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Author Topic: Humi's proposals  (Read 13112 times)
Humi
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« on: September 12, 2010, 01:19:35 PM »

This is a topic I start to collect all of my proposals in one place, so they will be easy to review and discuss.

The current plan is to post my proposal for the backstory, main storyline, thoughts on the game setting, and a heap of quest ideas.

Don't be shy when it comes to feedback. If you don't like something, tell me. The story is supposed to be fun and enjoyable for everyone and I can't know in advance what is "good".
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Humi
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2010, 02:19:54 PM »

The backstory proposal, updated:

I propose the following changes:
> Delete the 1985/1986 change in USSR government. Let's have Glasnost build up public animosity to the government as it did in the real world. [this is so we can later disintegrate USSR at a plot-convenient point]

> Let's also leave USA as it was in the real world. [but it really doesn't matter, for me, USA is just a minor character]

> Now, to make the Soviets charge over the Reine. In 1988, there were a series of strikes in Poland I think we can use as the launch pad for the game.
  I have two ideas. One is to postulate CIA was involved in organising the strikes ("furthering democracy" or whatever). The communist Poland government can arrest these operatives and claim that "the West is undermining the fruits of our glorious revolution and has shown superhuman effort in unmaking our prosperous society", or something similar. After few months of warmongering ("the revolution is basically good, as you know, our glorious people, and the citizens of the West really do want us, but they don't know it and it is our responsibility to free them from the shackles of capitalism blah-blah-blah"), the Warsaw pact can attack.
  The other is to just have Russians exclaim "the interests of our state are in jeopardy" and charge, no questions asked. A bit harder to work NATO into this, but some nationalist Russians can commit war atrocities and NATO can then intervene as "peacekeepers" and drag the whole world into chaos.

> In the first event, war happens between Reine and Atlantic Ocean. However, adding battlefields all over the place will be easy, especially on the Scandinavian peninsula. The combination of mountains, fjords, forests, lakes, hardy people fighting on their doorsteps and some of the best armies of the cold war (Finland and it's famous turretless tank) can, IMHO, easily be converted to instant-battlefields-put-them-where-you-need-them in no time. In the second, war starts in Poland, but can quickly escalate to wherever the plot needs it.

> I have seen a quote in some military publication (I think; I know I saw it, but I can remember if it was in Wikipedia or a publication on some SFRY tanks) that quoted some NATO officer after he saw the Warsaw pact's military plans for WWIII. He saw these after the fall of Berlin wall and reportedly said "We would have fallen in 48 hours."
  Let's have that (if we go with the first proposal above). Warsaw pact hits hard. NATO starts nuking tactical warheards and delays the Red Army so it reaches the Pyrenees in a week. Seeing as the situation is hopeless, NATO unleashes its full arsenal and bombs USSR civilian installations (cities).

> Now, this is a problem. USSR had (and Russia still has today) enough shelters for 60%-70% of its population. That means it will not be wiped out. However, USA has shelters for maybe 5% of population. So, when the Soviets retaliate, USA ceases to exist as a nation.

> At this point in the proposal backstory, we have USA destroyed, Europe effectively conquered (or engulfed in a fully raging world-war) and USSR shaken, but still standing.
  This is bad for the plot, because it would implicate that the game happens during Soviet occupation (the state has not been destroyed, only depopulated). But we can have [first alternative for start of war] WWIII end here. Few years of peace. Or, we could have war keep on going for a few more years, and just "hot-connect" it to the rest.

> As I thought about that loose end, an idea occurred. Today, some 2/3 of the world lives on the shores between rivers Indus and Amure - the Far East. I suppose it was like that in the late '80s.
  Now, all those people need something to eat. Which is fine if the temperature is high enough. But, since the end of WWIII, Nuclear winter has been setting in, and food is starting to get scarce. So, you need more arable land. Where can you find it? In USSR, ofcourse!
  So we can have Iran invade USSR. WWIV starts.

> Originally, it was supposed to be China. But as I thought about it, it made less sense as time went by. Historically, China always expanded southwards (as it does even today). Also, northwards there is first a large desert (Mongolia) and then you have the taiga. Not good for growing crops.
  But Iran makes more sense. First, its targets would be the fertile plains of Central Asia. Secondly, it is relatively close, with few obstacles, and historically, those lands were part of the Persian empire.
  The Iran-Iraq war ended in August 1988, the same time second wave of Polish strikes hit and a month before Solidarity movement was officially recognised. Just on time. Cheesy

> So, the European war lasts for a few moths, a year maybe, wears USSR down. A year or two later, Nuclear winter sets, Iran runs out of food and invades Kazahstan.

> Now to really chill down the planet and start a glacial period. You probably know that in the '60s, Khrushchev wanted to make a doomsday weapon. It was supposed to be a ship, loaded with.. magnesium, I think, and a few nuclear bombs, sailing the Northern Ocean. In the event of impending destruction of USSR at the hands of NATO, the ship would detonate, sending magnesium in the stratosphere and causing the Earth to become Snowball Earth (again).
  In real world, he was sacked for, among other things, this crazy idea, but we can have the Soviets secretly build this weapon and store it somewhere (in the frozen tundra, perhaps).
  So, when the Irans attack and conquer half of the already beaten Soviet Union, they [Soviets] can detonate this superweapon and cause the glaciation present in the game.

  >> Fun point: why have only one superweapon? It can be disabled by the enemy. You want at least TWO. So, we can have a second such weapon in-game, say a ghost-ship, sailing the oceans. The Dead ship is run by a computer and powered by a nuclear reactor, very durable, and has been sailing the seas for the last 20 years, its crew dead from the radiation released by the first wave of bombs. So, as the game starts, the Dead ship is approaching Scandinavia... and knowledgeable people have taken notice. (This can be a side-story, or an alternative ending of whatever.)

> And, finally, to end the backstory. In my proposal, we let the Glasnost campaign run unhindered, and the people of USSR begin questioning their government. During WWIII, they rally around it because they are being attacked. But, when the doomsday weapon is detonated in WWIV, the people detest their leaders, and USSR spontaneously disintegrates. As the "Nuclear glaciation" starts, once mighty nations of the world, Europe, Soviet Union, USA, China and the Far East, are either stomped out and conquered, in the process of disintegration (and civil war, that can also give us many battlefields to scavenge), annihilated, or slowly starving to death.

> This finally leads us to the apocalyptic world of PARPG. There are no states as we know them. Almost everyone you knew 20 years ago is now dead (probably by starvation). People live in small communities, of the land or by bronze-age agriculture. Since they can not produce enough food for themselves, they are forced to raid the surrounding communities. Still some retain the knowledge they learned when the World was warm and use it. Industry either does not exist or is scarce. Myths of past events rampage to beyond belief since world-wide communication is hampered and memory is easily distorted.

  >> This can be an important alternative ending. If technology can be advanced sufficiently, the remaining people can actually adapt to the glaciation and rebuild society. If you can build robot factories, or robot agricultural machines or very large greenhouses, you can actually PROSPER during the glaciation. I think this is an important point.


I have not yet read the current plots, but that magnesium stuff up there can also be used as a story-driver. And the Dead ship can also be used as a counter-measure. Ofcourse, if I write that story-arc, I'll have it fail horribly.  Grin

I'm off to the plots.
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2010, 10:45:44 PM »

I'm really in a serious doubt here. From one side - your imagination is really working well, from the other hand - I'm pretty much binded to have the action located in the place it used to be located.
The idea of ghost ship is really adorable. It can be frozen for good somewhere in North or Baltic Sea, disturbing the shortwave radio signals across the Europe...

To the criticism - I don't know how much fiction should go into the politics, I see you care for what was happening just before the third war... As far as we keep things real, there would be no chance for any CIA actions in communist countries. There was simply to tight control here. But, on the other hand... What if there would be some Solidarity leaders cooperating with KGB, people would know this in the very worst moment, so the strikes (Solidarity was in fact very strictly no-violence movement) could turn angry, disappointed and tired masses to aggressive mob, making some serious riots. To help to silence it, the Russian army could move into Poland and this could lead to global war as well...
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Humi
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, 07:29:05 PM »

Okay. So KGB it is. Smiley

Then the war would start somewhere in Poland (the "the interests of our nation are at stake" branch from above).. since it is raging on Warsaw pact's territory (as it was in the original), neither side has the incentive to use atomic weapons.. but once the Soviets gain the upper hand and start pushing deep into NATO territory, all hell breaks loose.

Okay, I like it. Smiley


As for the main plot, I have went over the present material and think it is very good. I wouldn't change anything, except multiply the contents drastically. And add at least two or three "theaters of action".

I am on the same track I reckon Zenbitz was, and that is "Tragedy". In short, I would like to freeze the whole planet, but give the PC a choice to live his life in an either "good" or "bad" manner and, when he is shown the final frame of the Snowball Earth, he can then take comfort in the fact that he played well, that the game was fun and that next time he plays it, he can take a different approach. It will end all the same, but IF he plays it in a way he believes good, he will still (hopefully) rise from the computer happy with the experience.

That's the plan, ofcourse. It can fail miserably at any point. Grin
I think I will add a doomsday vault. Maybe somewhere in Iceland, heated by the fire of the volcanoes, which the player can visit. I mean, he CAN go there, but he may want not to.

I think we should add romance to the game, and for that exact reason - to make the tragedy greater. And child bearing.
Stop me if at some point I derail myself too far into this "the world is doomed and all you love will die" stuff.

That sead, what is the general opinion on the proposal to make an alpha? Proposal in thread http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=733.0.
For it, the http://wiki.parpg.net/Proposal:Radio_Gaga storyline is pretty much super. It can also be greatly expanded for the next big release, until we have enough material to rival Fallout and similar games (eventually).
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Gaspard
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 09:31:47 PM »

Dude ! Cheesy Alpha is something we won't be hitting for some time to come. Right now we don't have enough coders doing all the magic that makes things move and do just like how is needed ! The game doesn't even have a character system, not to mention skills or combat or anything. None of the mechanics have yet been implemented or even written in code (correct me if I'm wrong here õ_õ). Tech Demo 2 is the next milestone, and what we're expecting to have in the game by that time is written in the Wiki under Tech Demo 2 Goals  Undecided

This thing is going to take time.

Please, please, try to see the design docs as our baby and see the game text-based like those cool old-school RPG books Cheesy
We'll try to add to it by doing some nice art and in time god-coders will hopefully do the slow and tedious (at least for us, non-coders) work of getting all of that into the game and working.

Basically I'm not against most of your thoughts, but I don't really see the need for too many drastic changes in the Pre-War story. After the Warsaw pact starts the fictional part, but it should be as close to realistic as possible.

In my eyes the main problem right now isn't so much the Pre-War story (although your effort is in every way appreciated) which is not too important from gameplay perspective at this time. But what is important is the actual game-time story, what's going to be going on then, when the PC is not looking and when PC is meddling, also - some greater plots the PC could take part in. We have none of that except some proposals, the Radio Gaga included.

I've got to go now, but I'd like to get back to you soon.
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Humi
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2010, 07:45:40 PM »

In retrospect, yes, it is so much better to have a conventional war happen all over the place (as it is in the wiki) then the blitz I proposed. Much more storytelling options.

And one other thing - the politics of the backstory can be easily dulled and/or deleted. If the feeling is such that it's not apropriate for the game. But I really, really don't like Stalin-like characters.
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Humi
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 12:54:12 PM »

Hmm.. okay, so I have an idea for a new location. It is intended to be the rival settlement to the Mall, as described in the current Radio Gaga scenario.

I call it Planes. The idea is that people live in adapted hulls of old military transport planes, namely two Soviet An-124. The planes were part of a failed Soviet troop/supply deployment. They landed and were then suprised by NATO troops who killed/routed the manpower but left the planes only lightly damaged (however not airworthy). They remained there until a group of refugees found them at the onset of winter and spent the winter there.
Subsequently, the refugees found the surrounding land arable, obtained necessary farming implements and started a community.

Planes remains a successful farming community and it is this success that gives it trouble with the neighbours.

The ongoing and escalating conflict with the Mall is due to the residents of Mall not being able to produce sufficient quantities of food for themselves and relying on trade/raiding to get the rest.
An elaboration on this: when looking over the Mall, I noticed that the garden is small. I don't really think such a small parcel of land can feed a whole community, plus, the Mall is in a paved urban area which limits plant growth and this in turn limits hunting & gathering options.
In keeping with the already created content, we can have Mall produce just enough food for itself, but not enough for the outside "pseudoresidents". Or something.., we need to have grounds for conflict between Mall and Planes, food seems a good idea....
[P.S.: I just remembered the conflict is supposed to be about a missing part of the Mall garden. I'll find a way to fix Planes to account for this later.]

More on residents of Planes: they currently live in an egalitarian society. I would estimate 120-250 residents, but this is subject to change. There is no top official, however, there is a "Big man" which acts as the "President of community parliament". His duties are mainly representing Planes to the outsiders and making sure democracy works in the Planes parliament. He has little real influence.
This is due to the makeup of Planes society. With plenty of reasonably good land around and few neighbours, all members command parcels sufficient for themselves. All residents (families, really) are therefore mostly self-sufficient and do not rely on other residents for a living. There is (currently) no grounds for social inequality.
There are no full-time craftsmen in Planes, just people "who are good at repairing". Community law is upholded by all able-bodied members, on a if-you-see-it-then-act basis.
Planes is not xenophobic.

The future of Planes: The escalating conflict with Mall (and other nearby settlements) is bound to change the internal status-quo. With relative abundance of food, there is no real need to have everyone farming. Furthermore, with conflict, the emerging "warrior class" in Planes has grounds to demand submission.
The player can, through (in)action, assume the role of kingmaker. In one possibility, there will be a battle between Mall and Planes. If the Mall wins the battle, victors will enserf (or enslave or something similar) Planes residents. If the Planes wins, again the victorious warriors will put Planes residents in submission. In the event there is no battle, Planes will reorganise itself in a nonegalitarian society with a fully emerged warrior class. This reorganisation can either be peaceful or violent, depending on the input from the player.

As Planes has relationships (with varying degrees of peace/hostility) with other settlements, it can serve as a launchpad to other settlements and as one potential window to the rest of the game.


As for NPCs in Planes, I don't yet have many ideas, so I'll start thinking. Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2010, 06:42:22 PM »

Looks like a cool place to me. I don't quite like the last idea, about the warriors wanting to rule the community - it just never happens, dumb guys are not clever enough to trick whole rest of the people.
I'd say:
Draw a rough map. Not need to scan it. But look carefully what do you need (namely graphic assets to create, tiles to make).
Make a page inside the wiki for this location, link it here inside of this topic.
Write in the wiki a list of things that need to be done, mainly 3D artwork is in my mind, but this may be a bunch of dialogues as well. I can take care of making this thing go into tickets inside the trac.
250 inhabitants sounds like too much for me. I doubt if we would need any unnecessary NPC to take care of. Maybe some dumb guards or farmers... The settlement itself may be huge, I just doubt if more than three dozens of people make sense for the player. Its not a place where people should pass "inertly", let everyone there be involved in some quest, "do" something (repairing...), "mean" something.
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Humi
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« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2010, 10:20:39 PM »

Planes on Wiki.

Hi! I'm back again. Smiley

I just put Planes on the Wiki, NPCs are pending.

P.S.: map will be ready soon too.
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2010, 07:57:26 AM »

Nice to see you're still with us.
I'm still skeptical about the warriors... Raiders were discussed troughly and we (don't ask me who is "we" ATM) don't want them, warriors may be something different though. If they are more like guardians - what is the treasure they guard. If its more like a gang - how do they keep themselves alive in a climate, where slightest lack of luck results in frostbites?

I like the idea, however, waiting for how it will grow and evolve.

Have you seen our tools - map and dialogue editor? Have you tried your luck with this?
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Humi
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2010, 09:46:42 PM »

No, I have not yet tried using them. Later on, I guess.

Two NPCs have been drafted:
Virus
Stonebone Hammerhand

Mr. Stonebone is the leader of these warriors. I thought to have 4 of them, all normal community members. Of these, only Mr. Stonebone is going to be fully developed as a character, perhaps one more, and the others will be just props.
But we shall see...
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2010, 07:29:36 PM »

I'll post the thing on graphics subforums. We'll see what the guys will came up with.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2010, 12:07:50 AM »

Hmmm.... just skimmed this, some interesting stuff for sure.  Hopefully get back to you in a couple of days.
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Humi
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2010, 03:05:21 AM »

Temple of the Gemini

I had an idea for this one night as I was falling asleep, and listened to the "The book of Eli" soundtrack.

An image of a dying chopper, if you will.

But to make it into the game, the Temple needs much more than a nice background idea. Ultimately, if this image hits some buttons with (real-life) people, then I guess it's basic idea should be further expanded. Otherwise, if I am the only one who sees something in this, then nothing I guess.

One of the main problems is that such a Temple should obviously have a meaning, both in the game and out. If we focus on the in-game meaning, I must say I am at a loss as to what exactly that meaning should be. Definitely not some throwaway pseudotheology one might encounter in many in-game religions.

Anyway, if the idea sticks, I'll dig deeper.

-------
P.S.: the reference to the Gemini is intentional. Perhaps the templegoers have a belief system which transcends reality (they see the "two twins" in the Gemini constelation as two pilots perhaps??)? Also, maybe the Dioscuri of the classical mythology have traits which the players can project into these two pilots, so we can have an even tighter coupling.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 03:11:56 AM by Humi » Logged
zenbitz
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2010, 05:55:56 PM »

I didn't actually get back to you, did I?  OK I really will this weekend.
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