Story draft version 2

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DestinedToDie
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Story draft version 2

Post by DestinedToDie » 09 Feb 2016, 21:56

So it has been a few weeks since this has been rebooted, but we haven't gotten past the part where the player wakes up and remembers that they have amnesia. Having read the initial story ideas from a few years ago, I didn't think those were that good, so how about creative writing round 2. There are 2 rules.

1. I don't want to read a wall of text, no one in this day and age has that kind of attention span. Your story must be compact, no more than 200 words and contain a title. If your story wins the vote, then we can expand on it properly.

2. Story has to start on an island with the player having amnesia. I'd say this is a soft rule where you have some wiggle-room, but don't go too wild.

I had previously mentioned a different approach. Rather than make a story, make a demo showcasing feature #s and fit a story to it. This will also be an option in the vote.

The story used will later be decided through a voting poll.

Cramal
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by Cramal » 10 Feb 2016, 10:55

VuHao

VuHao Island is isolated in the ocean that separate the Empire of Filistegna and the Korghor Confederation had make it a common stop for merchant ship of both kingdoms. VuHao harbor developped thourgh this commercial activity, place of cultural exchange between two civilisations in the middle of the big blue sea. Most natives found a place into this caravanserai but some took refuge in the unhospitable mountains in order to keep their traditions.

66 years ago, a fisherman saw a monster from the coast, constricting a boat until it explode in wooden shards. Since any ship sailing near to VuHao since this day has been detroyed.

The Natives say that he is here to punish the corruption of the real traditions, that the true heir of VuHao, with the hearth as hot as the Sun that created the island and as soft as the sea that gave it life, will the only one that will be capable to end the killings. Other are more practical but are affraid of risking all they in a fight they don't think able to win.

Last night, someone was fish out. He is alive, first in 66 years. Is he the Heir ?


**********************
200 words is short.....

And writing fiction in English is more difficult that I would expect after writing so many scientific papers and reports.

Anyway here it my try

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DestinedToDie
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by DestinedToDie » 10 Feb 2016, 11:15

Cramal wrote: 200 words is short.....
It is. But if we have 7 candidates, all of which are huge walls of text, then less people will go through the arduous work of reading through it all. Think of it as a TL;DR, on which we can expand later on.

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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by psi29a » 10 Feb 2016, 11:45

I think keeping it at 200 focuses to the point of this exercise. It has to grab your attention.

I like the story by the way! :)

Cramal
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by Cramal » 11 Feb 2016, 08:26

Just to be clear, I understand why you fixed this length and I think it's a good idea.

It's just that when I first wrote my "short draft", I looked at the number of words :: 400 ...

And then I had to cut and recut to arrive at this version

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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by DestinedToDie » 11 Feb 2016, 12:26

Only 1 draft so far? I was expecting for more, but since there aren´t any, I´ll give it a go.

Treasure of Pago Pago

Your captain bought a treasure map from a suspicious looking fellow. Didn´t expect it to even lead to an actual island, but there it was, in the horizon. Suddenly a storm came out of nowhere and tore the ship in two separating you from the map. You wake up on the shore with no memory. But fortunately you find a journal nearby, which explains all this.

You discover a village. The locals aren´t hostile, but they aren´t friendly or talkative either. It´s like they´re hiding something. Strange creatures lurk the ruins in the forest, and something keeps stalking you. In the ruins you meet adventurers stuck on the island just like you. Randevu with a survivor of your shipwreck (he has the map) and find the treasure.

Turns out there was no treasure and it was a lure to feed adventurers to Cthulhu fishmen sleeping in the depths of ancient underground ruins.


Okay, so I went with Cthulhu in the end. But we could easily switch out the last sentence with the inhabitants of the island luring adventurers there to make some kind of a ritualistic sacrifice for their God. Whatever works with the assets that we can obtain.

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Re: Story draft versions

Post by Nivim » 12 Feb 2016, 14:56

I mostly just saw DtD's question on IRC of "You into writing?" and decided on "yes", then followed the link here without having followed any previous links about the example suite, so apologies if the following question seems a little low on context.

What features or situations are we trying to show off in this plot?

The problem with all the posted stories, and probably with any future suggestions right now, is that they are aimless, lacking a particular focus or goal— other than "make a tiny, random story under a few constraints" which is pretty awful when you need that story for something in particular.

To take an example, before Portal was even Portal, it was Narbacular Drop, which also had a basically non-existent cheap-n-quick story, but that story was chosen with a particular goal; to give plenty of opportunities for lots of different portal-based puzzles. They already knew which features they had worked on that the story would be trying to encompass.

The actual Portal games then proceeded to take advantage of the same clearly laid out feature set to write a ****-fine story that was all the better because the mechanics of the game and the details of the story fit together.

Are we trying to show something that's basically Morrowind where you run around with some abilities and interact with monsters and walking dialogue boxes? Are we trying to show graphical effects or scripting? Are we trying to show some sort of combat and tactical situations, with the idea that combat in this engine doesn't need to be as bad as Morrowind's can be?


TL,DR: I am eternally frustrated with you, tldrers, but about the post anyway; we should have a much clearer idea about what we want the story to facilitate before we try making the story.

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Re: Story draft versions

Post by DestinedToDie » 12 Feb 2016, 15:19

Nivim wrote:What features or situations are we trying to show off in this plot?
Basically all the cool stuff that the OpenMW engine can do, including stuff that Morrowind doesn´t take advantage of.
Nivim wrote:The problem with all the posted stories, and probably with any future suggestions right now, is that they are aimless, lacking a particular focus or goal— other than "make a tiny, random story under a few constraints" which is pretty awful when you need that story for something in particular.

Are we trying to show something that's basically Morrowind where you run around with some abilities and interact with monsters and walking dialogue boxes? Are we trying to show graphical effects or scripting? Are we trying to show some sort of combat and tactical situations, with the idea that combat in this engine doesn't need to be as bad as Morrowind's can be?
Okay, so there are currently 2 ideas floating around on how to go about this. The number 1 option is to make a story draft and adapt features we want to show off around it. Option number 2 is get a list of features we want to show and adapt a story around that. Let me phrase this as a draft submission, as it will be included in the vote.

Features first, story is made on the go

If we go with option number 2, all we need to do is open up the Roadmap https://bugs.openmw.org/projects/openmw/roadmap and start with the earliest version of OpenMW available. There we see:

Version: openmw-0.11

Feature #10: Journal
Feature #79: MessageBox

So our first release ought to display these features in use. We can thus make the story up 1 step at a time as we demo through features. A pretty neat idea would be that the Example Suite version numbering would match the OpenMW version features we are currently up to.

Nivim
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Re: Story draft versions

Post by Nivim » 12 Feb 2016, 16:38

Ok, I would actually prefer putting together a complete list first, but your methods of a dynamic story— or maybe a different story for each version or a growing story— sound like they'd be more fun for everyone. How about we add two or three more features to that list, then rephrase the prompt?

So lets take apart what we can probably do with both those two features and a few other basic features everyone seems to have assumed:
  • Feat#10: Journal - This isn't the kind of journal that you keep notes in, so much as it is collections of pre-defined text that gets given to the player on particular events and can be referred back to at any time. Morrowind uses this as a way to help the player keep track of huge numbers of quests and point out events tied to quests and scripts, but it could just as easily play the part of communications from afar, as though you had some sort of auto-recording radio receiver, or a symbol of eldritch emanations being burned into your mind (where it being increasingly full is both exciting for the player and bad for the character).
    Feats#79,#???: Message Box (and Scripts) - This is basically a collection of both buttons and text connected to each other, where each button both has text and scripts associated with it (which can be used to trigger 'journal' entries), and new text can have more buttons for more text. There are games out there like Choice of the Dragon which function with basically just this feature and its implied features of basic scripting...however, as the early programmers, writers, and players of Planeshift learned, it's actually a lot harder to successfully tie this into the next features on this list.
    Feats#???,#???,#???,#*: Moving, Collisions, and Terrain (and models and activating models and a bunch of other things) - A lot of players would consider this the real bread and butter of Morrowind; it lays the foundation for all sorts of exploring, overcoming obstacles, mazes, senses of greatness and distance, senses of closeness and complexity, and the strong feeling that Vvardenfell is a place and not just a huge tangle of book length walls of text and scripting. One of the most memorable strengths and weaknesses of Morrowind was that you didn't always know exactly where to go, and (with the addition feature of the auto-uncovering map) every time you went out from the little rooms and towns you could end up somewhere new and curious. Using these features well or poorly could easily be what makes or breaks the success of the Test Suite.
So for our first story chunk, this is a set of...about 9 major features that would work well to focus on together.


TL;DR: Ugghhh, tldrers. Even the most basic features of the game could make a really robust story if used right, and writers should probably rethink at least one of them away from how they were used in Morrowind. We're starting with these; Journal, Message Box, Terrain, Movement, Objects, Object Activation, Obstacles, Map, and above and through it all Scripts (a.k.a. how the game keeps track of numbers, events, and What Is Going On).



P.S. Sorry about adding so many things to think about, thus sacrificing some focus, but it would have been worse for everyone to just assume they were there and then fail to understand them.

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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by psi29a » 12 Feb 2016, 19:02

I always like the idea that you awake to a journal that has most of its pages missing and you must go hunt them down to figure out who you are, where you are and why you're there.

This dovetails nicely into exposing OpenMW's features one bit at a time while giving a bit of a mystery story-line vibe. The backstory for me was something we can fill in as we go as we begin to find more and more journal pages. These pages complete and active new quests.

This was my intention from the beginning.

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