1. axell
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    axell Member

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    Help with contrived plot device

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by axell, Jul 11, 2014.

    Hello,

    I think this is my first post here in years but I need your help. I am currently deep in development on a psychological/thriller adventure game and i realised it's too similar to the style of another game and I want to change some things.

    The basic plot is (this is unknown to the player until the end..or at least is should be). The setting is late 19th century and it has some lovecraftian influences(no actual monsters though)

    You awaken with amnesia in a hospital after being found washed ashore near the coast and have nightmares about a tiny lighthouse island. You eventually go to the island and find it abandoned and attempt to uncover it's secrets . You do so by reading logs,journals,notes from people that lived there and having occasional audio flashbacks. You manage to find out about the people living there and how they all eventually ended. You eventually deduce that you were one of the people living there and the big surprise at the end comes in which one you actually were.

    The story is much more detailed, but this is as short as a description i can give at the moment.

    So my main problem is . I ONLY want the player to know he had amnesia at the end of the game.
    I want the player to go to the island to investigate what happened there, not knowing he was one of the residents.

    So the question is, how can i mask this amnesia and give him another reason to go there?

    Any tips would help a lot. And if i did not explain something good enough, please ask and i'll try to explain it better.

    Thanks!
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    The best way to simply never address the issue.`Have him wake up, be taken care of but don't have others ask for his name or stuff like that. Maybe he remembers it and never realizes he has amnesia as no one pointed it out. If the game is more about exploring and discovering logs and stuff, that should be little issue.
     
  3. axell
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    axell Member

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    Hey,

    Thanks for the speedy reply. I was thinking to do it the way you suggested but the thing is that you start the game when you arrive at the island. I wanted to give the player some context on why he is there in the form of a journal entry at the beginning. Not addressing the issue at all will make it a bit too confusing. So there has to be at least a bit of backstory regarding how you ended up there.
     
  4. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    No, I meant don't address any subject pertaining to amnesia. He could be an amnesiac without ever realizing it a-la Cloud Strife or it simply never told to the player as he reads the logs.
     
  5. axell
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    axell Member

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    Yea I guess I could start off with something like : I finally found it! Months and months of searching for the place that haunts my dreams . <doctors, police etc> told me it does not exist, that i'm chaing a ghost, but i know i'm in the right place.

    Would something along those lines work?
     
    cutecat22 likes this.
  6. ComplexRobot
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    ComplexRobot Member

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    There's nothing wrong with that, as far as I can see.
    You could also just not have a backstory, afterall, it's your creation, do what you want.
    Another approach would be to have false memories and later realize that what you thought you knew was all wrong.
    Don't forget that amnesia is not the only memory condition in existence.
     
  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I would give him a psychological problem. Mention in the journal that the doctor has been giving him drugs for his "condition". Maybe one of the side effects of the drugs is long term memory loss, or the player has "episodes" of a nature unexplained, and un-explainable.

    EDIT: This could also be the reason the player is going to the village, as a recommendation of his doctor ostensibly because the doctor thinks the relaxation will help, but in reality because the doctor is aware of his condition.
     
  8. Chaos Inc.
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    Chaos Inc. Active Member

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    This is similar to Shutter Island.
     
  9. axell
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    axell Member

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    Hey thanks for all the replies. You've given me quite a few ways to handle it. I'll post back when i've writte nthe final intro story.

    Thanks!
     
  10. ToDandy
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    ToDandy Contributing Member

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    This is a pretty simple thing. Approach it from the standpoint that the character thinks its his first time there. You don't have to mention amnesia at all. Just treat it like a new environment with subtle hints thrown in.

    You can come up with any number of reason for him to explore that location. It doesn't need to be anything big. If he is having dreams about it, then its natural that he'd be curious and explore there.
     
  11. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    ftfy
     
  12. axell
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    axell Member

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    I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude but how exactly is this Shutter Island? Have you seen the movie? Besides the fact that the main character has some form of amnesia and that the action happens on an island...how is it at all similar?

    Thanks...
     
  13. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Movie:
    Detective arrives at island and tries to solve murder mystery. Holy shit, detective is inmate. It was as hard to predict as sixth sense.
     
  14. axell
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    axell Member

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    I believe you are oversimplifying the plot to Shutter Island. There just so many themes one can explore in a story. The important part is how you choose to approach it.
    But to each his own, and even if you re right I don't think people mind too much playing "Shutter Island the Videogame" as you put it.


    Thanks!
     
  15. Chaos Inc.
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    Chaos Inc. Active Member

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    There's a game on the NES called Deja Vu (maybe the computer too). It makes no bones about you having amnesia. It's kind of like a create your own adventure where you interact with the scene to collect clues and items to solve the puzzle. I don't remember if it was actually "good" but I remember not beating it. If you're so inclined look it up on youtube and watch the verrrrrry slooooow walk through.
     
  16. axell
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    axell Member

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    Hmm I have not heard of that one. Thanks for pointing it out. I'll have a look and see
     
  17. Kite2
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    Kite2 New Member

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    You said the lighthouse was in his dreams right? i would just have him in the hospital the entire time but never address why he was there, and have him spend most of his time asleep. If he is hardly ever awake then it wont be a surprise that not much happens to him in the hospital, or that no one ever has a chance to ask about who he is. Then he explored the lighthouse of his dreams while he is sleeping. This takes away from the why is he there because he just had a dream that he was there and he is looking around. It would also sort of make sense because dreams often bring out memory that we cant even remember. You could also have him wake up temporarily after finding certain bits of information that he needs.
     
  18. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    How old is he and what amount of time has lapsed from amnesia?
     
  19. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    Have him wake up and get along with a normal life, until a clue, be it a picture in a newspaper, or a tale of a fisherman, draws him to the place.
     

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