Post-Apocalyptic RPG forums

Development => Writing and Quests => Topic started by: zenbitz on September 19, 2009, 09:02:34 PM

Post by: zenbitz on September 19, 2009, 09:02:34 PM
So at the meeting on 9/19 we decided that we would have a tech demo with 2 very simple "dialog/inventory" quests.  The quests are independent, but various "states" of them (particuarly) final results should interact.

These quests have no skills, stats, or challenges - their purpose is to demonstrate the basics of the game engine that are written:  Dialog, Inventory, Map loading.

Overview  -
A townsperson gives you a package to deliever.  He/She is afraid of other NPC.  You look around for NPC but no one knows where he is.  You eventually find him, dead, down the well.  You can do one of the following:
* Return package
* Find killer
* Open package

(Note see booze quest, you make better booze if you get the body out of the well)   Meinmartini has thoughtfully volunteered to work on this quest, but anyone can pipe up if they have ideas.  Remember,  no one has any skills implemented for the tech demo, so keep it simple.

Post by: shevegen on September 25, 2009, 06:07:41 PM
Ah I couldnt find this thread for several days... wondered where it was. :)

Somehow assumed it was under "general". Anyway, I'd like to see some actions with animation coupled to the quest.

For example, the throwing action could perhaps be used, although I am not sure for what. Perhaps for just testing throwing... cant come up with a quest related idea.

About climing down the well, there coul be a 10% that the character slips down and dies. This could trigger the death animation (and force a restarted or something, or opens the load menu screen)

Also let's use this thread to expand for suggestion on the Fedex quest.

- What names will the NPCs have? (doesn't matter much but it would still be nice if NPC get a name)
- The dialogue, could have some information that is related to the booze quest. (or it could be interconnected), for example if the char digs into booze a bit, the NPC could reveal that the water from the well should be very clean.
And we could have a "clean place" like action for the well, where the character removes the dead body and tries to clean up the well a little bit... perhaps fungus is growing there

Post by: zenbitz on October 02, 2009, 11:49:20 PM
Maybe the package could be a dead rat - as in a message to him that he was about to be killed (but someone got to him first???)

Post by: shevegen on October 04, 2009, 12:14:50 AM
hehe i like your way of thinking
a dead rat in an inconspicuous litte gift-box

Post by: zenbitz on October 10, 2009, 07:54:53 AM
I had a brainstorm while I was grocery shopping.

This wiki page superceeds my thoughts above; I think we can make some trivial alterations to fit the new location.

Post by: Yorum on October 27, 2009, 03:33:57 PM
This is my first take on the fedex quest. I edited quite heavily the whole concept, and the only things that I kept were that Kimmos brother Pete is dead and he was killed by the drunkard Joni. (

Kimmo Niitty is the former Kimmo Martinpoika .
Pete Niitty is the former Pekko Martinpoika.
Jenna is the former Janie.
Joni is the Former Bart the drunkard.
Aino Niitty is the former Ma Martinpoika.
Mainhouse/Päätalo is the placeholder name for the the village.
Some of the changes conflict directly with the original backstory of the different characters and their original relationships.

I added characteristics into the character information sheet. It's there only to give some emotional depth for the characters, and it acts as a simple reminder tool for me when I'm thinking about the motives and persona of the characters.

At the moment I've only done the first version of Kimmo Niitty. I have only about 5-7 hours per week for working on Parpg, so I decided to throw some unfinished work out here in to just show that I'm alive. Also, I came to realise that editing a whole quest concept without any feedback from anyone else is pretty much a huge timesink and a dumb thing to do if no one actually likes these ideas in the end.

Character information

    * Name:
          o Kimmo Niitty
    * Age:
          o 33
    * Religion:
          o None
    * Languages:
          o Finnish
          o Swedish

    * Mental: (Below / Average / Above)
          o Intelligence:average
          o Perception:average
    * Social: (Below / Average / Above)
          o Charisma:above
          o Manipulation:below
    * Physical: (Below / Average / Above)
          o average
    * Combatant: (Aggressive / Only when Provoked / Non-Violent)
          o only when provoked

Physical Appearance

I didn't think about these yet.
    * General height, weight, and apparent age:
    * Unique features:
    * Usual attire:

Background information

    * What is the NPC's history?
          o Kimmo was born as the first son to Aino (mother) and Teuvo Niitty (father, died during Kimmos early childhood).

          o Kimmo is older brother of Pete Niitty.

          o Kimmo and Pete survived the war with their mother in the shopping malls bomb shelter.

          o Kimmo and Pete became friends with a crippled soldier called Joni, who was quite a storyteller and told numerous stories during their stay underground. He became a sort of father figure for the brothers.

          o Kimmo was able to keep every survivor in the shelter together as a group, which helped them to survive. His brother Pete was the one who knew the most about survival and tried first to make everyone understand that they could survive if everyone would just work together. Kimmo worked together with Pete, first as a kind of a instructor who relied Petes advices to everyone, and later he became the leader.

          o Now Kimmos and Petes mother have become sick, and won't survive another harsh winter. Because of this Kimmo wants to look for a new place south, but Pete knows that they don't have enough food and supplies to search for a new place to stay. Some of the villages people would die during the expedition.

          o Because of this, the relationship between the two brothers have become really bad. Kimmo has been rallying the people in the village to start preparing for the move. Pete has been trying to desperately tell everyone that moving now would mean almost certain death.

          o Kimmo has became really bad-tempered lately. He can't understand how his own brother doesn't understand that their mother is going to die if they don't move souther.

    * What is this NPC trying to accomplish? What does he want?

          o He wants to relocate somewhere in the south, in order to save his sick mother.


    * what is the greatest misconception that everyone has about the NPC? What is the "mask" that the NPC has created for himself/herself?

          o He is an intelligent leader

   * What does the NPC fear? What "drives" him/her?
          o To lose everyone he loves/To be left all alone.

    * What are the NPC's strongest traits? What are the characteristics that the NPC uses in futile attempt to control his fear?

          o Imagination
          o Able to make things alright

    * What are the traits the character wants? What are the traits that would make the NPC "whole", in control of himself/herself?

          o Empathy, cool-headed-ness

    * What are the NPC's trouble traits? How does the fear manifest itself in the NPC?

          o Selfishness

    * What is the NPC's dark side? What trait does he hate the most in other people?

          o Hurt people who are dear to him

Ties to other NPCs or Political groups

    * Does this NPC have ties to other NPCs or Political groups?

          o Kimmo is the village leader of Mainhouse (päätalo)

Relationship to the PC

    * Does this NPC have ties to the PC? If not, how would the PC meet them?

          o No
          o Meet him inside Mainhouse

    * How can the relationship evolve?

          o Friendly acquaintance
          o PC kills Kimmo

    * What are the differences for a male / female PC?

          o None

Quest options

    * What quests could the player receive from this NPC?

          o Part of the fedex quest.

Post by: zenbitz on October 27, 2009, 09:33:55 PM
uh, wow.

This is really, really good, much better than I was planning for a demo.  We might have to cut some bits out (since we won't have any skills/stats or fighting implemented in the demo), but otherwise, it's got lots of detail.

What did you use to create the flowchart?   My idea for a dialogue gui editor was to base it on a flow chart type drawing engine.   Although yours is a quest flow chart...

I will look over the quest flow chart and post some comments when I get a chance... probably tomorrow (evening for you)

Post by: zenbitz on October 27, 2009, 11:20:42 PM
One thing that makes little sense is the actual murder:

It's not really plausible that he would accidentally push him into the cistern.  You should know that the decision to have the drunkard kill Kimmo was not based on anything more than "someone had to do it"... it seems you have a better story in mind.

The other thing to consider is that if Jenna is young (<30 or so) then she has VERY LITTLE memory of the pre-apocalypse world, which occurred 20 years ago.    It doesn't makes a lot of sense to have her act kind of teenagery in the modern sense.   Of course, all that's really "decided" about her is
a) her portrait, which makes her look to be about 17-22... that means she has almost NO connection to the old world and it's ways.
b) she's a guard, and probably kind of tough

(to be fair about (a), one can construct something about how she was "brought up in the old ways" but that doesn't seem to fit her status as a guard very well).

The other thing that concerns me a little - and I stress LITTLE - is the "move the group to the south".   I do like the idea of there being food issues, although this whole location was designed/thought of to be one of the most stable things you could do to survive in the far north (greenhouse farming, steam heat, defensible)... to me these guys would be the ones who move south LAST.   Also, just thinking long term, if this location is a major part of say, the beginning of the game, it should not be so "resolvable".... if the PC goes somewhere else for a year, then comes back, are they all gone?   

Also, this might not be obvious but I think that the compound should "hold" more than the 10 or so NPCs we've outlined already.  Maybe 50 "people" - most of whom will be either "virtual" (i.e,. ,not even in the game) or simply "shell" NPCs withouth dialog files (just give a little FO like "leave me alone" or "I have work to do")

I guess one question I havn't worked out is: How many people can a little 100 sq. meter greenhouse support?
Keep in mind that during the "spring and summer" they can supplement with foraging and hunting.  I guess I will do some research on that.    Reminds me, I should put a tannery and smokehouse as sub-locations.... they need somewhat to preserve meat, etc.

I really like your detailed work up of the character, btw.

Post by: Yorum on October 28, 2009, 12:15:08 AM
I used Dia ( for the flowchart.

I didn't write it on the quest but both Joni and Pete were ass-on-shoulders drunk. "Why" Joni pushed or shoved Pete into the cisern is, in my opinion, either not important, ie. It was only an accident, or they had a drunken brawl that started from some argument. Whatever happened, the important thing is that Joni is responsible for killing a man who considered him a father.

Well, atleast I think so at the moment. Anything could still change, especially if I can't create the characters persona and motives believable with the current questflow.

Especially Jenna feels challenging, since I really don't want her to be some angsty little girl who feels *sob* pain. What kind of woman would go crazy when her groom-to-be is killed? I originally though about doing some kind of homage to the Bride, but at the moment her character just doesn't seem to fit the current story.

As for the "moving south" part: It's just the backstory that "allows" me to get Kimmo into the frypan. He cannot even think about losing his mother, yet the only thing he knows that could save her means risking the lives of everyone else around him. Will his fear of losing someone he loves, and the selfishness that comes from that fear, take over, or does he attain somekind of peace or even salvation from that fear?

Post by: zenbitz on October 28, 2009, 12:46:15 AM
This may or not be relevant or interesting ... but when I was "writing" (if you can call it that...) the fedex quest I was trying to keep the outcomes "stable" because it's just a tech demo, and we don't really have a concept of "death" or "fighting" in the code (yet).  This was tricky with the murder because, obviously, murder is going to cause some extreme emotions....

That's why I wrote the dialogue such that even when you discover the murder, nothing much happens to you.

Let me (or a programmer on IRC) know if you have some trouble running/reading the two dialogue files that I wrote.

Not that we should stick to my lame ones...

Post by: zenbitz on November 05, 2009, 06:20:14 AM
I think we need to make some decision about whether to use my stupid quick n' dirty quest or Yorum's more detailed one.   I am happy with either, but I don't think I can write dialog for Yorums' and do it justice right now...

EDIT:  If nothing else I am going with Yorum's names... I will update the wiki sometime Friday (late) or this weekend if I don't get an objection...

Post by: zenbitz on November 06, 2009, 07:12:51 AM
Some further thoughts on this "combined" quest.

1) I've decided I don't really like the Jenna/Pete romance.

What I do think is a good idea to merge the "Inn" background with the Kimma/Pete plot/Ma plot.

What if we flipped it around a bit:
Kimma is the leader; Pete is the outdoors-y guy.  He is more in tune with the environment and realizes that the winters are getting worse, and they should pick up stakes and move south.  But Kimma doesn't want to move - he's comfortable running the place here, and if the group migrates he fears the Pete or someone else we become more of a leader.

In his heart, Kimma knows Pete is right.   Kimma's main power rival is "Jacob", the innkeeper.  Kimma let Jacob set up shop some years back (he was not an "original" member of the group) because at the time they needed some of Jacobs' group's expertise.   But Jacob is too much of an "entrepreneur" - he's really only out for himself, and has been slowing eating away at Kimma's social power base.

Jacob doesn't want to move south either, because he has invested a lot in his Inn for travelers... but
Pete might be able to convince him.  Right now, the leadership of the group is split, but if Pete convinces Jacob, then they will move.  

Kimma decides to have Pete "disappeared" to prevent this; a Pete-Jacob alliance, especially on the move would probably result in him getting the boot, or worse.  But who to do it?  Joni is a drunk, and Jacob controls the booze in town.  Joni is also something of a deadbeat, barely doing his share of the labor to keep from getting booted from the compound.  He's not a killer, but Kimma has promised him a couple bottles of pre-war booze, and he's kind of desperate.

Jenna is basically neutral in Kimma/Jacob/Pete struggle.   She doesn't like any of the three - especially Jacob because of their constant sexual harassment.    However, it was Pete who found her as a girl in the ruins, and brought her to the compound.  So, she doesn't like him, but she owes him a favor.  

Joni has the hots for Jenna, and basically admitted to her that he's going to solve Kimma's "Pete" problem.  This puts Jenna in a bind.  If she spills the beans about the attempted murder to Jacob or or Pete, the whole thing will blow up - Jacob will take over, and she is not at all happy about that.  If she does nothing, Pete dies.   So she comes up with a crackpot plan to warn him to leave town (the boots in the package), and gets the PC to deliver it.

Now one interesting twist we can add is the "beer" quest.  If the PC makes the beer for Joni, and promises him a steady supply of alcohol, Kimma looses his leverage on him, and he won't have to commit the murder!   This may be better suited for the quest in the "real" game, because for it to work properly, we have to implement the time... the beer quest now becomes a "race" before Joni does the deed.    We could also make it so the PC actually FINDS Pete and delivers the package... but that seems rather unsatisfying...

Maybe something like:
When the PC gets the Fedex quest, Joni will kill Pete in 48 hours.   But Pete is out in the snowy wilderness for these two days (But he never tells anyone when or where he is going), and shows up just in time to get knocked on the head and shoved in the tanker.   However, if the PC gets the beer quest, Joni will stall, hoping the PC can supply him with the booze he needs.    Beer should actually ferment for 1-2 weeks.... so it seems like the timing stuff would be better suited to the full game than the tech demo.  

For the demo, we can just assume that Pete's already dead (like the original quest), but Joni's still happy to have another source of booze independent from Jacob's still or Kimma's prewar stash.   A lot of the "poorer" residents are happy to not have to deal with Jacob either...  

I am still not satisfied with how the fedex quest ends... although perhaps giving the PC the option of telling Jacob or Kimma results in some interesting ends.

EDIT:  The above has been wikified and we will use it for the techdemo quest, trying not to step on Yorum's names.

Post by: Yorum on November 06, 2009, 11:32:03 AM
To be honest, I don't think I can write all the dialog for my version of the quest all by myself, so I think that Zenbits quest has more of a chance to make it.

The characters motivation and persona are completely different, and using any of my character designs would render the story unbelievable. So, Who will create the new character designs?

One more thing, and this is mostly my problem, but I have been thinking about the character designs so long now that the names instantly register emotionally as these characters that I have designed. Thus while I read tru the Zenbits quest I just kept thinking that "No, he couldn't do that!", "That's unbeliavable..." etc. So I would like to ask if we could use the original placeholder names instead the new ones, since it would give me some more room to adjust to the new characteristics.

Post by: zenbitz on November 06, 2009, 09:41:13 PM
Boy, it's interesting to see how different writers envision the "same" character... I don't want to "abuse" your names either... but yours are the only real Finnish ones!