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Hiya, I've been stewing on a story setting for a game that I wanted to share to iron out some kinks, and then work on other things like how the game would play, etc.

Here's a small summary of the premise along with the characters just for a start.

 

You have woken up in a musty cell. The echoing of pained murmuring is all you can hear.
As you inspect your cage, smoke seeps in through the walls, and manifests as a cloaked figure, it's face masked, body ethereal, and not fully solid.
"Are you confused, young one? You must have many questions." the figure speaks out, "But first, I have one I must ask of you...Do you remember how you died?"
You do not want to believe your ears, but the gaping hole where your heart should be forces you to accept the truth.
The figure melts the iron bars of your cell away with a wave of it's hands.
"I can fill you in on the details later, but now we must escape."

 

So the basic premise of the story is that you are a lost soul imprisoned in Purgatory, the void between life and death. You are neither fully dead, or alive.

How did you end up here? That's your decision. All you know now is that you have to escape!
You choose between dialogue options that carve your backstory as you go, these decisions decide your alignment, the path you will take to escape, who will join you, and who will oppose you.

The early decisions will determine your class, your class will form your appearance (maybe, still in doubt on that).

 

 

The classes and their brief backstories are as follows:

Spoiler

Fallen Hero
You sacrificed yourself to save your world from the evil demons that had assaulted your homeland. You may have perished, but your choice spared the lives of countless millions. Armed with nothing but your lance and sheer determination, you wander Purgatory, saving the innocent undead from being dragged unto hell, earning your right to return to the land of the living. Mortal enemies with Hell-associated enemies. Deal extra damage to Demons. High Defence but no ability to use magic.

 

Singed Scholar
Once a student of the arcane arts, you enjoyed a peaceful existence studying magic with your peers, the people you called your friends. But all that was taken from you one day when a spell you cast went horribly awry. What was meant to be a simple ball of fire became a spontaneous explosion, burning you, your peers, and your home, to ashes. All you want now is to escape, and find a way to correct your mistakes. Your grasp on the elements is exemplary, but your frail constitution bars you from wielding steel and shield to protect yourself. Unique Spell Shield spell replaces regular guard skill. Resistant to Fire damage.

 

Rugged Soul
Fighting is all you knew. It was all that you wanted, all you needed. The thrill of combat excited you. Consumed you. And it was what killed you. But this is not the end. Fight your way out of Purgatory, Fight for your life, so you can fight with the living once more. A simple person with a simple cause, your mind is pure and heart devoid of conflict. You are skilled with every weapon and spell, but you never mastered any of them, preferring the adaptability over the reliance on a single thing. Extra damage vs. Humanoid and Beast. High HP but low Defence.

 

Hanged Man
A common thief. No money, no future, and no hope; you took only what you needed. But as your needs grew, so did your boldness, and thus, your infamy spread. And on that fateful day, you were betrayed by those you trusted most. Hanged at the gallows, well before your time. But fate has given you a chance, go and fight for your freedom!
Wield knives and boost your stats on the fly, you rely on your speed, wit, and items to outmanoeuvre and outlast your foes until the bitter end.

 

Dragon Slayer
A strong soul, consumed by a lust for power that threatened the world. Absorbing the power of dragons slain by your blade, You were on a quest for pure power. At the apex of your power, at the throat of the world, 10 heroes stood against you, and after a battle that lasted for an entire day, they finally struck you down, and ended your crusade.
The strength of your spirit bound you to Purgatory, sparing you from your rightful damnation in hell. And that strength has now given you a chance to escape. Reignite the flames of your sword, and continue your crusade.
Deals double damage to flying enemies, triple to dragons. Naturally can use Fire and Dark spells. Struggles immensely against armoured enemies. 

 

The setting of the landscape of Purgatory is very dark-fantasy. Gritty and mysterious, the "twilight" to the black and white settings associated with Heaven and Hell. The undead however, include figures from many timezones. Samurai, Modern soldiers, barbarians, School-boys, and medieval knights alike all wander the void. Some may help you, others may hinder.
The enemies vary depending on the class you play as, some have unique mid or final bosses, but there are 6 main bosses that are universal. But the main goal is always to slay The Gatekeeper, who guards the entry/exit between Purgatory and the living world.

 

That's as far as I have really, I'm very bad and very slow with world-building, but the idea itself intrigues me. What do you guys think?

Edited by Cactush

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I love the idea. I think another idea that would work well with that is if you had separate endings for each one allowing you to kill the ones that initially killed you. But maybe have two separate endings for each one in case the player doesn't want to kill them.

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This kind of setting does pop up now and then in games. Honestly I am not sure how well it really works unless you are really creative with the setting though. I am sort of reminded of the game Planescape: Torment (and the whole the Planescape setting in general really), witch is sorta kinda more or less the same type of thing as you are talking about only with it's own special infusion of weird fantasy elements (most of the game takes place in a city built inside a torus that is somehow on top of an infinitely high spire in the center of the infinite plane of neutrality which is 'surrounded' by 16 different infinite planes that include 7 'heavens' and 7 'hells' and a plane of pure order and one of pure chaos... and that's just the 'outer' planes). I don't think it needs to be as extreme in it's worldbuilding and otherworldlyness  as Planescape is, but I do think you probobly need to really define what your vision of purgatory is really like and make it interesting enough that the player wants to know more about it.

Edited by Kayzee

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On 6/5/2018 at 5:39 AM, Lord Vectra said:

I love the idea. I think another idea that would work well with that is if you had separate endings for each one allowing you to kill the ones that initially killed you. But maybe have two separate endings for each one in case the player doesn't want to kill them.

Thank you! I did plan on something like that, but the details are a bit of a 'work in progress' still. Having the old enemies/events of the player's past was a big part of what I hoped to incorporate, whether as a boss fight or the other way around and reconcile peacefully.

 

On 6/6/2018 at 11:58 AM, Kayzee said:

This kind of setting does pop up now and then in games. Honestly I am not sure how well it really works unless you are really creative with the setting though. I am sort of reminded of the game Planescape: Torment (and the whole the Planescape setting in general really), witch is sorta kinda more or less the same type of thing as you are talking about only with it's own special infusion of weird fantasy elements (most of the game takes place in a city built inside a torus that is somehow on top of an infinitely high spire in the center of the infinite plane of neutrality which is 'surrounded' by 16 different infinite planes that include 7 'heavens' and 7 'hells' and a plane of pure order and one of pure chaos... and that's just the 'outer' planes). I don't think it needs to be as extreme in it's worldbuilding and otherworldlyness  as Planescape is, but I do think you probobly need to really define what your vision of purgatory is really like and make it interesting enough that the player wants to know more about it.

Interesting, never heard of this series, but it definitely seems interesting enough to do research on. But you're right, I do need to define what my vision of purgatory is, which tbh seems rather fun.
I find the whole thing with Planetscape taking place in a city really interesting too, I love games that have a controlled setting like that.

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Planescape is actually an old Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting rather then a series. Planescape: Torment is the only video game I know of based on it, though I heard they were making another 'Torment' game that took place in a different setting with similar themes.

 

Hehe, Planescape: Torment actually kind of cheats a bit with the whole 'controlled setting' thing. You do end up spending most of the game in the city, but some areas are in different dimensions/planes. The city it takes place in is basically at the 'center' of the whole larger multiverse and there are portals/doorways that can lead to basically anywhere. In fact there is one NPC you meet early on who is completely and utterly terrified of getting near any kind of archway or door, because they got lost and ended up in the city and accidentally wondered into one of the hells trying to find a way home. It's a pretty interesting way of doing it at least.

Edited by Kayzee

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I like this idea. It's dark enough, yet offers some hope.

 

About the class names, though, they seem generic. What if you made different 'characters', instead of a class? What I mean is, as the player is going through the 'tutorial' and selecting his or her 'class', it could be shaping the look of the person, and at the end of the tutorial, they become a character, who gets a back story and has certain advantages and disadvantages (like a class), except they're a 'real' person. I kind of look on classes as arbitrary and plain. Making the player into a specific person, with pluses and minuses, however, that would be awesome.

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On 6/8/2018 at 6:10 AM, Kayzee said:

Planescape is actually an old Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting rather then a series. Planescape: Torment is the only video game I know of based on it, though I heard they were making another 'Torment' game that took place in a different setting with similar themes.

 

Hehe, Planescape: Torment actually kind of cheats a bit with the whole 'controlled setting' thing. You do end up spending most of the game in the city, but some areas are in different dimensions/planes. The city it takes place in is basically at the 'center' of the whole larger multiverse and there are portals/doorways that can lead to basically anywhere. In fact there is one NPC you meet early on who is completely and utterly terrified of getting near any kind of archway or door, because they got lost and ended up in the city and accidentally wondered into one of the hells trying to find a way home. It's a pretty interesting way of doing it at least.

That is still really clever, and it gives me a few ideas on how to tackle the layout of the land.

 

On 6/10/2018 at 6:15 AM, jamesdomus1861 said:

I like this idea. It's dark enough, yet offers some hope.

 

About the class names, though, they seem generic. What if you made different 'characters', instead of a class? What I mean is, as the player is going through the 'tutorial' and selecting his or her 'class', it could be shaping the look of the person, and at the end of the tutorial, they become a character, who gets a back story and has certain advantages and disadvantages (like a class), except they're a 'real' person. I kind of look on classes as arbitrary and plain. Making the player into a specific person, with pluses and minuses, however, that would be awesome.

That's a fair point, I've been giving it some thought. The overall idea is pretty much that, the names and class are practically the same. They're more like titles given to the 'player'. But the way you explained it gives it some clarity, and a bit more depth.

 

I think the main problem I have now is more gameplay related, as for the most part, the player will have a one-man party. Is it worth having upgradeable stats for some freedom? Or purely linear calculations that are made with being a solo party in mind?
And the skills will need to also help fulfil that purpose, but I think that's the easier thing to cover.

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I think this could be a unique concept depending on the direction you took with it. And give yourself some credit...the brief world you've built so far isn't bad at all. If you went in the direction of a party based RPG i think it would be relatively unique...but as a solo character game it may seem a bit like Dante's Inferno, Dark Souls, or God of War. So if solo is the direction you want to go how will you make your game stand apart from games like these? Perhaps maybe a sacrificial party system similar to Valkyrie Profile? Enlist aid of souls also trapped in the purgatory only to later sacrifice them to proceed further to your objective? Just a quick spitball. Either way you go with it, it seems interesting enough so far. Perhaps even set it up so the other characters not chosen are the ones you meet on your journey that get sacrificed. That could add some replay value to encourage players to try the other classes to see how the stories change.

Last thought...maybe a berserker type class may be interesting? Someone who was betrayed and killed unexpectedly by an ally and is now fueled by revenge.

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