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Any game stories in need of critique? Come here!

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ezryrze

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Hey! So, this thread was originally for my own idea in need of critiquing, but I no longer with to have my idea up here! Due to this, I've changed the thread to a place for people to ask for critiquing and to post their ideas. Have fun.
 
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Xilefian

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This is more of a scenario idea than a game idea. There's some design challenges you've created for yourself, in writing you'll have to figure out a way to separate the player character from the protagonist, which may offend the player if they are torn away from role-playing the blacksmith and forced into a new role.

Earthbound actually did some similar to this with the Jeff scenario, where the player took control and Jeff became the silent protagonist, but when they regain control of Ness, Jeff no-longer is a silent character and has dialogue. Perhaps what you could do is keep the blacksmith mute, right up until the player themselves are introduced.

The player bonding with a character is usually a one-direction relationship of evoking the player's empathy (on their terms, but modern RPGs with voice acting tend to fail here), I think your idea is to make that two-way, so Les will have to empathise and comment on the player's actions - this is going to be particularly difficult to write for as there's a high chance you can offend the player by criticising a decision that - in their mind - was the best decision. You could end up removing empathy for Les by having the player get angry that Les responded to them in a particular way.

You need to consider where an actual game will sit in the scenario. Many amateur RPG creators make the mistake of writing the scenario before designing the actual game and they end up with something that's so tightly written that there's no room for a game and it might as well be a book or a film.
 

ezryrze

Villager
Xy$
0.00
This is more of a scenario idea than a game idea. There's some design challenges you've created for yourself, in writing you'll have to figure out a way to separate the player character from the protagonist, which may offend the player if they are torn away from role-playing the blacksmith and forced into a new role.

Earthbound actually did some similar to this with the Jeff scenario, where the player took control and Jeff became the silent protagonist, but when they regain control of Ness, Jeff no-longer is a silent character and has dialogue. Perhaps what you could do is keep the blacksmith mute, right up until the player themselves are introduced.

The player bonding with a character is usually a one-direction relationship of evoking the player's empathy (on their terms, but modern RPGs with voice acting tend to fail here), I think your idea is to make that two-way, so Les will have to empathise and comment on the player's actions - this is going to be particularly difficult to write for as there's a high chance you can offend the player by criticising a decision that - in their mind - was the best decision. You could end up removing empathy for Les by having the player get angry that Les responded to them in a particular way.

You need to consider where an actual game will sit in the scenario. Many amateur RPG creators make the mistake of writing the scenario before designing the actual game and they end up with something that's so tightly written that there's no room for a game and it might as well be a book or a film.
Thank you for this! Your comment was a lot of help, and I appreciate that. I've been thinking a lot about the actual game design lately, and a few of the issues you've mentioned definitely came up in my train of thought.

You mentioned a lot that I might end up insulting or offending the player. I can see how that might be a problem. With this game, I really want to pull the player in. I want to evoke a lot of emotions from them, but I'll need to be carful.

In regards to keeping Les silent until the player is introduced... It's probably something I won't do. Silent protagonist are good for lots of RPG game, but the game I want to create is more centred on telling a story than the RPG aspect. Understanbly, a lot of people might dislike that, but that's just not the kind of thing I'm going for.

A good example, and where I took a lot of my inspiration from, is the game One Shot. If you've ever played or watched someone play One Shot, you notice that the game revolves around a story much more than the RPG elements. The player is the One Shot worlds God and must help the protagonist "Niko", save the world. You have to guide Niko around, and help Niko solve puzzles. Niko talks to you. That's the sort of thing I'm going for.

It will still be an RPG game though. You'll get to walk around, talk to people, solve puzzles, discover secrets, and much more. One of your concerns was that my scenario might be too tightly written to fit a game into, correct? I totally get where you're coming from. I've put a lot of thought into how I can build the story into an actual game. It's been a bit tough, but so far, I've working it out fine. Parts of my initial setup might still get kicked from the final copy, but that's to be expected. I will definitely have to work around the story I've written so I can still make a fun and playable game.

Again, thank you for your critique, it's very appreciated! If you have anything else to say, please do! I'd also like to ask if you like the plot and scenario, putting aside the game for a moment. What do you think the story needs? I'd love to hear what you think!
 
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Xilefian

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I refrained from commenting on the plot itself because I think your biggest challenge will be the actual player relationship dynamic and writing for that, rather than writing the story.

Your opening introduction of the blacksmith and a band of villains tearing through a village is a cliche. The idea that the hero didn't want to be a hero - and even actively fights against the role - has also been done before (and is becoming a trope). Neither of these things are a "bad" thing, it means you can look at many examples of this being done before and investigate where you can improve and change, it's an opportunity, but it means you'll need to try extra hard to draw the player into your game at the opening to keep them invested enough to reach your major plot twist.

Writing a religion into a game is very difficult, it can seems like an easy way to introduce external parties that affect the story flow (a god, a conflict, some kind of governing body, etc), but it's hard to write out religions.

I briefly explored the idea of a religion in my personal project's story and found that I was using it as an excuse to introduce an "Out of left field" element to knock the story into the direction I wanted it to go, rather than come up with a logical way to do that.
I was also using the religion as an easy way to introduce subtle back-story and discussion, but it turned out to be not-very-subtle at all and got in the way of the actual game-play.
Scrapped the religion entirely. Professional writers I know have even gone as far to say introducing a cult/religion is "lazy writing", but I disagree, I think the justification needs to be right and that's the hard part.

Consider why you've chosen a cult, rather than a malevolent government - for example, and consider the role your gods actually play in the story. Instead of using religion and gods as motivation, maybe turn it into a surprise "reason why" at the end? Rather than "gods tell us its bad, lets go" consider changing it around to "these people are bad, lets beat them. Wait, I've been doing this at the will of some god that we didn't know about? And that will was carried out by the player? I've been played!". That could play into your player-relationship dynamic and maybe contribute to your heart-torn ending (Les feels betrayed, the player feels like they were being played and have no way to convince Les that they weren't involved?).

There isn't much in your story to go by and critique. You need to consider motivations, personalities, the setting, where the game-play takes place, the timing, the size of the game area. At the moment this is a scenario idea, rather than a plot or story.
 

ezryrze

Villager
Xy$
0.00
I refrained from commenting on the plot itself because I think your biggest challenge will be the actual player relationship dynamic and writing for that, rather than writing the story.

Your opening introduction of the blacksmith and a band of villains tearing through a village is a cliche. The idea that the hero didn't want to be a hero - and even actively fights against the role - has also been done before (and is becoming a trope). Neither of these things are a "bad" thing, it means you can look at many examples of this being done before and investigate where you can improve and change, it's an opportunity, but it means you'll need to try extra hard to draw the player into your game at the opening to keep them invested enough to reach your major plot twist.

Writing a religion into a game is very difficult, it can seems like an easy way to introduce external parties that affect the story flow (a god, a conflict, some kind of governing body, etc), but it's hard to write out religions.

I briefly explored the idea of a religion in my personal project's story and found that I was using it as an excuse to introduce an "Out of left field" element to knock the story into the direction I wanted it to go, rather than come up with a logical way to do that.
I was also using the religion as an easy way to introduce subtle back-story and discussion, but it turned out to be not-very-subtle at all and got in the way of the actual game-play.
Scrapped the religion entirely. Professional writers I know have even gone as far to say introducing a cult/religion is "lazy writing", but I disagree, I think the justification needs to be right and that's the hard part.

Consider why you've chosen a cult, rather than a malevolent government - for example, and consider the role your gods actually play in the story. Instead of using religion and gods as motivation, maybe turn it into a surprise "reason why" at the end? Rather than "gods tell us its bad, lets go" consider changing it around to "these people are bad, lets beat them. Wait, I've been doing this at the will of some god that we didn't know about? And that will was carried out by the player? I've been played!". That could play into your player-relationship dynamic and maybe contribute to your heart-torn ending (Les feels betrayed, the player feels like they were being played and have no way to convince Les that they weren't involved?).

There isn't much in your story to go by and critique. You need to consider motivations, personalities, the setting, where the game-play takes place, the timing, the size of the game area. At the moment this is a scenario idea, rather than a plot or story.
Thank you again! You're helping me a lot. A bunch of what you said is undeniably true. I've put a lot thought into the story, but I still need to storyboard and change things. This is mostly just an outline of what I want.

The idea of a cult and a religion was definitely a bit of an easy way in as I couldn't think of much else. It's not exactly what I want either. The conflict in this story is something I've been having a lot of trouble with. I'm trying to avoid cliches as much as possible, unless it's for ironic reasons, and it's proven to be pretty difficult.

I'm still working out everything from the story to the characters to the dialogue to the settings. Everything's is still in its rawest form. I don't have a lot of people to discuss things with, so I've been mostly figuring it out on my own.

Even though I haven't comented on every point you made, your input is so important to me. It's not hard to tell that I'm new to this, and having people to criticize me is really important. I'll keep working on everything. When I finish another copy of the story, along with the settings and characters and everything else, I'll probably start another thread for criticism. If you see it, I'd love some more input from you. You don't sugar coat things and I'm grateful for that. I know I keep saying it, but thanks a lot!
 

MinisterJay

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Due to the change of title and opening post, this thread is being closed. This thread is not the same content that was initially posted. DO NOT change the entire thread just because you changed your mind on the direction of the thread. Create a new thread instead, and request a moderator to close original post. It is uncourteous to other members that had read initial post and were following this thread.
 
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