1. DarfieldDudette
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    DarfieldDudette New Member

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    Fun Question (plus idea advice. please)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by DarfieldDudette, Sep 5, 2013.

    I'm not particularly a gamey person, but I do play a lot of Civilization on Mac. For anyone who doesn't know, basically you become an historically famous leader of an historically famous empire. You start with one settler and one warrior all alone on a tiny corner of the world. You have to explore the rest of the world, discover technologies, destroy barbarians, interact with other empires and city states (this includes trading, making friends, spying on and going to war with the other leaders) The ultimate goal is to lead your empire "to victory"

    And one day, suddenly, my stupid brain goes; "This would make a really good movie" (I'm a screenwriter) And the ideas been niggling away at me ever since. Picture this;Alice wakes up with no memories on the shores of a forest lake. She quickly discovers that there are several hundred people in the forest surrounding her, all of them resting as though they were asleep, but Alice can't seem to wake any of them. The first four to regain consciousness claim to have no memories either, but it comes evident that each one has been highly educated in one of four ways: Militarily, Economically, Scientifically, (can't think of a word for it) Foreign Relations (yes, I know it sounds cheesy). Over the next few days as people begin to wake and set up basic shelters to establish survival during the first, brutal months, Alice takes over as the leader, slowly an unknowingly building herself an empire. Finally, unable to face away from the truth any longer, Alice assumes full responsibility of the people she holds under protection as their queen. But their not alone on the forest lake, she is sharing this new world with three other fledgling empires and each of them poses a different threat to her fragile nation. Worse yet, it seems the only way to lead her people out of the dark and into a new era is for Alice to remember the past which seems to have been erased from her mind.

    ***
    Rough, to say the least, but you get the idea.

    Opinions? What does everyone else think? I know it's strange but I think it's cool and I'd love to see it on screen (someday), but I'd like some second thoughts.

    -Katie

    P.S. Fun question. Which computer or video game would you most like to turn into a script/novel?
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Several considerations to further the experiment.

    1. Why is Alice the queen? What does she bring to the table? Surely if the entire mission were about protecting people the millitary man would be in charge.
    2. Why are they in a forest? I know about forest survival but I live in the Rocky Mountains. One of the things you learn about living out here is just how quickly people can die of exposure in the woods.
    I think it's the start of a very good idea, maybe even something that wouldn't need a big budget or flashy special effects.

    Res P.S. Maybe games from 10 years ago needed a script, but now games tell complete and compelling stories, and they do it better and more immersivly then any movie or book can.
    This is a article about censorship, but it makes the point that (for the horror genre at least) games have far surpassed any other medium
    http://www.news.com.au/news/video-game-censorship-and-the-art-of-horror/story-fna7dq6e-1111117746862
     
  3. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    The quality of writing in games has increased dramatically in the last decade. Same can be said for the quality of the voice acting. Many games have gripping stories, or concepts that capture the imagination. It's no wonder that many fan-fiction writers choose to expand upon them. (Or in the case of Mass Effect, end up completely re-writing the ending.)

    I think your idea could be made to work but, as Jack says, you'll need to give the matter some thought. You don't want to draw criticisms by having things happen that stretch the ability to suspend disbelief too far, such as the last point he makes in No.1.

    I think if you're are going to expand upon this idea, believability is of the essence.
     
  4. DarfieldDudette
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    DarfieldDudette New Member

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    1. This is where playing with her memories becomes significant. Military dude knows how to run a military, Economic guy or girl knows what makes the average joe happy etc. etc. They're all smart but Alice is wise. She leads with her instinct which is good, though sometime naive which is why she has her "advisors" As the movie progresses we see bits and flashes of her memory, leading her to conclude that as modern civilization began to collapse she and three others were tested as the most likely four people in the world to restart civilization (that part needs a ton of work but that's the gist of it)

    2. As to the forest thing, there are several things going. a.) being in the forest raises the stakes of survival b.) it is also one of the last sheltered spots in the world that doesn't have some crumbling city on it, which is why the people running the operation stuck it there. And c.) forests are cool!

    Thanks for asking those questions, it made me think a little bit more :)
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe, but "Civilization" started out as a board game back in the 1970s, originally put out by Hartland Trefoil and later bought by Avalon Hill.
     
  6. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I just don't see them being able to rebuild civilization when everyone is worried about freezing at night. + the time an energy involved in clearing land to plant crops, + the time it would take to build even a small village without modern tools makes it a bad choice I think.

    Put another way, it takes 4 months to build a house with modern tools, like nail guns, and even nails, which they would not have. If you want to hardline the realism everyone is living in lean-tos for most of the book.

    Maybe they could be in a cleared village that has mysteriously already been built? Or (if civilization has collapsed entirely) the edges of a desert with scrap metal all around for building things.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. What matters is how you write it: the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's absolutely no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    And then Cogito showed up to ruin the fun.

    Pay him no mind! Keep running with it.
     
  9. criticalsexualmass
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    criticalsexualmass Active Member

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    It takes several months to build a MODERN home with modern tools. If i don't have a code man that needs to examine my wiring, my plumbing, and the spacing of my smoke detectors, if i'm not worried about when the slate tiles arrive, if the damned thing doesn't have to be 4000 square feet with three bathrooms and a hockey rink in the basement it can be different. I've built log sheds, log garages and log homes many times. You can have a roof on a 12X12 log shell in 2 days with just a few people and very basic tools.

    I've had the same idea. I was playing civilisation in 1991 on my roomate's computer, now I'm playing Civ V on my laptop. Always thought it would make an interesting concept and have even done a couple of short stories that i thought would fit into a longer narrative. Never took it beyond that though.
     
  10. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Those very basic tools probably include, precut lumber, a hammer and nails. None of which are readily available in the forest.

    Maybe they could find a cache of mysteriously abandoned tools?
     
  11. DarfieldDudette
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    DarfieldDudette New Member

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    Well, I don't really think any high budget, last chance government plan to restart civilization would dump them in a forest completely unprepared. I've been entertaining the idea of having them conveniently located next to an abandoned saw mill (The primary reason for this being that my parents own an abandoned saw mill (they built log homes for ten years. And my granddad owned the company for twenty years before that) that they don't mind lending out to me and my film friends if/when we ever attempt this), which gives them access to tools, scrap metal they can melt down for other purposes, and some basic buildings (which they'll eventually use to house people who want to start a second, smaller village). I'm also thinking that they'll discover a lot of plants and animals that are not generally indigenous to a forest (and even those that are) are in abundant supply if they can figure out how to cultivate them. I was thinking of maybe having them discover a family surviving in a completely sustainable bunker type house (I have access to one of those too! My parents spent five years building a rammed earth tire dwelling, or earthship, though it isn't off grid yet), but that idea needs some work. It may not be much, but it would give them a jump start in the way of construction their first buildings. I mean, even if they had a single axe, they'd be able to notch logs which is a huge first step and I'm sure if I took a look around to see what tools are actually lying around our real life mill, I could get quite inventive :D
     
  12. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You're a Canadian with a saw mill? Way to live the stereotype.
     
  13. DarfieldDudette
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    DarfieldDudette New Member

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    Abandoned is probably a stretch, since we live on the property. Neglected, more like, since they haven't touched the equipment in five years.
     
  14. DarfieldDudette
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    DarfieldDudette New Member

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    I sense that distinction may not have been your point in bringing it up ... it is a bit stereotypical, but I've never thought of it that way. The entire town's built on the logging industry ...
     
  15. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Do you hunt moose too?
     
  16. DarfieldDudette
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    DarfieldDudette New Member

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    My brother has a ticket for a bull in the coming weeks ... me, personally? No. But my granddad let me and my cousins shoot beer cans on my fifth birthday ...
     
  17. MsScribble
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    MsScribble Member

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    I wondering what you envision at the end of this story? Are they still in the forest, living in huts, hunting and growing food? Or have they moved to some other place to settle, or have they returned form whence they came? The idea of people starting out in a forest with nothing seems a little difficult - in her lifetime the best they could hope for is to survive. (I have no idea what I'm talking about - I'm just imagining the contestants of 'Survivor' being left on an island for good after a major apocalypse or something and having to re-start human civilization.)
     
  18. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    First game I ever got for the computer was Civ II back in 1995. Sid Meir's a genius!

    Having said this I can't see your story spanning thousands of years and buiding a huge civilisation. (Which would sort of ruin my usual strategy for winning the game - grow science and more science, advance, advance, advance, meet the neighbours and swear undying loyalty, and then when you finally have atomic power - nuke them all!!! Have I mentioned that I'm running for office - Vote for me!!! You can trust me!!!)

    However back to the topic. With a hundred people you're never going to get past a tribe. Not in the months or few years that I would guess the novel would cover. So most of the Civ game would be irrelevant to your story. You won't need an economy. Technology - well it's not going to advance significantly in a year or so. And usually in such a small tribe you wouldn't even have a queen. You'd have someone who might fill the role of a chief - but to begin with I wouldn't even expect her to have any recognised role. Just a voice when everybody's trying to think what to do.

    Given the scenario - I'd also suspect that the military option would be all but useless. And you wouldn't be expending resources scouting either. Not very far anyway. The only thing to begin with would be survival. That means buiding shelters, growing food, learning to hunt and fish. And I would expect that state of affairs to continue for a number of years. By the time you'd be expanding you'd be at least two or three generations along with population reaching into the hundreds at least.

    And my other thought would be to ask what is it that makes the woman's memories so important? How will knowing say the nature of the plot that landed them on their island or what have you, help them survive?

    Cheers, Greg.
     

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