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Author Topic: How to continue in the writing department  (Read 6470 times)
mvBarracuda
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« on: July 25, 2009, 09:21:59 PM »

This is a followup thread to the one in general discussion:
http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=358.0

Right now there are two different storyline proposals for PARPG. In the long run we have to agree upon one, otherwhise we would need to split our manpower in the department to work on two conflicting proposal that can't be both implemented in the end anyway.

My roadmap proposal is: we should give each "faction" time to flesh out their proposals until the end of August. I was initially looking for a faster solution but zenbitz will be away until mid August anyway and as I want to give everyone a fair chance to present their proposal in good shape, I think we should not rush a decision.

What I'm looking for is more information about the gameplay that each storyline plans to feature. If we have more information about the gameplay component, agreeing upon one seems easier. I propose to bring the storylines to the wiki (actually NOH's / Matney's) is already there) and add all the gameplay related information there until the end of August.

After that we should give each developer two weeks to read through them and discuss their pros and cons and I'm hoping that one favourite will emerge from that discussion. What do you think about it, does that sound fair to you?
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shevegen
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2009, 06:29:00 PM »

As long as minor modifications (i really mean minor) can be done, I am perfectly fine with this.
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Gaspard
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2009, 07:51:34 AM »

A thought - the ones presenting their main story lines should concentrate their content into simple charts that outline the key elements that drive the story, be they quests/quest opportunities or some fixed events that happen at some point in the game (time triggered ?)

Anyhow, those charts would provide a brief overview of what a given story line is about and also ease the discussion about a given story line on the IRC and Forums
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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2009, 09:17:25 AM »

Sounds good to me Gaspard. Maybe I got you wrong, but you're basically looking for some flow chart that illustrates the story?
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Gaspard
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2009, 10:10:59 AM »

Yep. You can make changes easily without navigating an infinity of paragraphs of text quickly and work on the text later on, based on the chart. If there's a logical flaw or a solution is lacking then that would become clear in the chart.

I think we should work from the outside to the inside - start big and then concentrate on the small, eventually the details like specific groupings and then characters involved etc.

Get an idea what the game's going to be like - here I mean what's the story going to be like, where it is headed - and then concentrate on a small part of it, the beginning might be a good choice because then we can work on from there in a linear fashion where the end point is a somewhat finished game.
Basically start with a generic outline of what the goals (yep, plural) of the protagonist can be (non-linear approach) set them as the endpoint for the chart and work up from that. When there's a simplified scheme in place we just start adding to the chart, scrapping some and adding new ideas. Colour-code the whole thing - Green stuff's agreed upon, red scrapped, yellow pending approval, blue is quests, cyan is weather etc.

I bet that if we fix too much of the story in place right now then there're going to be more disagreements later. But if we have a flow chart that sets a goal and we can work toward that goal then we can be more creative on the way and solve disagreements one at a time instead of going through whole design documents at the Wiki at a time.

At one point we should have a chart similar to the one Vince used for Age of Decadence main quests:



Then we put that up for the vote, and then pick a part of the chart and work into those and then set that up for the vote. This way we could also distribute the cells between multiple writers, if necessary.
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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2009, 11:28:13 AM »

Sounds fine with me. How do the other writers feel about it. Do you think you could realistically come up with a first version of such a quest flow chart until the of the month? This question does especially go to NOH, Matney & Zenbitz.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2009, 08:25:06 PM »

I would actually like to reach some kind of agreement on the setting first.  At least a "working setting", it doesn't have to be final.
Otherwise, it's a huge amount of work to come up with this kind of flow chart as basically 1-2 people (since NOH and I would probably have different flow charts).

Because if two writing teams (I guess zenbitz/Gaspard and NOH/Dave) submit 2 different flow charts, then put the best flow chart to vote, we are guaranteed to disenfranchise half the writers at this stage.

But maybe we can bootstrap the approach a little.  Have a general flow chart with some quest "ideas" rather than a fully worked out story line.  I can work on this as long as Gaspard helps me; I don't think I will do a good job alone.   

Nine of Hearts has not posted anything in almost a month...

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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2009, 08:58:30 PM »

To her defence: her storyline proposal is already wikified though missing the gameplay information at this point. You still got over two weeks before the deadline expires. If you come up with an actual proposal how we should continue instead of the proposed evaluation and voting mechanism, I can send NOH & Matney a mail about it at Monday.

On the other side we've agreed upon the next steps at the story department meeting so I'm somewhat worried about changing that now. I don't really have the time right now to think about it in detail. Have to finish an important paper for university in less than 24 hours.
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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2009, 03:13:32 PM »

Mailed NOH a link to the thread and hopefully she replies here.
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