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  1. oddsea
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    oddsea New Member

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    Adventure game developer looking for plot ideas

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by oddsea, Mar 19, 2009.

    Hi, I'm a developer for Odd Sea Games, and I'm working on a game that will be loosely based upon the Odyssey. The game will be early 90's style adventure, similar to King's Quest or Monkey Island.

    I've begun work on the plot, and at this point, I'm sort of stuck.

    Here's what I've got so far:

    It's around 700BC. The protagonist is Izzy, a man from a town called Iffica. He's been away at war now with Troy for 10 years, and he's hoping his girlfriend Penny hasn't given up and moved on to another guy.

    The game begins with a shipwreck that leaves Izzy shipless and crewless, floating on the debris in the middle of the ocean.

    He manages to make his way to an island, where he is taken hostage by Calypso. She takes him to her plot of land, which is surrounded by a moat, and the only way off is by boat. The ferryman isn't about to help Izzy escape, so Izzy wanders around and shouts to a man on the other side of the moat who is a ship builder. This man, named Herman, offers to build a ship for Izzy to get home, although he won't help escape the moated land.

    Izzy rounds up some wood and floats it across the moat for Herman to work with (since there are not enough trees on his side to build the ship), and Herman builds the ship. Rudely, Herman announces that if Izzy cannot board the ship and leave the harbor immediately, he will have to auction the ship in the next few hours. Izzy explains this will be impossible, and the ship goes up for auction. Herman then sends his business card in a bottle across the moat.

    Izzy takes out the business card, writes "SOS", and throws the bottle in another part of the moat. Later, a rescue party arrives...and apparently, this is a regular job for them...they charge a small fee for their rescues as well. Izzy offers them some valuables he stole from Calypso's house, and he is taken to the other side.

    Once on the other side of the moat, Izzy must find the auction (and produce some money for buying his ship).

    Anyone have ideas for what should happen next?
     
  2. Tall and Weird
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    Tall and Weird New Member

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    Izzy could mug the ferryman for all his silver.

    Hopefully Izzy took note of the information on Herman's business card or the rescuers return the card. Business cards always hold information regarding how to contact the person handing them out. Maybe there is some cryptic clue on the card that will help Izzy track down the shipwright.

    Herman may have sailed somewhere else and have also been captured by Calypso. She may decide to put him on the same island as Izzy once inhabited. At which point, she will discover that he is missing and start searching for him. Izzy probably won't know this and will need to be prepared (in some manner) to face her. A question that pops into mind would be that if she has captured Herman what did she do with his ship?

    Once the ship is found Izzy will need crew and they will most likely each have tasks that will need to be done before (or during) the voyage.

    Sea voyages without a map can be extremely hazardous. Izzy will need a map (or a navigator) or end up worse off than before.

    Pirates!

    How's that?
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You are probably taking the wrong approach. Instead of adding one event after another, hoping it will lead somewhere interesting, start with need and motivation.

    I'm not looking for you to answer these questions for us - it;s more important that you answer them for yourself:

    What is the overall crisis of the game? What is the goal, what is the threat or main obstacle? This will define the game's main plot. You probably don;t want to expose this from the very beginning - discovering the threat can be a major part of the story.

    Why should the player care about the threat, enough to personally risk life and limb to thwart it?

    What is the players urgent need at the start of the game? This should drive most of the initial actions that will set him or her on the path to discovering and defeating the Big Threat.

    What major obstacles stand between the player and the goal? Consider problems that require tools and/or knowledge gained in earlier stages, particularly less-than-obvious requirements. Allow for multiple side paths to gather what is needed. Because this is not a linear story, allow for the player to undertake substories in different orders, for more interest.

    If you can get your hands on some old Infocom games, they are an excellent model for game story design. These were some of the best early computer games - text based, so they didn't depend on stunning graphics or finger dexterity challenges. They depended on logical puzzles instead. I particularly recommend Planetfall - it's written in a humorous tone, but the threat is logically developed, and the rising tension is very well pressented/
     
  4. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Also, I would check any game made by Bioware, Knights of the Olf Republic, Mass Effect, for game plot ideas.
     
  5. Lygo
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    Lygo New Member

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    When you get to the point of deciding things like character and personality, will you be taking a serious or comedic approach? I always like to think that if you figure out the personality of your character, then he or she will actually be able to tell you what should happen next. If you figure out who this Izzy guy is, what he's like, how he copes with situations etc, then pretty soon, his next steps will become pretty apparent all by himself and you can, if needs be, loosely fit the story of the Odyssey around them.

    That'd be my approach, anyway.

    In addition to those, I'd also suggest you track down Beneath A Steel Sky (Available legally, for free), I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream and the Myst series. Although you're more than likely to have come across some (probably ALL) of these, being an Adventure game maker yourself, I'd personally say they handle the art of storytelling in the genre better than anything else, with the possible exception of Broken Sword.
     

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