New Game - Initial Ideas

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Sylph
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New Game - Initial Ideas

#1 Post by Sylph » Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:02 am

Dear all,

I`ve recently been developing an idea for a new VN, something different and new. As it would be my time using such a format it was recommended that I try and use Ren`Py, thus I am here. I`ve done a little brainstorming and managed to write down something of my thoughts, I thought I`d share them with you and get some feed back. Keep in mind that these are initial ideas, the project is merely in a conceptual stage that remains mostly inside my head, this means that I`m not recruiting as such.

So please, go ahead and be brutal. I want your opinions and reactions, suggestions and defamations.
__________________________________________________________________________________

Since I have a project in mind I thought I`d do a little writing and get something down on digital paper, even do a little brainstorming while I`m here. The project that I had in mind was along the lines of creating a visual novel, an eroge with multiple paths and options, rather than a linear story or dating sim. The idea is to create something different, something new that dares to include a decent plot as well, rather than just pumping out one or two favoured ideas and leaving it at that.

This is my first time writing about this so forgive me if my train of thought jumps around too much, I`ll try and keep this as neat as possible.

The main concept behind the story can be revealed in the setting. It is to be set in a place somewhat akin to a institute or large scale hostel for children and young adults who have suffered abuse. The idea is that those who enter have been taken away from their parents or guardians, people that have been distributing the abuse. Once they have been admitted they receive treatment, physical and mental care, and have a place to stay until the next stage. The next stage would probably mean moving in with any other family members, moving to a smaller shelter or going straight up for adoption - all three options would occur once the the child/young adult has been deemed suitably stable. The idea is that the most at risk persons are admitted, others might arrive due to location issues. I imagine this institute would be quite large, have reasonably facilities for taking care of victims for a long period of time. Though, the size of a institute could varily greatly depending on all sorts of elements, mostly storyline and the how many characters I can come up with.

The characters. Now, the characters are, dare I say it, the most important part. I can`t stress enough how vital it is that a good list of characters are created, characters that are non-cliche. Not an easy task but we can rule out several different types of characters straight away, most obviously the female yandere. A few characters will probably have a bit of yandere in there anyway but it should not be a defining trait. Each character must have something about them that has not been explored before. Indeed, the idea of this game is to be as original, and at the same time, out-there, as possible. The only character that is allowed to be in the least generic is the main character, this is so that the player can live through the main character more accurately.

As far as characters go I have several ideas up in the idea and roughly three that I like enough to work on some more, that could realistically make it into the final product. Starting with the main character we have a girl with only one eye. Since she is allowed to be a little bit cliche we can happily have her face the drunken abuse of her father. One night she took a bottle to the side of the head that littered one eye with shards of glass, an injury that normally would not require the removal of an eye. The wound however, was entirely obvious, if she went outside no one could go without noticing it, a hospital would immediately spot abuse. The only logical option was to lock her in the house until he could think of a solution or the problem fixed itself. Naturally, the eye and the gash to the side of her face came infected. The father understood that it was only going to get worse and one day decided that his only option was to flee. A few days later the police arrived due to receiving calls that no one was answering the phone or doorbell. They found the daughter in the locked room as a shadow of her former self, dangerously ill, lying in a soiled bed. After that she received medical treatment and it was established that she had no known living relatives, she was taken to the institute. It might be an idea to say that they paid for the medical bill, as it could make for a plot device.

Now that I have written that it does occur to me to introduce another character, that is a concerned friend of the one eyed girl. But you know, now that I think about it, why does she have an eye patch and not a glass eye? Expense, arguably. That medical bill is already coming in handy. Anyway, back to the friend. I hesitate to give them an important role but they could still play some part in the story. Whether we make them a school friend or an adult, male or female there doesn`t seem to be much we can do with them other than make them a yandere with a crush on the MC. Something I`m certainly not going to do if it can be helped.

Second character is something I`ve stolen for another story of mine. The idea of a little brown tsuntsun girl, that is she hates you and as you get closer she continues to hate you, perhaps even more. If anyone is going to be rapist then she will it. Raped as a child heavily, possibly as a child prostitute, she comes out hardened and aggressive. The raped becomes the raper. Her path would mostly involve dominating and controlling you to suit her own ends. There is probably no good side to her path, the scene I imagine contains an emotional speach from the MC. Normally a tsundere character would break down their shell and leap into the arms of the MC, in this case the MC receives a slap or something equally degrading. Rape, maybe? We can decide later.

Next we have a character who is of two genders. Bored with the common trap - I.E. a male posing as a convincing female - I went one step further into the realm of futa. This idea came up during thoughts of what kind of physical deformities we could give a character. Of all the physical imperfections this one seemed to be the one that could give the most reason for abuse. To be honest, it`s a new character and I haven`t had time to put a lot of thought into it and nothing springs to mind right now.

I think I`ve already mentioned it but if you haven`t gathered already I`m planning for this to be quite dark. Happy endings will be hard won and only achieved by going through terrible hardship. I plan for the MC to be raped at least once in at least one path, probably by the tsuntsun girl and one other male character. There will be sex scenes, some good, some bad, most unusual. I do not plan to hold back on the erotic content, I`m afriad that I cannot be sensitive and respectful, I do however, promise that ero content will not be the focus on the game. I don`t particularly feel the need for long sex scenes either though that shouldn`t matter. My main gripe is that normal sex scenes seem rather boring, they drag on and on, though if we add some extra fetishs we can make them slightly more interesting. Oh, incase you`re wondering, I would not turn down a little guro. Though I stress, this is not a guro game and nor is it a H-game.

So what is the game about? Well, I`ve given you the setting and a little bit of the feel of the game but I`m afriad that I have to admit to not having a story in mind yet. For now, I have decided to concentrate on the characters. Once we have more characters we can then develope their personalities, their status and their relationships with each other. From there we can build a story, bearing in mind that this must also lack cliche. I have already blown the idea of the institute being a secret lab for german doctors to carry about cruel experiments clearly out of the water. And in my wondering I have left undecisive about how far out I should go, whether I should introduce elements outside of reality, it`s certainly something to think about. I do worry that the fact that as each character shares their own story of abuse it would prove repetative to explore that side too much. Indeed, it seems that something else is required. I am edging towards the idea that the institute would be quite a sinister place, all would not be entirely as it seemed, not as it was first presented.

As far the institute itself, I have a rough idea of what it would be like. A place somewhere in the country that over looks a large town in the valley, not very original I know but it can`t be placed in a city. The site itself should be large, with a few acres of land surrounding it. It should be protected, seperated from the outside world with good security in order to keep out any abusive parent or gaurdian that would try to break in and do harm. For their own safety patients are generally not allowed to leave, I`ll have to think through this point some more but for now I will stick with it. If it is true then there should be facilities inside the institute to cater for those inside. Living and sleeping place is the first thing that comes to mind, dorms and single rooms that obviously seperated by the two genders. There should be a small hospital or clinic as well. What else? How generous should we be with recreactional facilities? We want to keep it realistic but still reflect the sombreness of the institute. I can wave entertainment but only if there is schooling. Indeed, schooling, they need to learn. To be honest, I don`t want a school in there but I don`t see how there couldn`t be. That is unless the institute is only meant for short to mediuem length stays. One or two years missed schooling at most can be accepted. Really, I just don`t want a school setting if it can be avoided.

The game sounds, music and artwork are things I don`t even want to think about right now. Not to mention the writing. I dread to think what it would be like if I were to write one of the paths or the entire time. As far as creative writing goes I am a hammer trying do the job of a screwdriver, occasionally I can come up with something interesting but the truth is I hate writing. It`s frustrating to say the least. Saying that I now hesitate to talk about the length of the game that I demand. I`m thinking at least three paths with one ending each. At most, four paths with two endings each and perhaps a fifth path to tie everything important together. Jumping back a bit, now that I think about it, I probably would write it with the help of an editor savvy enough to put up with me.

I`ll worry about getting people to do such jobs when I actually put together some more characters and some storyline.

I shall write some more when I think of something worth saying.

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#2 Post by monele » Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:19 am

Bold and very dark, indeed. I don't know if I could deal with such darkness, but eh, that's just me :). I'm still impressed with the boldness such as a non-redeemable character and... futa (meep!) (well, futa might be standard fare in H I guess?).

I'm not even sure you'd need that many more characters. Supportive ones, yes, but main ones, maybe not. Psychological stuff is hard to do and it's better to focus on very small numbers but make them very detailed ^^. Good luck with this :)

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#3 Post by Otaku Dash » Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:57 pm

I second monele... the theme is very drak, gloomy and.. dare I say it... realistic in a way. Sure it's good to think about fairy tales but few are those that brave the shocking aspects of human behaviour and relationships... I comend you on that.

It sounds like a solid start but beware of pulling off a large project for first releases... if that's something that made me step a bit back on development it's because I always fall on temptation of creating massive things. For now I understand your belif on charas and rought of the story... though the theme will push some people away (Sometimes I wonder if even I would hold the stomach to play this to be honest) I belive it has strong basis to suceed. So I wish you luck and will be seeing this thread with atention... :)
"Life is like a flower....take care of it and watch it bloom......only there will you see its true beauty" - Myself

"Emptiness....that is...true fear...."

-FEAR THE NARU PUNCH!!- :)

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#4 Post by frumplstlskn » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:14 am

Hmm, I like it, minus the futa, of course. I don't think rape is really what you would call it when an (I'm assuming) good looking tsundere girl dominates you and initiates sex. It's just rough, domineering sex. If a large older ugly woman who's not a main character forced the MC into sex, however...

Dark is good. I can't stand happy happy moe moe diabeetus games. I want to make a Horror VN some time.

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#5 Post by Sylph » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:27 am

Otaku Dash wrote:... the theme is very drak, gloomy and.. dare I say it... realistic in a way.
Yes, it`s definitely meant to be dark and I`m glad you brought up the issue of realism.

Realism will play a very important part. Characters, as well as being as unique as possible, must be realistic. Their experiences must be plausable, not to mention their reactions, personalities and any other conditions. I certainly want to include feelings that the reader can relate with, such as the MC`s initial reaction once she has arrived at the institute. She will have preconceived expectations, she is to believe that her life is going to get immediately better and thus raises the bar a tad too high. Simple things will get to her, like the quality of the dorms, how many people she has to share a bedroom with, whether there are fans or heating systems installed, for how long she can bath. Little realities that bore into her and disappoint.

And while I have no particular plans to base the location of the setting in a specific part of the world, I would like to base the building architexture off something pre-existing. Some of the buildings will most likely be converted from something else, like a hotel, school or hospital. This simply makes things easier and adds slightly to the a feeling of gloominess or dilapidation about the place. I have to admit that I`m edging towards a somewhat Eastern European theme, because I`m in love with that kind of thing however, it does give off that dreaded cliche vibe a bit. The location can be decided later.
... though the theme will push some people away
Yes, it will but I`m not too concerned about that. It won`t be everyone`s cup of tea but I do not want to let that effect the content. You will not see any aspects played down or avoided because someone might take offence. However, the goal isn`t to offend anyone. It`s a matter of realism.
monele wrote:I'm still impressed with the boldness such as a non-redeemable character and... futa (meep!) (well, futa might be standard fare in H I guess?).
Heh. Futa does come up plenty in H-games and doujins but maybe it`s the wrong word here. I use the term futa because it`s sure a hell of a lot easier than writing out, and mispelling, hermaphrodite each time. Again, I`d like to mention the point of realism. Futa characters appear in H-games for pretty obvious reasons, I`d be suprised if they analysed how a person reacts and feels when they have conflicting levels of estrogen and testosterone in their body.
I'm not even sure you'd need that many more characters. Supportive ones, yes, but main ones, maybe not.
It never really occured to me that this was true until you said it. If one character equals one path then I am potentially two thirds of the way there. I still want to come up with a fine list of characters though, so that I have a bit of flexability. I`m aware that a couple of characters will probably be dropped or limited depending on whether I can give them their own sprite set or not.
frumplstlskn wrote:I don't think rape is really what you would call it when an (I'm assuming) good looking tsundere girl dominates you and initiates sex.
Hmm, maybe you assume too much. Realism seems to be the key word in this post and if realism means slightly unattractive characters then so be it. The tsuntsun character won`t be a pristine blonde with drill hair and generous breasts. I mentioned something about having her had been a child prostitute, excuse me if I`m being far too presumptious but this makes me thing of some Asian countries where the age limit for consent is more liberal. She might have been sold to visiting tourists and picked up a degree of English, later when she got "too old" she was smuggled and sold abroad. Later or during the smuggling she was rescued by the police and sent to the institute.

I was getting at something else... Oh yes, she has dark skin. She doesn`t fit the blonde bombshell dominatrix kind of tsundere character that you`d expect in an eroge or H-game.
Dark is good. I can't stand happy happy moe moe diabeetus games.
Totally not a reference to anything made by Key, I`m sure.
I want to make a Horror VN some time.
Horror is a great genre for a VN. You`ve got everything that you need to build up a really sinister and creepy atmosphere. I`m really tempted to include some kind of supernatural element at least one path but I don`t know, doesn`t that just blow the idea of realism right out of the water?

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#6 Post by monele » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:58 am

I don't think rape is really what you would call it when an (I'm assuming) good looking tsundere girl dominates you and initiates sex.
Unless you explicitely accept the sex, it's still rape. The fact the woman is pretty or "large older ugly" has nothing to do with it :)
such as the MC`s initial reaction once she has arrived
For some reason, it escaped me that it was a she.
I use the term futa because it`s sure a hell of a lot easier than writing out, and mispelling, hermaphrodite each time.
Mh... maybe futa is more "free" when it comes to reasons and how it works, but it's pretty much about hermaphrodism, yes.
I`d be suprised if they analysed how a person reacts and feels when they have conflicting levels of estrogen and testosterone in their body.
Hmm... The futas I know are males who have turned female. I wonder if it happens the other way around too. So far, I tend to think it's not so much conflicting as much as... one side taking over.

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#7 Post by Sylph » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:10 am

monele wrote:For some reason, it escaped me that it was a she.
I`m more than sure that I mentioned it but it`s interesting, no?

When you think of a main character you think of a he. Maybe it`s just the literature that I read but I struggle to think of any female lead characters. The few female leads I can think of always seem to exist purely to be led down a path of lesbianism.
Hmm... The futas I know are males who have turned female.
I think you might be confusing being a hermaphrodite with having a sex change. True hermaphrodites are born with both sexual organs, quite awkwardly in fact. H-games would have us believe that the penis forms directly above the vagina and both work perfectly, unfortunately reality is a little different. However, I think in this character we can afford to let reality slip slightly on that point.
I wonder if it happens the other way around too.
If you`re talking about females who get a sex change to male then you might be suprised. It happens more often than you think. In fact, I used to know a someone who wanted to be male who in turn knew someone who was going ahead with a full female to male sex change.

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#8 Post by monele » Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:39 am

I`m more than sure that I mentioned it but it`s interesting, no?
Definitely interesting :). And, it's probably not a good thing but... it also changes the way I think about the tsuntsun on protagonist rape and the male on protagonist rape. Partly because the main character is suddenly not of my gender anymore... and because we get homosexual rape from an important character.

Now, I don't think a protagonist defaults to male... It's just that *I* am male, so if nothing else in the setting hints at the protagonist being female, I'll go with what I know best. Plus, we're talking about a VN where playing "yourself" is important... and myself is a guy ;).
I think you might be confusing being a hermaphrodite with having a sex change. True hermaphrodites are born with both sexual organs, quite awkwardly in fact.
Oh, I guess I did mix it up. I was thinking of people with biological disorders making them more feminine, up to having breasts and atrophied penises (sorry for the details people ^^;...).
It happens more often than you think.
Well I've learned something new :)

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#9 Post by Sylph » Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:47 am

EDIT: Added a second post bellow, rather than double post. Marked it with a line.
____________________________________________________________________________________
monele wrote:Definitely interesting :). And, it's probably not a good thing but... it also changes the way I think about the tsuntsun on protagonist rape and the male on protagonist rape.
Anything that makes you think should be a good thing, though I don`t know how it`s changed your opinion.

Altering the gender of the main character serves plenty of purposes, I`m sure you can imagine plenty of them, it should make the reader think. However, I do still want the player to be able to chose options freely and not be bound to gender orientated choices. I also get a kick out of the idea that the player may come to identify too much with a female lead, that they begin to enjoy some of the sex scenes despite playing as a female character.

As I said, this isn`t a H-game, the focus won`t be on the ero content but I do look forward to writing them. Any rape scene will, hopefully with plenty of research and imagination, provide an insight into what the rapee experiences. Sex with the futa character will do a good job of confusing the reader, the characters involved and break down gender role barriers. And the one hetrosexual path, I`ve already decided that there must be at least one male character with a path, will also prove to be interesting. It will include at least one scene of positive sex.

Everything is reversed, switched around and confused.
Oh, I guess I did mix it up. I was thinking of people with biological disorders making them more feminine, up to having breasts and atrophied penises.
Testosterone and other chemical imbalances do exist but it`s not the same thing as hermaphroditism, which means having both reproductive organs.
____________________________________________________________________________________

I`m becoming more and more tempted to add a supernatural element to the game. This is due to a need to fill in the void which is the game storyline, it needs filling and I`m trying to think of the easiest way to do it, not neccesarily the best way to do it however. I`ve locked onto the idea of a new character of a supernatural nature, being kept inside the run down remains of one of the buildings. The idea that there is a forbidden building or section of the collection of buildings that make up the institute is appealing. I`d like to be able to write the horror filled scene where the MC explores the depths of this no-go zone and kind of Lovecraftian terror, not to mention the character I`m thinking of. A character with a path, even the path if I really chose to drag the entire game towards that direction. I also had fun playing around with the idea that the MC can see otherworldly thing with her dead eye socket; Mystic Eye Socket of Death Perception? Sorry, Nasu.

But since I`ve written this first paragraph I`ve given myself more time to think about it. I have to decide whether I want to focus on the supernatural element of things or focus on the lives and relationships of the people involved. Clearly it has to be the lives of the characters, even if it means foregoing some kind of deeper meaning to the whole thing that brings all the paths together. As much as I would like to make a horror VN myself, now isn`t the time. I could go into detail how avoiding a single meaning to all the paths gives me so much more freedom but I think you get the idea.

Now the characters I`ve been stewing over in my mind a bit more and have been able to give them a little more detail. I wish I could say that I`ve come up with plenty more characters but really I`ve only fleshed out the existing characters and come up with one or two non-vital characters. Most of mental work has been going towards the tsuntsun character, I`ve got a much better idea of what her path would entail and not to mention how her path would branch into two different endings.

Where to start? Well, now is as good a time as any to write up a short bio for each character so far. Please bear in mind that these are still only intial ideas and very likely to change, names are one thing I struggle to come up with. Any notes or informal writing will come at the end after a hyphon.

Name: ... - Eyepatch Girl
Age: 16 - Approx. Will change, probably.
Sex: Female
Appearance: ... - Undecided. Whenever I try to conjour up an idea of what the MC looks like I am drawn to the idea of Chrome from Reborn. Of course I want to get away from that idea and come up with something more raw, more real. A character that looks real, pretty in her own way but with flaws. And thus I am drawn towards another image that I remember, a blonde girl with a specific kind of hair. It`s easier to show than describe. Have a look at this picture in order to get an idea of what I mean

Personality: [Name] has always been known to be the quiet, level headed kind of girl. Outwardly reserved yet friendly, never one to activity step forward and help but pleased to be of assistance if only she was asked. In private her friends knew her as someone who could be passionate about the things she cared about; her ideals and opinions. She impressed close friends and adults alike with her worldliness, her effeciency and motherly traits. If ever you wanted advice, something done or some small thing fixed, [name] was the person to ask. Yet, she remained conservative, never seeking the warmth of people, strong for herself others - Hmm, probably a little too positive. It might be strange to read this and potray her character as being as vulnerable and depressed as she is during the start of the story.

History: The daughter of a normal family, poor in wealth but rich in memories and steeped in love, [name] lived a fairly standard life. That is, up until the year that her mother died in an unfortunate road accident, crushed under the wheeled of a large truck as she tried to road in slow moving traffic. She had passed before the stationary verchile, the driver completely unaware of her from his high seat had edged his transport forward and struck the woman with enough force to knock her unconcious and ultimately, ran her over.

Both father and daughter bore witness to the tragedy, and her father received an injury that meant being out of work for a short period of time, in his hopeless rush to his wife`s aid. During his absences from work, like many men, he took to the bottle heavily. [Name] found her father a changed man after the accident, he drunk more and more, refused to go to work and lost his job, lost friends, lost money and frequently lost his temper. At her age she had no other option than to care for him, she developed tactics to avoid him and keep him pleased, enduring until the day that she could quietly disappear. But it was not to be.

One night [name] took a bottle to the temple that littered one eye with shards of glass, an injury that normally would be of no dire consequence if treated. The wound however, was entirely obvious, if she went outside no one could go without noticing it, a hospital would immediately spot abuse. The only logical option was to lock her in the house until he could think of a solution or the problem fixed itself. Naturally, the eye and the gash to the side of her face became infected. Her father understood that it was only going to get worse and one day decided that his only option was to flee.

Time passed and eventually the police arrived as a result of concerned reports that no one was answering the phone or house. They discovered her behind a locked door, a shadow of her former self, dangerously ill, lying in a soiled bed. After that she received medical treatment and it was established that she had no known living relatives. She was given two options: take up residence with the family of a freind or be taken to the care of the instiute, who would also fork the medical bill.

[Name] chose a new life, she chose the institute.

Personal Statement: ... - Undecided. The personal statement should just be a quick quote or a small paragraph which gives you a more complete idea of what the character is like. I can`t think of anything to write here right now but I`m considering leaving it blank anyway, but only for the MC.

Name: ... - Tsuntsun Girl
Age: 19 - Approx.
Sex: Female
Appearance: ... - Sort of decided. As far as looks go this character is the most decided, yet I don`t want to write anything certain just yet. There are plenty of characters which you can think of which would fit the profile of a strong female character with brown skin. Think Kaede from Fate/Stay Night, Helena from `Eden: It's an Endless World` and finally, have a look at this picture. The original character was inspired from the character on the far right, grey skin, light grey hair. Unfortunately grey skin doesn`t exist in the real world, except on corpses, so she will have to have brown skin. You get the idea I hope.
Personality: ... - Decided but I`ll write it later.
History: ... - Same as above.
Personal Statement: "Go eat a dick."

Name: ... - Futa Girl
Age: 16 - Approx.
Sex: Other
Appearance: ... - Undecided. Appears more female than male.
Personality: ...
History: ... - Undecided. Abused due to gender.
Personal Statement: ...

Name: ... - Unnamed Male
Age: 17 - Approx.
Sex: Male
Appearance: ...
Personality: ...
History: ... - Undecided. He brought to the institute by his mother in order to escape an abusive husband, she is currently living in another part of the institute.
Personal Statement: ...

Three other minor characters, which I won`t go into much detail with right now, are Unnamed Male`s (he really need a nickname, fast) Mother. A fairly young but tired looking thing with impossibly long hair.

Head of the male dorms. Large guy, mostly muscle but entirely non-intimidating, certainly not an idoit either. Believes that the best way to help children get back on their feet is to give them freedoms they never had before so that they expand and learn or relearn important social skills for their lives ahead.

Head of the female dorms. Not ugly, not impossibly stunning either. Doesn`t wear a suit or tie her hair up in a tight bun but is still mean as shit. Believes that the best way to help children is to install discipline and routine in their lives of which they can be sure of, rather than let them slip and become lazy.

The two often clash, arguing like angry parents behind closed doors. There are, however, no rumors that the two might be sleeping together. The intensity of their arguements are very real.

That`s it for now. If you`ve read all this then please give me some feed back, even if it`s to say DO NOT WANT.

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#10 Post by dizzcity » Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:51 am

Well, it's definitely an ambitious project, especially if you hate writing. :P This sort of thing calls for very careful scripting in order to pull off the dramatic tension correctly. Nevertheless, assuming that you're prepared to spend about 1-2 years on this (estimated development time), then as a writer I suggest also thinking about the story and characters from the viewpoint of Theme and Motivations.

What is the theme of your story? That is to say, what message are you trying to give to the reader? The story is about abused people, yes, but is the message "Abuse Hurts Both Parties" (a la Kimi ga Nozomu Eien)? "There Can Be Healing with a Positive Attitude" (a la Fruits Basket)? "There is No Hope for the Abused" (a la George Orwell's 1984)? "Abuse can Change a Person for the Better" (a la Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew), etc. One you find your theme (or perhaps assign a particular theme per path), then you are better able to fit the characters to the roles they must play. Alternatively, you could try for no theme - a complete slice-of-life story with no real beginning or real end... life just goes on (which can be a theme in itself).

Secondly, what are your character's motivations? You've described their backstories and parts of their personalities or what you want them to do, but have you figured out WHY they should be doing what they do? No one does things without reason - the reason may be twisted, and unconventional, but it exists. For example, why should the tsuntsun girl try to rape the main character? Is she desiring to overcome her remembered state of helplessness by seeking to dominate others through the best method she knows how - without realising that she is perpetrating the same condition onto her victims? If her surface motivation is to dominate, but her underlying motivation is fear of being dominated and being helpless, how can you address that issue in the story? Can the main character penetrate the deception, and relieve her fear? Or will the MC succumb to the dominatrix mentality and let the reader see how the MC evolves into becoming the same thing that the rapist was struggling with? If she does, then what would the tsuntsun girl do? Does she try to save the MC from becoming what she is, because she remembers the fear and can empathise? Or does her own need to feel powerful overwhelm her sympathy for the weak? Does she see her past self in the MC, and by dominating it, is she effectively trying to punish herself for being so weak at that time? Or maybe she wants to help, but believes that there is no hope, so doesn't try and instead continues on to oblivion. The conflict between motivation and action is where the best drama can be pulled out, and where the greatest messages are sent.

What are the MC's motivations for acting the way she does? Why did she reject her family and try the institute instead? Yes, she wants a new life - that's the surface motivation. What lies underneath? Is she now distrustful of close family members? Does she believe that strangers would be better than family? Is she feeling betrayed? But even deeper - if she still has a personality that likes to help, but has now become aware that helping others can cause her to be betrayed and harmed, how can she resolve this inner conflict? And if this inner conflict becomes the main theme of your story ("To Trust Someone Means Opening Yourself Up to Possible Abuse"), then how can the other characters affect this conflict?

Theme and Motivation. Find your theme, and you have a story to tell with places for characters. Find your motivations, and you have characters to fill those places. And the key to a good narrative is conflict and resolution. What is your conflict?

-Dizzy-
A smart man follows the rules, a dumb man breaks them. A great man bends the rules and thus creates them.
Fanfiction.net Profile.
Writer and director of Working Woman (NaNoRenO March 2010)
Writer and director of Wedding Vows (finished 2009).
Creator of Lakeside Sunset (finished 2006).

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#11 Post by Sylph » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:38 am

dizzcity wrote:... then as a writer I suggest also thinking about the story and characters from the viewpoint of Theme and Motivations.
The short answer to your long question would simply be `Yes,` but that doesn`t really do justice to such a long, thought-out post.

To a degree, the purpose of this game is to be controversial but more accurately to be frank and honest, to give an straight forward account of the nastier side of humanity and those who felt the brunt of it. I`d hate to think that it looks like I`m including any negative elements without reason, purely to shock. Each character will act the way they do for a plausible reason but without being too predictable. I don`t want to go into too much detail about what motivates the tsuntsun girl, partly because I honestly haven`t thought it of it yet, deciding what to do with her ultimately without it being predictable isn`t easy, and possibly for spoiler reasons. But what I can say is that there will certainly be no removal of the mask to reveal a frightened little girl, the tsuntsun girl knows what she`s doing and why she`s doing it. She`s entirely aware of how she appears to those around her.

Concerning MC`s motivation however, I can answer those questions, though I think I should point out that you might have misundstood. She was offered the choice of between the institute and the family of a school mate, she has no blood ties in the world anymore. The reason that she declined to stay with a known family is because of a number of reasons:

Firstly, by the time of her hospitalization her social life had declined due to her father, she would be allowed increasing less time away from him, she certainly couldn`t invite any friends to her house. In fact, the reason for his final outburst will probably come down to having spent too long before coming home, by then he would have had more than enough time to get drunken enough to get mad.

Secondly, she does feel betrayed. Despite having never told anyone, having never sought help, having actively done everything should could to cover up her situation, she stills feels hard done by those around her that did not notice. Whether they could have noticed or not isn`t important, she still feels betrayed. It`s an important flaw, a little reality.

Thirdly, and probably most importantly, is that she wanted change. In that place where she grew up she only has fleeting memories of happiness that have been over ridden by so many years of suffering at the hands of her father. All those years she had spent quietly dreaming of escape, dreaming of change and now she`ll take it in any form that it is presented to her. Not only is not as close to her friends as they might think but she also fears that he may come back for her one day, a change in setting suits her down to the ground. There`s simply nothing there for her anymore.

As far as an over all theme goes, I`m not sure. Yes, it is partly simply a piece of slice-of-life, showing a realities that exist all too often but that we don`t get so much exposure to. If anything the theme is reality itself. However, in the tsuntsun and the guy`s path, the MC will be forced to face her demons in various forms and thus about becoming stronger. It`s really about saying that this is what happens, this is why it happens and this is how it affects people.

At least, I think it is.

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#12 Post by monele » Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:17 am

A question : will the overall outcome of the story/game be positive, negative, neutral, or dependant on the player?

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#13 Post by Sylph » Sat May 24, 2008 5:38 am

EDIT: Added a second post bellow, rather than double post. Marked it with a line.
____________________________________________________________________________________
monele wrote:A question : will the overall outcome of the story/game be positive, negative, neutral, or dependant on the player?
I`d say bittersweet.

But it still depends on which path you take and what choices the player makes. Each path should branch into two different endings, at least. They won`t be clear cut Good or Bad endings, more like the difference between a Normal End and a True End.
____________________________________________________________________________________

It`s been some time since I last posted and I`ve had a while to think a few of the elements over. I`ve mostly been obssessing with the idea of the tsuntsun girl, who still had no name, rather than focus on the characters that need a bit more fleshing out, or indeed coming up with brand new ones.

I`ve come up with a decent ending split which is decided on what choices you make during the path, though saying what it is would be spoiling it. I`ve also fleshed out some of the dialog in my head, things about her life that will come out during the path and reasons why they come out considering how little she cares for the main character. She`s probably mellowed out a bit in the process of all this, rather than being outwardly hateful she`s slightly more apathetic in accordance with her already mentioned inability to care about the MC, she is however, just as brutal. She`ll do anything she pleases with the MC to further her goals including giving her burning, bloodly hell for every occasional the MC tries to fight back or be uncooperative. So much so that the player should seriously wonder if the MC is about to give the ghost if they push back too many times, on more than one occasion.

I`m certainly more satisfied with the male character`s path too but again I can say next to nothing on it without spoiling the path which I hope isn`t a spoiler in itself. I can say that there will be at least two major twists to the path, the first you might very well see coming but the other should be a nice suprise.

The MC`s character description is also going to be heavily revised, on second thought I`m not too pleased with what I wrote about it. As enjoyable as it was to write about her mother`s death it was unnessicary. Generally I`m unhappy with her pre-game personality.

Really I wanted to make this post because I am, more or less, in a position to start properly working on this game, therefore I want some more opinions on it.

Oh and if this doesn`t pull through then I`ve thought up something I`m equally excited about that`s more super-natural, but that`s not for this thread.

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#14 Post by Blue123 » Sun May 25, 2008 12:23 pm

Keep on going. You're running on full, your ideas are great (I liek your characters especially), and this could turn out to be something very interesting- and quite different!

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Re: New Game - Initial Ideas

#15 Post by Sylph » Mon May 26, 2008 5:35 am

Blue123 wrote:Keep on going. You're running on full, your ideas are great (I liek your characters especially), and this could turn out to be something very interesting- and quite different!
Thank you.

Though I`m curious to know, what do you like about the characters? I don`t want to change the MC too much if I find out someone actually likes the way she`s currently done.

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