Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing

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Friendbot2000
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Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing

#1 Post by Friendbot2000 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:32 am

I am a part of a four person development company called Timekeeper Games. We are working on our first release called "Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing".

Mutagen is an SRPG that is set in Post Apocalyptic North America; that's right I said NORTH AMERICA, not just America. One story path will start in Canada and another in Mexico. We decided that too many games are set exclusively in America, especially post apocalyptic ones.

Main Story
Man has always been on a quest for more resources to build and expand, however this time they dug too deep. Miners discovered a cave upon drilling deep into the earth. Little did they know, that the cave was actually a tomb that housed the primordial being responsible for the evolution of life into what it is today. The being of course, was dead. But it's rotting corpse let out a mutagenic plague that enveloped the world in a matter of days. Only 10 percent of humanity remains by the virtue of having incompatible genetic markers making them immune to the mutations that turned their brethren and the fauna of Earth into monsters. You start as a survivor of the apocalypse, six years have passed since the outbreak and humanity has been teetering on the brink of extinction. One day a radio signal is broadcasted all across North America. The signal tells of a last bastion of civilization in Oregon, a message saying that any survivors out there have a safe haven if they can make the journey. Will you travel to Haven's Landing? Will you gather the last bits of humanity and travel to what could be the salvation of the world?

Gist of the Game
There are four separate story paths, each with its own unique story and unique NPCs. The main character must travel to Haven's Landing, picking up companions and survivors along the way while fighting against insurmountable odds. The game does not center around fighting monsters, but rather delving deep into the NPCs personalities and stories. The game centers around the Relationship Mechanic. As you play the game and journey to Haven's Landing you will have the option to explore the NPCs backstories and share in their struggles. Each NPC has its own miniarc and depending on your choices they will become fast friends, or bitter enemies. The game is all about CHOICE! This is not Dragon Age where you can be a jerk and no one will notice. If you decide to be a jerk, well the game will be a lot harder.

Themes
The main theme of this game is how humans have this tenacious spirit that helps us band together in times of hardship. This game is all about building relationships and experiencing the bonds created when everyone is suffering. There is no right or wrong in this game, everything is gray. Your choices shape the outcome and what you get from it.

As it stands now, the game clocks at 80+ hours not including every miniarc. It is a massive game that is carefully crafted with all the love of four huge gamers. We hope to see your support when we are ready for release

If you are interested in daily updates, check out the links in my sig :)
Visit my game development group's Facebook page : Timekeeper Games
Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing Facebook Page
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Re: Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing

#2 Post by gekiganwing » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:03 pm

Your synopsis reminded me of a number of other stories. This is to be expected. There is nothing that you, I, or anyone else can create which will be wholly original. We are all influenced, and we all influence others. That said, please don't panic when I compare your ideas to novels, games, movies, etc. Instead, think about how you will present your game, and how you will use your passion and dedication in order to create something distinct and fascinating.
Friendbot2000 wrote:Little did they know, that the cave was actually a tomb that housed the primordial being responsible for the evolution of life into what it is today. The being of course, was dead. But it's rotting corpse let out a mutagenic plague that enveloped the world in a matter of days. Only 10 percent of humanity remains...
The notion of unearthing a sealed creature which brings a disaster has been explored in a variety of stories. One of the most famous examples is the background to the Mines of Moria from Lord of the Rings... though oddly enough, I'm reminded of the beginning of the movie Reign of Fire. Also, the first example of an ominous, non-human creature responsible for evolution that comes to mind is Lavos from Chrono Trigger.
Friendbot2000 wrote:You start as a survivor of the apocalypse, six years have passed since the outbreak and humanity has been teetering on the brink of extinction. One day a radio signal is broadcasted all across North America.
Regrettably, I don't know much about the Fallout games (or its predecessor Wasteland), but this premise sounds similar. There's quite a bit of other fiction which discusses worlds and societies after an apocalypse.
Friendbot2000 wrote:There is no right or wrong in this game, everything is gray. Your choices shape the outcome and what you get from it.
What sort of foes and enemies will the main characters encounter? Are all the enemies mutated humans and animals? How many conflicts will involve people fighting each other?

Also, please let us know more about your characters. Provide us with relevant information about who they are, what they want, and perhaps what roles they will have in combat.
Friendbot2000 wrote:As it stands now, the game clocks at 80+ hours not including every miniarc. It is a massive game that is carefully crafted with all the love of four huge gamers. We hope to see your support when we are ready for release...
Creating a lengthy, complex game is a formidable task. If you believe you can dedicate enough time and energy, then you may be able to complete and release your game. If you think you'll benefit from releasing Mutagen as an indie game, do your research first, and then proceed.

I have to admit that it's been a few years since I last devoted 80+ hours to a single video game... The days when I could spend an entire weekend playing Civilization or Dragon Quest or Aerobiz are behind me. I currently prefer games that don't require too much time or learning.

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Re: Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing

#3 Post by Taleweaver » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:54 am

Since there isn't much to show for this project, I'm moving it to the Ideas part of this forum. As soon as you have a few screenshots or art/writing examples, anything concrete, just drop me a note and I'll move it back.
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Re: Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing

#4 Post by Friendbot2000 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:57 am

Sorry, been too busy with the holiday weekend. I will be fleshing this out quite a bit with art and stuff. I recognize that nothing is truly original, but there is no harm in striving for it :)

Here are some answers to your questions

Conflicts
As you can imagine with an apocalypse event, the characters struggles will be quite formidable. Everyone has either lost someone dear to them or faced death and despair in some way. The game centers around how people band together in times of hardship. Each character has their own struggles and burdens. The main character can either help them through their struggles to enable them to be a better part of them team or leave them be to their own devices, which has consequences. A lot of the characters still suffer from events that happened to them from before the apocalypse.

As the main character and a leader of a group you need to prove that you are a good leader by supporting your team. This manifests itself by helping them through events that happen in the game. If you display bad leadership, then people don't really want to be a part of your group.

A good example of the kind of struggles a character will face is an otaku character in the game.
The character is obsessed with a videogame character. He is totally immersed in the mythos of the game. When the group finds him his hideout is covered in posters and figures, he is obsessed to the max. As the game goes on an enemy infiltrates the group. She uses her powers to convince him that the group is part of an evil organization run by the big bad of the videogame. She uses her powers to convince him that everything in the game is real and he has to destroy them and be a hero. The evil character tells him the only way is to destroy everyone by becoming a suicide bomber so they dont suspect. The main character has to talk him down and show him that his delusions aren't real. After he realizes this the group has to figure out who is the bad guy. The character is so distraught by his potential betrayal that he completely separates himself from his obsession. Depending on the MC's actions something really bad could happen to him due to his immense depression. The MC has to help him sort through his struggle to bring him back to reality.

This is one of many struggles the characters will have to deal with. I gave you a spoiler, I hope your happy :P

Monsters
The enemies that the group will face will be the mutated humans and monsters that litter the world. However all is not as it seems, the monsters are organized by a certain malevolent force and it seeks to destroy humans and create a new world of evolved lifeforms. I will save the motivations for this for the actual game, but it is kind of cool.

I will explain the science and reasoning behind the monsters. Inside every lifeforms genetic code is all the code of every lifeform on the planet. However most of this code is not expressed and "turned off". What the virus did is "turn on" genes in the code and rapidly accelerate evolution. The whole idea is based around genetic science.

Inspirations
As for what happens to the world after an apocalypse, I was heavily inspired by Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. The books were about how a new society emerges from the ashes of the old. I wove the ideas into this game as well, but expressed them differently.

You mentioned the Mines of Moria...I actually got the idea from the Balrog :)

Classes
In the game there are a variety of classes that are assigned to NPCs and the MCs. Each class has its own abilities and "perks". Perks are selected at level up and provide bonuses and new attacks. The more advanced perks require prerequisites from the beginning of the tree. The abilities range from new crafting options to combat abilities.
Visit my game development group's Facebook page : Timekeeper Games
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Re: Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing

#5 Post by gekiganwing » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:02 pm

Friendbot2000 wrote:The enemies that the group will face will be the mutated humans and monsters that litter the world. However all is not as it seems, the monsters are organized by a certain malevolent force and it seeks to destroy humans and create a new world of evolved lifeforms.
That's kind of a good idea. I can name quite a few stories in which villains have goals, and are willing/able to work for a cause. But in most of the video games in my collection, it's only the enemies with names and personalities who are actively evil. The rest tend to be mindless monsters.
Friendbot2000 wrote:As for what happens to the world after an apocalypse, I was heavily inspired by Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. The books were about how a new society emerges from the ashes of the old. I wove the ideas into this game as well, but expressed them differently.
Using prose fiction to inspire your game / VN is also a good idea. I have probably spent too much non-work time replaying old favorite games, reading average comics, as well as watching forgettable movies and sports. It has been too long since I took the time to read a book... The last one that I probably finished was parts 1-3 of CJ Cherryh's Fortress series.

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Re: Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing

#6 Post by Friendbot2000 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:01 am

If you like science fiction, the Foundation series is absolutely wonderful. It is full of philosophy and excellent storytelling. I have always believed that in order to be a good writer you have to read more than you write. Reading inspires you and keeps your bad ideas in check. Also peer review is a wonderful thing. It always helps to have a second pair of brains reading your stuff. I have several published writer friends reviewing my work :)
Visit my game development group's Facebook page : Timekeeper Games
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Re: Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing

#7 Post by Friendbot2000 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:17 am

Character Class Teaser

Doctor
The Doctor class is a healing centric class. All classes can fight and the doctor is no exception. He/She fights with chemical weapons, mainly chemical grenades. The doctor is an essential battlefield component as he can provide buffing medicines, heal wounds, and repair crippled limbs temporarily through triage. At camp he can perform surgery for more serious crippled wounds sustained by characters in battle. New surgery techniques and crafting techniques used for creating medical supplies from scavenged materials are obtained through perks and cutscenes. The doctor's capability on the battlefield is limited though to the amount of supplies in his/her medkit. This makes scavving for supplies a must because if you run out, then you are helpless and a character could die. A doctor has a very useful ability; if a character's HP goes to zero, he can thwart permadeath by getting to the character in time to perform emergency first aid. This will remove the character from the battlefield and save their life. Note that he cannot use this for the Main Character. One of the main characters you can choose from is a doctor, enabling you to start out with a bit of an advantage.

Gameplay

Scavving
Part of this game is kind of life a city/life management sim. As you travel you need to scavenge for food, ammo, medical supplies, and other materials. You do this after each chapter in what is referred to as "Camp". During the camp phase you send out teams to scavenge for supplies. Each character has a value for what and how much supplies they can scavenge. This makes pairing teams to complement each other for what you need essential. When you send out teams, a random encounter can occur that can be facing enemies, finding survivors(this can be fixed too), and finding caches of supplies, as well as other events. Ammo and medical supplies are very important because in battle each character can only have a finite amount of ammo on their person and the medkit can only hold a certain amount. So you have to plan carefully and use strategy. A certain class can refill these things through an ability, but the ability still draws from your reserves. This mechanic is to add a level of survival to the game.

When you make camp, you have the option to scav from various "areas" around the camp location. These areas will skew the odds of finding certain items, but won't exclude the chance of finding other types of supplies. It is important to consider what kind of area you are choosing when scavving.
Visit my game development group's Facebook page : Timekeeper Games
Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing Facebook Page
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Re: Mutagen : Journey to Haven's Landing

#8 Post by gekiganwing » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:13 pm

Looking at the Facebook page for Mutagen, it looks like the project is still going on. If you're having trouble making time to work on the game, consider the following:

* Give yourself some strict deadlines. This is one of the principles of Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). If you're not familiar with the organization, be sure to read their principles and recommendations.
* Set aside specific times and places to work on the game. Whether your daily schedule is divided into routines, or whether it can change every day, you will probably benefit if you can write and code on a regular basis.
* Ask for help on how to get your team to work together.
* Carry something with you at all times, so that you can take notes. If you get an excellent idea while showering or driving, you will want to jot it down, so that you don't forget it in the next few minutes.

I say all this while admitting that these are things I definitely need to work on...

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