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claptonfann
11-15-2009, 06:50 AM
Heavily story-based concept. The story itself is, for the most part, ready to go for both plotlines. I still have some questions to answer about certain key points, but a lot of things are already established.

I haven't planned out any level designs yet (mostly because I'm still kinda honing my craft), but I do know it'll take place in space and it will have to be split into at least 5 levels.

The first level starts out with the player on the quote-unquote "evil" side, where they are given some backstory and training exercises before moving towards the main arena of combat: the good-aligned ship. As the player battles past the ship's security officers, more is revealed about both the good captain and the player's commanding officer (read: evil captain).

The second level will be the "turning point" for the player where they choose to switch sides or not. The last three levels will be based on that decision, with two more focusing on the good plotline, and the other focusing on the evil plotline continuing to its conclusion. I'm aiming for ambiguity in regards to either side (good/evil) in order to make the choice of whose side to be on harder for the player.

By the time the turning point arrives, the level can either end right there and be followed up by the third "evil" level, or move towards a second good-aligned ship. The inclusion of this other ship allows more freedom to introduce new gameplay/story elements unique to that alignment. This also relieves the hassle of trying to create a split level, where one section is devoted to the evil plotline and the other to the good one.

Both sides have their motivations for what they're doing, as well. The good captain is heading out to resupply her ship and get a repair overhaul from the captain of the second ship, a jittery scientist who specializes in building robots and ships. The evil captain is enforcing a blockade, because only properly supplied ships can be that far out in space (and keep their crews alive). The player even has a best friend character tagging along with them through the story :D

Any constructive feedback on this idea is appreciated. I'm even trying to work out a plot for a sequel series (probably only 2 or 3 levels for that one).

Cheers :)

doubletime
11-15-2009, 07:27 PM
Wonder how much you can get on one level

claptonfann
11-15-2009, 08:25 PM
Wonder how much you can get on one level

Waaaay too much story content to fit on one thermometer :p

RockSauron
11-15-2009, 09:11 PM
Got your pm, though I'm not what you'd call an "accomplished creator" ... lol

Anyway, I'll give you feedback now anywho.

So you'd get a sticker at the end of the first level that corresponds to good or evil?

How do you plan on keeping the same plotline through multiple levels through stickers? Like, how can you make it so that you play the entire level evily?

You place a sticker at the beginning of what side you'll be and the level changes that way? Because stickers are the only way of transfering data across multiple levels, sooooo

claptonfann
11-15-2009, 09:16 PM
At the end of the second level, not the first one. The first one is all backstory and preparation for the fight ahead.

When the time comes to choose good or evil and the player makes their choice, an AND gate is activated, which dissolves a "donut" of dissolve surrounding a level key, which corresponds to the plotline of the player's choice. There are 3 keys, each unlocking the levels of good or evil.

The AND is also connected to a XOR, so there's only one way to go unless you replay the level.

RockSauron
11-15-2009, 09:17 PM
At the end of the second level, not the first one. The first one is all backstory and preparation for the fight ahead.

When the time comes to choose good or evil and the player makes their choice, an AND gate is activated, which dissolves a "donut" of dissolve surrounding a level key, which corresponds to the plotline of the player's choice. There are 3 keys, each unlocking the levels of good or evil.

Ah, that's how I figured it'd work best :p

Anwyay, I wish you best of luck and all that.

claptonfann
11-15-2009, 09:18 PM
No tips? :(

Burnvictim42
11-15-2009, 09:19 PM
Sounds like an interesting concept at least... thought quite a task. The only thing i'd be concerned about is the fact that you have to choose a path... this will divide your audience a bit when attempting for cool pages. But it might double the plays on the "choice" levels, as players try for both endings.

claptonfann
11-15-2009, 09:21 PM
But it might double the plays on the "choice" levels, as players try for both endings

Exactamundo, my friend :) Replay value ftw

RockSauron
11-15-2009, 09:23 PM
No tips? :(

I have no tips to give other then I want you to succeed because this sounds cool. So do it so I can play? :p

claptonfann
11-15-2009, 09:25 PM
I'll do my best, Rocky ;p

s3xNstilettos
11-15-2009, 10:41 PM
Okay, I got your PM. I also don't believe I'm an accomplished creator. Even though my first published level was an unexpected success, that doesn't qualify me for that label as I would have to keep that success or better with subsequent levels, although I appreciate the kind words.

The idea sounds good, though it would be tricky to pull off. I'm not sure about tips. There's nothing I can think of since you haven't realy started yet, or ran into problems yet. The idea sounds fine to me. ^_^

Morgana25
11-15-2009, 11:36 PM
k - sounds like you have a good story set up in terms of motivation and which side to choose. Since you've got this loosely set up now would be a good time to workout the major events that need to happen in the story. Depending on how many of them you have you can break up the levels as needed then. I'd also start thinking about where these essential events need to take place so you can plan the areas/locations. To save thermo you may have to revise the where of certain things and knowing this ahead of time can save you wasted build time later.

I'd also recommend just making a workshop level where you establish the look of the good guys, their ships and tech and also the bad guys. Nothing fully fleshed out but what materials are you going to use? Are there any color combinations or lighting styles that will define each group. One thing I learned making my Chroma Stone series is the environment you place your characters in, becomes like a character itself. It has to relate to those who live/work in it or it will seem really disjointed. In the early stages of development is where the materials, shapes, colors etc.... can be adjusted. Once you've established a look it's harder to change it so experiment a lot early on until your happy.

Sounds like a pretty awesome level series. I'm a sci-fi nut so this is right up my alley :) Good luck with it - looking forward to it.

jwwphotos
11-16-2009, 12:28 AM
Interesting idea! I like the story concept as well as the different levels depending on what path you decide to take.

Morgana has some awesome tips! What I usually do is built all my platforming elements I am considering in a few workshops as well. That way I not only don't risk the timeline in the real level(s) (avoiding the 160hr bug), but I don't accidentally break anything in case of unexpectedly dropping something on something else.

Another thing I do is usually sketch out some ideas on paper to help focus my imagination. It also is a great source for notes when finally in create mode. I have a sketchbook I take with me on trips to jot down notes and sketch out concepts so my time in create mode is hopefully a bit more productive.

Looking forward to see what you come up with!!

julesyjules
11-16-2009, 12:45 AM
The one thing I'd make sure of is that the player feels a connection to their character with a few choice bits of dialogue. Its an ambitious story, but if the player doesn't feel a part of it , it won't have have any soul.

Good luck with it!

jump_button
11-16-2009, 06:53 AM
sound cool Hope you you can get everything you want working well :)

doubletime
11-16-2009, 02:42 PM
Hmmm you gotta keep this simpel. Or use sticker switches that will trigger dark or light side .

claptonfann
11-16-2009, 11:23 PM
k - sounds like you have a good story set up in terms of motivation and which side to choose. Since you've got this loosely set up now would be a good time to workout the major events that need to happen in the story. Depending on how many of them you have you can break up the levels as needed then. I'd also start thinking about where these essential events need to take place so you can plan the areas/locations. To save thermo you may have to revise the where of certain things and knowing this ahead of time can save you wasted build time later.

I'd also recommend just making a workshop level where you establish the look of the good guys, their ships and tech and also the bad guys. Nothing fully fleshed out but what materials are you going to use? Are there any color combinations or lighting styles that will define each group. One thing I learned making my Chroma Stone series is the environment you place your characters in, becomes like a character itself. It has to relate to those who live/work in it or it will seem really disjointed. In the early stages of development is where the materials, shapes, colors etc.... can be adjusted. Once you've established a look it's harder to change it so experiment a lot early on until your happy.

Sounds like a pretty awesome level series. I'm a sci-fi nut so this is right up my alley :) Good luck with it - looking forward to it.

Like I said, I still have some questions to ask myself about the story so I can figure out those major events, and I’ve got several scenes/events jotted down for when I really get to work on this. Conservation of thermo is a top priority, so I’m wary about varying my materials TOO much. But like you said, using blank workshops to create the objects you’re going to use in a level is indeed a good way to go. Extensive prototyping and “fail-safing” is key.

Defining both sides in terms of their technology, color schemes and lighting is something I never considered, but obviously they’re key elements to take into account :p The environment DOES have to work, yes. Otherwise things stick out and the theme of the level is less concrete.
I’m looking forward to working on it in greater detail, too :)


Interesting idea! I like the story concept as well as the different levels depending on what path you decide to take.

Morgana has some awesome tips! What I usually do is built all my platforming elements I am considering in a few workshops as well. That way I not only don't risk the timeline in the real level(s) (avoiding the 160hr bug), but I don't accidentally break anything in case of unexpectedly dropping something on something else.

Another thing I do is usually sketch out some ideas on paper to help focus my imagination. It also is a great source for notes when finally in create mode. I have a sketchbook I take with me on trips to jot down notes and sketch out concepts so my time in create mode is hopefully a bit more productive.

Looking forward to see what you come up with!!

Thank you! As far as I know, no one has tried a level series with different outcomes. I’ve played some single levels where you can choose sides, but not like this.
That’s the most efficient way to build level objects, you’re right. Last thing I want is the level to suddenly come to a halt and I have to move everything to another blank level. Hopefully that bug will be patched…maybe…

Oh, you don’t know the half of it XD
I carry around a notebook to sketch and take notes nearly 24/7.

I’m looking forward to it, as well :)


The one thing I'd make sure of is that the player feels a connection to their character with a few choice bits of dialogue. Its an ambitious story, but if the player doesn't feel a part of it , it won't have have any soul.

Good luck with it!

I agree 100%, man. I plan to make sure that the characters in the story are relatable and memorable. The player is the star of the show.
Thank you! :D


Hmmm you gotta keep this simpel. Or use sticker switches that will trigger dark or light side .
I want to steer away from sticker switches. Too many levels use that concept, I want to try something different.

claptonfann
11-21-2009, 01:19 AM
....So no one else has any advice? .3.;

mrsupercomputer
11-24-2009, 01:44 PM
The concept sounds cool and very ambitious. I like the idea of giving players a plot in which they have to "pick a side". I'd suggest you plan a lot of this out on paper before hand to make sure that you have some great gameplay to go with the great story. A five level series can be hard to sustain, so I'd also recommend that you don't fell up the thermo in every single level. Just build what you need for that part of the story and don't throw all of your great ideas into the first level. Instead, spread them out over the series.

Again, this sounds very ambitious! I wish you luck!

Teebonesy
12-03-2009, 01:14 AM
Very ambitious, a great concept. Being story-driven, it sounds like it could be quite dynamic and cinematic. Lots of opportunities for exciting sequences. I'd make each of these "choice" moments particularly detailed and either chaotic or beautiful or whatever. I'm someone who prefers a shorter level with a higher level of sheen to a longer level that doesn't look as nice. Particularly with a series like this, you might not want to make your levels too big and ambitious or you might run into not only thermo problems, but problems of people finishing the level. It sounds like you have a pretty solid pace in mind, some mellow moments to contrast with the intense exciting ones.

I'm very interested to see how this comes out. Be sure to keep us in the loop!

claptonfann
02-19-2010, 10:34 PM
This concept is looking more and more like it'll have to be put on the shelf for a while, at least until I've made a few more levels. After I get my PS3 problems sorted out, I'll be back to working on my Collector Boss Dissection revamp (as well as my first level series project about the deep sea).

It's also come to my attention that my concept is VERY similar to Mass Effect, where the player is given moral choices in a sci-fi setting. This was unintentional (my idea actually came about from playing games like The Force Unleashed and inFamous :p), but I may be able to turn to Mass Effect for "further" inspiration. Ideas are still coming, so I'll have plenty to work with once I finally get around to starting this project. If/when that happens, I'll probably post what I've worked on so far in a new thread or perhaps in Object Showcase.

Anybody else who wants to give their two cents on this idea, do so before this thread is locked, k? :)

[EDIT] Or before it's doomed to stagnation again... :(

TheCountessZ
02-20-2010, 02:55 AM
This is very ambitious! One trick is that you do need to make the player's choice very hard to make. You basically have a story...that's a great start already. It would seem a bit overwhelming though since it seems you may need to publish all the levels at the same time. Just a suggestion here but wouldn't this work better as a team effort? Perhaps have someone work with the set design, another with logic, another with decoration?

It will be interesting to see how this comes together. :)

Kern
02-20-2010, 04:24 AM
You should keep working hard at this,

((Sorry it's 5 in the morning))

What you could/should do is 5 levels the first being a selector, the next two being a mission for good/evil and then a boss for the two factions :)

claptonfann
02-21-2010, 07:50 PM
What you could/should do is 5 levels the first being a selector, the next two being a mission for good/evil and then a boss for the two factions :)

Well, that setup would put the player as "neutral" from the beginning. Not a bad idea, but not what I'm shooting for. Still, thank you for giving me something to consider :)

Holguin86
02-21-2010, 10:09 PM
I think the final boss should be exactly the same for both storylines, but with crucial differences. Maybe you fight it from different sides, or it attacks you in different ways. Either way, you still end up fighting the same bloke or whatever.

claptonfann
02-21-2010, 10:18 PM
I think the final boss should be exactly the same for both storylines, but with crucial differences.

That just narrows the multiplicity of what I'm going for :( I already have the final bosses in mind for each plotline, and each of them are intended to have as much impact on the player as possible (both the battle and the emotions).

Sack Saprono
02-23-2010, 05:20 AM
It's nice to see you working on something Clapton, as for the level idea. How would you try to make people go evil instead of good, if that is the case? :x

shebhnt
02-23-2010, 07:07 AM
One thing to really keep in mind like morgana said is varying the two sides using color and different materials. Here are some ideas to really differ the different sides:

USE CONTRAST
Make the good guys lighter colors, closer to white while the bad guys use darker colors, colors that are closer to black
Different shapes, if you examine any disney movie you will notice the heroes are always made up of round lines where the bad guys are very sharp angles and straight lines.
The other thing you can also use is lines, having the good ships feature more horizontal but have the evil ships feature more vertical features

USE AFFINITY (similiarity)
This corresponds to Contrast, when you choose what materials and colors define each side, make sure everything that happens with them are similiar.

By doing this you will really allow the users to feel the difference between the two sides. Think about Star Wars, you know who is on the light side and the dark side right away. This is done through contrast and affinity. If you want the player to really feel like they made a choice use them.

I'm a filmmaker but I love creating in little big planet, I'm working right now on building up my creating skills first, none of my levels are that cinematic. Once I feel like I can get gameplay down though I hope to do a more story driven level like what you are trying to accomplish.

Good luck and I can't wait to see the final product.

Okisaan
02-23-2010, 01:58 PM
This sounds really cool, and I would certainly play it twice, but why does the evil side have only one mission/level left after the choice? Nevertheless, keep working on it, looks like you get loads of tips from good players. XD
Bye

P.S.: I would love to help with this!

claptonfann
02-23-2010, 07:37 PM
It's nice to see you working on something Clapton, as for the level idea. How would you try to make people go evil instead of good, if that is the case? :x

Unfortunately, for now, everything can only be done outside of LBP online. My Blu-ray laser is dead, and I need to get back in the game (literally) as soon as possible. I miss it so much :C As for the level idea, the player is on the evil side to start with, and has the choice to switch (or not) in the second level. I will try to make people choose a side by highlighting the pros and cons of joining/staying on either side. When the time comes, the player will see where their loyalties really lie.


One thing to really keep in mind like morgana said is varying the two sides using color and different materials. Here are some ideas to really differ the different sides:

USE CONTRAST
Make the good guys lighter colors, closer to white while the bad guys use darker colors, colors that are closer to black
Different shapes, if you examine any disney movie you will notice the heroes are always made up of round lines where the bad guys are very sharp angles and straight lines.
The other thing you can also use is lines, having the good ships feature more horizontal but have the evil ships feature more vertical features

USE AFFINITY (similiarity)
This corresponds to Contrast, when you choose what materials and colors define each side, make sure everything that happens with them are similiar.

By doing this you will really allow the users to feel the difference between the two sides. Think about Star Wars, you know who is on the light side and the dark side right away. This is done through contrast and affinity. If you want the player to really feel like they made a choice use them.

I'm a filmmaker but I love creating in little big planet, I'm working right now on building up my creating skills first, none of my levels are that cinematic. Once I feel like I can get gameplay down though I hope to do a more story driven level like what you are trying to accomplish.

Good luck and I can't wait to see the final product.

The black and white thing crossed my mind, and that's usually the color scheme for villains and heroes, respectively. However, I thought it would be interesting to flip that around, and have the evil characters with brighter colors, including white and silver. I didn't know that about Disney characters, but I'm not looking to emulate Disney in my character design :( And I didn't know that whole horizontal/vertical thing. What does that symbolize?

And when you're talking about similarity, you mean like shades of certain colors? For instance, if the evil characters use a darker shade of green, would the good characters use a darker shade of red?


This sounds really cool, and I would certainly play it twice, but why does the evil side have only one mission/level left after the choice? Nevertheless, keep working on it, looks like you get loads of tips from good players. XD
Bye

P.S.: I would love to help with this!

The evil side has one mission after the choice because that balances everything out. The "morality path" for the 5 levels is:



#
|
#@
/ \
# @
|
@

# = Evil
@ = Good

Three levels for each, basically, with one level devoted to the "moment of truth" :p

I may end up asking some people to help with this project (to improve it :blush: ), so once I'm back online, I'll look you up, Okisaan :)

shebhnt
02-24-2010, 02:30 AM
The black and white thing crossed my mind, and that's usually the color scheme for villains and heroes, respectively. However, I thought it would be interesting to flip that around, and have the evil characters with brighter colors, including white and silver. I didn't know that about Disney characters, but I'm not looking to emulate Disney in my character design :( And I didn't know that whole horizontal/vertical thing. What does that symbolize?

And when you're talking about similarity, you mean like shades of certain colors? For instance, if the evil characters use a darker shade of green, would the good characters use a darker shade of red?

You could do whatever for the colors I'm just suggesting that whatever they are, they are opposites. This will help the player immediatley know who is on what side. Also the disney example was just to give you an idea on how they use subtle contrast in just round lines verses sharp to let their audience know who is good and who is bad. I was just saying you could take that idea and have everything that deals with the evil be be more "boxy" where as everything that deals with the good be more "round". Just an idea

And when I talk about similarity I'm just talking about specific sides, so if one evil thing is a dark color, all evil things are dark colors. Each side should have its own theme and that theme should be different then the other sides.

Like I said before, it sounds interesting and I would love to see it.

claptonfann
02-24-2010, 03:09 AM
And what are you saying about horizontal/vertical lines as far as the ships go?

shebhnt
02-27-2010, 01:29 AM
Well for instance, when the player is on the "evil" ship, the challenges and general flow require them to move up and down more where as on the "good" ships they do more horizontal stuff. Or even if the backgrounds and decorations are more vertical in one and more horizontal on the other.

These are all different suggestions, what I would do is take just one concept (colors, lines, shape) and focus on it.

Kern
02-28-2010, 02:18 PM
Will it be relatively similar in the composition of the levels or will they be different IE first Properly good level you get thrown down a garbage chute, You have to make the Evil Side Easier as well because thats always the case in alot of games, Evil is always stronger, better off and made of EPIC WIN.

claptonfann
03-01-2010, 02:02 AM
Indeed, Kernel, being on the good side will be a bit harder as far as gameplay goes (because it's far too easy for someone to be evil in any world, real or fictional). In the first good level, the player will be fighting his/her former comrades, which will be hard enough, anyway :p

shebhnt
03-03-2010, 05:02 AM
Hey Claptonfann, I made a blog about using the principles I was talking about. The link is in my sig. Maybe this will help clerify what I have been talking about.

claptonfann
03-06-2010, 10:51 PM
I noticed XD And I look forward to more from you :D

Astrosimi
03-07-2010, 05:48 AM
Alright, Clapton, sorry for the delay. In any case, my main observation is this; if you need to make an extra evil level, do it. Currently, the concept is a bit lopsided, no offense to you or the idea, which is completely awesome. However, if you need to delay the project to make an extra level for the evil side, please do so. I think a player would appreciate getting the same amount of content out of whichever side he picks. If it's a matter of missing a large anough plot for the evil side, then don't hesitate to ask, because I could certainly help out there, if you need my help. However, that's really the only thing wrong I see with this concept; I think otherwise it's magnificent.

claptonfann
12-20-2010, 09:50 PM
UPDATE: Request that this thread be moved to "[LBP2] Projects and Planning."

Morgana25
01-05-2011, 12:49 AM
Moved per request :)

Good Luck with it!

MuddledMuppet
01-05-2011, 02:48 AM
Hi, cool concept :)

Thoughts that occur to me:
could the nature of good and evil actually be explored within such a game?
is there room for moral ambiguity?
could a player have his actions determine his moral compass witout that compass being made explicit (ie he is steered down the 'evil' path but isn't actually choosing 'evil' options with an explicit label)
is the author deciding which path is 'good' and which is 'evil'? (an example, somone on a religious crusade could eisilly define their own actions as 'good' whilst being seen as 'evil' by anyone outside of that religion)

I (like a lot of people) only really dabbled in LBP1 but I must admit 2 has me quite excited, I'm sketching out ideas for AI & AE (artificial emotion) microchips for use in sackbots, once I have a basic one working I intend to develop an AI with a moral compass as one of the factors that decide is the sacbot aggressive or passive etc

anyhoo I digress!

If the intention isto have the 'evil' path as one of pantomine 'muahahaha' type baddy with a twirly moustache then great, but of your hope is to develop a more mature experience I think the 'good/evil' continuum could do with some work :)

Be happy to help out on exploring this further should you like to go down that route, best wishes either way!

MM

claptonfann
01-05-2011, 07:11 AM
Could the nature of good and evil actually be explored within such a game?


I suppose I could have some of the characters have a philosophical discussion on the nature of good and evil, exploring the concepts from the most objective perspective possible. It could even be explored subjectively from the characters’ individual perspectives (what their personal definitions of “good” or “evil” are). Such deep discussion can bore some people, but stimulate others. The plot involves two sides in combat with each other, so I will make sure that any “quiet” scenes that could allow this kind of dialogue to take place will be seamlessly written into the story.


Is there room for moral ambiguity?
I should certainly hope so, that’s what I’m shooting for :p Yes, I want to make sure that the designated “good” and “evil” sides both have their benefits and drawbacks. That’s the core concept of this level series. I’m thoroughly interested in morality and shifting alliances/actions/mindsets/goals, and I want to try and give the player the experience of choosing who you’re with and who you’re against (one, the other, or both). The experience of finding friends in former enemies and enemies in former friends. There is a “neutral” character in the story, one who does not explicitly subscribe to one side or the other (they will do so if a favorable opportunity presents itself). That character will, with proper “molding”, as it were, become as morally ambiguous to the player as other major characters. My intention is to have the player view the characters as both good and evil.


Could a player have his actions determine his moral compass without that compass being made explicit (i.e. he is steered down the 'evil' path but isn't actually choosing 'evil' options with an explicit label)


At the start of the level series, the player is predetermined to be on the “evil” side. This is due to my fascination with the dark side of humanity, how villains are much more interesting than heroes. The story will have a “villain protagonist” who can choose to alter or continue their moral path. I’m not sure if I want to make it so that the player’s alignment shift is a singular event (a “moment of truth”) or a dynamic process (every single solitary thing you do or decision you make affects your moral compass). A singular event layout makes everything easier, as the player has only one decision to make. A dynamic layout is more interesting, as the player can cause their moral compass to shift gradually rather than suddenly. As far as keeping the choices from being clearly and explicitly labeled, that would require making the choices as morally ambiguous as the characters. I’m glad you asked me that question, because I’ve never (but should have, certainly) considered making “good” or “evil” decisions/actions less black-and-white, less obvious. Diluting their pure “goodness” or “evil” in shades of grey will make the experience more believable and realistic.


Is the author deciding which path is 'good' and which is 'evil'? (an example, someone on a religious crusade could easily define their own actions as 'good' whilst being seen as 'evil' by anyone outside of that religion)


Yes, I am XD Again, I’m trying to make it so either side could be interpreted as good, evil or both, but not so much that the “hero” and “villain” disappear completely from the moral framework of the story. They’re both grey, yes, but one is a darker shade. This is mostly because of my personal interest in villainy and “evil” (plus the conventions of storytelling where you have someone to root for and someone to hate). This might seem contradictory: “You want both sides to be ambiguous, but you also want them to be black and white, hero and villain.” Well, yeah, even really great stories are like that. Characters have certain alignments, but they can be viewed and interpreted from different perspectives.


If the intention is to have the 'evil' path as one of 'muahahaha' type baddy with a twirly moustache then great, but if your hope is to develop a more mature experience I think the 'good/evil' continuum could do with some work


As you can tell by what answers I’ve provided so far, the continuum/framework could do with some tweaking. There’re things I haven’t thought about that you’ve helped to point out. That’s fantastic! Any shortcomings in my story should be addressed, because I want this to be a great story :D Though the “evil” path will certainly not be stereotypically/obviously evil, nor will the “good” path.


Be happy to help out on exploring this further should you like to go down that route, best wishes either way!

What’s your PSN username? :p

MM



P.S., http://www.tvtropes.org is pretty much my go-to site for storytelling conventions, and reading through its articles has helped me a great deal as a writer :)

MuddledMuppet
01-05-2011, 10:12 PM
Excellent and considered responces, thanks for taking my thoughts in the spirit intended and not as pure criticism :)

My PSN is MuddledMuppet, feel free to add me, I am admin on a 'mature' gaming site ps3coffindodgers.com which is a good place for a larf but I don't anticipate much in the way of LBP2 occuring there. It would be nice to have a buddy to play LBP with and even better to have someone to bounce ideas around for game development.

I feel I would need to write an essay to address som eof the points already raised so far, and I'm sure you're possibly feeling the same!

So, my most prominent thoughts right now are, how much time do you think this would take to develop, woudl a finished game still have interest at that point (and i guess is that even important to you?) and how wary should one be about the dreaded end boss 'feature creep'?

I ask this, as years ago, myself and some friends developed a shareware game for the atari ST, it took two years to write and develop, and by the time it was 'done' the atari ST went from being pretty much number one console to being dead!

With that in mind, it would be wrth spending some time considering how the players actions would determine the moral position of the avatar, and how that would then interact with th egame world, and then how that is fed-back to the player. A quicker route might not give the complexity desired, but would reduce the risk of the game taking longer than Duke Nukem 3D to develop :)

So a 'quick 'n' easy' representation of good v. evil is required... an obvious (if contentious) choice could be religieon, as there is the tendency towards absolutism with morals etc.This could actually be the easiest to portray with a 'good/evil' 'switch' in the characters profile which then effects all interactions.

It might be worth pondering a Id-Ego-Super-ego model? a bit more difficult to program but still do-able. (the super-ego (conscience) part would be interesting to develop further into the game, as the players morally ambiguous actions return to haunt, somewhat akin to the effect felt when encountering the little sisters in their home in Bioshock if thatmake sense?

another option could just be a power struggle, totalitarianism v. democracy maybe?

So how does the player make these decisions, and what is the 'cost' in terms of conscience? there needs to be some correlation with good = denial of self, evil = gains to self at the cost of others perhaps? for example, kicking a puppy isn't the 'dark side' of the human mind that most people could identify with, kicking a puppy to gain your superiers approval is more likely to happen. a real life correlation would be a policeman beating up a tramp cos he feels like it, against a policeman arresting someone they know is innocent to boost their arrest record and improve their standing & chances of promotion. The first one is just plain 'bad', the second is more likely to be able to justify his actions for the 'greater good'.

I'm probably wandering waaaaay off your initial ideas for a game lol, but hopefully the points will be food for thought, even if they make you wish you'd eaten summat else :)

feel free to tell me to stfu lol but also let me know if my waffle IS actually helpful!

MM

claptonfann
01-08-2011, 02:37 AM
So, my most prominent thoughts right now are, how much time do you think this would take to develop, would a finished game still have interest at that point (and I guess is that even important to you?) and how wary should one be about the dreaded end boss 'feature creep'?


Development time is two-fold. There’s developing the story, and developing the levels for the story. Like I said before, the story is of great importance to this series. Both the gameplay and the plot must be engaging or, at the very least, mildly interesting. As for a guess at how long I think it would take to develop, I wouldn’t know for sure. I don’t regularly build levels, but I hang out with people who do, and just one level usually takes a few months from start to finish. There’s the idea for a story, beta/workshop testing, building and then publishing.

No, I’m not concerned about audience interest in my project. I’m not what one could consider a “famous” LBPC member, anyway. What I would like, though, is that the finished product gets spotlighted. There’s going to be 5 levels, so they would have to share the slot in the spotlight lineup.

“Feature creep”? Rephrase please.


With that in mind, it would be worth spending some time considering how the players actions would determine the moral position of the avatar, and how that would then interact with the game world, and then how that is fed-back to the player. A quicker route might not give the complexity desired, but would reduce the risk of the game taking longer than Duke Nukem 3D to develop


Exactly. I’d have the actions affect the compass, then have the consequences of those actions affect gameplay.

lol I don’t think I’ll be spending over a decade on this project just to get it as close to “perfect” as I can :)


So a 'quick 'n' easy' representation of good v. evil is required... an obvious (if contentious) choice could be religion, as there is the tendency towards absolutism with morals etc. This could actually be the easiest to portray with a 'good/evil' 'switch' in the characters profile which then effects all interactions.


I’m not including religion in this story. Characters will have their ideologies, but not religions.


It might be worth pondering an Id-Ego-Super-ego model? The super-ego (conscience) part would be interesting to develop further into the game, as the players morally ambiguous actions return to haunt, somewhat akin to the effect felt when encountering the little sisters in their home in Bioshock if that makes sense?


Yeah, if the player can have an internal dialogue with themselves over the choices they’re making, that’d be a great payoff for this series. Their desires (id) and morals/conscience (superego) could be at odds with each other.


Another option could just be a power struggle, totalitarianism v. democracy maybe?


I do plan on making social commentary in the story. People are no longer living on Earth, and that’s certainly going to have a profound effect on how society works and how people interact with and govern each other. Our priorities are going to shift dramatically if we become a space-faring society. I don’t think living in space would be entirely mundane, but there would be some mundanity to it, because humanity (in the story) has been traveling through space for a while. I think I might have the two sides subscribe to different political outlooks, but I’m not sure if it will be a totalitarianism/democracy struggle.


So how does the player make these decisions, and what is the 'cost' in terms of conscience? There needs to be some correlation with good = denial of self, evil = gains to self at the cost of others perhaps? For example, kicking a puppy isn't the 'dark side' of the human mind that most people could identify with; kicking a puppy to gain your superiors’ approval is more likely to happen. A real life correlation would be a policeman beating up a tramp because he feels like it, against a policeman arresting someone they know is innocent to boost their arrest record and improve their standing & chances of promotion. The first one is just plain ‘bad’; the second is more likely to be able to justify his actions for the 'greater good'.


The player makes these decisions by performing certain actions. For example, in the video game inFamous, whatever kind of interactions with your environment you decided to pursue, you would do so by selecting the “good” or “evil” action that the game would give you.

I agree, the “conscience cost” would need some kind of correlation, like the pursuit of benefiting the group (good) versus benefiting only the self (evil). Your real life example takes into account the motivation for two separate variations of the same situation, which is a worthwhile consideration for ambiguity.


feel free to tell me to stfu lol but also let me know if my waffle IS actually helpful!


I find it incredibly helpful, and your interest in the subject would be invaluable on my project. I’ve asked others if they’d like to join in and help me out (ex: Morgana25), and some have even said they would (ex: Okisaan). I’d be happy to have you on the team :3

MuddledMuppet
01-10-2011, 05:41 PM
Hey, sorry for late reply, have had a lot of stuff on my plate this week :)

feature crep, is the continuing desire to add just one more cool feature onto any product in it's developmental stage, usually disproportionately adding to developmental time in terms of benefit given, sometimes causing a product to fail due to over-stretched resources etc etc. wasn't it windows '95 that actually came out on '97 or something similar?

Anyhoo, am loving the concept, and I'd love to be part of it, it'd be a cool project and very interesting to see what depth could be achieved with the tools that LBP offers!

Am not quite sure what skills I could bring to the table, maybe nothing more than a bouncing board for ideas etc, am looking forwardtoeting my hands on the music sequencer and seeing if i can do anything with that.

I'd certanly ofer critique/discussion of each key point/moral junction, and hopefully be able to offer some feedback & another point of view. Maybe we should startlooking at individual 'choices' the player is faced with and how obvious or subtle each decision is and to what effect they have on the 'goodometer'?

Oh and i agree that space travel, no mate how fantastic we may think of it now, will at some stage reach mundanity, I fly fairly regularly for work, and i'll read a paper, doze, chat socially etc, imagine explaining to anybody inthe past that not only would mankind be able to take to the skys, but that it would actually become quite boring and mundane!

I'd like to bring perception into our definitions of good and evil if possible, here's a for instance...

One of my jobs is a nurse, and I was once accused by a patient of beating up another patient. he was adamant to his family that he saw me hitting someone in the dining room at a nursing home. I obviously don't beat up patients (where i can be seen hehe) and was wracking my brains wondering what ion earth he'd seen and misinterpreted... then i remembered i'd had rto give someone's back a thump or two and do a heimlich as they were choking,


it may seem to bear little relation to what we're discussing, but shows that with the wrong information my 'good' act was (by him) seen as 'evil'. which is also why it could be a shame not to include a fictiocious religeon (tho understandable)

There was some research done on some Jewish kids, who were given stories about a Chinese General commiting various acts of genocide, slavery etc etc, all of which were condemned by the kids. Then they were given some Old Testemant stories that described exactly the same occurences but this time endorsed by the God of the Old Testemant,and all the kids now proclamed that these were the right actions. I'm sure similar research from any religion would show similar results. I'm not having a dig at any one faith here btw, but it' been shown often enough that raising one's own tribe above the level of others to the extent of seeing others as sub-human, provides all the incentive needed to justify evil acts such as genocide etc. Political ideology can do this as well of course, but tends to have the perpotrator seeing themselves as powerful over the weak, as oppsed to defining thier own 'evil' acts as 'good'

All the above, (thinking as I write) msy not be meeting your initial remit of exploring the dark side of the mind, as the above is from the perspective of 'this act is seen by others as evil but seen as good by the perpotrator', when in fact what you may be looking for SI the 'kicking a puppy cos I can' dark side?

i have a headache now!!

Laters :)

claptonfann
01-11-2011, 12:36 AM
lol I think I've seen enough of your brain-wafflings to make a decision. Welcome to the team! You're hired! :D

Keep in touch as much as possible, and I'll try to meet up with you in LBP1 and LBP2 soon!

claptonfann
01-13-2011, 06:54 PM
Here are the confirmed staff members for this project, so far:

claptonfann: project director, writer/creative consultant, logician, character designer, level/set designer

MuddledMuppet: writer/creative consultant, assistant director, (possible) character designer

SunnieGlow: music composer, (possible) level/set designer

:3

Gravel
01-14-2011, 03:53 PM
Wow-- you've been in developement for a long, long, time. Interestingly enough, I have an animated pic in my head. Some parts to paper... but it's probable-- it will die with me. It opens with a voice-over about the mundanity of Space...

Like many others to visit I am intrigued and look forward to it. That you just recently directed me to this thread leads me to think I am way to low on your confidant list to make much of an impression, but I'll try anyway. KISS.

My brother lives by this simple rule! Keep It Simple Stupid. Everyone of my levels suffer from not adhering to this. This is LBP. Think of the average player slapping each other-- If they could slapp themselves- they would!:hrmf:

Don't over think it... screw internal motivations... players like to play and do! Think of StarWars:ANewHope. Lucas directed it almost as a silent movie... (think of the intro to DragonSlayer) it is possible to imply so much visually... there is no need for the player to digest anything... let 'em play!

Finally, you got me thinking about my own tale now... so if nothing else ever comes of it... Thanks for inspiring me right here and now!

dcf
01-15-2011, 04:59 PM
I worked on a plot heavy scifi series in LBP1. I got to level 3 before I ended up going back and starting over by remaking the first level.

The biggest roadblock I hit was managing thermo. By the time I had created all the plot elements (and the logic circuits controlling said plot elements), I had nothing left-over to give it the graphics and game-play it deserved.

Another key point is to make sure that you're creating for yourself, not to get on the cool pages. Story heavy levels and multipart levels tend not to make it on the cool pages as they require too much attention span for the average player. That said, when done well, a series can get recognition within a community like LBPC.

A graphic/game-play style to immerse players are also key. Media molecule gives sets of levels similar graphical and game-play themes. Consistent and stylized visuals go a long way towards players initial reaction to your level. Game-play will determine whether they keep playing. Game-play challenges should build upon themselves as the level progresses. If done right, difficulty increases throughout the level with the player improving as he progresses. This keeps things interesting and prevents frustration.

Most of all, have fun!!!!

claptonfann
01-21-2011, 07:55 PM
@GRAVEL:

lol Not bad :) Next time I see you in LBP, we should discuss what you had in mind for the intro as well as a more involved dialogue about my sci-fi concept.

But I’m not creating this series to please the kinds of players who just want to rush through a level with a great story without actually appreciating the story. Internal motivations intrigue me greatly, so I want to explore such concepts/ideas in this science fiction tale I’m trying to bring into existence. If the average player wants to ignore all my hard work, then that’s their loss.

That’s fantastic! :D I’m glad I’ve inspired you in some way :3


@dcf:

Yeah, the thermo is always going to be a challenge when you’re trying to create a complex story. And like GRAVEL said, the average player will just pass everything by, but I’m looking forward to hearing from such a great community as LBPC about the finished product once it’s published. I’m not interested in simply appeasing the lowest common denominator. Like you, I’m spreading out my story over several levels so I can accommodate plot, graphics and gameplay.

“A graphic/game-play style to immerse players are also key. Media molecule gives sets of levels similar graphical and game-play themes. Consistent and stylized visuals go a long way towards players initial reaction to your level. Game-play will determine whether they keep playing. Game-play challenges should build upon themselves as the level progresses. If done right, difficulty increases throughout the level with the player improving as he progresses. This keeps things interesting and prevents frustration.”
^
I agree wholeheartedly XD

Fun’s definitely on the schedule! ^_^

claptonfann
01-24-2011, 06:44 AM
Update: Since I haven't gotten any responses from possible collaborators for the past 2 weeks ( in this thread (http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?43089-Sci-fi-Group-Project-To-All-Those-Interested) ), I may start going to individual creators to see if they'd like to work with me on this. I'll gather as many "yes"'s, "no"'s or "maybe"'s as I can from people whom I would consider would be good additions to the team.

Kern
01-24-2011, 05:51 PM
Maybe...

:3

claptonfann
02-01-2011, 09:48 PM
@KernelM:

kewl :3

Update: Ok, I've sent out the first crop of requests to join the project. Crossing my sacky fingers :D

illuminationx
02-01-2011, 11:15 PM
Sorry mate but I'm not the best person at this sort of stuff. Logic and I don't mix... Hope you find the person you're looking for.

claptonfann
02-01-2011, 11:39 PM
Staff update:

Main members
claptonfann: project director, writer/creative consultant, logician, character designer, level/set designer, voice actor

MuddledMuppet: writer/creative consultant, assistant director, (possible) character designer, music composer, voice actor

coyote_blue: writer/creative consultant, assistant director, voice actor

Astrosimi: music composer, level/set designer, logician, tester

Morgana25: voice actress

KernelM: logician, writer/creative consultant, level/set designer, tester, (possible) voice actor, character designer

AssassinatorRFC: level/set designer, (possible) music composer

dethklokrulez12: level/set designer (specialty in vehicles)

wolverine_2008: level/set designer (specialty in visuals)

hilightnotes: music composer

Outside Advisors
OmegaSlayer: creative consultant

Okisaan: creative consultant (pending further analysis of skills)

Foofles: writer/creative consultant

shebhnt: writer/creative consultant

Shadowheaven: logician

Sehven: logician, troubleshooter

v0rtex: logician

shebhnt
02-02-2011, 12:14 AM
Hey dude, unfortunately I am pretty busy right now otherwise I would be all in. I would still love to help with story and any cutscenes you do but I can't really commit to any thing right now.

AbstractFlesh
02-02-2011, 11:11 AM
I guess I could help do level design =D You will have to re-add me on PSN though...

dylan-is-cool123
02-02-2011, 08:29 PM
u still workin on dis? or u done? if u done, how is it? i only got a psp...

claptonfann
02-02-2011, 09:16 PM
@gamerboy6:
Still working on it, exclusively on the PS3.

AssassinatorRFC
02-06-2011, 08:40 PM
Sounds like a great idea :) I would like to help with level design and general aesthetics :D

claptonfann
02-07-2011, 05:08 AM
@AssassinatorRFC:

Kewl :3 Added your name to the staff roster.

claptonfann
02-12-2011, 06:02 AM
Created group for separate discussion. Non-group-member discussion about the series can continue in this thread, but group members should restrict any posts related to this series in group discussions only.

wolverine_2008
03-27-2011, 06:30 AM
No tips? :(

no but i have a suggestion :)

what if the decisions can be action-based as in like for example

some martians are trapped inside a spaceship that's about to explode and you can either:

A) solve a puzzle to figure out how to help them and when you succeed then that would be considered as a good action
or
B) have a timer and when that timer runs out and you didn't help them that would mean that you choose the evil action

and you can have some logic that would determine how the rest of the level would go?

kinda like infamous if you think about it :p

claptonfann
04-27-2011, 01:03 AM
An interesting idea I think it has some potential for inclusion in the sequel series, Forward Mind: Apex :) If you have any more suggestions, look through the discussions in Forward Mind and post them in the proper section.

claptonfann
05-13-2011, 11:05 PM
OmegaSlayer and Okisaan added to staff list. Now with school over, hopefully I can be less lazy and actually accomplish a thing or two towards this project :p