Manipulation [Fantasy]

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TheJerminator15
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Manipulation [Fantasy]

#1 Post by TheJerminator15 » Mon May 02, 2016 1:59 pm

Hi guys! This is the idea for my first VN, and I've been working on the story for a while now.

To begin with, the protagonist of the game is a very introverted boy. He is around the age of 17, and lives by himself with financial support from his family. His family is a very influential, well known and wealthy family. The family is also one of the few remaining lines of lineage which have the ability to manipulate and create magic, however practice of this, whilst recommended, is very optional. The protagonist is faced with the death of a very close friend at a young, so as to prevent harm to anyone he loves he undertakes magic and combative training, hoping to become strong in the guise of a typical anime hero. However his talent is almost non existent, and he can only manipulate mana, not use spells and such. His inability to gain any significant strength, coupled with his constant comparison to a very talented younger sister means he soon begins to develop psychological problems, as well as an inferiority complex. After a while the emotional and psychological burden causes him to snap and lash out at his unsupportive father, which results in him being hospitalised for a year and a half due to massive injuries caused by a magic battle. He eventually leaves the hospital, however with a severely weakened body, and a very cynical attitude, introverted personality and seems to be cut off emotionally, instead using logic to dictate choices. The story begins with the protagonist a few years after he has moved into his own flat, and looks at how his seemingly estranged family, lack of strength and acknowledgement that his goal is impossible constantly effects his mentality. It will also look at how visits from the family only causes these problems to escalate, due to the negative emotions and love towards them creating even more conflict in his mind.

After watching a lot of anime I noticed the whole "protect my friends and family by becoming strong" trope to be very overused as a main characters motivations, so I wanted to create a story in which the protagonist actually miserably fails this goal, and just how it affects them.

Since I finished the plots for the three branching arcs for this story, i begun working on a demo for what is basically the prologue and decided to post it. However, since I can only write and haven't much experience with digital artwork/music and such, the test demo is only text and dialogue for the scene with no artwork or music at all.

If anybody is willing to play it, here is the download link from Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzJ4E6 ... sp=sharing

If any of you are willing to give advice/criticism I'd be more than happy to hear it!
My Current Writing Project: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=37699
Manipulation Teaser Demo: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzJ4E ... zV6TWVaclk

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Re: Manipulation [Fantasy]

#2 Post by gekiganwing » Tue May 03, 2016 12:31 am

I remember this story concept from a different thread in the recent past. Reading it today, I had two possible concerns:

* If the main character spirals into depression, will the reader continue to find him sympathetic? If there is a genuine chance that he will reconsider his negative thoughts and rebound, then I think that would be an interesting conflict. Perhaps he needs to realize that not every problem can be resolved through friendship, effort, and victory (the tenets of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine).

* The main character's family might not be good communicators. Or perhaps they are also struggling with their own inner conflicts. Even so, would they not reach out to the main character, and make efforts to help him deal with his problems and insecurities?

Off-topic: I took a few minutes to think of stories which avert or twist the concept of "protect friends and family by becoming strong." I thought of two examples:
1. _Rurouni Kenshin_. There is one section in which Himura Kenshin learns a new combat technique in order to fight a major foe. However, this is a story in which the main character is already powerful in chapter one. The main conflicts usually involve his old enemies returning, and his vow to no longer kill.

2. _Ringing Bell_. A film created by Sanrio. It's the story of a lamb who sees its mother get killed by a wolf. The lamb decides to become stronger... which results in tragedy.

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Re: Manipulation [Fantasy]

#3 Post by TheJerminator15 » Tue May 03, 2016 6:53 am

gekiganwing wrote:I remember this story concept from a different thread in the recent past. Reading it today, I had two possible concerns:

* If the main character spirals into depression, will the reader continue to find him sympathetic? If there is a genuine chance that he will reconsider his negative thoughts and rebound, then I think that would be an interesting conflict. Perhaps he needs to realize that not every problem can be resolved through friendship, effort, and victory (the tenets of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine).

* The main character's family might not be good communicators. Or perhaps they are also struggling with their own inner conflicts. Even so, would they not reach out to the main character, and make efforts to help him deal with his problems and insecurities?

Off-topic: I took a few minutes to think of stories which avert or twist the concept of "protect friends and family by becoming strong." I thought of two examples:
1. _Rurouni Kenshin_. There is one section in which Himura Kenshin learns a new combat technique in order to fight a major foe. However, this is a story in which the main character is already powerful in chapter one. The main conflicts usually involve his old enemies returning, and his vow to no longer kill.

2. _Ringing Bell_. A film created by Sanrio. It's the story of a lamb who sees its mother get killed by a wolf. The lamb decides to become stronger... which results in tragedy.

In one arc he does positively rebound, but only one. In fact, at the beginning of the story is after he has already failed multiple times, so he is jaded because of it and starts off very low. That arc was going to be more along the traditional story of redemption, where he gets out of the spiral.

The character isn't meant to be sympathetic, but more along the lines of "You understand why he thinks like this, even if you dont like/agree with it". He's basically a cynical asshole with biting sarcasm when the story kicks off after the prologue (there's more to him, but that's it put down to its very basic), but sympathy isn't really something I was aimng for in this character, since he will make some very bad choices due to that mentality and burden he has.

Actually, I had planned to explore the family in the second branching route. I had decided to explore the side characters and family/magical world in far more depth in this arc. I also planned to do a Fate/Stay Night esque move, where the last arc wasn't unlocked until this one is completed, so that the reader had all the appropriate insight on them for that final route and what occurs in it.
My Current Writing Project: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=37699
Manipulation Teaser Demo: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzJ4E ... zV6TWVaclk

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Re: Manipulation [Fantasy]

#4 Post by SundownKid » Tue May 03, 2016 9:21 am

Currently, based on the plot summary, the protagonist doesn't seem like a sympathetic main character. Even if you are making a deconstruction, it still depends on the audience sympathizing with the protag to some extent. Currently the protag is basically "angsty, ungrateful kid who tried to hurt his family because of his own failures". There's no redeeming aspects to his character based on what is described, even if his family was abusive towards him in a Harry Potter cupboard under the stairs kind of way because he didnt know magic.

Not having strong magic powers seems like a jerk thing to get angry about. The kid still has a home and some semblance of a life, and he's angry about not having -superpowers-?

It would probably function better if the main character was just bad at magic and still tried to be a hero due to the sustained personal tragedy. The fact that he gets beaten down for trying to be heroic, while none of the stronger magic users bother to help, is the part that would be the deconstruction.

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Re: Manipulation [Fantasy]

#5 Post by TheJerminator15 » Tue May 03, 2016 11:42 am

SundownKid wrote:Currently, based on the plot summary, the protagonist doesn't seem like a sympathetic main character. Even if you are making a deconstruction, it still depends on the audience sympathizing with the protag to some extent. Currently the protag is basically "angsty, ungrateful kid who tried to hurt his family because of his own failures". There's no redeeming aspects to his character based on what is described, even if his family was abusive towards him in a Harry Potter cupboard under the stairs kind of way because he didnt know magic.

Not having strong magic powers seems like a jerk thing to get angry about. The kid still has a home and some semblance of a life, and he's angry about not having -superpowers-?

It would probably function better if the main character was just bad at magic and still tried to be a hero due to the sustained personal tragedy. The fact that he gets beaten down for trying to be heroic, while none of the stronger magic users bother to help, is the part that would be the deconstruction.
Actually, what you described in your last paragraph is what the story is about. I didn't have much time when making the original post so copied it from another thread I made. Looking back on it I realise it hasn't come across well in terms of description.

The story starts at the point that he has failed so many times, coupled with the complex towards his sister, that he just goes
through the days with no motivation or direction. There are multiple attempts to help him from friends and such, but he is already so jaded he sees little point in doing it at the time.

That's why I saw it as a deconstruction, since it was looking at what would happen if someone with that desperation to protect everyone (basically the motivation of every generic anime protagonist ever lol) failed again and again and how it would affect them.
My Current Writing Project: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=37699
Manipulation Teaser Demo: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzJ4E ... zV6TWVaclk

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Re: Manipulation [Fantasy]

#6 Post by TheJerminator15 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:59 am

For anyone still interested in this WIP, it is still being developed despite my inactivity in this thread. Since the story itself is quite long I intend to have the first act of the story written up before recruiting for team members to fulfill the art, music etc. The first act is also intended to be released as a free demo once everything is finished.
My Current Writing Project: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=37699
Manipulation Teaser Demo: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzJ4E ... zV6TWVaclk

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Re: Manipulation [Fantasy]

#7 Post by TheJerminator15 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:14 pm

Got a new updated version of the demo out now currently if anybody is interested. If you do play it I'd love some feedback. Once again there isn't no art or other assets currently, since I'm still coming to terms with understanding coding.

Mac Download: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzJ4E ... VNWSHBReVU
Windows Download: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzJ4E ... zV6TWVaclk
My Current Writing Project: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=37699
Manipulation Teaser Demo: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzJ4E ... zV6TWVaclk

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Re: Manipulation [Fantasy]

#8 Post by TheJerminator15 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:41 am

Another update for this game. Whilst the demo is still up and will remain available for download, I've decided to completely redo the project from scratch.

This was a decision made after a number of rewrites over the past year and a half (I've probably written about 200k words in total, so it pains me to do this even more) where I found the story just simply wasn't working. Because of this, I'm completely rewriting the plot and delving into a massive overhaul of areas such as the magic system since I found it to personally be lacking. Which a massive change in so many areas is somewhat unneccessary, I feel it would be for the best and would only help amplify the experience once this is finally completed.
My Current Writing Project: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=37699
Manipulation Teaser Demo: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzJ4E ... zV6TWVaclk

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