Thanks so much for the feedback, everybody! It his ::hugely:: appreciated. Listening to the sermon today at church, I got some expanded ideas (that I'll go into after I respond to your posts).
ArchAngel wrote:Wow, I'm a bit blown away. I'm very excited to see what comes out of this.
Thanks -- if you don't mind me asking, is there anything specific you can point to as the things you see as strong-points (can correspondingly, weak-points)?
JeTSpice wrote:Maybe there's a wide-spread disease among all the NPCs. it causes ordinary NPCs to react extraordinarily, bringing out their fundamental character. ... So you look for a cure, and you look for a way to be able to "see" who is who.
Interesting idea, JeT! I like the twist on the "disease" thing. I must admit, part of the things I'm trying to do with the plot is communicate that this isn't a simple sickness that can be "cured" in a sense, but rather the issue is that we are not home, and we can never be truly "well" in this world -- sanctification will not be complete so long as we still exist here in the body. The closest parallel I can think of here is the way the multiple worlds work in His Dark Materials (Golden Compass), where when you aren't in your home or natural world, you just get sick, and you can't thrive -- it's not a disease that can be "cured" by any other means than by simply going home. The problem is a fundamental difference in who we are, and where we are located.
tireswing wrote:I would definitely keep the ingredients to the medicine close-by and easily attained. I would hate to fight through difficult battles and walk all the way back to the doctor, get my cure, and be worse off for it. While curiosity would probably carry the game for a while (especially if the world is interesting), eventually I think the player stops trusting the designer, since every time the player completes a task, he gets weaker.
Great point -- I'm still toying with this idea, and the more I think about it, the more I'm shying away from how I originally had it. Even so, it may still be worth a play-test.
Right now, my main thought is to have the player's health (and possibly str) still decrease, but give him a big boost in add-ons. Weapons, armor, upgrades, and whatnot. He's asking for a solution to his fundamental health problem, and the solutions that he's being given (armor, weapons, etc), only help so much, and at some point, he has to address the very real fact that he's slowly going down in health, and his house of cards will collapse.
tireswing wrote:Now, once the MP is introduced, I really like the idea and can see the game becoming very fun. All of the sudden, you become stronger. Yes, your HP is still reducing, but you trade that strength for a different kind of strength--which is in actuality a superior strength, making it even more fun than when you had superior health.
Thanks! Yeah -- I really want to focus on that as a crux in the game, and a very critical (and memorable) turning point.
jesblood wrote:You know you could even change the type of enemies the protaganist fights over the course of his journey. In other words, the enemies in the beginning respond better to physical prowess, however, later as the game progresses the enemies gradually respond better to the spiritual instead. This would begin to make physical attacks meaningless and down right foolish. Just a thought.
One of my other friends mentioned another idea similar to this -- I think it's a good one, and you've reinforced it well. We could possibly have different enemies, or perhaps we could just have the same enemies with different sensitivities
-- I.E. more or less sensitive to physical or spiritual things (or more or less powerful against them).
jesblood wrote:...the cross was only the beginning of our salvation, not the end like so many believe.
And I guess I might even go so far as to count it as something in the middle -- everything that God does to draw people to Himself -- I count that "pre-saved" time as part of the sanctification process, where people are on the road of salvation, possibly before they are even aware of the way God is working in their lives.
Perhaps that isn't as scriptural, I'm not sure -- though I do know that I don't like the emphasis on the "salvation moment", to the detriment of the sanctification process that follows.
jesblood wrote:Salvation in our lives isn't complete till after the trial in heaven
Right-on! We're definitely on the same page here, and you totally understand what I'm going for then.
I'm trying to show in a pictoral way how, even when we know the Truth, we will never be truly content or at home until we leave this world. If the whole point of this game could be summed up in a phrase, I think it would be: "This world is not my home."
Today's sermon passage read through part of James 4. During the reading, this part of verse 4
caught my attention:
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Especially thinking about the context of the "two worlds" (World and Home) in Endemia, it got me thinking about how one is hostile to the other. Previously in my designs, I'd only viewed one as being ignorant of the other, and it hadn't made the jump to them actually being enemies.
My latest bathroom book has been 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and so being inundated with such classical technologies, it brought to mind the idea of the World being represented with steampunk
-- very mechanistic, naturalistic, materialistic, and self-reliant. Essentially, they are mechanically-minded transhumanists
, who are trying to complete the next step of human evolution through their own ingenuity and strength. As a society, they are very interested in human augmentation through technology -- this means not only Steampunk-style armor and weaponry, but also vehicles and exoskeletons that they view as advancing and evolving humanity.
Sortof a technological Tower of Babel -- trying to reach ascendancy through one's own strength.
Transhumanism carries strong overtones of materialistic atheism, and it makes sense that when our Protagonist (who still needs a name...
) has a problem and goes to the local people, that they give him materialistic solutions to what is ultimately an innate, spiritual problem. Their atheistic self-centeredness explains why they would not even think to suggest him an "unnatural" (I.E. solution of the natural World) to fix his problem.
And here we would seek to contrast the sooty, grimy, cluttered technology of World with the unnatural magic of Home. No gears, no pipes, no whirring mechanisms -- clean, smooth, and entirely other-worldly. This is not a Buddhist-style "natural" magic -- the whole point of the magic of Home is that it is natural to Home, but unnatural to World.
We would seek to drive home a sharp contrast here, and, as Sam and I were talking about it, we were imagining a powerful moment, where the protagonist, loaded down with his mechanistic exoskeleton, sheds it like a dragon skin
, or a wheelchair that chains and binds him to this world. Once he is freed from the machinery that he's been relying on to help him walk, it is only then that he can begin to truly fly (in either the figurative or literal sense).
Once again, I think we need to be extremely careful to not make this "magic" to be any sort of Buddhist or Druiditic "one with nature" sort of stuff. I don't want the "magic" in this game to be "natural". If anything, the steampunk should be "natural" -- perhaps an iron-core world, where it is in the nature to use such things in this way.
The analogy that came to mind was the negative way "religious luddites" are often portrayed as fearing technology or human progress -- the religious "anti-mutant" zealouts in the atoll of Water World
, or the anti-deviance hyper-conservative village elders in Happy Feet
. However, I thought that perhaps we could put a twist on that, where in Endemia, the transhumanists of World would be very rejecting (and hostile) to anything "unnatural". There are many opportunities for contrast here, where after the hero finds, and begins to accept his nature of Home, begins to find resistance to his new-found powers, and even comes into conflict with some people who had tried to help him with Steampunk technology in the past. So in that way, we sortof flip the "religious luddite" trope on its head a bit, though we'd have to be careful to not go overboard or dismissing with it. If we get to the point where we actually write a script, I'm toying with the idea of getting a true Transhumanist to help me edit the representations of his views, to make sure they are done accurately, and not dismissed tritely.
BTW, there is an old Christian book I'm remembering that had a similar sense of mechanistic self-reliance -- if someone could help me remember the title, I would much appreciate it. Basically, there was a world that only let the people walk around town at night, when they lit the town with artificial lights. They didn't want any of the True Light, and so tried to rely solely on their own technological abilities (which often broke down).
Hoookay, this post has gone on long enough, but if anyone has actually managed to make it through reading it, I'm very interested in hearing people's feedback and criticisms of it. What (if anything) in specific draws you to the idea, and what do you think are some of the weaknesses of it?
Thanks so much for reading!