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Stratomsk

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Everything posted by Stratomsk

  1. Stratomsk

    What counts as a video game?

    Thats technically true isn't it. Visual Novels can be video games in some cases but in others can't be video games. It really depends on the player interactivity possible. This is really an issue with the genre name itself which allows for this sort of confusion. I think "Interactive Visual Novels" would be enough to differentiate them from regular Visual Novels.
  2. Stratomsk

    What counts as a video game?

    In those cases, being called Visual Novels is misleading because you are applying a genre to some media that doesn't necessarily count as video games. Visual Novels are known as games because you can interact with the story, changing the story as a direct result. Some VN's do this in different ways by giving you an inventory but the basic idea is the same. Really for games that are essentially Virtual Comic Books (or whatever you wish to call them) cannot count as games because of the lack of player interactivity with the games story. Its a shame that many treat them as Visual Novels when it only serves to mislead people.
  3. Stratomsk

    Alien "Visit" Plot Poll!

    Huh, now I'm getting a kind of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. vibe when you mention "the zone". Pretty damn cool game in my honest opinion. Other than that, it looks like you have nailed down well the basic premise of your story. Combining Black Box's plot with the scenario described in Long Term Studies confuses me a bit however. Can you elaborate?
  4. Stratomsk

    Alien "Visit" Plot Poll!

    Personally I liked "Long Term Studies" the most. I can imagine it would have some really great visuals and interactions between the aliens and the humans. Kinda reminds me of that movie District 9 actually. It depends on the theme of the story you are going for as well. Is it about the humans, the aliens, or both? Is it a crapsack world with dying technology? Are you trying to show the adverse affects of alien technology on human civilization? Lots of possibilities here. Black Box is a close second for me.
  5. The story I've been working on for quite awhile, so I'll post that to see what you guys think of it. It is around the late 90's period. The main character is a high school student who happens to be living with his brother/guardian. What he doesn't understand is that years before, his brother went to a certain college but dropped out before graduating. His brother never really explained the reason why to his little brother. He simply told him vague answers and dodged the question. Due to the main characters young age, he didn't question it. Neither did he question the college's abandonment shortly after. Years later, at the main characters high school, rumors circle about the high school getting renovated after being in use for a very long time. The main character is reminded of what his brother told him years before. When he is picked up at school by his brother, he decides to take a nap due to the high school being a little under an hour away from their house. He has a dream of a damaged black obelisk in a clock tower. As he ascends the tower, the rooms become more and more grotesque as fleshy appendages dot the walls and a slight ringing in his ears occur. Being able to choose whether or not he touches the obelisk will have some impact later in the story. Whatever he chooses, the dream will end. He will have a conversation with his brother about the college and question him as to why he dropped out. Naturally, his brother will give vague answers. When they get home, the player will be able to convince the protagonist's brother to come with him to the college or go alone depending on what they choose. Either way, the main character goes to the college to unveil the secrets the college holds and try to understand what happened there. What he doesn't know is that the force against him is the obelisk itself, which holds an imprisoned being that was uncovered by a team of interns working for archeologists in another country. It slowly became more aware of its surroundings, driving some at the college insane, especially the students that were examining it. For others, it killed them, manipulated them to kill others, and caused physical decay of the actual school itself. The main characters brother was one of the few to survive because he escaped the school. After then, the school was considered abandoned. No bodies were found, and the few that survived lost their memories of the incidents. The being warps reality to show what it wants others to see, or nothing at all. The main character will be for all intents and purposes its plaything as he explores the school. It is the cosmic horror the story will be based upon. Any plot holes, constructive criticism, etc would be appreciated as I want to nail this story down well.
  6. Stratomsk

    What counts as a video game?

    This really is an interesting discussion. What is a game, Genre distinction and dissonance, definitions and subjectivity. It all comes back the intrinsic rulesets that can be found in all video games. It requires interactivity as a direct result that conflict the purposes of the player to proceed and the game holding them back in some way. Visual novels are a unique case, but can still be considered video games. The reason for that is that many have direct consequences for your actions that affect the story in ways a regular novel would not be able to accomplish. Simply flipping pages in a VN isn't enough to qualify it as a game. In those games, you are attempting to get the best endings, best relationships, etc that you can get. That is a competition between the player that is attempting to progress in the game the best way possible and the game that holds them back.
  7. Stratomsk

    Cosmic Horror Story Feedback

    I've been thinking about the ending. At some point, the brother comes back to find James if he isn't already with him. What the Cosmic Horror will do at the end of the story is show the protagonist what he is capable of by taking James. "I took him. He's inside." (just an idea of what it is capable of) The protagonist will throughout the game be making an effort to cause the obelisk to reveal itself unintentionally by learning more about the events at the college in the past , causing it to become more interested in the protagonist as a direct result. Sometime towards the end of this James will be taken. I know the best way to end the story is to leave the story with several open ended questions based upon the events of the game, but it came to mind this may come across to the player as a cliffhanger. How can I avoid this? Ideas for the ending are also appreciated.
  8. Stratomsk

    Story Idea - Feedback

    Those characters you posted aren't really character descriptions. They are better attributed to "rank" , "title" , "profession" and in some cases simple relation to another person. A little more detail on the characters themselves would help once you get that bit of the story straightened out. As for the bosses, I'm not sure you want to change their names but KFC is a little bit silly. Its your game though so go for it, maybe you plan on having a light comedy/rpg type of game. As for the story itself, I would have to wonder why you, the player, are in a medieval tournament in the first place; I would also wonder what else is going on in this game related to the bosses and the time travel thing you seem to have going on (Medieval to futuristic).
  9. Stratomsk

    What counts as a video game?

    If the rules and methods in a video game simply exist, implying that they hold no interaction with the player, then by definition they cannot be considered to be rules because they are meant to create a "game state" where gameplay is formed for the player to interact with on a digital medium. I tend to see video games as a technological extension of the oldest physical games that have existed in history because they all have to have rules and methods to those rules in order to create gameplay. I just call it conflict because the game is working against you in some way. You have to work with what its given you and do your best to proceed in the game. That conflict is what drives the gameplay. I don't like to use the word "challenge" because a lot of people have come to think of it as difficulty. On that note, I don't think a game requires a story to be a video game. It certainly can help, but ultimately it is the underlying rules and methods that make it a video game. A story without gameplay is simply literature or a graphic novel, etc and wouldn't apply.
  10. Stratomsk

    A storyless game?

    Many older games tended to have this and just relied on the player making up the story for themselves. If your game doesn't have a story, then set up the game with absolutely no context into what is happening.
  11. Stratomsk

    What counts as a video game?

    Its isn't wrong to call it a "Virtual Simulation" or "Art Game" as Jim Sterling would put it (look him up, hes great). Its just another way of doing a virtual experience of some description. Minecraft is a video game for a number of reasons. In creative mode I guess you can make the argument that it is a virtual simulation of the creative process. Survival on the other hand has you fight against the mechanics the game throws at you such as: Hunger, Death, Inventory management and loss, ultimately survival. That conflict between the game and yourself is the core of what makes it a "Game". Without any rules or mechanics it is simply a Virtual Simulation (which isn't a bad thing).
  12. Stratomsk

    Cosmic Horror Story Feedback

    I was considering having the main characters brother simply lie to him in order to protect him from the "horrible truth." Thanks for the feedback.
  13. Stratomsk

    What counts as a video game?

    Any "game" that has ever existed has some kind of conflict within it, otherwise it isn't a game. It is a virtual competition between you, the player, and the game's mechanics that you work against. Whether that takes the form of a failure state, puzzle, or some other type of challenge varies all the time. It is a virtual simulation if it allows for a complete experience of the entire game with 0% effort.
  14. Stratomsk

    Cosmic Horror Story Feedback

    In this story I want some interaction and Dialogue to exist between the Cosmic Horror and the main character by proxy. Its intentions I'm going to make sure are not fully understood in the few instances it does talk to the main character. It will be shown to be very interested in the concept of knowledge and to a lesser extent humanity, but ultimately disregard them as insignificant in relation to its own desires to escape its own dimension into ours.
  15. Stratomsk

    What counts as a video game?

    A video game to me is anything with a set of rules or mechanics that puts the player in direct opposition of them in some way (competing against them), usually with some kind of failure state.
  16. I'm currently in the process of developing a sample for my horror game. I'm not going to go into detail about the game itself, but the mechanics that I want to utilize. 1) Important choices that affect the games story later on. Later in the story the main character will be able to read the remnants of information that give some description to an abandoned college's history and allow the player to 'act out' the final minutes of their lives. The idea I had here would be to allow those characters to make certain choices that affect the document the main character was reading. Is this a good idea? 2) Combing certain visual and sound affects to play during the same time. Certain audio affects such as heartbeats, footsteps and changing tones of the screen (darkening, reddening, etc) An effect to create tense scenes between the main character and the force that he is ultimately against. How would I go about doing this exactly? 3) Maps that change shape dynamically as the game progresses to make the player feel vulnerable. This isn't going to be relavent in the beginning for pacing purposes, but eventually the creature/eldrich abomination that is manipulating the main character will be implied to manipulate time and matter, causing a situation where the abandoned college the main character explores will change ever-so-slightly as the game progresses. Basically, maps would change somewhat some of the time the player goes back to an area they have explored. Is this achievable? I'm for the most part new to VX Ace and I don't know about scripts for the most part. 4) Cutscenes that use a moving vehicle. One one hand, I could go through the process of creating specific tilesets for the scene where that main character and his brother drive through a street to the right of the screen. Or, I could instead have a stylized image of a car moving slightly with audio noises in the background such as driving, rain, etc, with the fade out with the sound of the car pulling up to a driveway with car keys jingling and whatnot. Which sounds more atmospheric?
  17. Stratomsk

    Cosmic Horror Story Feedback

    Yeah I need a bit more on the cosmic horror itself. Perhaps its like this: The obelisk is a mirror to a separate dimension that is populated by a formless being. The obelisk is a manifestation of its attempts to escape into our dimension. I'm thinking that perhaps its power is steadily growing over time and has the ability to erase the existence of those that come in contact with it. The main character over the course of the story will slowly realize this and attempt to destroy it, ending in failure as part of the beings plan to show one human being what is to come for the fate of the earth. I don't know if this is the best way to do it, but after many revisions this is what it came down to.
  18. Stratomsk

    Cosmic Horror Story Feedback

    The high school renovations part I guess doesn't make much sense. It could instead be rumors about the college and what specifically happened there or maybe its potential demolition. Its set in the 90's because of my personal preference. It feels like a good point for the main character to be exploring the college's shrouded history. I'm thinking that the incident at the college was essentially covered up by the creature to make it look like a mass disappearance. Obviously there would have been a mass search but they would have been unable to uncover anything, even the obelisk itself which likely would have been able to manipulate the people to render itself invisible. The only other option would probably be to close down the school permanently. The game will start with the dream and have them approach the clock tower that features prominently within the college. After that will follow the car part and onwards. Really what I wrote up there is a lot of the back story which will be explained piece-by-piece as the game progresses. The choice in the dream I'm really grappling on, wondering if it should really be there in the first place. Perhaps it shouldn't have any real affect other than give the player an idea of what to expect from the rest of the game. Jump scares I will avoid like the plague. Atmospheric and suspenseful gameplay is the best way to do horror in my opinion. By the way, do you think the Cosmic Horror holds too much similarity to Dead Space? I'm wondering if I should change that. Its never going to be on the same level as a Lovecraft story, but that's what I'm shooting for.
  19. Stratomsk

    Horror Game Concepts and Mechanics

    Thanks for the replies. So far everything is still on the drawing board because I still need to learn and get familiar with the basics of RPG Maker. Its basically me developing the mechanics while my friend doing the artwork. Really the only difficulties I'm having trouble wrapping my head around is the way to get music to play at very specific times and play only in certain areas. Tilesets are quite an issue as well because my friend has little experience drawing pixel art although he is trying to learn. Its a very ambitious game and probably won't even be half as good as I imagine it to be by the end of it. Do you guys know any particularly good Tileset guides? Pixel art, Sprite creation? It would help quite a bit.
  20. Stratomsk

    Dialogue Idea: Requesting Feedback

    Sounds pretty decent. It would help to know what kind of characters they are though to help see if the dialogue matches the way they speak and their personalities.
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