What if your imaginary friend was real?


#1

What if those imaginary creatures or friends you played with talked to were real?!
What if they like you grew up?
What if they were angry you forgot about them, ignored them couldn’t see them anymore?
What if one day it came back?
What could it do?

that’s the idea that I’ve been rattling with while fighting my way through figuring out how to code…or rather studying everything around here to figure out. (TOTAL noob) apologies. It is quite an interesting learning curve, and looking to be a fun but difficult challenge. BUT who doesn’t like those from time to time.

Anyway, the premise is pretty straight up, though I intend this to be something of a psychological experience, a kinda dark twisty trail. Do you think your losing your mind seeing things, hearing voices, the furniture moving.
I kinda like the idea of a being invisible to all but you wreaking havoc or perhaps trying to help you and the consequences involved. Friend or Fiend.
And how powerful could it be really?
Annoying at best? or Lethal?

I bring this all up for the simple sake of getting a second opinion on the idea, maybe some pointers with the possibilities, and advice in coding.The unlikely chance at a partnership/mentorship on my very first project.
Not to say I’m totally unskilled, I’m a solid writer, a better artist, and I make a mean fondue…no I don’t but that’s beside the point.

I’m open to any and all public opinion on this matter and am happy to be here.
thankyou for reading this far and good day/night to you kind people.

Much Luv
Snoe


My Imaginary friend WIP and playtest
#2

Sounds quite interesting, though if stuff started to move around, I would called an exorcist and not expect my best imaginary friend. would you only have one come back or could it be a collective?
would you have any control on your friend? (ether by your choice or as it pov?) or with it be just react to what you do?(e.g. think its a ghost, it acts like one, or accept it and it becomes your friend again).
is this going to be modern day setting? if so, would your location and local customs affect your thoughts on your friend?

sorry if odd questions :smiley: , anyway sounds like it could be a fun to read.


#3

Since you are new to coding. What I would recommend is:

Start with reading the intro stuff, and practice it a little. Then move on to the important and advanced. But, you can make an entire game off of what the intro teaches alone.

Keep in mind there is a choicescript wiki, and the forums are loaded with choicescript help. I would say once you start feeling comfortable with the language you can look up(it should be here in the forums) how to view the source code of choice games. Just to see how other games have taken choicescript and used it effectively. I wouldn’t recommend any plagiarizing, but you can get a good feel for how to branch choices into scenes and choices into stat bumps.

But, all the info you need is at your finger tips. If you can’t find it, search the forums. If not even there, create a topic. Or, if you are really lost and shy, you could message me. I am a coder at heart(not an expert at choicescript, but I can definitely point you to where your going if you give me your direction, and if I can’t I can sure as hell make enough noise so that we both find out)

As for the game idea:

I never really had an imaginary friend. But, if I did, it would have been an astronaut. I am guessing you are going to have to limit the choice of imaginary friend down to specific things. If only because they can be anything. Or, if you are really daring, you could make the imaginary friend something the player personally describes. But, that would be a lot harder to write specific things about. Like if I said mine was a slime, you couldn’t say it walked.

Unless you evolved your mythos to the point where all imaginary friends can be anything. But, when they grow up unloved they all turn into the same thing(Think gremlins, all start out as cute different looking mogwai, but then all turn into basically the same looking gremlin. So if I have an astronaut and the next person has a polar bear, it wouldn’t affect the writing of them grown up, because they would all become something else. Maybe they could all be called, “The Forgotten” when they hit that point.). Which might be the best approach. It would allow player creativity, while also giving you a defined ‘creature’ to write about. And allow for an ending where the player could reconnect with their past and turn it back into what they described it to be.

Of course your goal and direction might be vastly different. I just thought I would leave this here as I was passing by.


#4

I like the idea as well, it seems very original and would make a very good story if you put a really dark twist on the evil side of your imaginary friend.


#5

I think I replied to a similar thread and said that that sounds both spooky and awesome. That still applies here. One thing: Is this horror, or survival horror?

Horror is fun and I love the spooky stuff, but I’m not very good at the “survival” part and it ruins the immersion to have to start over and click through the same choices I already made to get to the part where I screwed up.

Anyway, I look forward to playing this.


#6

I really like this idea. Most people had an imaginary friend growing up after all.


#7

That’s a really original idea! I’m excited to see this happen :slight_smile: It would be crazy if somehow…maybe in like an alternate ending or something, or if you wanted to use it in the plot, if your imaginary friend somehow became real.


#8

I think you should read this comic, if you haven’t already.

It is easily worth $15, and if you don’t want to drop three fivers on a graphic novel from one of the most celebrated horror/fantasy writers alive, you can still probably find it at a library. It might be the second most famous implementation of the imaginary-friends-come-to-life idea that I can think of at the moment. A good horror story, beautifully written.

The most famous would probably be the movie Drop Dead Fred. Here is the trailer for Drop Dead Fred. An imaginary friend comes back, resents his real-life friend for abandoning him, and shows her what he is capable of.

And then there’s this comic, which is free, though it might not be safe for work. It too has a similar premise, but takes a different approach than the first comic. Very different.

Maybe try shooting for something a little more like A Game of You, and a little less like the other two examples. Supergirl and Drop Dead Fred are scary, but they aren’t scary the way the villain in A Game of You is scary. They are scary like an embarrassing piece of your childhood coming back to haunt you is scary—the awkward, uncomfortable, wearing-headphones-in-public-and-realizing-you-just-farted-very-loudly kind of scary.

The biggest difference is probably that the imaginary friends in A Game of You are actually Barbie’s friends. They aren’t threatening or embarrassing or unreasonably demanding. They are sad and afraid now that she has left them, and they are desperate for her to come back. When she does come back, it is because they helped her when she was a child, and now they need her help.

I like your premise, but focusing the story on antagonism between a grown-ass adult and an imaginary friend might not be the best way to go. It will be hard to pull off, at the very least. Just a thought.


#9

Oooo responses and questions!! I luv questions,n kinda helps refine my thought process, which tends to be ‘of the moment’ stuff, so essentially you all are helping me hammer down the finer point. Sooooo… thankya’s all!

Alighty, this is a glimpse into my thought process.

To answer Sinj’s comments in order their posed.
1.The ‘haunting’ feeling would be a natural response wouldn’t it:) To which I’d say these Imaginary…or rather Ginaries* Would have been around for quite some time, so collectively throughout history and supernatural events could be tied to these ‘beings’. Think about it, miracles, curses, fortune telling, luck, angels, demons, monsters, ghosts, and all kinds of unexplained phenomena could be explained by these ‘semi-corporeal beings’ and their hand in history.

2.the first kinda explains this, in a sense they’re not just returning as a collective but they’ve been there the whole time, but I’d like to say that only a few individuals can see them fewer interact. Consider it a sort of Gaurdian Angel/Deal with the Devil near death proposition that brings them into the light of day.

3.Control over them? How much control do you have over another person? but you certainly have an effect. Leading me to intimate that you and your friend are connected very deeply, so your relationship with and even your psychological state would have a effect on them and their abilities.
-intense emotions or being calm directly influencing the ‘force’ or ‘dexterity’ of their influence.
-trust or resentment relating to their willingness to be ‘helpful’ or ‘harmful’
-then a morality check of some kind ofcourse

4.As per how it acts, I’m thinking it’ll be a mischievous sort, playful at first looking to reunite try and explain things, because you can see and hear it but few others can. So if you were hostile toward it eventually it’ll be hostile towards you

5.Modern and maybe a little forward into the future, but not much, allows for technological liberties:)

6.I’m going to try and keep it simple so the location and customs wont matter so much in this instance.

Any and all help is welcome and appreciated, my strength’s lie particularly toward creative pursuits, and a bit of faux-science and logic. Coding seems to be ‘word-math’ for lack of a better explanation, and math is not my strongpoint, much stronger in theory aspects only reason I did well in physics. but I failed basic math…weird I know. I blame algebra.

Very true, there is ALOT of play here and the sheer volume of possibilities is almost scary in this regard. BUT for the sake of character I’m going with a sort of ‘mirrored’ resemblance. What I’m saying they’d be humanoid in adult form for several reasons, its more palatable for the human mind to absorb a familiar shape. And it being bound to you it would have a mild obsession in emulating your general shape and style with a little something extra to make it yours.
I lean toward subtly in this regard.

At first I’m thinking that they are…lets say ‘blurry’, the imagination of children and their open-mindedness allowing for any and all sorts of interpretations. as per your ‘forgotten’ Id say that being neglected would instill ‘decay’ of sorts a scale going from ghostly ethereal image-specter-corpse-bandaged-healthy-angelic/demi-god like beauty.or badassery! giggles

Precisely, could you imagine a psychotically obsessive and jealous Ex with the power to splatter someone and being invisible to boot. Because this other self feeds of emotion and will, the idea of ‘restraint’ would be a steep learning curve once unleashed.

I would categorize it as horror but there is a definite chance of it. I’m aiming toward a ‘relationship’ status. Your Ginary would keep you alive because you are its foodsource/provider, in terms of the darker side of the relationship the best comparisons I can make are the relationships of Batman&Joker. Joker doesn’t want to kill Batman does he, its much to fun. While Batman is in a constant struggle in trying to stop or at the very least limit the damage done by his opposite number.
So thriller and action would be the stronger related genre’s

The real spookyness comes when finally interacting with ‘other’ Lost and or Forgotten Ginaries. All the while striving toward a singular goal to achieve ofcourse.

Imagination is a very wonderful thing, and thankyou for your support.hug

I’m thinking something a little more dire but certainly multiple endings, but you’re aiming the right direction.

Thankyou for the comparisons, I honestly never new those stories existed, might be prudent to go over them.
Personally though, I was considering more a Condemnation/Redemption based storyline. Morality playing heavily on the result. The initial trigger being a sudden ‘need’ breathing life into the forgotten which in essense gives birth to a downward spiral of chaos and an attempt to correct the course before the seemingly inevitable KERSPLAAAT!

So in essense the imaginary friend is a real creature born of pure thought. I could go on for quite a bit on this subject. Ei) “that house is haunted, the whole thinks so!” = the house being haunted. Different type of Ginaries and people. I’ve got an interesting mythology in mind. I like world building a little too much:)

Thankyou all for the comments, its done alot to further my plans thus far. Now I’m off to chop away at code and see if I can put humpty dumpty here together.

Much Luv
Snoe


#10

@Snow, look, I’m paranoid enough as it is with out bringing up these swart of topics.

Still looks interesting


#11

have you done some reading on tulpas? i haven’t read through the entire thread thoroughly yet, but that’s immediately what i thought of when i read the premise.

also, i’m always happy to help with code, if you’re wanting any! c: the community itself is stellar at providing help and resources in general, of course.


#12

Why didn’t anyone mention the movie Fight Club? (Presumably because the rules specifically state one mustn’t talk about Fight Club.)

I think this is a great idea, because your treatment of the imaginary friend changes how they treat you (and therefore builds up a friendly/unfriendly stat over time). That makes a great story with meaningful decisions. I also feel that the friend is a very sympathetic and interesting villain… does their survival depend on you? Are you killing them by trying to stop thinking about them?

Etc.

Good luck!

PS My daughter’s main imaginary friend (she has literally dozens, including relatives, vehicles, and animals) has a name that is a corruption of her own, which is worth keeping in mind when you’re writing.
eg a boy called William might have a friend Billy. A girl Serena might have a friend Sarah, etc. I like the slightly eerie psychological implications that you’re fighting yourself.

The other main way kids name their friends is with things like “Buddy” which literally means “Friend”.


#13

I actually had quite a similair idea like this for about a year now


#14

giggles well apologies for the paranoia, no worries though I think you’re safe:)

Tulpas??? never heard of it.
To be perfectly honest I’ve only been on this site for under a week so there’ll be alot I don’t know. So please do enlighten me. I’m happy to learn everything I can.

Thankyou, that is kinda the cause and effect I was looking to employ. You are on the very same track as me. Though I think I’ll leave a bit more ambiguity to it, make the choices harder and all that. Nothing is black and white within the relationship :wink:

Really? I hope I’m not stepping on any toes with this :cold_sweat:


#15

@Snoe Oooh it would be really cool if your Imaginary friend could kill people to become more real, like they would take the souls of the people they kill so they can become more real. A little dark, yes but it would be really cool.


#16

How Can The Blood On My Hands Be Real If I’m Not Real? d:


#17

No no, of course not :blush:


#18

Some imaginary friends would have been happy, healthy people/monsters/etc. - the child’s friend who talked to them and played with them. Some would have been quite terrifying. The sharp-toothed monster who whispered condolences about revenge when a frightened child was crying themselves to sleep under the bed. The unseen companion of a childhood schizophrenic, who told them horrible things and urged them to do bad things. Can other people’s imaginary friends get out and interact with you as well? Are they ALL real?
Edit: Other friends may just be strange. I recently read a social work case study where a child’s best friend was the severed head of a man who had been dead 300 years, whom the child had befriended on a trip to the church where the actual head was displayed.

And how would even the most loving, protective imaginary friend react to their charge having grown up? Would they be over-defensive? Attack abusive partners? Abduct them to get them away from their stressful lives, so they could have adventures like they used to? (I imagine they would have a lot of power, though you could limit it to only being able to interact with their human - still frightening but not as widely dangerous.)

Or would they have matured similarly to their human friend? Would their life in their plane of existence have been happy and a learning experience, or have they been shut off from humans for some time? Has something happened since then to the friend, that has given them their own issues? In other words, could Jiminy Cricket ever have been a drug addict? That makes a huge difference between a symbolic fairy tale along the lines of The Uses of Enchantment, or a cynical, grounded one as in Fables.

Anything that brings up this many questions is a fantastic idea and I wish you well in writing it.


#19

So Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends but a lot darker? Sounds okay to me.


#20

Thank you all for the interest and feedback thus far it’s really helped refine certain ideas I’ve been toying with.

I am SO putting in a Sanity stat. Start at 100 and as/if it decreases the MC’S perception may become skewed…

And like @sashira said there are so many directions this can take. And yes I do intend on interactions between other ‘friends’.

BUT before I get ahead of myself and take on too much at once I’ve got to lay more ground work:)

MUCH luv
snoe