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Project Denovo - Writing Concepts

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Zerok
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Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-14 22:36:25 Reply

[Central News Post]

Hello master wordsmiths of NG! I'm excited to tell you about this little project I've gotten myself wrapped up in. I've recently convinced my university to let me build a video game for a course in the winter semester, so I'll have to have at least a working alpha by April 2011.

I'd like to see everything built up from scratch and a lot of different talent tapped, so I've designed this collab so that all the major "departments" here at NG can take part in some way. I've created this thread along with 4 others in their respective forums in order to focus the discussion.

Check out the thread in the Collab Forum for the basic background information!

Writing Contribution Opportunity

This game will be a Choose Your Own Adventure with RPG elements throughout. Obviously, there needs to be a storyline and character backgrounds. I will be taking on the vast majority of the gruntwork here; what I'm looking to you guys for is mostly ideas and concepts.

The basic framework of the story is the Player will be waking up at around 7:00am in their home, located in a generic Western society city. Up to 24 rounds of decisions will commence, corresponding to a full 24 hour day.

Basic Storyline Concepts

So my first question is what could realistically happen to a person in 24 hours? Anything from the mundane (they sit around all day then go to a small party) to the highly unlikely (become involved in the heist of the century).

Also, think of ways that the Player could get arrested, killed, knocked out (basically any GAME OVER scenarios) within your concepts.

Branching Concepts

Then, what sort of things could happen that would tweak a chain of events and what would their outcomes be?

How would Player characteristics affect a certain storyline? For example, how would your story change during the 24 hours if the Player was generally more or less aggressive, intelligent, charming, etc.? Think RPG elements (charisma, stamina, alertness).

Character Bios, personalities, relationships

There will be a bunch of NPCs navigating their own way through the 24 hours. Can you think of any interesting (but ultimately realistic) people our Player could encounter? How would they affect the story? What relationships could the NPCs have with each other that might affect the Player and/or the story?

Also, pop in to the ART THREAD and if there are any cool Character concepts posted in there without storylines, feel free to create them here.

Other Opportunities

In order to create replay value and depth, I plan to give NPCs huge dialogue banks so they're not always saying the same old stuff every time a person goes through the game. If anyone wants to volunteer they could be in charge of scripting some NPC phrases. Let me know.

How do I choose what gets used?

Ultimately, it will depend on the scope of the project which at the current time is unknown. If I get tons of support and have enough time, I could incorporate tons of stuff. Or perhaps after some brainstorming I'll settle on 4-5 key concepts in here and create a new thread to flush them out.

Credits / Rev Share

It's unlikely that I'll allot any rev share for simple participation in this thread, unless you go above and beyond and become a key player in the project. This thread is mostly for coming up with ideas that I'll refine myself (so as to keep a consistent writing style in the game). Any help here will certainly be credited in game though!

Questions, Comments, Suggestions

Feel free to ask anything writing / storyline concept related here! For general questions I'd prefer if you used the Collab Forum thread or the Central News Post.

I'm also going to try to come on AIM on Friday afternoons under the email projectodenovo@gmail.com (note the 'o' between 'project' and 'denovo').

PMing me also works!

Thank you in advance for your time and talent!


Zerok blog: PM me if you like music | My (retired) webcomic: Pizza For Guys

Listen2Reason
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-21 15:44:09 Reply

"You decide to spend all day playing games on Newgrounds." That's easy enough. ;)

How about some sort of robbery? There are multiple ways the character could get involved.

* The character goes around the back of the bank (maybe on his way somewhere else) and finds some people trying to hack the security system. He can get the police, but if he's not sneaky enough (or is not able to run fast enough), they kill him. He can help; if he's intelligent enough, he gives them some computer advice and can actually join in the robbery.
* The character goes in the front and is there when armed robbers break in and start threatening everyone to create a hostage situation. (Why would one robbery have both hacking and violence? I'm not sure, I'm really just brainstorming here.) If the character is in a hostage situation, he could try to fight the robbers--if he's strong or quick enough he can distract them enough for the police to do their thing, otherwise he gets killed. He can just lie on the floor and wait out the hostage situation until it gets resolved in some way. He could escape, then go somewhere else entirely, or he could be interrogated by the police and possibly help them with negotiations.

BigRed
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-21 16:53:06 Reply

I would love to take a large role in writing for this. I'm currently studying computer science at Uni, although my other hobby is theatre. I've written, directed, acted etc. I rap, you can check out the music on my profile, but I likely wouldn't be writing rap for this. I understand concepts of drama, action, suspense, etc, and can apply them. I grew up with Space Quest, Monkey Island, and similar adventure games and I would likely bring the same kind of humour with me. Sound cool?

I'd like to help you get the planning part of the writing process off of the ground. Do you have skype? If so, PM me and we can chat! If not, PM me and we can chat!


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DeadEndWorldStudios
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-21 17:02:56 Reply

If you want it to have many diffrent endings they there should be a few charactors who only show up in the game for one 24 hour period that would branch off into their own stroylines. Such as let say some shadowy girl that gets the main charactors attenton and in fallowing such charactor down an ally way the main charactor get sucked into another dimention with it's own unique sets of quests and missions that are only available by fallowing the girl on the one day she apears in the game. Things like that.


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S4cr3d-Cr4p
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-21 19:14:23 Reply

Character ideas:
Anonymous online chat-room person. Friendly, but self loathing. Turns out to be someone you actually meet (maybe you wouldn't be able to figure it out just from one play-through). Kills self in pretty much every play through. You could set up some interesting dynamics, where a player cannot optimise their solution (so this guy can be saved, but maybe some other bad thing has to happen).

Conspiracy theorist who hangs around in a public toilet (maybe in a bar or something). Tries to convince you to do bad/anarchic/self destructive things. Thinks he is the second coming of Christ and talks about his healing powers. Only see him if you don't take the pills at the start. He is your reflection (maybe big reveal through smashed mirror resulting in his disappearance).

Cute, flirty girl who steals your money. Lies about having a drug habit. Compulsive liar. May actually still love you.

G0DKING
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-21 23:48:53 Reply

One idea that could be use is that during a walk to his job at the shipyard (or somewhere with private warehouses) he hears the sound of someone getting beat up and it is coming from the inside of a warehouse so he has the options to ether look through the window and see or just totally ignore it and mind your own business. Well, it ended up that the mob kill someone in there and when the cops come you have the option to tell them what you saw (if you choose that option or you could have been the person that called them) or you can mind your own business and just go on with your day. If you saw them murder him and you didn't tell the cops, but you still know the mob could chase you all day and certain things you do throughout the day you could give away your location. If you did report the cops what you saw you could go down to the police station and report to them what you saw, but because the mob has police officers who are being paid under the table they tell them that you are the ONLY witnesses and they kidnapped you and you have to escape their clutches or die.


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TheAutocrat
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-22 03:35:13 Reply

Right now, since I'm just reading this and haven't been able to think long about it... I only have one idea and it's just a simple character idea.

A ghost. She/He appears homeless/down on their luck. Maybe asking for rides home/to places. Asking Main Character for objects or things to return to the character. Options to be rude, nice, ignorant towards the ghost. Perhaps having a realization that the ghost IS in fact a ghost or something.

But yeah, I will have more ideas soon. Promise.


"Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead." - Charles Bukowski.

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kokonut10
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-22 04:19:03 Reply

The player could be picked 'at random' off the street by a man who pays him to pull a hit on an important figure in the city. (Politician maybe?)
The hit must be completed sometime in the 24 hours of the game, and when the player chooses to carry out the hit could effect the outcomes, such as whether he is caught, killed, betrayed or if he gets away with the crime or not.
For example, if the hit is carried out later in the evening, he would have a less likely chance of getting caught, thanks to the cover of darkness, and would get away with it. If it's done in the middle of the day, he could be easily seen or taken out by security or by a bystander.
If it goes well, the day could go on as normal, but the player would have a little extra cash to buy drinks for a party, donate to charity, or whatever else there could be in the game. If the player is seen or caught, he would end up going to prison, where he can either serve his time or plan and attempt a breakout with other inmates.

I am actually extremely interested in this project, and would really like to contribute more scenarios and possibly character ideas in the future. Good luck with the collab! Hope my ideas help you out! :)

Zerok
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-22 11:56:24 Reply

Thank you for all the ideas thus far folks, when we go to our fist storyboarding session I'll be using this thread for sure!


Zerok blog: PM me if you like music | My (retired) webcomic: Pizza For Guys

deathmetal12435
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-22 17:06:07 Reply

I got a few ideas.

" You decide on our lunch break to go out a local coffee shop to destressatize after working for awhile, when you arrive you meet a man who talks about a hidden treasure deep in the closed old city mine, everyone disregards him as a crazy crackpot, but you decide to stay and listen to the old man evetually you take him up on his story and when your through working you follow him to an abandoned mine where he tells you that you must tread lightly for it is high unstable, ( Insert multiple death scenarios various in nature. ) You evetually come to clearing through the mines where you see a bunch of dead bodies you come through relization that this man is a murder, you fight him, ( Through a choice of using a couple different tools, suhc as a pickaxe, rock, etc.

Thats just one though

metakingkirby
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-22 19:59:58 Reply

I'm really excited about this.

Maybe your character could have one or two choices as a kid that affect what kind of person he is, not completely, just what people think of your character in the beginning of the game, that you could choose to base your character on or just ignore and do random things, you know?
You could have a choice between running away and staying home, and if you stay home you go to school and can be an honest hard working person, but if you run away you are raised by some thieves who find you, and you start the game as someone who steals for a living or something.
Maybe during the game you could try and change people's opinions of you, or you could just gather more "fame" as whatever you pick. Just something along the lines of starting as good or evil or neutral. Anything of that sort.
Obviously that first choice alters the game you play, you can become the most feared thief of the land and have servants who steal for you, maybe start a "thieves guild" or something, but if you choose the "good" way you could have all sorts of different options. You could LOOK good and do bad things as a politic or you could be a firefighter(?).
But even this could change depending on your skills. If you're intelligent and a thief you could plan amazing heists, but if you were strong you could just kill people in the shade or something.
Maybe your love life could also alter this, if your character likes a "good girl" the he can't be evil, and has to change his plan according to what his wife/husband does. You could plan a heist and your wife wants to go to the mall, then you have to pick between the two.
Of course you could always try and do something completely different than the "good/evil" approach and have something not as... Important. Like just meeting people and not have something as drastic as being the "master thief" or the "President of the United States(? again)". I just think having good/evil reputation is crucial for a good RPG. Just my thought tough.

tinytim12
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-22 22:14:54 Reply

It'll be interesting if you can add some sort of karma meter, and when you die the game over screen can show whether you've landed in heaven or hell depending on what you've done that day.

Maybe dying and ending up in heaven can be considered a good ending.


When I got outside, the purple fog was spreading. I covered my nose and mouth, and ran home.

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kokonut10
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-23 03:53:53 Reply

The player could have an encounter on the way to work, or a club or something, where someone attempts to mug him. You can either agree to the mugger's demands and give him all your valuables, such as your watch and cash, and you won't be able to keep track of the time throughout the game unless you ask someone or look at a clock tower or something, and you will have no money to spend on anything in the game, maybe food or some other in game item.
If you refuse his demands, he may draw a knife or gun, and you can choose either to flee or defend yourself.
If you succeed in defending yourself, you can turn the mugger in for a reward, or if you fail, you end up in hospital for a few hours, limiting the amount of time you have to work, party, etc. :) Or you could die, depending on how badly it goes.

eoincamoore
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-23 19:28:51 Reply

If the plot is to take place over 24 hours, then dawn to dawn - 7am to 7am - would probably work best. If you want to make this thing extremely variable, then it should also be up to the player's choice who the character is before the main game even takes place. This would have to be limited to certain parameters, but choosing backstory and the way npcs react to the player could work as a non-numerical version of skill bases. For instance, if the character is a college student it could be chosen whether they are popular, if they fit into a certain click, which characters they have specific relationships with, etc. This wouldn't necessarily have to take place out of game in a dull menu system before the gameplay even starts, but it could be blended in as the game goes on, for instance, as the character bumps into one npc, immediately the player would be given the option to choose whether this character is a friend, an enemy, a lover, whatever. Now this could be too ambitious a prospect, but if applied well it will make the game stand out.

Optimisticperson
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-23 20:05:48 Reply

There is alot of things that could happen in 24 hours. The PC could do nothing all day and just stay in bed. He could Accidently or Purposely kill someone in a dinner with the victim's food allergy. (Poison or spices the victim's food) He or she could break up with their Boyfriend or girlfriend. He or She could find out that one of there Best Friends is Gay, and they could react happily/ Angrily/ or confused. The Pc needs a chosable backround, or just one backround to build on. They could be a bullied kid (Shy, conservitive, and has a good job) to the actual bully (Aggresive, can handle him/herself in a fight, and Carries a gun at all times)

But here's my question will the PC have a unknown backround, a chosable backround, or a linear backround? And will people be able to chose if they are male/ female and straight or gay.

If there is a chosable backround that will give us writers a chance to create some unique backrounds. And if there is a linear backround, we can evolve the story from that said backround.


"Would you kindly..."

HEMI9
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-24 16:28:48 Reply

You use your computer, trolling the internet, when suddenly, your printer starts printing out pictures! They are of memes, and they are angry because you gave them a bad reputation on the internet! They take you back into the computer where one trollface stays back-- He's going to control your computer. You enter the digital world and you end up in the first part of your escape from online death. You find yourself in a huge Colosseum. You are currently on stage 1- Ancient Rome, home of the 'This Is Sparta' meme. Of course, right behind you is a hole. Here is where your first choice comes in.
A.) jump in the hole b.) stay where you are. c.) run away If you pick a, you die, if you pick b the roman from 300 comes up to you. if you pick c, you run into a lion and die.

Thats all i have so far, but like a part with various viral annoyances from the internet seems cool


Wow this banner is really old and makes me cringe a little bit

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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-24 20:18:05 Reply

This sounds really cool. One of the things I'd like to see is the character just going through an average day; maybe he passes by a bank or other places and has the option to interact with it or ignore it completely. If the player decides to rob the bank then the point of the game would be very much trial and error, but everytime you fail you do it the next day with better stats. Maybe next time you try it you have higher intelligence so you could hack the bank so you wouldn't have to rely on threats. Or maybe you have enough strength to take the bank on yourself.

It would also be cool if you follow your average day and see that one of your co workers is interested in robbing the bank or whatever else. If you ignore him you would see him on the news or maybe you helped him and now you're rich.

It's just an idea.


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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-25 00:54:48 Reply

Go to college -> Bullied -> die -> kick ass -> rep goes up invited to party -> go to party -> OD -> die -> get drunk -> prank pulled -> wake up on a beach -> find out crossed Mexican border -> cross illegally die -> make money join gang -> multiple death scenarios in gang -> get sent across border -> escape and find your way back home. Open your email. "Life is nothing but a series of choices and you've made the wrong on, Amigo. Boom! and Credits.

This has been my 30min brainstorm.


Better, Faster, STRONGER!

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Zerok
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-25 12:31:44 Reply

At 1/22/11 07:59 PM, metakingkirby wrote: I'm really excited about this.

Pump it upppppp!

Just my thought tough.

You've actually hit on a lot of the little nuances I'm going to try and program into the game! There will definitely be character attributes, and they will probably be hidden from the Player so they have to gauge the game by playing it over and over... the attributes will totally affect what choices become available later in the game :D


Zerok blog: PM me if you like music | My (retired) webcomic: Pizza For Guys

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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-26 20:55:19 Reply

Hmmmm, this is just a random idea, but how about a character that is the direct opposite of you/the protagonist? It could be the player's shadow/evil twin/clone/parallel version/etc. This is probably a stupid concept but hey, it's an idea thread so I put it out there.


"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. "-Albert Einstein

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Zerok
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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-27 07:43:55 Reply

At 1/26/11 08:55 PM, Gangstercake wrote: This is probably a stupid concept but hey, it's an idea thread so I put it out there.

No idea is stupid in a brainstorm. Maybe I won't have an exact opposite but you've given me the idea to create a dynamic NPC that bases its character traits solely off the state of the Player :D


Zerok blog: PM me if you like music | My (retired) webcomic: Pizza For Guys

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Response to Project Denovo - Writing Concepts 2011-01-28 00:49:28 Reply

I have an idea. Your player, instead of going out on an adventure decides to simply clean his house. While drudging out his bedroom he looks under his bed, only to find a hole under it leading to a underground cave. If you choose the call the authorities the X-files music begins to play and you are abducted by the FBI (a story for another day) If you choose to go into the cave you lower yourself down and slowly go through finding a mushroom forest. You have a choice of hacking the mushroom down (if you do so you are killed by spores and game over) or push through, which causes you to survive and come out onto an underground settlement. Enter the town of Madcap. You character then is allowed to explore the town.

Now it will be about three hours into your journey, what could we do with the rest of the 21 hours in this day?


"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things: Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax. Of cabbages and kings!"

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