to someone who’s sole worry is getting their next scrap of food. (Conversely, it may matter a lot, depending on your world). But it gives you the chance to explore one world- and that’s pretty cool.

3 Likes

I’m in a similar boat. With my story “The Operative” you play a sort of galactic enforcer for a galactic power.
However both the universe itself and the conflicts in this timeline. (There are three wars) all have the room for stories that pass by but are not directly involved with one another. So I have some ideas after I get more done on my current story…

1 Like

I love and their souls were eaten. I need to know, who am i, as the main character?

1 Like