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Author Topic: Setting Ideas: Brainstorming  (Read 42437 times)
zenbitz
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« Reply #90 on: March 23, 2009, 09:27:26 PM »

20 years is too short a time for things to even out.  Small chance details of who and what was where when the BOOM happened would have a huge impact on how (and which) people live 20 years later.

But actually I think that would make it MORE likely  for there to be a few big(er) towns, because they got "lucky" resource and brains wise.


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* * When you get large organizations: armies, lawyers, tax-collectors, rulers, police, there's not much need or room for a "hero" (or anti-hero).

So in 1 single sentence you condemn every single "heroic" RPG ever made.

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* We can't fully build a big city.  It's less awkward in a lot of areas, to say that a place that is only one map and has 50 NPCs is a "village" than a "mighty metropolis".

But we've already established a guesstimate of the NPC:Population ratio.    My HIGH SCHOOL had 3,000 people in.  You are not seriously suggest that we make a game in which NORWAY has less than this...  You'd never run into anyone.
I mean if you really want to have a low population, we better make the map much smaller.

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* the whole "struggle against nature" is a lot more effective if most people spend most of their time surviving

Here we are just arguing about the definition of most.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #91 on: October 22, 2009, 12:27:06 AM »

I am stickying this because new writers might be interested in it.  Maybe it should be locked as well, but I am not one to lock threads.
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shevegen
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« Reply #92 on: December 02, 2009, 01:55:20 PM »

It should not really be locked. If you look at new guests looking at the project, this thread here is popular, as is PERMADEATH or LICENSE and such. Stickying is about 100x better than locking Cheesy

For post techdemo I, I think we should go back to the roots of the thread here, especially about the soviets. Since they will be nearby on the gamemap, they should have a big impact, whether as "evil" or not so evil isnt so important - as long as they can influence stuff!

I'd even like it if we could use russian language (cyrillic) but this would require at least one guy who can read speak and write russian (better at least two guys), and we would need a skill system before anyway (language skill russian would be fun)

Then if an actor learns russian he could do a few side quests. And NPCs could get a default slot for which language to use:

language: common (defaults to "english" and can be omitted)

language: russian (this guy prefers to speak russian... possibly only because he can not speak "common"/"english")

Just an idea here really.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #93 on: December 02, 2009, 08:51:49 PM »

have you even looked at the world map?

http://wiki.parpg.net/Draft:Setting
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Luftzig
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« Reply #94 on: December 12, 2009, 02:22:52 PM »

A disclosure: I haven't read the whole thread, only skimmed through it.

Some questions I had, or discussion seeds if those topics were never brought up:
1. Atmosphere:
The most important question when making a game (from my experience with P&P RPG games) is what kind of experience we want the player to have. Exampli Gratia, Fallout (used as the main compression, as far as I can tell), gives humouristic, but somewhat grim, experience. Black humour, fifties inspired sci-fi theme, etc, are dominant.
I think it was discussed somewhere that you want a darker, grim atmosphere. How much should it be grim? Should it be depressing atmosphere, or just realistic? Should be a "this world is fucked up" kind of game, with only slightest amount of optimism, or on the other hand, be very optimistic.
2. The Player Character
Another important topic is the place of the PC (player character). Is s/he a classic "save the day" hero? Is the hero is actually an anti hero? Does out hero goes solo, in pack, or something in between? Does our hero have a "quest" or some aim or wanders rather aimlessly throughout the game world?
3. gameplay
What should the game play be? It's very clear it's a role playing game, but what kind? What should emphasized? Should it be an adventure one, wondering round the world fighting stronger and stronger enemies, a strategic kind of game, where you need to make strategic decisions, manage resources and/or people, a quest kind of game (find thingy the NPC needs to get the next quest item), highly political quest game (where you need to talk to NPC's, make the right dialogue choices, etc) and many other gameplay ideas. I think the greatest games where the ones which managed to combined that best of two genres.
4. Themes
What themes are predominant in the game? Fallout uses the cold war in it's early days as the main theme: Wastelands and deserts, fifties style cartoons and animations. Following the example of Fallout, I see PARPG as mixture of late 80's sci-fi and cyberpunk, with late communist era style. Should survival be major theme of the game? Should players worry about shelter, food and water constantly? Should the interactions and relation be a major theme? Should the East/West-Communist/Capitalist schism should be a major theme?

Anyway and how, it sounds to me like an exciting projects, I'll be happy to contribute to it.
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shevegen
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« Reply #95 on: December 12, 2009, 03:47:00 PM »

The biggest problem, imho, is really the amount of time required. If more people would help shape up the project it would be a lot better. My opinion was that subquests, or areas, could use different themese (see the "neo" viking village idea), but ultimately it really boils down on who can help and contribute, because things move so slowly...
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Artifice
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« Reply #96 on: December 12, 2009, 06:51:31 PM »

The answers to most of your questions are out there on the boards, but it takes a bit of digging and a lot of it is just discussion of said ideas rather than an actual decisions. From what I can tell, the game is still very much is pre-production from a writing/storyline standpoint, with major decisions still being made. At this time, we're focusing on Techdemo1 release in early January, so most of the focus is there. In the mean time, the writers are busy fleshing out larger ideas. http://wiki.parpg.net/Department:Writing is a great place to start reading about everything.

NOTE: I'm fairly new here and not really involved in the writing, so my answers are my own and not canon. This is just what I've gleaned from the wiki and boards with my own opinions interspersed. If I get something wrong, I'm sure someone (zenbitz) will let me know.

Some questions I had, or discussion seeds if those topics were never brought up:
1. Atmosphere:
The most important question when making a game (from my experience with P&P RPG games) is what kind of experience we want the player to have. Exampli Gratia, Fallout (used as the main compression, as far as I can tell), gives humouristic, but somewhat grim, experience. Black humour, fifties inspired sci-fi theme, etc, are dominant.
I think it was discussed somewhere that you want a darker, grim atmosphere. How much should it be grim? Should it be depressing atmosphere, or just realistic? Should be a "this world is fucked up" kind of game, with only slightest amount of optimism, or on the other hand, be very optimistic.
I think the general consensus so far is that it will be a dark game in a harsh environment. The lighter points will probably be used to contrast how dark the world and it's inhabitants have become. So yeah, less optimism.

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2. The Player Character
Another important topic is the place of the PC (player character). Is s/he a classic "save the day" hero? Is the hero is actually an anti hero? Does out hero goes solo, in pack, or something in between? Does our hero have a "quest" or some aim or wanders rather aimlessly throughout the game world?
There will be overarching stories and quests for the player to follow. I believe the idea is to have several going at once that the player can choose to play out or ignore. It's not a freeform game where you just wander around looking for stuff to do. The story will be episodic in nature. As there will be multiple solutions to quests/problems, the type of character this PC is will be greatly determined by the player.

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3. gameplay
What should the game play be? It's very clear it's a role playing game, but what kind? What should emphasized? Should it be an adventure one, wondering round the world fighting stronger and stronger enemies, a strategic kind of game, where you need to make strategic decisions, manage resources and/or people, a quest kind of game (find thingy the NPC needs to get the next quest item), highly political quest game (where you need to talk to NPC's, make the right dialogue choices, etc) and many other gameplay ideas. I think the greatest games where the ones which managed to combined that best of two genres.

I think all these things will be represented in some aspect. We're shooting for realistic combat (read: deadly) so a hack-n-slash shoot 'em up game is pretty out of the question. The player should be able to explore, interact and influence NPCs, get into combat, set up trade agreements (given the right circumstances), etc. We're looking for a well-rounded RPG representative of the setting.

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4. Themes
What themes are predominant in the game? Fallout uses the cold war in it's early days as the main theme: Wastelands and deserts, fifties style cartoons and animations. Following the example of Fallout, I see PARPG as mixture of late 80's sci-fi and cyberpunk, with late communist era style. Should survival be major theme of the game? Should players worry about shelter, food and water constantly? Should the interactions and relation be a major theme? Should the East/West-Communist/Capitalist schism should be a major theme?

Survival is definitely the major theme here. The world is now a cold, nasty place. Nothing is easy, everyone watches out for themselves.  Resources are scarce and coveted. Think Mad Max, a Boy and his Dog, The Road, Waterworld (if you can stand to watch it...yeck!) and similar stories. I'm really inspired by man vs. nature stories a la Ernest Shackleton, and Everest climbers, as well as Jack London and the like. As far as sci-fi/cyberpunk, no. WW3 happened in the 80s and technology moved backwards from there. The best technology is 80s, and no one is developing much of anything better, at least where PARPG is set.

As for resources, I think this should be a major crux of the gameplay. I'm not suggesting we micromanage it to the point of 'You need to use the bathroom', but in a world so starved for resources, things like warm clothes and calories should be on the top of anyone's list. To me, the game should be a balance of keeping yourself going in this harsh environment whilst trying to get done whatever it is you need to get done (ie quests). Temperature, food, clothing and how much you can carry and for how long should all influence how you tackle problems in PARPG.

/walloftext
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zenbitz
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« Reply #97 on: December 14, 2009, 07:45:37 AM »

Part of the issue that we are facing here is that we don't really have any writing department, and we don't have any Art Director/Lead Artist.  That might be a concern (in the long run), but for now, I think it's fine to just muddle along.
Artifice pretty much gets it.

The reason why most of that is not collected in some easily found page is that it's not truly "settled" yet, until we find someone who is the 'go to' story person.   I suppose the worst case scenario is that I will finish 90% of the game mechanics, and focus more on writing, but hopefully someone will pick up the ball (pen?  keyboard?) and run with it.

if you (or anyone) has any interesting ideas, don't hesistate to post them here.  Worse thing is that people might say "eh".  But lots of stuff can get modified/edited/reused.

One thing I have been kicking around a bit, but haven't gotten around to really bringing it us is use the "Wilderness survival" (i.e, moving along the world map) as some kind of mini-game, where you have to provision and plan your trips properly to make it to the next area.   So, unlike FO where you just "walk" 200 miles fearing only a random encounter or two (or rather, welcome them for the phat loot), you would have to decide where you are going, what mode of transport, what are you going to carry.  Are you going to bring most of your food and move fast?  Or take your time and hunt?   Are you going to stick to the main roads? 

I'll try to post more on this topic tomorrow or later in the week.
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daddypawid
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« Reply #98 on: December 17, 2009, 10:06:32 PM »

So I went and checked a bit on the situation for Scandinavia which places where targets for nukes and so....

So a paper was written on this by Danish intelligence not more than a couple of years ago... I saved somewhere but can't find it(ill post it when I do).

When you look on the map you will see that Denmark is more or less blocking exit from the Baltic sea. This meant that Denmark was an important strategic location for NATO troops.
The USSR nuclear carrying ships had to pass through here and NATO troops in west Germany where ready to move to Denmark and prevent them from doing so.

The contra from USSR was an invasion of Denmark(sweden was supposedly neutral). This was supposed to be done by Polish troops. There are invasion plans for this and I can try finding them if needed.
The point of this is that in Scandinavia Denmark would be the most war torn if a war had broken out. The invasion by Polish troop was supposed to happen in like 3 days but obviously there would be a contra from NATO. Nukes or men who knows...
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zenbitz
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« Reply #99 on: December 18, 2009, 09:38:42 PM »

yes, getting Denmark destroyed is easy (sorry).     It's getting SWEDEN destroyed that's the hard part... although there there is a book about it (Operation Garbo) but it's only in Swedish...

There is a thread buried somewhere here with links to Pact War plans...
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Gaspard
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« Reply #100 on: January 12, 2010, 02:31:25 AM »

We should have a bank with a closed vault door. When you get petrol for a back-up generator in the basement (unlikely that it's intact Huh) the vault door would open dramatically - slide forth and then roll aside.

But inside we must not find any blue jumpsuits, that would be overkill, surely
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Koobie
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« Reply #101 on: March 01, 2010, 03:57:17 PM »

Quote from: shevegen
I'd even like it if we could use russian language (cyrillic) but this would require at least one guy who can read speak and write russian (better at least two guys), and we would need a skill system before anyway (language skill russian would be fun)

Russian's my first language, I'd be more than happy to help.

BTW, in case anyone was wondering ( as if Smiley ) I didn't quite say "hi" and forgot about PARPG. I still think this is a great thing you guys have going here. I'm currently fleshing out a proposal for a main story arc (kidn of what zenbitz proposed), will hopefully be able to post it by the end of the week.
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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #102 on: March 01, 2010, 07:35:33 PM »

Sounds good to me Koobie :-) Looking forward to it
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xavifumi
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« Reply #103 on: January 21, 2011, 08:02:36 PM »

Ok, there has been a lot of discussion about the main arc and some theories about what role should take the PC.
After reading some posts (not all, of course) I wanted to share some ideas:

-There are few RPG where the story is not "heroic", so it's a less explored way for our plots.
This decission, would also bring us, the possibility of making a more "closer" game, where the characters are more reallistyc, the decissions are harder to take, and we could face the post-nuclear situation as a really dramatic scenario. With some traumated survivors, and savage bands of young boys who never had education, or small towns figuring that the society is still alive with politicians (making what?)... possibilities are endless and every one is more depressing that the earlier.

-About the possible years of the conflict, my vote is for 1991, for the soviet coup d'etat attempt. Just because if we put the story 20 years after the incident, we have an alternative 2011, some kind of parallel universe today, and I find it really interesting.
But the technology has changed a lot since 1991. The things then were really close, but a step backward, and in a nuclear incident we would have a huge technology- recession:
No electricity, no comunications, and every production would have stopped just after the incident. So people had to face  life without expendables (wich were spent on first years of survivance) or any progress sign, because they can only trust their own hands and work (like in the past).
20 years after the incident, the ammo, fuel or everything created/recollected before the incident would be hard to find. People shoud start creating their own tools/weapons manuallly, and money become obsolete...

About the Ice Age plot, I like the idea, but I would bet for a smaller one.
My thought is that after an incident like this, no one would know what happened. Some would think that USA missed a strike directed to Russia, others would think that Russia attacked USA partners... and some could think that this was a massive attack of some muslim terrorists. The important thing is that after a diplomatic incident, nuclear missiles stricked Europe, leaving it in ruins, and in the game, survivors will have more important things to face.
For if this was not enough, the sky turned cloudy because the smoke of the nukes, creating colder days, a long winter. 20 years after, the sun is returning to shine, but everything is covered by snow and every year becomes colder.
What could a small amount of population think? An ice Age? a permanent winter?
Europe has become a quarantine zone, and the rest of the world puts too much effort of leaving the irradiated out of their frontiers, because the radiation could carry some risk for them, and they must use their resources to survive to the winter. Maybe they brought some help at the beggining but after some revolution intends their military fore blocked all frontiers.

I  think a scenario like this is dark and a bit depressing... So I found it perfect for a reallistyc-cold RPG!
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zenbitz
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« Reply #104 on: January 21, 2011, 09:34:01 PM »


-About the possible years of the conflict, my vote is for 1991, for the soviet coup d'etat attempt. Just because if we put the story 20 years after the incident, we have an alternative 2011, some kind of parallel universe today, and I find it really interesting.
But the technology has changed a lot since 1991. The things then were really close, but a step backward, and in a nuclear incident we would have a huge technology- recession:
No electricity, no comunications, and every production would have stopped just after the incident. So people had to face  life without expendables (wich were spent on first years of survivance) or any progress sign, because they can only trust their own hands and work (like in the past).

I think the problem with 1991 was that the cold war was so "over" by then... you would have to have another 5 years of re-coldwaring just to get back to 1985-1987 threat levels and by then you are in 1996 and 20 years after that...

My current working model is a long war (5 years) starting in about 1985, followed by 10 years of utter collapse/"Real" Nuclear Winter and then 10 years of gradual clawing out of the ashes.


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My thought is that after an incident like this, no one would know what happened. Some would think that USA missed a strike directed to Russia, others would think that Russia attacked USA partners... and some could think that this was a massive attack of some muslim terrorists. The important thing is that after a diplomatic incident, nuclear missiles stricked Europe, leaving it in ruins, and in the game, survivors will have more important things to face.

I agree who threw the first nuke is not important.  It might be interesting to have a debate play off by various survivor factions.


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Europe has become a quarantine zone, and the rest of the world puts too much effort of leaving the irradiated out of their frontiers, because the radiation could carry some risk for them, and they must use their resources to survive to the winter. Maybe they brought some help at the beggining but after some revolution intends their military fore blocked all frontiers.

Read http://wiki.parpg.net/Setting and http://wiki.parpg.net/Creative_vision please.
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