So as I start to relax after Nano 2017 before I start up again on my CYOA project again in Jan I’m toying with trying to write a choice script game again, and with my two main plot ideas probably too complex and maybe multi-game’y for a first run, I’m going back in my mind to some easier one-shot alternatives. There was this WW2 Paris Resistance game idea I had a while ago, but I also thought of two more possibilities in the same era. So I figure I’d throw them out there and see what people think.
WW2 Paris Resistance idea, players as a secret Resistance member from Capture of Paris by the Nazis in May/June 1940 to Liberation in August 1944, Male or Female. I have these ideas about there being a mechanic in the game where there’s a traitor in your group and the game randomly selects who it is. Also a British character who changes completely depending on the gender you prefer for possible RO - downed RAF Airman Pilot or Female OSS Operative. And maybe a sympathetic German RO (not a Nazi) if I could pull that one off. But missions with various outcomes, stats to determine what kind of Resistance fighter you are and stuff in-between.
WW2 POW Camp idea, play as a captured Allied soldier in a German POW Camp - could be British (English/Scottish/Welsh/Irish), American, French, Canadian, Polish, Russian, maybe some Commonwealth types? Male or Female (latter probably in disguise unless Russian unless I make it AU with all gender armies or go for the Broadsides method?). Not certain if use real POW Camp or imaginary one. Try to escape, lots of different methods, trust your fellow prisoners or go solo escape, get involved in camp life. Not sure if RO a thing yet.
I also have a Battle of Britain Air Pilot idea but it’s a tad sketchy at the moment. Just curious which one people would play more or might have more weight?
I like this one. Plotting all sorts of crazy escape plans will be fun, but is our character there envisioned as an officer (who usually do the plotting) or an enlisted soldier who even in the camps still mostly just obeyed orders?
I always like air force stories. And planes and space or alternate history/fantasy airships.
Thanks, I think most people love films like The Great Escape and the premise of POW camps where you can have such a mixture of characters is interesting, maybe with different groups all having their different schemes and uncertain how much to share with their fellows for numerous reasons. I suppose the main issue would be determining how best to program the possible escape attempt options and their chance of success. Not sure about the Officer or Soldier thing but that’s a good point, maybe it would be down to stats if you’re an officer (where you are better in some aspects than others). I’d want the PC’s nationality to mean something too. Would also need to decide how to approach the female character question, which was why I loved the Resistance idea as having a bad ass female Parsian fighter for a POV would be easier, maybe.
Oh thanks! I think it’s always important to remember that women helped win WW2 as much as the boys did - whether that was on the battlegrounds or as support - and I would definitely want to have readers have the choice to be female. I can’t deny that Haley Atwell would be a huge inspiration for the SOE/OSS female character in the WW2 Paris game.
This is possibly just my opinion but I feel like the German occupation of France has been overused to the point of saturation
Germany definitely occupied a lot more than France or if France is a must then it is a pretty big country and Paris was not that significant regarding WW2
But if we can look past France, considering they literally gave up after one week, places such as Poland or the Baltics would present a much more unique experience
But first and foremost, I’m a fan of good content so if the story is well-written and the game developed fully, I won’t have any criticism against the French setting
Well I considered Paris and France for the first game because the French Resistance have become so iconic, and as Paris is the Capital with lots of places to hide or camp out it seemed like the ideal choice. As for France giving up that was more because they underestimated the sort of ‘lightning war’ which Hitler and his Nazi forces used to steam through French lines at the onset of the conflict, so I wouldn’t consider them weak or inept.
That said I think the POW camp idea is becoming more appealing as it would probably allow for a greater range of characters and material. Might be the case I take elements from the Resistance idea and use it in the POW idea instead.
I think your ideas are really interesting! I personally think that we could get more writing on the French Resistance. If you go with that one, though, I think that the traitor should be specific, not randomly selected. That way, you can write stronger characters and it wouldn’t risk weakening one’s motives. Why not make one character a traitor, who has the potential to “flip” other members of the group, if you are not careful?
As for the WW2 POW Camp one, I like it too! I don’t think it should be possible to play as a woman in disguise, though. It would stretch my line of suspension too thin due to the way that prisoners were often violated, so I have trouble believing that no one would notice. And the topic is such a serious and heavy one that I feel it would be important to make sure to handle the subject as subtly and carefully as you can. If you still want to write the game as having gender choice, you could make the protagonist a captured spy instead of a soldier. I would also recommend using an imaginary camp, so you could have more writing freedom. And you shouldn’t worry about including an RO, if anything you could include a choice for the protagonist to specify that they have loved ones back home that they want to see again.
Could be just flirting, though - not the time and place for more, but it can help make the situation a bit more tolerable.
Aaaand having thought about it, personally I’d love to see French Resistance - never played one of those here, and that also allows women to actually take on fighting roles (although they specialised more in sabotage and such, as they were up against an army).
That would also more readily allow for RO. O la la!
I hadn’t heard of that film until now, will try and give it a watch then! Likely if I go with the POW Camp idea I will be re-watching Great Escape among other things.
‘Good… Luck.’ ‘Thanks!’ But yeah, WW2 games are interesting and I want to see more of them, so I would be happy to jump on that motor bike and cross that metal fence of inspiration… ok, using too many Great Escape puns now.
I think the Resistance game would likely mention Vichy France and have characters with German sympathies, but I’m not sure what else.
Spies like SOE or OSS are possible for both gender in the POW game, depends whether I’d opt for historical realism or have a WW2 where all Allied countries have both genders enlisted in various roles. The concept is tempting.
I am quite taken with both ideas currently… it might be I could use the premise as a series like the Model Citizens games and have a series of one-shots around either WW2 set stuff or wider conflicts. The reason I have toyed with a mechanic to randomly select a traitor in your Resistance group is that it allows for greater replay-ability, since a player is going to know the second time not to trust that character, even though their hero/heroine doesn’t! But as you say it would mean having to come up with motives for numerous characters! I like the flipping mechanic you suggest though! I’ll have to think it over.
I’m probably going to forget the ‘in disguise’ idea with female characters after some thought, especially in regards to what you say since I would in no way want to even really suggest the idea of guards or fellow POW’s violating or harming a female character very violently or sexually, plus one has to think of medical checks by nurses in camps. I’m thinking that the player could have a number of backgrounds including soldier, spy, air pilot, naval etc. Imaginary camp is definitely the one I will do, tempting as it would be to have Colditz or one of the Stalag Lufts. I think the idea of having the option of a loved one back home (with some additional epilogue material perhaps) is possible.
I will have to think about RO’s with the POW idea since I guess as you say it is easier in the French Resistance game. I have some possible character templates in mind, both French and foreign. And like you say a female character in the French Resistance could be bad ass in her own way, even leading the group. So it’s definitely possible!
Thanks for all the great ideas so far guys, you’ve given me a lot to think about.
A request fro Italy over France: One advantage a shoice-of-games-WW2 Italy game has over resistance-in-France is that you might get to meat-hook Mussolini at the end which I think makes for a good climax.
Perhaps a tad grim but compared to many theaters (Poland for example), Italy’s end was cheery.
That and my soft-spot for Catch-22 type dilemmas of the Italian campaign.
So I really like both ideas, but I think that the Resistance one is my favorite. The Prison camp sounds like fun, but I would rather run around Paris blowing up cars, meeting with sympathizers, and leading shootouts than trying to escape a death camp in the middle of Germany. Personal opinion tho.
Also just for an PSA, the USSR actually did have female snipers, which actually were the best snipers in the Allies during WWII, and partisans, so you could use that to explain for the Soviets. The British and American forces however, you’d have to use an Special Intelligence background. Unless you used the nurse or partisan background, which wouldn’t make much sense. I also played Broadsides and while I enjoyed it, it felt like cutting one gender or the other out was an easy way to keep the writing down, which I totally get as a fellow writer, btw.
In short, I would really like to see this idea happen! I love WWII history and having a CoG about it would be absolutely amazing! I’m going to be watching this to see what occurs!
French resistance will forever make me think of this:
So unless your tone is comedy and my mc can be Rene’s gay little cousin in another non-descript French town, I vote against it.
More seriously, like other posters said, French resistance has been done to death already, Dutch resistance seems to be a close second (though maybe that’s my biased perception and I wouldn’t like to see that either), maybe Norway or something, or the anti-Nazi resistance in Italy.