The Chronological Caverns (WIP)

Hey guys and gal, Derek Metaltron here. So I’ve been in mind to start work on a Choice Script game for a while now, dabbling with a couple of options for an initial game, and after some thought I am commencing work on what is presently called ‘The Chronological Caverns’, though the final name might change. It is many things but is predominatly going to be a a tribute of sorts to ‘The Cave of Time’ by Edward Packard, ala the original Choose Your Own Adventure story which inspired me and many others to read so many more of those books when I was a kid and came across them in charity shops.

Suffice to say this will be a game about time travel, or rather a place where aspects of the past, present and future blur in a strange set of passageways and tunnels where things are never as they seem. Pirates battle Cowboys, handsome space aces flirt with beautiful Aztec maidens, and armoured knights seek to vanquish dragons… or rather hungry prehistoric monsters. Amid the numerous inhabitants of these caverns, you are the latest addition, brought within by some unknown force amid your own time’s troubles and so must find your place in this underground temporal world. As you explore its depths you will encounter loners and alliances of both those who strive to seek the means back to their or any time, and more ambitious men and women who seek to make the caverns their dominion outside of space and time. The decisions you will make can lead to victory or defeat, love or ambition, life… or death.

So I’m starting to adapt and write up that concept, beginning with the character creation, which is where your suggestions will come in handy. You see I want to make the character selection to be interesting and I’m also keen to let players select from a number of origins, both historical, present day and possible futures (probably inspired by traditional sci-fi genres like outer space or robots/zombies have conquered/infested Earth), but I’m interested to know what you might prefer. I see one of two ways to tackle the start of the game:

  • Type of Character over Era. Players would first make choices which dictate their sort of personality and occupation as they strive to remember how they got into the cave, as well as who they were. When you get down to it amid all the types of historical and futuristic options you can distill them down in theory to things like healer, warrior, artist etc. The precise time would be a secondary thing chosen by options afterwards.

  • Era over type of character. Players focus on something which envokes a possible era or time from a dim memory - a Galdus sword, Victorian Novel, Laser Pistol etc. This begins to flesh out where they are from, and then secondary options define who they were and what led them into the caverns.

I’m also debating whether to have specific and descriptive defined times for the player to arrive from, or alternatively some more vague era. So in one way the player might have come from the battlefield of Hastings in 1066 (either as a soldier or maiden) or in the second case be definied as medieval but from when and where becomes a little more secondary. So I’d like to know what people prefer. Once it’s complete I’ll likely upload the character creation as a demo so people can see the writing style and formatting and let me know what they like and don’t.

Anyway, that’s what I have in mind so far, so give your thoughts if possible and I’ll be commencing the writing from next month, with any luck. :slight_smile:

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Clearly type over era for me. Because i only role play with a determined type of character basically a charm full character like a rogue bard of politician. Nothing more.

Era is totally secondary if story is good: i could be a smuggler han solo, a Roman aristocrat, a casanova kirk or a modern pop singer who like poison their fans…
Always i could be chaotic evil and charismatic i could love any story with any background.

I am inclined to agree with @MaraJade on this, I’d find it hard to play a game where I don’t really understand who my character is.

The idea in itself sounds promising I must say.

Thanks for the suggestions so far, Mara and Danny, I’ll likely be examining other games and how they tackle character creation before coming to a decision on how mine will work, but character types will be important in all cases, it simply whether I opt for localised times or be more generalised with eras. I suspect how I finalise the stats will have a big influence too.

I think to have whatever timeline the main character came from as descriptive instead of typical would actually be more interesting- the reaction somebody would have after popping up somewhere different while in the middle of a historical event could have a great potential of being written beautifully. Also they could ask someone from the future or something how that turned out.
“Strange female with brightly colored trousers, after covering thy elbows answer me the question of whom won the battle which took place in Hastings?” :stuck_out_tongue:

@Sticky Thanks for your input! I do admit it would be fun to write things that way. Your idea of a ‘strange female with brightly coloured trousers’ might have inspired me with an NPC, as it happens.

As far as historical times go it’s very easy to focus on European or American history, but I’ll be attempting to give Asian, African and Russian history a good breth too, if not in your own character then the people you can encounter. One unusual aspect of the Caverns incidently is that everyone is able to understand each other, though there may be some other sorts of barriers.

Right now, whilst the precise origin times have yet to be determined (and I’ll likely keep those secret until the first demo is released) I have an idea of about 6 to 10 possible eras to opt from. Assuming 8 you’re looking at five historical times, the present and then two future ones, likely a Utopia and Dystopia situation. And there’ll be character types in each one.

I want to be a Dino riding spartan woo :smiley:

@Kronos I can answer half your request and say there will definitely be Dinosaurs.

In the process of undergoing background and reading, I was just wondering if people are happy for there to not be an option to be from the present day? I’m thinking that you’ll be able to originate from one of eight possible time periods, likely specific moments of the past and future, six historical and two futuristic. There’ll be characters and things from times outside this of course which you’ll encounter in the Caverns.

Once your time is established I was thinking that you’ll pick your gender and previous occupation (from between 3 to 4 which affect your stats), and I’m wondering if these two might not end up combined. Oh and some past issue in your native time which ties to your presence in the Caverns. So any thoughts on that would be nice.

One other thing I have in mind is using History as a Stat. Clearly due to the player possibly coming from a certain time is likely to affect their awareness of the things they see. I don’t want to punish a player who picks, say, a Roman Soldier for a PC which means they have no idea what that shiny object firing metals as swift as Mercury from that gritty bearded man in the odd clothing. Nor do I want to ensure that a well read lady of the 51st Century can lord it over the ‘primitives’ with her readings and ray-gun. So I want to give players the opportunity to balance that out, as well as learn of the things around them. Any suggestions on how to tackle this issue would be helpful.

Well i don’t care don’t being from now. Maybe you could make that cavern leave through dimension too so maybe the Rome you visit is different from our Rome. Or you could just forget great part of history your memory fade inside.

@Marajade Well since there will be a key NPC who acts as a sort of overseer to the place, I could always have him give your character the awareness of who people are and what they can do, together with understanding languages (given that even a older version of English might be hard to grasp to some people).

Anyway, this is what I have in mind for the Character Creation Demo atm:

  • Eight Locations/times for your character to come from, six historical and two futuristic. I’ve got two historic moments sorted for definitive in my head, the others are a tad more vague. Your time should affect play somewhat, but I have yet to fully determine how yet.
  • Four character types in each location, which affects your starting stats. Debating whether these will be fixed gender wise for the sake of historical accuracy or not. If they are there should be two male, two female per place. Opinions would help. (EDIT: As a compromise I might have two of the four options per era be suitable to either gender, with a male only and female only option as well.)
  • Aside from some other possible stat options, you’ll encounter a friend in a similar boat to you early on, which you’ll be able to choose from one of three characters. The friend will be like in Choice of Zombies where what you lack in skills can be rebalanced via their additions. Friend may or may not be a romance option, I have yet to decide how romance will work in the game and whether your native time and character affects the ways people think of you.
  • In the main/full game there should be three different groups - one anxious to find the means to escape the Caverns and return home to their own times, one who feel that nothing better awaits them there and intend to remain, survive and thrive, and a third who seek the means to controlling the Caverns’ power and dominate other times and places through it. In theory the choices you make will point you in league in one or more of the groups and against others, depending on what you want to do.

So that’s what I have so far.

seem could i hope a charm bard style could be a option or a charming lawyer… The idea look cool. I hope joining the group to control the cavern. Mara the overseer. like the fallout 3 overseer?

Quick update and request here… I’ve had an idea with romances of letting you romance your initial friend if you like (as previously mentioned you can choose from 3 near the start) but also have 3 other romance characters. I don’t think romance will be a huge thing but I’ll let it be part of the story nevertheless. But the idea is that there’ll be three women and three guys, with probably a man and woman who can only be romanced by the opposite sex and the rest are open. So any opinions on that, as well as the previously mentioned gender of character thing mentioned in my last post would be a great help to me.

About gender fixed jobs if its for historical accuracy and not “women can’t do that this are only for men” Its ok i could understand it.

About romances i don’t like when romance is almost forced in first page like "See this is for you chose you want marry a or b? ’

Many times authors don’t put more than name? O_o. So i have romance a or b? without know their personality to choose. Its annoying, please let me some pages to know them and let me choose then. Also if a choose romance someone don’t force me to be loyal,lol. I love could flirt and cheat and maybe being caught.

The romance i love the not everyone is bisex. But ze do it and i love the romances in that game. Love is complicated

Yeah it would be the historical accuracy thing, I mean to my knowledge there were no ladies in the Roman Legions. I think the idea will be to pick types of people who suit the gender if there is one and make sure there’s a good number of interesting female options.

I love ZE too, I like the fact that Heather and Mindy are both interesting characters regardless of who if if you’re romanacing them (haven’t played a female character yet to try Delvin or Ben yet). So I suspect I’ll take a touch of inspiration there. And I would like to develop the characters with the MC before you can decide who (if any) you flirt or romance. Ultimately not everyone in the world is bisexual, so it makes sense to have the same happen in game - there be some mix of all.

I know that, but I nearly always play hetrosexual characters in games, and since the majority characters in stuff like Mass Effect are hetro or bi it’s entirely possible for me to see most relationships the way I prefer.

Devlin and tom are bi you could romance then like boy if you don’t romance the girls.

Ah i play differently each time . Usually Im a girl and romance in function of character personality than sex. For instance i never romance Ashley or Jacob because i hate them. And i love romance tali like girl but nope, bioware not let me even if tali still flirting with me and they have dialogue recorded .because ea says no.

Oh I much prefer Fem Shep over Male Shep, Jennifer Hale is so much better a voice actor than Mark Meer is for me. Surprised you don’t like Ash though, I think she’s cool. Jacob and Karridan are rather dull fellows, so Garrus is my preferred pairing with Fem Shep. I think when I finally play Male Shep it’ll be tough to pick between Ash, Miranda and Tali, they’re all such lovely ladies. :wink:

Jennifer Hale is my idol one of my game girl names is Jennifer Hale. Garrus is cool but so
ugly . I usually romance kaiden he is hot .Also i romance Morrinth once best romance ever.