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I have an idea for an RPG with no combat. I'm tentatively calling it Obiter Dictum, because most of the gameplay would be built around conversations and, well, 'stealing' ideas from people.

It's about an alien that must steal and consume ideas from human beings to survive. Thoughts, to this creature, are not simply abstract concepts, but physical objects in a dimension that the alien has access to by way of extra-dimensional 'limbs'. In this world, humans have their own extra-dimensional organs that protect, as well as 'read' and 'write' icons corresponding to their thoughts and memories. The creature must disguise itself as a human and find ways to make humans 'offer' their ideas unknowingly, allowing its extra-dimensional limbs access to the icons.

The act of stealing a thought, however, removes it entirely from the human it came from. If too many ideas are taken from a person, they are liable to withdraw from the outside world and isolate themselves. In extreme cases, a person might become a husk of sorts. Worse, stealing ideas critical to the personality or day to day business of a human can alert their peers and prompt and investigation.

The option is there, though it will be heavily discouraged, to inconspicuously dispose of humans that could incriminate the alien.

The alien could also help particular humans by removing dangerous ideas (I.E. revenge, vigilantism, poorly conceived stunts), but there is a drawback to consuming 'negative' concepts. The creature is in a developmental stage, and by consuming ideas it takes them on and, necessarily, builds its personality off of them. If everything works out the way I hope it will, the plan is to almost completely remove any decision making faculties that the player had at the beginning and replace them with the persona he or she has built.

 

The game will start with four young adults crossing the border between Mexico and the United States. Their car hits the alien, and two the passengers are critically wounded. At this point, the player is given the option to choose which of these four humans to take the appearance of. This presents him or her with gender options (two males, and two females) and a plot-altering difficulty setting. If a less injured character is chosen, both of the critically wounded characters will die and only one person that knows the player character's real history and could uncover them if they don't take them out of the picture. When a critically wounded character is chosen, they are handicapped in a number of different ways, have two 'loose ends' to contend with, and are given a significantly more [thought] resource intensive scenario.

To get close to people and get the ideas needed to survive, a range of jobs will be available for the player to choose from. All of them will have an impact on the story, and will have characters that don't appear at other locations. They're essentially different scenarios altogether. A few examples of possible professions:

  • Barista at a coffee shop
  • Nurse at an old folk's home
  • Everyone's confidant (jobless scenario)
  • Social worker
  • Librarian (I'm not impartial to this one, sorry.)

So, what do I need to know, ruby wise, to get this project going?

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Wow, that's actually....pretty interesting! AND creative too! Well, you can do this purely with switches and variables, unless you want to add systems like day/night (time) or stamina.

 

Question: Would the alien need to eat to survive? Or are these ideas their food?

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Wow, that's actually....pretty interesting! AND creative too! Well, you can do this purely with switches and variables, unless you want to add systems like day/night (time) or stamina.

 

Question: Would the alien need to eat to survive? Or are these ideas their food?

What would I need to learn if I wanted to have some pretty involved systems for day/night cycles and time (calendar stuff)?

The alien would need to eat physical food.

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Hmm, you mean like making the scripts yourself? That would require loads of ruby knowledge (which I don't have, so I can't really tell what you need). But if you're okay with using other people's scripts, I'm pretty sure there are day/night scripts in the completed scripts section. You don't need to know ruby to use the script itself, just follow the instructions.

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