hello world. i am starting this discussion to try and do a thread on a project i’m working on at the moment called solitary life. what i’d like to do here is just post a rough outline of what i’ve already sketched out so that you guys can take a look and perhaps suggest what needs changing and where. eventually (if the game gets to the kind of size i’d like), i’d like to post and fixes here and i’m hoping on working on this project as a series of games so, perhaps a megathread with all the resources related to each part (IF it ever gets to that size).
before i get into it, just a short note on the project as a whole. the solitary life series is loosely based on some previously unimplemented ideas i’ve had and is essentially following the plight of a solitary man or woman, struggling in a post-apocalyptic world. for design reasons, i prefer not to think about the origin of this apocalypse but rather allude to it vaguely throughout. the infected, wherever mentioned, are the stories prime antagonists and function as a sort of primal human being. once civilised, they have been afflicted by an unknown source.
anyway, here’s episode1 :
we meet our protagonist, running from the infected at a pace. through a series of actions you commit to whilst trying to evade and out run them, you define who you are and what you believe in (effectively shaping your character). there is a possibility (although incredibly slim and most probably through deliberate choice) that you can die in the first part. if not, based on the skills you say you have, you find and construct a shelter of sorts. this sort of shelter will inform your condition and other traits for the following parts
quick note: i wanted the character shaping to be less explicit and more integrated with the narrative itself. this is why i opted for character moulding during action. although i can see the validity of allowing players to choose explicitly what they want, i believe a more nuanced approach makes people choose more naturalistically.
a year has passed. your skills have served you in whatever way (good or bad) but living out in the wilderness is not sustainable. after a year, you have all but exhausted what little life remained. you need to get out and find somewhere more permanent and secure. you eventually make your way to a ruined settlement (one of four; still debating whether to do this because of the potential size). during your tiresome journey, you encounter a band of thieves, and face a tough moral dilemma. dependant on your choices and your condition, you may enter either a dream or hallucination sequence and your stats will determine exactly what happens within it.
quick note: although i’ve identified three main conflict points, on the journey towards these, the player will encounter much smaller, less riskier choices (shall i venture into the abandoned warehouse to search for supplies? shall i help the injured animal or kill it for food?) that supplement stats and determine other plot points.
in the settlement you have finally arrived in, you come across a variety of horrors (depending on each settlement) and respond accordingly. noting that the settlement is not safe, you stock up and move on (again, depending on the settlement will determine what you have replenished). now back in the wilderness, you encounter another lone ranger and either work together or become hostile (another point where you could die or at the very least recieve serious wounds). after constructing your shelter, you reflect upon yourself or talk to your new found friend (either boosting your or their stats and their trust [another stat] and/or your morale) and finally drift to sleep.
quick note: i was unsure how the companion thing would pan out, especially if you didn’t have one, as you will see in further parts.
you awake violently, surrounded by the infected. suddenly, you are in a fight for your life. whatever faith you had in yourself or your companion has seemingly vanished. everything is far too panicked. after killing your friend in a brutal fashion, the infected close in on you. as a limb claws forth, you wake up in a heavy sweat. after a short conversation with your friend (potential to develop a love interest if desired although i will randomise the gender), you move off again. you are desperate for salvation and at a low ebb. suddenly, the infected ambush you. it is a small number, but enough to overwhelm you. you remember your nightmare. you do manage to kill a few with your new found strength but eventually, your companion does a suicide move, leading the infected away while shouting for you to make your escape.
quick note: not sure if this has enough content.
a few months have passed since your lucky escape and you are possbily apathetic at this point. you think about killing yourself with all the grief and anxiety you have suffered over the past year and a half. at the point of going through with it, you make a decision. whatever happens, we pull back to see the glimmering world around you. there are a few lights, blinking in the distance.
quick note: i am unsure about the final decision and would really appreciate feedback on this.
sorry about the length of that but i just wanted to get everything across as best i could. hopefully, you could read maybe one or two of the parts if not all and just give an analysis of what you think needs changing. i really do appreciate all the feedback and i hope i can make this into a great game for all of you.