Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Story

This idea and discussion topic was sparked by the interview I posted, more specifically what Scott Jennings said about having a story that millions of people can participate in simultaneously. Also there's a part where he talks about why fantasy is mostly used a genre, why sci-fi is a risk, and about having to tell your story if you try and create your own.

It got me to thinking, if you wanted to have a different world, would you have to write a hit book (or books) in order for it to have as big a following as you'd like? Would you announce the game first and then release the books for the fanboys and anyone remotely interested? More importantly, would knowing a game dev wrote the whole story before making the game excite you a bit? Would you be more interested at all or would you think, great, a writer is going to try and make a game, pfft.

Basically I think most of us would like to see a split from the fantasy genre, we're just tired of it for the most part. A lot of us want a cyberpunk/steampunk/sci-fi-punk(esque LAWL) type of genre. As we know most games are based on stories that have already been written, they almost have to be in order to be successful.

So do you pick an old book you enjoyed to base your game around? Well I think you could, but if you're dedicated, inspired, and have seen plenty of movies/read a few good books you could probably create a small world/era of your own.

My idea is that you take a story and break it down into individual roles. You really need a good vision of your world and how it functions in order to accomplish this. You basically want a few hundred individual roles (considering you have more than one faction some roles could apply to multiple factions) and with these roles you build quests around them. When you create a character you are randomly assigned a role, whether the role is extremely heroic or slightly mundane won't be obvious to you. The quests available to you are based on this role, some will be extremely important to the outcome of the story, which is decided by the players.

Say someone makes a character, this character is designated a heroic role, however he quits after a week of playing. The hero failed to arise in this story for this faction. Now say that one of his higher level quests was to bomb some dam which would cause a flood of the enemy factions shield generators power supply (rofl seriously), when the final showdown, the climax, takes place; that team's shields for that certain sector will be up.

You really have to be able to turn a story into a choose your own adventure on a massive scale. It's easier to have a small number of crucial roles, a medium amount of important roles, a large amount of minor roles. There has to be recognition of your acts, because I know I want to be known in-game for doing something.

This game would probably be similar to ATITD in terms of restarting. Your account profile on the community website could show all the roles you've been and how much you've contributed to whichever factions you've played. I can only see problems arising when too many heroic roles are abandoned, but I can solve that. Shining characters with minor roles can be approached by a G-Man (Half-Life) type figure who requests their service, if they accept, role change.

If the game were to gain a following then you could also turn each story into a book and sell it on your website as well, kekeke (unless of course you want to give it to the players).

So what do you think? Is it too impossible? Can things heavier than air not fly? Is the Earth flat?

Would you be interested in trying something like this?

Do you have any other ideas to creating a story that millions of people can participate in simultaneously?

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