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  1. Pro Pro.
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    Pro Pro. New Member

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    Fairly new writer needing help with a sci-fi plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Pro Pro., Mar 9, 2011.

    Hi, I am new to writing and am writing a plot for a scifi videogame project. It is Rpg/Rts/Shmup. THis is an extremely early plot outline, but it has enough info to find plot holes and inconsistancies that can be fixed. I also need help with filling in the story between the plot twists, coming up with characters (ill post the current character ideas in another topic), and general critique. The style im going for is heroic/emotional (almost anime like) yet with a mature tone with all plot devices backed by current scientific theory. The game is to be 3 separate "chapters" with separate releases.


    Here is a short intro:

    In the year 2034, the first full-functioning inter-neural BIOS is created allowing reading/writing of data to and from the human brain. This invention leads to the discovery of hidden fuctions of the brain, once thought to be science fiction, allowing abilites such as esp, tele-kenesis, astral projection, pre-cognition, telepathy, ect. The exact moment of the first live test of a military weapon using a inter-neural processor with fuctioning "psychic drivers (driver as in the computer terminology)", unknown creatures suddenly "warp in" all over the globe and attack the people of earth without warning or an apparent motif.

    Gameplay starts in the year 2047, 8 years after the initial invasion and 30% the Earths population has been wiped out by the ongoing war. It is up to you to defend the Earth and solve the mystery of this menacing alien takeover......or is there actually something ELSE going on.....


    And here is what i have of the plot so far:

    The first war with the Plasm (the invading alien race, name tentative) that was started with the military weapon test lasted over a year, destroying 30% of the earth's population. The war abruptly ends for reasons yet unknown to the player and the Plasm suddenly vanish from Earth without a trace. Eight years later, the Plasm suddenly return and wage war versus the earth again.


    Start of story mode

    Story mode will be divided into 3 Chapters:
    Chapter 1: Saving earth from the Plasm invasion
    Chapter 2: Traveling to and invading the Plasm home planet
    Chapter 3: Returning to Earth to stop the world government from taking over the universe

    Chapter 1:

    You are a military hover-tank pilot tested to have an extremely high level of "Psy" (a term coined to measure how well the persons brain can use Psy Drivers), and is assigned to pilot the weapon deemed to be Earths last hope, the Psy-Crusher Mk. II. The Psy-Crusher is an extremely small/maneuverable tank so powerful, it is labeled a W.M.D. (weapon of mass destruction) class vehicle, a class only given to weapons so powerful, they can fight an entire large scale battle single-handedly. The game starts with you doing your very first VR training simulation using the Psy-Crusher's inter-neural computer. After a very brief time in VR, the military base suddenly comes under a full scale attack by the Plasm. You are forced to terminate VR and defend the base.

    Selectable stages 2-5<< Need help here

    Over the course of Playing through stages 2-5, the player must learn of some of the specific characteristics of the Plasm:
    The Plasm are a race of large single cell looking creatures that are strangely transparent, almost like ghosts (hence Plasm from the words "cytoplasm" and "protoplasm"). They seem to invade planets by "merging" with the inhabitant's technology, allowing them to fight using both the enemies' and their own abilities. They are determined to be far less intelligent than humans (are they even self aware?), yet posses extremely strong instincts and intuition, border-lining on ESP. The Plasm seem to not have a real invasion strategy and mostly just "appear" and attack places of either high population density, or areas of high Psy activity. They appear to be searching for something.
    And learn various tid bits abut the previous war and how the earth is now:
    Help Needed
    As well as various social side events:
    Help Needed


    Level 6:

    Level 6 will be driving out the Plasm from world government headquarters, which is attacked by a Psy-Crusher like alien vehicle near the end of the level as a end of chapter boss. The Psy-Crusher vs Psy-Crusher ends in a draw (the player still technically defeats it by reducing its hp to 0 while not dieing) as the Plasm suddenly vanish from Earth yet again

    The world government's explanation is that the Plasm are so dumb, that they don’t realize they are not strong enough to take over Earth and will never leave Earth alone until they are eradicated. The governments claims to have found device on the dark side of the moon that allows travel to and from the Plasm home system. The government announces plans for a large scale invasion of the Plasm home system. An army of 10,000,000 soldiers (including 1000 Psy-Crushers) is assembled to "eradicate the Plasm". Unknown to the average citizens of Earth (but just found out by the player), the Earth Government is actually giving up the soldiers and Psy-Crushers (along with a mysterious item not directly identified to the player) to the Plasm as a deal to end the war.

    End Chapter 1

    Chapter 2:

    The story starts off following the battalion (1 of 1000) that includes the player character. They are traveling through space at hyper speed through what appears to be a some kind of worm hole. This is one of the rear battalions and one of the last to reach the Plasm home system. All the members of the invasion army has been informed by the government that it is impossible to detect objects entering or leaving the wormhole from either end and this will be a surprise attack. The plan is to form a tight condensed formation and powering down all weapons right before exiting the wormhole in order to reduce the chances of detection while traveling outside the wormhole. The player character thinks this is preposterous and the battalion exits formation allowing high maneuverability with weapons on stand-by as per suggestion by the player. Upon exiting the wormhole you discover 70% of the invasion army are missing, and the remaining army is in a full scale battle with the Plasm. Not only did the Plasm know when the army would be exiting the wormhole, but are using intelligent formations and strategies to capture the Earth forces ships in huge "stasis bubbles" and dragging them back to a neighboring planet.

    Game-play Starts:

    You and your fellow officers form a plan to cut a path through the battle to a neighboring asteroid belt to escape.
    I need help with this, i smell "plot hole"...

    Selectable stages 2-5 << need help

    Over the course of completing stages 2-5 of chapter 2, the following needs to happen:

    The player character will learn that they were merely traded to the Plasm to end the war.
    The player learns that the Plasm need the Psy-Crushers as weapons to invade other planets, the Earthlings as slaves, and the mysterious item (which the player's battalion has possession of) is somehow extremely important to them.
    More characteristics of the Plasm:
    Though individually they are not intelligent, in large they groups can form an intelligent consciousness (as if they were individual nerve cells sending signals using telepathy) as long as they have a special kind of Plasm known as a "Neural Relay"(name tentative) nearby. Neural relays are always infant Plasm because they have the best abilities (remember, they are non intelligent individually, so cannon learn, but have inborn instincts and intuition that fades over time). A Plasm is considered a Neural Relay for around 20 years because they have extremely long lifespans and have very little natural causes of death. The Plasm have a strange reproduction ritual: they must engage in a high scale battle in a large group, with the surviving Plasm combining there genetic info to give birth to newborn Plasms (the more intense the battle the more born maybe?). So yah.... battle = sex for them.
    The player "learns" the mysterious package is a newborn Plasm

    Level 6:
    Spatial Psy scans have indicated an extremely high concentration of Psy activity in a particular area of the system and this is deemed to be the Plasm "Nursery". This also seems to be the only area with another working wormhole generator. The remaining Earth forces gather and invade.

    Game-Play

    After an intense battle (and fighting the alien Psy-Crusher agian), the remaining Earth forces are captured. The player character is isolated and brought to the "Thinking core" of the Plasm nursery. The core tells the player the Plasms in the mysterious package are a decoys and are not infant, but that the newborn was implanted inside his brain by the government as a "Psy Amplifier", but was put into a coma by the Earth Government so as to not be able act as a relay. The Plasm had been watching Earthlings for centuries because they are the only race the Plasm have found to have both individual intelligence, and Psy, and aggressive tendencies at the same time, but they made a mistake and were spotted before it was time to invade (around 5 years before the first computer). Still to valuable to destroy yet, they made a secret pact with the earth government (then, still a top secret organization) to develop a device that can amplify the psychic abilities of the Plasm and allow them to think individually within 100 years or they will perish. The first war started after the humans broke the contract and tried to use the device themselves as a weapon. They left after the Psy-Crusher + 1,000,000 citizens were given up to them. Unknown to them, the government had found a newborn Plasm in the aftermath of one of the battles on Earth and put it into a coma to capture and experiment on it. One of these experiments of which must have accidentally allowed it to send a distress call, which sparked the second war. After the explanation the Plasm attempt awaken the newborn Plasm inside the players head.......unknown that it has been programed with an "inter-neural virus" that makes it send a signal to activate the worm hole with the help of the Plasm inside the mysterious container, and program the wormhole to send the "Thinking Core" to Earth to be captured and implanted into soldiers to make more super weapons like the player character.(the Plasm learn this by looking at the newly liberated newborns past recorded stimuli and are telling this to the player character). The distress signal was a ploy to start the second war and get a way to the Plasm home system. With the 1000's of years worth of past data from stimuli, and abilities of the "Thinking Core" and the Plasm as a whole, combined with the individual intelligence and abilities of the human race, the Earth Government can claim the universe as its own. The wormhole is activated as per the governments plans and the thinking core suddenly vanishes (leaving everyone from Earth including the player because they were not actually standing among the mass of baby Plasm). Beginning to realize his newly awakening powers from the Plasm in his head now being fully awake the player tried to transport the remaining Earth forces back to earth himself but he discovers something is wrong on the way there.... they are not traveling nearly as fast because this is not a per-programmed function being executed, this is the players characters first time using this ability... it will take 3 years to reach Earth...

    End Chapter 2

    Chapter 3:

    The chapter opens with the remaining ~100,000 earthlings traveling through the wormhole with the end of the tunnel in sight. Even though the journey to them took a few days, everything on the outside of the wormhole has progressed by nearly 3 years (this has to do with relativity and the fact that they were traveling near the speed of light(which distorts time); even though a "wormhole" is technically supposed to shorten the distance between 2 points, he could not shorten it enough using his new powers, hence the journey taking several days as opposed to several minutes). Upon exiting the wormhole they all shout for joy as they see the bright shining blue crescent of the Earth. But their celebration is short lived as seconds later, 1000 upon thousands of Plasm appear surrounding their position. The government failed? The Plasm have taken over earth! But.. these Plasm look different.. the more technologically advanced mergings are a given, but their actual body even seems to be genetically altered... Immediately a deep, booming voice thunders through everyone’s heads, "YOUR PARTY IS UNIDENTIFIED, SUBMIT TO BE MIND PROBED IMMEDIATLY." The player character watches in horror as all the crew aboard his ship begin to drop to there knees and fall to the ground screaming, clawing at their heads. With a burst of emotion, the player character screams "STOP!!!(or something to that nature)", immediately generating a huge telepathic force field blocking the strange mental signal. "RESISTANCE DETECTED, YOU ARE GUILTY OF HIGH TREASON, YOU ARE SENTENCED TO IMMEDIATE DEATH".

    Game Play:

    The Plasm immediately attack. A tough battle commences versus faster, smarter more powerful army of Plasm, plus a huge warship near the end as a boss. The returning earthlings pull a victory in the end only due to the sudden awakening of a new, powerful move introduced to the player mid-level. Suddenly more Plasm appear, but this time there are over 10 times as many. At this moment the player character receives a telepathic message from a mysterious source telling him they can escape if both him and the player character concentrate on each other and open up a miniature wormhole (a technique only Plasm Relay can do without a device). With his only option being to trust the strangers voice, the player character, with the help of the stranger, teleport himself and the rest of the returning earthlings to the mysterious location. Upon arriving he is greeted by someone who claims to be an AWOL Psy Enhanced soldier with an implanted infant Plasm in his head like himself, and that their current location is the secret HQ of the resistance against the Earth Government.

    Stage Selection 2-5: << Need Help

    During stages 2-5 the following things need to happen:

    Various social events and interactions, including with old acquaintances that haven’t seen you in 3 years.
    Need Help

    Info on the background background of the world government and how it became corrupt:
    This can be worked out in more detail at a later time.

    Info on the current condition of the Earth and the harsh rules and laws everyone must live under.
    This will include things like mind control, the mind probes (painfully intrusive telepathic mind reading), the genetically altered Plasm slave army, who are all controlled via inter-neural computers with psy drivers, and the Plasm Relay enhanced soldiers that summon them.

    Learn of the governments plans (or more likely, im thinking now, an individual who as been using deception to rise through the ranks since the 2020's, with hints shown throughout the other chapters, and is now in charge): Conquer space and find a new planets (other than their war torn, resource depleted own) to live on that are habitable to humans and claim them as there own, even if they are already inhabited. (maybe they have even detected an inhabited planet to invade?).

    One or 2 boss fights vs some antagonistic characters that have been set up to probably happen since early in the game.

    Level 6:

    Level 6 will be an all out assault on main Government HQ where the "Thinking Core" is kept. It is surrounded by miles and miles of layers of telepathic force fields that prevent the use of miniature wormholes. After a long fierce battle involving some complex tactical plans and witty maneuvers the player character infiltrates the building holding the Plasm Thinking Core. If he gets rid the of core, the governments means of solar system-wide telepathy, mind probes, and wormhole travel will be lost. That and their main source of inter-galactic knowledge. As per ordered, 1000's of resistance personnel hold key locations that form a path within the force fields straight to the sun. The plan is to use special kinds of explosives to blow a temporary tunnel into the force field at the same time the player character attempts to reprogram the core to open a 1 way wormhole to the sun. At that moment he his stopped by the one behind all the plans and corruption, seen and identified as who he really is for the first time in the game (this needs to be someone familiar and trusted, but could realistically pull something like this off; perhaps the lead scientist behind the design of the psy crusher who helped the player character train in chapter 1, and unveiled it as a weapon at the start of the first war). After a heated philosophical argument on the nature of humanity and weather it is right to invade another species homes to survive and controlling citizens through force and other such they realize the only way to settle there differences is through a huge end of the game final Psy-Crusher vs Psy-Crusher battle :lol:.

    After the the player character claims victory in the duel, he tries to execute the plan, but as soon as the final force field opens (the one actually immediately surrounding the thinking core) the core sends out a piercing call that the player somehow recognizes.... a distress call! But who could it be calling? Seconds later the sky darkens, everyone looks outside to see that the entirety of space surrounding the earth and the moon have become billions and billions of Plasm and dozens of "thinking cores" (who said the Plasm only had ONE home system!). The thinking core floats into the sky and all the cores combine into one entity. "Now, finally after all these years and you earthlings' pitifully childish games, we finally have the means to build the technology to give us independent thought and universally unparalleled Psy abilities." the core says. "Your race of senselessly self destructive, insubordinate entities are no longer needed. We will use our combined power to teleport you into the black hole in the center of the galaxy."

    Final Stage:

    After a very short ascent into space fighting hordes of Plasm along the way, a long final boss battle vs the Super Thinking core ensues.

    At this point i am thinking of having multiple endings depending on game play, with the best being either the destruction of the Plasm, or the banishment of them to deep space to never return.

    There can be various things at the ending like getting married and having children and meeting other alien races and finding other inhabitable planets , rebuilding earth and a new government and such.

    But the main ending should be slightly open ended leaving room for possibly more episodes (maybe "there is a whole new frontier out there, and waiting for the next generation").

    Tell me what you think, try to find all the plot holes and things that don’t quite add up. Once that is done it can be detailed more with characters. (I already have several characters and character relationships in mind).
     
  2. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    This is a lot of material and should be in the review room.
     
  3. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    So this is a video game project, huh? YOu don't need to worry about plotholes as much since it's a video game. Your audience will be more concerned about the gameplay first. Story rates third or fourth on the list.

    They'll overlook the plot holes if the game is fun. And if the game isn't fun, they won't stick around for the story.
     
  4. Pro Pro.
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    Pro Pro. New Member

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    Sorry if it sounds rude, but isnt that kinda a half-***, lazy approach? I dont know about you, but if i am playing an rpg, and the story sucks, i cant continue. On top of that, i usually remember the story just as much as the game-play, more if the story is exceptional. Plus what is gunna drive the player to move forward during non action oriented game-play? I am holding game-play, story, and presentation on equal tiers for this project, so i would still very much like for critique and help on this plot.
     
  5. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    If this is your own pet project, then by all means, flesh out the story as much as you can. :) Kudos to you that you enjoy the story as much as all other parts of the game.

    If you were producing the game commercially, things would be different. I used to help produce and test video games. :D Developers are less worried about the story and more about time, gameplay, and graphics. Like I said, if the gameplay is good, it will keep the majority of players playing, even if the story and graphics aren't the best. If the gameplay is considered horrible, players very rarely stick around to learn the story. All the developers and publishers want is the least amount of effort that will bring in the most cash.

    Look at Metal Gear Solid 4 and Final Fantasy 13. A lot of people liked the gameplay, but disliked having to sit through so many story cutscenes (or interactive movies as some have put it). Or the first Devil May Cry game. The story made very little sense, but everyone loved it for the gameplay.

    The only series I can think of at the moment that kept people playing for story despite the gameplay is the Legacy of Kain series. That has been really popular because of its story and the quality of their voice actors. But the last two games in the series didn't sell well so now the fate of the franchise is up for question.
     
  6. Pro Pro.
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    Pro Pro. New Member

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    hmm, i actually enjoyed FF13, along with mot the others except 8,9, 10-2,11. From what i notice, for an rpg game, a bad story = instant bomb and bad reviews. Personally, i want the game to stick out for having an interesting coherent storyline.

    EDIT: from what i have remember reading, alot of people DISLIKED the gameplay in FF13 and also thought it was 2 linear and didn't develop on characters and emotion as much as previous games. The "interactive movies" they were referring to was the actual battle gameplay.
     
  7. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Ya, I think Ellipse is talking about the reality of videogame creation. I do think the industry is changing though. I'll give 3 examples: Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Red Dead Redemption.

    Storyline is important, but I don't know too many big name game companies that will even look at your story. Am I wrong about this?
     
  8. Pro Pro.
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    Pro Pro. New Member

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    in a story driven game, its impossible to play without looking at the story?

    I see what you mean though, trust me, the game play is explosively fun and intense, requiring cat the like reflexes of a shmup, and strategic RTS thinking at the same time. All while story events are happening around you in real time (or a short cutscenes interrupting set divisions within each stage). There is also plenty off "off stage" time to interact with npc's and the various characters and entities within the world the player character lives in.


    Hmm, so i guess i gotta write some reviews of my own to get reviewed? I dont know why a vet would want a review from a noob writer, but ok....
     
  9. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    What Im saying is that you might have a hard time finding a company that takes submissions.
     
  10. Pro Pro.
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    Pro Pro. New Member

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    ooook ok, misunderstanding, I have my own team for this project, i am also lead programmer.
     
  11. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yea, the genre the game fits into also effects how important the story is. Story will be more important in an RPG, where as in an FPS it's more about reflexes and killing faster.:)
     
  12. Pro Pro.
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    Pro Pro. New Member

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    yup, so do you have any suggestions on my writing? :)
     

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