Trying to pin down an idea


#1

Hi guys, first of all I’d just like to say that I’ve lurked up and down this forum for a while and I really like the community that’s sprung up around these games (That sounded less creepy before I typed it out…).

I’ve been looking over the discussions here and have been trying to think of games to write myself. I started my first project a few months back, and now it’s degenerated into a bloated morass of unresolved plotlines and shaky programming that I’ve elected to stop working on for now as the only way I could salvage it would be to break it off into several different stories (And who has the time for that, anyways?)

My own deep personal failings aside, I was wondering if I could get your collective opinions on a few new topics, so I can actually get down to writing them. My problem is that I lack focus, storylines spiralling out of my control until I have 400 notepad documents crammed into a small space. To that end I’ve decided to focus on a single set of circumstances. My ideas are as follows:

A science-fiction adventure set on an interplanetary cruise ship, which upon interaction with an anomalous macguffin is catapulted to the other end of the universe and all but a handful of people are put into comas. You play as one of those left conscious after the event as the ship moves towards whatever has set these events in motion.

Pros:
Based on Homer’s Odyssey, possibly the most universal story ever written.
Opportunity to show just how strange and wonderful science fiction can be as a genre.
The central conflicts with be not just with the strange task of getting home, but with dealing with your fellow survivors. Romance? Mutiny? Haddocks?! You just don’t know!

Cons:
Sci-fi has been done quite extensively. Its my genre of choice but I can’t help but note that anything I write will be held up to the infinitely better ‘Apex Patrol’.

My second idea was to make my own version of the Frankenstein’s Monster story, in which you play an ambitious young scientist who becomes obsessed with ending death. It follows your early life and deals with the reasons for your obsession as well as your career and the fellow thinkers you will meet and be influenced by.

Pros:
Planning to set this in the opening years of the 20th century (Far later than Mary Shelley’s version) will allow for some interesting historical characters and events to unfold.
Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla will be involved somehow. That is exciting for anyone who likes science.
Put a new twist on the role of the monster, do you accept it and become its guardian and protector? Or reject it and live in fear of its wrath just as the original Doctor did?

Cons:
May be more difficult to write convincingly, as period drama mixed with Science! is a finicky style to work with.
It would be more difficult to place the freedom of gender and romantic liberty that I believe is essential to the ‘Choose’ part of a choose your own adventure. Having a vibrant young lesbian shaking the foundations of the scientific community might be a little hard to make plausible.

TL;DR: Most of you are smarter than me, therefore please give unto me your advice.


#2

Yeah, I look back on the first idea and it doesn’t really get explained all that well… I suppose the best way to explain it is… Sh*t… Did you ever watch Ulysses 31?


#3

Idea one reminds me of a film called Pandorum, can’t say much else about it right now, there’s not a huge amount to go on bar space and Homer o.O

2? Do that one but make the player the monster =D


#4

Can’t say I have, sorry.
I do think - unless you’ve got a truly epic idea behind that - you should do the second idea, it’s a lot more unique… And as such it’ll probably get more attention and be easier to develop due to higher levels of feedback.


#5

Go scfi, I can’t get enough well writen scfi. Sure there’s a lot out there but most of it is a waste of good paper.lol


#6

Hooray! My first conflicting opinions! I shall cherish these as I cherish the first fifth of scotch before sunrise.


#7

Lol I really hope you do put something together I like your sense of humor.


#8

I think I should explain the science fiction one better, as I like the idea but haven’t explained it.

I’d like to write a story about exploring the truly unknown, more along the lines of Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris. In that book the humans encounter something so truly alien that they have nothing to compare it to.

In my story, the human ship is abducted and whisked away by a similarly alien being, which for reasons unknown to you places the rest of the crew into a kind of stasis. For example the crew may be frozen, leaving the Captain alive. How then does he maintain his authority amongst the four or so others? What of the rich tourist having to pal along with the waitress and the engineer? The five protagonists must learn to work together just to keep the ship functioning and themselves alive.

The second priority is to find a way home, they are trapped in a portion of space where things are strange and unnatural. Planet sized statues of human beings rendered in perfect white marble, suns that change colour and size, monuments of unknown beings that are older than human history. And above all of it a Mad Mind who has taken an interest in your ship as a new toy in its collection.

The crew must come together and find a way to determine the being’s intentions, and to find a way back home.

That’s a slightly better synopsis… I think.


#9

Now you have me drooling at the mouth, sorry did’nt mean to make your comment wet. Yes this sounds like something I would read.


#10

Well Irish, we Englishmen may have contributed nothing to this world but pain, misery and empire, but at least we can atone for our crimes with the healing power of laughter.

(P.S We’re sorry for trying to get China addicted to opium, our bad…)


#11

To have something ‘hub-based’ - Where you’re constantly on the ship and doing small branches/vignettes/scenes (or missions, if you will) like investigating a moaning sound coming from a derelict part of the ship or trying to fix an engine or find a missing member of your party, or get the power back on; make me think a suspense/horror/thriller (which I’ve yet to see a good one of in C/S) mixed in with all your ideas would be pretty darn sweet.


#12

I agree. That would be pretty sweet. All I have to do is stop programming like a handicapped child and we’ll get there. Just you wait and see.


#13

I quite like idea 2, it’s fairly unique, and as you’ve said, the Odyssey has been done to death.


#14

Number 1 sounds really interesting to me, but I really like Sci Fi. Would one of the goals be trying to save the others on the ship because at first you said “Coma” but then you said “frozen”, and the captain left “alive”. It’d be cool if you could find a way to do that. Five characters seems like kind of a small number though. At least I think it’d make things more interesting with a few more. Who would the player be in relation to the NPCs?


#15

I was thinking that there would be a choice of who you play, perhaps having a player who works as a member of the crew, a passenger, and someone who works as an engineer or something below decks.

To answer the question of the greater crew, I believe that they would indeed remain alive, but placed into a state of unconsciousness that cannot be altered by any medical technology onboard.

Saving the crew will be one of your missions, provided you can get the others to agree that this would be a priority.

The ideal ending would have the ship returned to the Solar System, its crew sluggishly coming to and not having any idea what has happened. Only you and your fellow survivors know anything about what has happened, as no time appears to have passed when you return.

There are significantly… Different endings for those who take another path.

As for the small number of NPCs, I think it might be better that way, a similar experience to a horror/survival game where you tell a smaller number of stories and create a more close-knit community (If they like you enough).


#16

Well yeah, I’m just thinking something like 7 might be more interesting than 5, add some more options and stuff. But I guess that does add two fifths more story you need to write and code… Which is a bigger deal than it sounds.


#17

Perhaps a plant type animal that attacks the crew. It feeds on their neural pathways so would want to keep them alive. The few of the crew have desylia, the creatures can not feed on their neural pathway. They starve to death freeing a selcet few of the crew. They awaken to find they are far far from home. Just a stray thought I had.


#18

Consider your ideas stolen and pushed into the creative blender.


#19

Happy to leave my plot bunny in your hands.


#20

Puts a bit of a Red Dwarf spin on it, when you replay it from that angle.